Shnongpdeng, a paradise in Meghalaya

Shnongpdeng, a Paradise in Meghalaya (2024)

Are you looking for an exhilarating adventure? Discover the hidden gem of Shnongpdeng! Nestled in the heart of Meghalaya, India, Shnongpdeng offers an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. There’s something for everyone, from thrilling river rafting to serene bamboo raft rides. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of crystal-clear waters and lush greenery. Plan your next getaway to Shnongpdeng and create memories that will last a lifetime.

One of Meghalaya’s hidden treasures is Shnongpdeng, often overshadowed by the more popular destination of Dawki. While Dawki attracts numerous tourists, Shnongpdeng remains relatively undiscovered. During my recent four-day trekking expedition in Meghalaya, a guide introduced me to Shnongpdeng, and I was immediately captivated by its beauty. Undoubtedly, Shnongpdeng stands out as one of the most stunning places I’ve visited in Meghalaya.

PIN for later reference – Shnongpdeng, a Paradise in Meghalaya

Shnongpdeng, a paradise in Meghalaya - PIN for later reference
Shnongpdeng, a paradise in Meghalaya – PIN for later reference

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About Shnongpdeng

The picturesque village of Shnongpdeng is located along the banks of the Umngot River in the Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya, India. Renowned for its pristine river waters and thrilling water sports activities, Shnongpdeng offers a serene escape from the bustling crowds. It is situated approximately 7.5 kilometres from Dawki and retains its tranquil charm, with significantly fewer tourists than its neighbouring destination.

For those seeking an optimal experience, the ideal time to visit Shnongpdeng is between October and April, when the weather is pleasant and conducive to outdoor exploration.

Did you know that Meghalaya is teeming with such hidden gems? Another lesser-known marvel in Meghalaya is the enchanting Phe Phe Waterfalls, waiting to be discovered amidst the region’s lush landscapes.

How to Get to Shnongpdeng?

By Road

Shnongpdeng lies approximately 90 kilometers away from Shillong, with a road journey typically spanning about three hours.

  • Consider renting a motorbike or hiring a taxi for optimal travel within Meghalaya. Motorbike rentals typically cost around INR 1000 daily, while taxi services range from INR 2000 to 3000. Remember to negotiate for a fair rate at both rental outlets.
  • Additionally, be prepared for a parking fee ranging from INR 10 to 100 per vehicle.

By Public Transport

  • Bus – Departing from Police Bazaar in Shillong every morning at 8 AM, a bus service transports travellers to Dawki. From Dawki, one can easily hire a taxi to reach Shnongpdeng, a mere 7.5 kilometres away, with a travel time of fewer than 30 minutes by car.
  • Sumo Cars – Alternatively, numerous shared Sumo cars operate from Shillong, providing an economical mode of transportation to Shnongpdeng. While these rides are shared with strangers, they offer a cost-effective way of exploring various Meghalaya destinations.

Visitor Information

  • The village strictly prohibits alcohol consumption within its premises.
  • Quarrelling, violent behaviour, or the use of abusive language is strictly prohibited.
  • Access to the village is restricted for visitors after 10 PM.
  • Those intending to stay overnight in the village must obtain permission from the Tourism Society of Meghalaya.
  • Please refrain from littering and ensure you carry your waste when leaving.
  • Respect and honour the local culture during your visit.

Things To Do in Shnongpdeng

While perhaps not as renowned as Dawki, Shnongpdeng boasts a plethora of enticing offerings. Adventure enthusiasts will find an array of thrilling activities awaiting them in Shnongpdeng.

Camp by Umngot River

Shnongpdeng offers a range of accommodation options, including camping tents and homestays operated by two reputable companies: Bright Star Camps and Home Stay Shnongpdeng or Pioneer Adventures. Spending a night or two in these accommodations allows visitors to immerse themselves in Meghalaya’s breathtaking and unspoiled beauty.

Camp - Shnongpdeng
Camping site

Zipline Across the River

For an exhilarating experience along the River Umngot, consider zip-lining, a thrilling activity offered by Pioneer Adventures in Shnongpdeng. With prices typically around INR 500 per person, participants can choose between two zip lines: a shorter 400-meter line or an extended 800-meter one.

Walk on the Suspension Bridge

Constructed in 2016, the Suspension Footbridge is a picturesque walking bridge spanning the river. Offering breathtaking views of the river and the flowing waters below, visitors have a memorable experience amidst nature’s splendour.

Suspension bridge - Shnongpdeng
Suspension bridge

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

What better way to embrace the warmth and clarity of the water than through snorkelling and scuba diving? Shnongpdeng offers a unique river scuba diving opportunity and experience in India. Pioneer Adventures conducts them, and snorkelling and scuba diving promises unforgettable adventures.

Regrettably, I didn’t partake in these activities in Shnongpdeng. However, they are certainly on my list for my next visit.

Cross Over the Root Bridge

Shnongpdeng is home to one of Meghalaya’s remarkable living root bridges. This unique bridge offers a fascinating glimpse into the local engineering ingenuity, showcasing how the roots of trees are intricately woven to form a suspension bridge. Capable of accommodating around 7 to 8 people at a time, it’s not just a bridge but a testament to the harmonious relationship between humans and nature.

Root bridge - Shnongpdeng
Living Root Bridge

Cliff Jump into the River

Cliff jumping is undeniably exhilarating and adventurous, not for the faint-hearted. Having experienced it twice before, I can attest to the incredible adrenaline rush it provides. Pioneer Adventures also offers this thrilling activity at three heights: 6, 14, and 22 feet. The height options cater to varying confidence levels and adventurous spirits, ensuring an unforgettable experience for all thrill-seekers.

Kayak or Go Boating Over the River

Kayaking or boating on the rivers is an absolute must when visiting Shnongpdeng. The sensation of gliding across the clear, blue waters is truly indescribable. From the banks of the river, the boats and kayaks appear to effortlessly float in mid-air, creating a mesmerizing sight that begs to be captured in photographs.

Kayak on the River - Shnongpdeng
Kayak on the River

Is Shnongpdeng Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

Overall, Meghalaya is considered very safe for solo female travellers. While I encountered harassment at one of the waterfalls during my trek, I didn’t experience any issues near Shnongpdeng. The villagers are incredibly friendly and welcoming. However, as with any destination, it’s essential to exercise caution and stay aware of your surroundings, especially at night.

Are you new to solo travelling or have questions about it? Check out my frequently asked questions about solo travelling for some valuable insights.

River - Shnongpdeng

Closing Notes

Shnongpdeng is indeed a paradise. The mesmerizing hues of the water and the enchanting atmosphere of the village create an unforgettable experience. I wholeheartedly recommend visiting Shnongpdeng when exploring Meghalaya. With fewer crowds than in Dawki, I found immense joy in exploring Shnongpdeng and immersing myself in its tranquil ambience. Although my visit was brief, I yearned to return and extend my stay.

Have you had the pleasure of visiting Shnongpdeng? Share your favourite aspects of the place by writing to me at Additionally, which destination captured your heart more: Shnongpdeng or Dawki? Let me know!

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    PIN for later reference – Shnongpdeng

    Shnongpdeng, a paradise in Meghalaya - PIN for later reference
    Shnongpdeng, a Paradise in Meghalaya – PIN for later reference