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I had just come back from a two-week trip to Nagaland, Manipur, Majuli & Kaziranga National Park as part of work but it had been a while since we, me and Ruchi, went out anywhere for a trip. So, a trip, even if small, was long overdue. But due to the usual year-end issues, leaves were an issue for Ruchi. It had to be a day-trip. No overnight stay was possible.
So, the only obvious option, far from the crowd yet not very far from the home base seemed to be Chandubi Lake. A place we had been thinking of going to for a while now but which had always lost out to faraway destinations, until now.
Guwahati to Chandubi Lake – A Beautiful Drive
The Chandubi lake is around an hour and a half’s drive from Guwahati and we stay around an out of Guwahati on the Bhutan highway. So, for us, it meant around 2.5 hour’s drive. In other words, we could take it easy but not very easy. We had plans to have our breakfast at the Chandubi Eco Resort.
The idea today was to explore our backyard which actually, is as exciting as any other place in North East India. So, that is what we set out to do with another family accompanying us for the trip.
Formed due to an earthquake in 1897, monsoon evening, this lake and the tribal villages around sit right on the foothills of the Garo hills of Meghalaya. A sort of potpourri of tribal cultures, with the Rabha Hasongs of Assam and the Garos of Meghalaya living side by side, the place has a lot to offer to the culture a food lover.
Not to mention the natural beauty around the lake, the hikes around tribal villages, the waterfalls, the lush green fields, the easy-going village-life, and last but not the least, the lake itself.
Things to do at Chandubi Lake
We reached the lake a little late than we had expected but once we were there, the rest of the things went ahead as roughly planned. Breakfast was to be done at the Chandubi eco-resort, which is on the other side of the lake. So, once we reached the Chandubi boat pick-up point, we booked out boat tickets and started for the other side of the lake, leaving the car behind on this side.
The boat – ride to the Chandubi eco-resort hardly takes 5 minutes in the dry season. Finding a boat too is not a problem because there’s a designated ticket counter from where you can book your tickets to cross-over. Once that is done, you can get on to one of the many boats stationed at the banks of the lake.
Breakfast was simple but tasty, just the way you would expect in a rural setup. Even better was the fact that, during our visit, no other guests were at the resort. So, we had all the place to ourselves and we made good use of it.
After our lazy breakfast, we started to explore the beautiful surroundings.
Chandubi Eco Resort – Exploring the place
The place is designed and maintained making sure the real feel of the region is not disturbed. While you can stay overnight as the place also provides a homestay facility by the lake as well, it is very basic. If you are expecting the Chandubi eco-resort to be a ‘resort’ with all the facilities and amenities, you will be disappointed. It is not built to cater to that kind of guest.
Instead, the place is developed for people who wish to experience the rural life and rural set-up in general, as it is. If you are someone who appreciates being close to nature, breathing in the purest air, and spend hours doing nothing but just listening to the ruling of the leaves, you will love it!
I personally, loved every second of being there. More so because the place reminded me of my childhood at my nana-nani’s place. Village set-up, trees all around & a lake to sit by and not to mention the tribal stilted huts. it had everything I had enjoyed growing-up
We spent a lot of time wandering around the place aimlessly. With many trees around the place, some hundreds of years old, the place was very pleasant, thanks to the continuous breeze.
Village walking tours at Chandubi
I love guided walking tours irrespective of where I am. Guided walking tours are one of the best ways to get under the skin of any place and know it better. Not to mention the unexpected stories that come out while on a tour. More so when you are in these parts of the country.
If you are not from the region and happen to come to the North East for a holiday, don’t miss out on the walking tours in North East India. By the end of your North East India tour, you will realize, that one of the main highlights of your trips were the guided walking tours.
Chandubi Boating – A lovely experience
One of the must-do things in Chandubi is boating. However, this time around, it was too bright and sunny to enjoy the boat-ride well. Nonetheless, we did take a short but interesting boat-ride on the lake before heading back to the drop – point, which was not very far from the Chandubi picnic spot.
Chandubi waterfalls and villages around
After spending way more time at the resort than we had planned to, we slowly made our way a little deeper. The plan was to visit a Garo village for lunch and then spend some time there before heading to the Soloka Dare waterfall, also known as the Chandubi waterfalls.
We, however, did the opposite and headed to the Chandubi waterfalls first. Being the dry season, there was not a lot of water there but it was still much more than what we had expected, much to our delight.
Reaching the waterfall from the main road takes some effort and not a lot of people find the place worth the time taken to reach. The roads too are not in great shape. We, however, absolutely loved the place as there was almost no one around save for a couple of local kids. We spent quite some time there and wanted to stay even longer, however, it was well past our lunchtime and everyone was hungry. So, we decided to head back to the nearby Garo village, Baroigaon, for lunch.
Tribal Food of North East India
Food in North East India is one of the most exciting and interesting things about the region according to me. So, I am always looking forward to every type of local meal that I can have. Today’s was a special Garo feast that was planned and I could not hold my excitement.
After a little wait, when we proceeded to the kitchen for our lunch (traditionally, in North East, the kitchen is where all eating happens), my eyes fell on a delightful feast. From local fish, local chicken, local herbs, all cooked in traditional Garo (Garo is a tribe of Meghalaya) style, it was going to be one hell of a lunch, I smiled to myself as I sat down to indulge. It turned out to be even better.
We ate and ate and ate, while our hosts kept on feeding us with a smile. Finally, when we could take no more, we slowly got up, one by one. We spent another hour or so talking to our hosts and then exploring the village.
Just before it started getting dark, we started our return journey.
A wonderful day well-spent.