A few months ago, I and my friends visited one of the most talked about place in Meghalaya – the Umiam Lake Boat House. Being recommended by many, we were quite excited to go there. And on a sunny Saturday we boarded my new car and set forth for this amazing destination. The 3 hour drive (around 75 kms from Guwahati) in the newly constructed & winding roads was fun with lots of chattering and music too. We halted once in the local shops by the side of the road and had some locally grown pineapple and guava…..they were simply yummm! (Travellers’ tip- if you are passing by these shops by the side of the road, you ‘must’ try the pineapple they sell. They are sourced fresh from the gardens of the locals).
The Boat House is next to Lumpongdeng and in the middle of the Umiam Lake. To reach the boathouse we had to take a boat ride from Water Sports Complex, Umiam Lake, Shillong. For entry into the complex we had to pay Rs.20/- each. Since the boathouse was located in an island we had to leave the car in the Water Sports Complex itself. At first I was a little worried about its safety but the security person on duty there assured that we need not worry even a bit. When my friend tried to give him some tip to keep an extra eye on the car, to our surprise he refused and politely replied that it is his job and there is no need for extra payment. Isn’t that sweet? 🙂
After hiring a motorboat to reach the island we boarded it with a lot of excitement and also all our grocery and other items for the night stay. I would like to mention here that for an overnight stay we were advised to carry all supplies for food we wanted to have there along with drinking water. But on reaching there the caretakers informed us that while booking, if we let them know what we wanted to have they can arrange everything. Anyhow, after a pleasant boat ride, with fresh mountain air enveloping us and some dark clouds in the sky above we reached our destination.
After handing over the food supplies and giving out instructions to the caretaker for the menu we relaxed comfortably in the serenity and quietness of the surroundings. The deck where overlooking the Umiam Lake was such a pretty sight!
All the 5 of us sat there quietly, enjoying our plates of Maggi and boiled egg and watched the sun slowly go down behind the mountains. The ambience of the place was such that we did not feel like raising our voices at all. We did not feel like breaking the silence of the place. It was mesmerizing! The best part about the place was that there was provision for only one group of people to come and stay there and hence there was no crowd and noise. And I hope it stays that way…
That day, to add to our joy, it rained in the evening. Watching the dark clouds gather around and then the rain drops falling on the lake waters was a picture I cannot describe in words. One has to experience it to understand it. It was simply majestic……
For evening snacks, the caretakers (a Naga husband & Khasi wife duo) made for us dry fish in Naga style with lots of chilly and bamboo shoot and some fried chicken with almost no oil. These two dishes were the highlight of the food we had on-board and we simply relished on them. The chicken curry, the aloo bhaji (potato fry) and the daal for dinner was also very tasty. Since they cooked everything in firewood, we felt the flavour was rustic and hence tastier too. As I am writing down this post, my mouth has started watering again with all those foodie memories. 😛 Sadly I do not have the pictures of the food as I hardly remembered to click any pics at the sight of the food.
Post dinner, we chatted some more and enjoyed the silence & darkness of the night. Since there was no electricity we did not have the option to use our phones and laptops as our batteries would have to last till the next day. And I must say it was a good relief to be away from them. 😛 The only issue we had in the place was the bathroom. To share 1 bathroom amongst five people proved a little difficult, so I would suggest any group who visits there should not be more than 3-4 persons though the owners allow a maximum of 6 persons. Also the water in the taps of the bathroom had little or almost no force and one had to wait for a really long time for the bucket to fill up.
Next day we woke up to the rising sun and birds chirping outside our windows. And as we woke up to this wonderful feeling we also realized that this wonderful experience is about to be over.
After the morning chores and breakfast, we got ready for checking out. After clicking a few photos, settling the bills and thanking the caretakers for the delicious food and great service we boarded the motorboat and bid goodbye to the boathouse.
“When I say I love the silence, I’m not being entirely truthful. What I actually love are the abundant, delicate sounds that amplify when I’m silent. These curious creaks, mutters, and hums compel my imagination.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich
- The title of my post today is taken from a quote by Lemony Snicket.
- Hiring a boat for the to and fro journey from the Water Sport Complex to the Boathouse was Rs.1000/-
- The rent for a night at the boathouse is Rs.2500/- they charge extra for cooking the food. We paid them Rs.1200/- which included tips as well.
- Anyone interested to visit this place can contact me for other details.
- Here is a not-so-good-quality video I found in YouTube about the boathouse- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nez4DOCztws