David Scott Trail and its ephemeral beauty!!

Meghalaya as a State is a grandiose experience that bestows our itchy traveller feet with surreal completeness, always leaving one wanting for more. The profound rejoice in the woods of the beautiful state or be it submitting to raindrops under the open skies, exploring trails and landscapes is always a celebration of magnificence. The dubious landscapes and unconditional serenity tricks me into walking for hours without a word of “Ah! Not anymore”. Hoping on my journey to explore Meghalaya made it mandate to hike the 16km stretch of David Scott Trail starting from Mawphlang to Lad Mawphlang. After having done the 16 km awesome walk of nature I sure can say – “Sir David Scott! With the hard work you put our ancestors through, this is one good thing you left for the coming generation.”


The giant ferns on David Scott Trail!!

It sounds exciting and at the same time historical to trek one of the oldest trekking route in Meghalaya that lay in existence since colonial India. The trail is named after British officer David Scott. It is a U-shaped cart trail that was found in 1800s by David Scott and was used to carry goods on carts and mules from Assam to Bangladesh. It is spread across 100km but the route that is used for trekking is a 16 km hiking route stretching from Mawphlang to Lad Mawphlang.

Umiam River and Valley view!!

It is a very easy hiking route and takes around 4-5 hours to complete. The trail route is enveloped with idyllic view and pastoral landscapes that satiate the wanderlust hunger in hikers. Nature has bestowed the trail with some sprawling flora, cascading waterfalls, crystal clear water streams, natural pools amidst the sparse forest, medieval bridges from colonial era and remote Khasi Villages. The trek gives a mammoth view of the gregarious Umiam valley and river.


Hidden pool on David Scott Trail

The trek starts from Mawphlang to Lad Mawphlang or vice-versa but the more convenient route is to start from Mawphlang. Mawphlang is popular for sacred grooves or forests and starting the trek from Mawphlang is a matter of perks with chance to also explore the sacred grooves.

Guwahati is the nearest Railway Station or Airport for reaching Shillong. There are shared cabs available from Railway Station that ply daily for Shillong. Tata Sumo charge around Rs 170 per person (Let me warn you if you hate too much crowd, its jam packed) or else you can hire comfortable cabs for Rs 300 per person. It takes nearly 3 hours to reach Shillong.

The next destination is from Shillong to Mawphlang which is around 20 kms. There is hardly any shared vehicle to grab but you definitely can hire a cab to drop you there. They will charge you around Rs 350 to 400 from Shillong to Mawphlang. Cab drivers are usually aware of the hiking start point, so you don’t need to worry about it. The trek starts from Mawphlang covering 16kms on foot to reach Lad Mawphlang.


Suspension bridge on David Scott Trail

David Scott Trail can be done without a guide but there are some confusion routes and turns that might leave you marooned in the trail till you find your way. There are hardly any people you find on the hiking trail unless everyday is in the same mood as yours to hike up David Scott Trail on the same day. I would thus definitely recommend taking a guide along so that you enjoy the hike without getting lost. JOHN was my guide through David Scott Trail, a young 21 year old chap who is not only hard-working but honest, simple and will help you update your knowledge about the trail with his expert guidance.


Khasi Village and wonderful People

Chilling with locals

The trail is sparsely inhabited by people and in one or two corners of the entire village you see a few clusters of house. Khasi people are epitome of hard-work and it was evident when I met a man of any grandfather’s age carrying basket full of firewood on his back. Maybe the old lady and her stories of the place left me stunned or playing with the little kids. Everything about the place was straight from heart. Although the natives know only Khasi but humanity needs no language and it was evident on meeting and spending some time with the wonderful people of Khasi Village on David Scott Trail.

Kids of David Scott Trail!!

Bountiful Nature is pure bliss

Meghalaya means we are talking scenic beauty in its most raw and euphoric form. The trail of 16 km never for a moment brought feeling of lacklustre with the sight of cascading waterfalls, clear finely flowing streams, forests & rocks sculpting the gigantic landscape, of bridges that lay as channel of connection and valley that engulfs your soul. It is like walking on a nature trail and each step raised the feeling of alacrity. It is a beautiful and gorgeous trail, perfect for day hikers and for camping. The place is resident to the Umiam River and gorgeous pine-trees. It is an easy trail so there is nothing to be worried about but prepare self to submit to the gregarious arms of nature.

Beautiful & Rustic Terrains of the Trail

David Scott Trail ends in Lad Mawphlang and the only problem is lack of transit vehicle to Cherrapunjee or Shillong. The trek ends on main road and it is close to Cherrapunjee and thus one can club David Scott Trek with travel to Cherrapunjee. There are vehicles but the frequency is less so you might have to wait for a while to get hold of a public or shared vehicle. Another option is you sprung out of your comfort zone and hitchhike to your destination. It is an incredible place to be with uncanny trails of nature. If you love nature, hikes and want to seek complete solace walking through antiquated rustic path, it is the place you need to drop in your bucket list.

Mesmerising view!!

Meghalaya is a wonderful State with cauldron of traveller’s hideout and one visit is sure to reap plethora of ineluctable memories. DAVID SCOTT TRAIL is a melange of everything and is sure to make a place in your heart. 🙂 🙂


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