The Umngot River is less than 100 km away from Shillong in the state of Meghalaya in India. It is a major tourist destination of Meghalaya. This river is also one of the cleanest rivers of Asia continent.

If we tell you about a river in India which is as transparent as glass, would you believe it? If you are not sure, then read this special article completely! The water of this river, situated in the country of India, is clearer than crystal. The river we are talking about is one of the cleanest and purest rivers in India! The name of this river is Umngot river. Additionally, this river is also one of the cleanest rivers of Asia continent.

Basic information about “Umngot River”:

The Umngot River is also known as the "Dowki River," and "Wah Umngot." The river flows through Doki/Dowki, a small town at the foot of the Jaintia Hills in the West Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya state, India. It is also known as "the paradise hidden in the mountains". This is because this river is so beautiful that people are fascinated by it as soon as they see it!
When the sun rises, this river becomes absolutely transparent and colorless! When you go by boat, you have the feeling of floating on glass. Every stone on the bottom of the river is visible to you like a crystal, so clear is the river!
The river is located near the village of Mawlynnong ("God's own garden") in Meghalaya, which is considered the cleanest village in Asia. This is also near the Indian border with Bangladesh. The "Umngot" serves as a natural watershed between the Jaintia and Khasi Hills before eventually flowing into Bangladesh. It is a beautiful sight to behold! It rises on the eastern peak of Shillong, which is 1800 meters above sea level.
A person riding a boat through the river would actually be able to see the bed of the river, even though it is about 15/20 feet deep. Umngot river is so clean that under the influence of the sun this deep green lake becomes a colorless and transparent river.

Cleaning of “Umngot River” / “Dowki River”:

The view around the Umngot river is very beautiful! And some people even compare it with heaven! Whoever comes here for the first time feels that he is in another world. Because they can't believe that the river is so clean! You will not see a single particle of dust, and a single piece of garbage in this river! Now you must be thinking that where our other rivers are full of plastic and garbage, then how is this river of our country so clean?
The responsibility of cleaning the river is not solely on the government, but by the tribal villagers there! The tribals living here have been cleaning this river for generations. This river is flowing through three villages. And the responsibility of cleaning it, is also on the people of these three villages. There are more than three hundred houses in the village, who do clean together! Depending on the time and the number of residents, there are community days one or two or four days in a month. On this day at least one person from every house in the village comes to clean the river. Every traveler coming here is instructed by villagers that he/she should not spread any kind of filth!
Along with cleanliness, the village has also achieved a rare feat – 100% literacy rate.

Umngot River / Dawki River / Dawki Village. Visit time & stay:

The best time to visit Dawki village is during the dry months from November to April/May. Monsoon is a bad time to visit Dawki village as the river is always in spate and boating is closed. You can stay at hotels in Shillong and take a day trip to Umngot River / Dawki (Dowki) Village. Accommodation options are available in Shillong, Riwai and Mawlynnong. There are more budget friendly back packer hostels in Shillong than in the villages! There are homestays in the villages but not very light on the pocket.
The best way to reach Dawki village is by hiring a car. The road leading to the village passes through valleys and small villages consisting of 15/20 houses and a never-ending expanse of farmland. The approximate distance between Shillong and Dawki village by car is about two and a half hours. A bumpy ride in the last few kilometers can't spoil the fun.
You can combine a road trip to Dawki ,with a visit to the root bridge village of Riwai and Mawlynnong, the cleanest village in Asia! All these three places come under the same route and is possible to cover all in a single day.
The popular Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport or Guwahati Airport, located in Guwahati, the capital of Assam, is the nearest airport to Dowki. Guwahati Railway Station (GHY) is the biggest railway station near Dawki and Shnongpdeng. Other nearby railway stations to Dockey are Kamakhya Railway Junction (KYQ) and New Bongaigaon (NBQ), both in Assam.

Boating and Swimming:

Towards the shallower end of the river, travelers can even wade into the water for a swim as the current is not very strong. It is an excellent place to take a deep dive in the cool water while small fish swim around your feet. Walking up to the cable-suspended bridge offers a beautiful panoramic view of the hills and Bangladeshi plains.
Each boat seats a maximum of four people and one rower. The whole boat journey is likely to take around an hour or so! The actual sailing can be done for half an hour and the rest of the time can be spent on a small island nearby.
The boat ride charge is approximately around Rs. 800/- per boat. Safety jackets are mandatory on boat rides at Downie. It is recommended to go for the boat ride early in the morning as the crowd is less. It is absolutely safe to carry DSLR camera and mobile on the boat. Approx Rs. 500 charges for kayaking activity.

Food/Food Items:

There are not many restaurants around Dawki River, Dawki town, Shnongpadeng or Darang. The ones that are, have a limited menu. There are many shops in Dawki, Shnongpadeng and Darang which sell packaged chips, cold drinks. There are also many fruit shops in Dowqi town. You must try the delicious local oranges and pineapples of North East India. There is every possibility of vegetarian food being available!

