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Dawki River, Shillong (Meghalaya) – A Complete Tour Guide

Dawki River, also known as the Umngot River is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Shillong.

Ever thought of visiting a place where you just float on the crystal clear sparkling water in the middle of hills with lush green trees with cascades dropping down from it? You might think such places can only be found in fairytales. But it is present here in Meghalaya, India.

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This place doesn’t attract that much tourist but is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited in India.

The Umngot River, also known as the Dawki river, marks a natural separation between the Kashi and the Jaintia Hills and its crystal clear water flows directly into Bangladesh.

In this article, you will get to know the following points about the Dawki River,

  1. How to reach
  2. Best time to visit
  3. Things to do
    1. Boat Ride
    2. Jaflong Zero Point
    3. Dawki Suspension bridge
    4. Indo-Bangladesh Friendship gate
    5. Other activities

Let’s see each of these points in detail…

How to reach Dawki River (Shillong)

This beautiful hidden gem is situated about 82kms south of Shillong. The best way to reach there is by taking a private car or renting a cab. Add this to your list of places to visit in Shillong and I bet you will not regrate.

You can contact Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) just outside the railway station, in case you are traveling by train, and you can book your tour at the best price.

Boats Floating in the crystal clear water of Dawki

The bus will take about Rs. 135 per head (may vary), which is quite optimal for managing and carrying you through the gorgeous swerves off the road with gorges here and there.

The nearest Airport to Dawki is the Guwahati Airport, also known as the Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport.

Best time to visit Dawki River (Shillong)

The best time to visit Dawki is between October-April, i.e., the dry months.

The river overflows during the rainy season. If you visit just after the rainy season you can see the waterfalls on the way to Dawki filled with water. The view is spectacular.

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We visited this beautiful paradise in the month of October.

Also, try visiting this place during the daytime. Preferably between 3 PM-5 PM. You will get the best experience of the place during this time.

Things to do in Dawki River (Shillong)

There are a lot of activities you can do here in Dawki. You can do some of them on a short one-day visit whereas for some other activities you need a dedicated Dawki trip.

Some of the activities in Dawki include,

Boat Ride

A boatsman on his boat

The specialty of Dawki is its crystal clear water and its suspension bridge. The water here is so clear, that you can even see the riverbed.

There are boatsmen there to take you on a boat ride above the splendid waters of the Dawki river at a nominal rate.

The charges may vary. It took us Rs.500 / boat for this ride, which is very nominal given the experience you are going to get. Each boat can carry a maximum of 5 people.

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This boat ride in Dawki, Shillong is of 20-30minutes and the view from the middle of the river is just spectacular.

You will see fishermen fishing and some young guys jumping from a cliff during your ride.

They will take you to a small island in the middle where you can click pictures. You can also immerse your feet wet in the clear water or collect a perfectly shaped stone.

Jaflong Zero Point

On your way back from the small rocky island to where you started, they will take you to the Jaflong Zero Point. From this place, you can see the lush green lands of Bangladesh.

You can see people approaching from the other side as well and can have one or two conversations with them.

Dawki Suspension bridge

Dawki Suspension Bridge

Dawki Suspension bridge is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Dawki. While boating through the river you will see a bridge above, this is called the Dawki Suspension bridge.

This bridge connects the Jaintia Hills and the Kashi hills. This bridge also acts as a road route to connect the Indo-Bangladesh border with the Dawki Village.

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We asked our driver who was taking us on the trip about this bridge. He told us that the British built this bridge in 1932. It connects the road all the way from Dhaka to the North-East.

I came home and Googled about it. He was right!

You can take your car from the Dawki boating point to the Indo-Bangladesh border through this bridge.

Indo-Bangladesh Friendship gate

The Indo-Bangladesh friendship gate, also known as the “Maitri Dwar” is built recently in 2018. It is built as a sign of friendship between India and Bangladesh.

Our car driver told us about this gate and how you can get close to the Bangladesh border. We went there by going through the suspension bridge.

Crystal clear waters of Dawki

There is also a small market set up for the tourists as well as the locals.

Here, some Bangladeshis also come to set up their stalls. This is done to increase trade relations between India and Bangladesh.

You can also go to the no man’s land between India and Bangladesh if you approach the BSF. We didn’t though because we were already late to go to Mawlynnong.

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Other activities you can do

There are some fun and adventurous activities that you can do in Dawki. I personally didn’t do those as those activities don’t come in the 1-Day Itinerary of Dawki.

Here are some of them:

  1. Camping
  2. Snorkeling
  3. Zipline
  4. Rappelling

So if you are visiting Shillong, make sure to visit this place and enjoy the best views of nature. The serene crystal clear water of Dawki will surely calm your mind.

FAQs about Dawki, Meghalaya

Can I swim in the Dawki River?

Yes, you can swim. But at your own risk.

Can I go to Bangladesh from Dawki?

Yes, you can go to Bangladesh from Dawki, but only if you have your Visa. Without a visa, the furthest you can go is the no-man’s land, a small area between India and Bangladesh.

Are cars allowed on the suspension bridge?

Yes, they allow cars on the Dawki Suspension bridge. Only one car can cross the bridge at a time.


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