Travel Tales

The Sacred Grove – Mawphlang, Meghalaya

The Sacred Grove - Mawphlang, Meghalaya Mumbai Photography
The Sacred Grove - Mawphlang, Meghalaya Mumbai Photography
PC – Mamta Kalambe

This was the place where we could feel the trees breathe. These gigantic gods overlooking at us as we walked the dark canopy of forest. They sing, dance and talk to each other like a community. Years old, they have stories to tell. ‘The Sacred Grove in Mawphlang, Meghalaya is mystical forest with 800 year old tradition relevant even today.

The Sacred Grove - Mawphlang, Meghalaya Mumbai Photography
PC – Mamta Kalambe

As we entered we could feel a considerable amount of shift in the temperature. We pull our jackets. We follow our guide, Arnold as he narrates the sacred stories of the forest.

The Sacred Grove - Mawphlang, Meghalaya Mumbai Photography
PC – Nikhil B.

The Khasi folklore goes that there’s a deity that guards the forest, Labasa. La in Khasi means god. The villagers believe that the deity protects their village during crisis.

The Sacred Grove - Mawphlang, Meghalaya Mumbai Photography
PC – Nikhil B.

We pass a number of stone altars. The altars, now covered with green moss, were a part of rituals performed to appease the forest spirits.

The Sacred Grove - Mawphlang, Meghalaya Mumbai Photography
PC – Mamta Kalambe

The only rule of the forest is you’re not allowed to take anything from here, not even a leaf!

The Sacred Grove - Mawphlang, Meghalaya Mumbai Photography
PC – Mamta Kalambe

 

The Sacred Grove - Mawphlang, Meghalaya Mumbai Photography
PC – Nikhil B.

This sacred tradition is in fact an indigenous way of protecting the forest. What once was a way of life now takes name of tradition. The forest was then protected by the Lyngdoh clan. Today the Sacred Forest is owned by the Khasi community of Mawphlang. It is interesting to see that most forests in Meghalaya are not owned by the government, but by the local tribes and communities, who’re known to take better care of the forests.

The Sacred Grove - Mawphlang, Meghalaya Mumbai Photography
PC – Nikhil B.

 

The Sacred Grove - Mawphlang, Meghalaya Mumbai Photography
PC – Nikhil B.

This forest that spans upto 76.8 hectares is a treasure of 500 tree species. A variety of rare medicinal plants and a number of Rudraksha trees can be found here.

The Sacred Grove - Mawphlang, Meghalaya Mumbai Photography
PC – Mamta Kalambe

 

The Sacred Grove - Mawphlang, Meghalaya Mumbai Photography
PC – Mamta Kalambe

The Sacred Grove - Mawphlang, Meghalaya Mumbai Photography

Our hope is that the ones reading this feel the beauty of the forest and endeavor to preserve these beautiful green spaces whichever part of the world they’re in.

For those looking out for eco friendly tourism should get in touch with Journeys With Meanings.

 

 

2 thoughts on “The Sacred Grove – Mawphlang, Meghalaya

Leave a Reply