Local Languages:

The official languages ​​of Meghalaya state are Khasi, Jaintia, Garo and English. People in Meghalaya speak and understand English very well as compared to other places in India. Hindi is also very well understood and spoken in Meghalaya. Panar-Sinteng, Nepali, and Hajong, Assamese and Bengali are other languages ​​spoken here.

India Bangladesh Border:

What makes this village interesting is that it is situated between India and Bangladesh. About 500 meters away, you can see the Bangladesh border. At present there is no fee for visiting the border. You better take permission from the army personnel before going there! Near Dockey Boating Point, there is a suspension bridge (SUSPENSION BRIDGE) built by the British in 1932. The bridge serves as an international trade highway between India and Bangladesh. 
To know more about suspension bridge, you can click on this link.
One has to cross this bridge to reach Dawki village and border areas. Jaflong Zero Point comes after crossing the suspension bridge. Across the river near Zero Point is the international border. There is a suspension bridge at Dawki and the view from there is spectacular, but they won't let you walk on it.

Some additional information:

There are very few ATMs located in Dawki because digital payment is not very popular here. It's a good idea to carry cash at Dawki, Shnongpdeng or Darang. Dowki Bazaar has State Bank of India branch. The ATM here may or may not work, it depends on your luck.
You may face a challenge to get a mobile network!
The Umngot river is a venue for boat races which are held in March-April. But otherwise too, watching this huge emerald serpent water body make its way through the hills, with fishermen's boats skimming its surface, across the plains of Bangladesh is a wonderful experience. A view whose majesty reverberates long after you leave it.
The village of Shnongpdeng is around 8 KMs from the small roadside town of Dawki. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Why is Dowki River / Dowki River / Umngot River / Dowki Village famous / popular?
This village and river are famous for its crystal-clear water.

2. Where is "Dowki River" / "Dowki Village" / "Umngot River" situated?
It is located at the foot of the Jaintia Hills in West Jaintia Hills district in the state of Meghalaya, India.

3. Is one day enough to visit Dowki?
Yes ! The only thing is, better that you reach the village early in the morning.
If you want to explore more places and enjoy the climate, you can stay for a longer period of time.

4. Can I swim in “Dowki River” / “Dowki River” / “Umngot River” / “Dowki Village” / Lake?
Yes, the flow of the river at Umngot is mild and one can go do swimming wearing a life jacket. A dip in the lukewarm water definitely takes away all the road trip fatigue!

5. Which is the best season to visit “Dowki River” / “Umngot River” / “Dowki Village” /?
The best time to visit Dowki to witness its immense natural beauty is the winter and summer season from November to May.

6. How to reach Dowki from Guwahati?
By rail. The nearest railway station to Dawki is the Guwahati Railway Station, located approximately 170 km away. One can take a bus or private taxi from the station and reach Dawki by road, passing through Shillong on the way. The entire journey takes approximately 5 hours.

7. How deep is Umngot river?
Depth up to 15/20 feet.

8. Which is the cleanest river in Meghalaya, one of states in India, a country in Asia Continent?
The Umngot River in Meghalaya, commonly known as the Dowki River, is widely acclaimed as the cleanest river in Asia due to its crystal-clear water.

9. Do we get OLA or UBER in Shillong?
No, you will need to book a local taxi for Dowki to reach. They may charge you around Rs.3000 for the day! It depends on the season, crowd, number of passengers and type of car.

Conclusion about Umngot River Trip plan:

“Dawki River” / “Dawki Village” / “Umngot Nadi” / “Dawki Gaon” is definitely a must visit place! And Umngot River is the major attraction. It is an absolutely extraordinary experience to see the crystal-clear water and enjoy swimming in it. Here nature is at its best. Plus, it's not an expensive deal! The memories that you will take with you after the trip will definitely last as an experience of a lifetime. It is one of the most famous tourist places in Asia, India, near Meghalaya, Sikkim

Umngot River Comments:

If you have already visited or are planning to visit, leave a comment about your experience/query. Would love to have feedback on this!

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I am an amateur cyclists having done many successful cycling expeditions as Solo / with Spouse / With Kids / With family & with friends. I am a post graduate in commerce, with distinction, from University of Pune. I have a professional experience of more than 17 years. I have worked with multi national companies like IBM & Kyndryl. I have experience with regards to client relationship, contract management, audits & testing, national - international transitions, process framing, tools deployment as well as financial management. I belong to joint family & staying along with my parents, spouse & 2 kids. Travelling, Health, technology, Finance, Parenting, reading & writing, Sports, Meditation, Cultural adherence etc are my other hobbies. I strongly believe in Powers of Universe & Power of Gratitude.

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