Pristine beauty rests on the hills and valleys of Jaintia Hills. If there are undulating hills in abundance, there is not any dearth of winding rivers all along the way. Jaintia Hills tourism is however not only about natural beauty but its rich history and close connection to present day Bangladesh. The Jaintia king who resided in the capital of the kingdom in Jaintiapur (now in Bangladesh) made Nartiang, a small village in these hills as his summer capital. As a result, thoroughfare increased, and cultural exchange was strong. The Jaintia Hills is the collective term used for two districts, namely West Jaintia Hills and East Jaintia Hills. The district headquarters of West Jaintia Hills is Jowai while that of East Jaintia Hills is Khliehriat.
Jaintia Hills tourism consists of Nartiang which has the biggest collection of monoliths in a confined area. The Durga Temple in Nartiang is also an important attraction of the place.
Jowai is about 65 kilometres from Shillong, the capital of Shillong. It takes about 2 hours to travel between the two towns. Roadways serve as the main means of transportation for Jaintia Hills. Tourists can make Jowai their base camp while visiting the various tourist attractions in Jaintia Hills.
Jaintia Hills sees heavy rainfall during the monsoons. It is pleasantly warm during the summers and severely cold during the winters. Tourists should visit the Jaintia Hills during the summers when there is less rainfall.
Jowai Tourism – Home to the Pnar Tribe
Jowai is one of the growing industrial towns of Meghalaya. It is the district headquarters of the Jaintia Hills district and is largely populated by the Pnar tribe. Jowai is a picturesque town with the Myntdu River surrounding it on three sides and Bangladesh bordering it on the southern fringes.
Placed on a plateau, Jowai is situated 1380 meters above sea level. Its high altitude makes the climate pleasant and cool. The Jaintia Hills is mineral rich and there are several coal mines around Jowai. Thus the economy of the place thrives of coal mining.
Jowai tourism consists of a visit to the Behdeimkhlam festival that is held in the second week of July. The Behdeimkhlam festival is a ritualistic expression of the Pnars tribal community. There are several other attractions that make Jowai tourism interesting such as the man-made Thadlaskein Lake, Ialong Park and the Jowai Presbyterian Church.
Jowai is 65 kilometres from Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya. To reach Jowai, tourists can either book a tourist vehicle or board an inter-state bus that runs from the capital at frequent intervals. For travellers seeking air connectivity, there are direct flights from Kolkata to Umroi. However, the better option is to take a flight to the Guwahati airport.
The winter months and the summer months are ideal time to visit Jowai.