Cherry Blossom Festival- Shillong Calling

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Where is your flag? I don’t know what happens to me whenever I start writing the blog post. My head pops with some or other spike to leave you all puzzled and here I did it again. I know it’s not 26th January nor its 15th August that you would need a flag, Right? Maybe, I ought to ask this question in the season of patriotism. Duh, silly me! It’s better we go with the season and let me tell you about the destination which made me go gaga with its bliss. Time and again I have been mesmerized by the abode of clouds, Meghalaya and this time its enamour has smitten me like never before. The enchanting flowers parting with their most precious possession to welcome you is just priceless. Who can miss that? It was time for the Cherry Blossom festival and I knew that Shillong was calling.

Cherry Blossom Festival - Shillong Calling - Meghalaya - The Backpackers Group
Laced by the beautiful Cherry Blossom Trees Shillong looks Eternal  Image Source
The Petrichor of Shillong

People say that the first rain is simply magical. The eternal petrichor fragrancing the air and the untampered scores of water droplets falling down is a moment of joy that can’t be compared with anything else. But can I dare to compare it? Imagine walking under the clouds of flowers while the aromatic petals drizzle around to welcome you. If you have been to Shillong in autumn, you must have reminisced the alchemy of nature giving elixir of life all around in form of Cherry Blossom. And if you are thinking I mis-wrote Shillong instead of Japan or USA then you need to update your database. From past three years, Shillong has been hosting the Cherry Blossom festival and Gosh! That’s breathtaking.

You would be amazed to know that however late we have been in embracing the beauty of Cherry Blossom, it originally belongs to the Himalayas. But when you hear that Cherry Blossom is drunk as a tea, licked as ice cream, savoured as taste enhancers and has enchanted the nation in a way that it is the national flower of Japan, you find it hard to believe. Irony!

Cherry Blossom Festival is the best gift which nature could bequest
Cherry Blossom Festival is the best gift which nature could bequest  Image Source
India’s International Cherry Blossom Festival

Who says nothing is free? With 200 varieties of Cherry Blossom tree blooming in Meghalaya with a free invitation for all, you ought to change your perspective. And if you have been planning a trip to Japan you should have not missed the Cherry Blossom festival this year. Along with the pink and white cherry trees adding the dreamy hues to the wintery atmosphere, there were so many things which the Cherry Blossom festival 2018 had in store. Telling you the truth, I was confused that have I been to Japan or to Shillong? There were Japanese films being showcased and there was an array of Japanese cuisines to tantalize your taste buds. The other activities which made this event zestful were the fashion shows, rock concerts, beauty pageant contest and Gold Tournament. Oh please don’t give those looks! I know these don’t stir the travelled inside you. But batana toh padta hi hai”.

This Alchemy of God and Man is Elixir of Life which is rare
This Alchemy of God and Man is Elixir of Life which is rare Image Source
Beyond the Cherry Blossom Festival

Even what pulled me to Shillong was the nature’s benevolence in way of Cherry blossom tree. But still, if you are planning a trip to Shillong now after Cherry Blossom festival is over there is still much awaiting. I am not talking of the Wards Lake or the Elephant Falls which ought to see when in Shillong but the adventure near Shillong. Like a trip Mowlynbgna. Yes, it is the cleanest village of Asia, however, it is also the place where you can go for fossil trekking and mountain biking. Or if I geared up your gusto with rafting story of Rishikesh then rafting in the cleanest river of India awaits you here in Dawki River rafting. Then, if your curiosity keeps on stinging you, a visit to Umden village where you could experience silkworm farming could be seeing marvel happening right in front of you. And the story doesn’t stop here.

Have you ever dreamt to have a home in clouds? Then you surely need to visit Laitlum village which I feel has been placed over the clouds. The virescent beauty laced with fog and mist along with panoramic views which the village offers is spectacular. I think I can write a book on Meghalaya! Maybe that will happen in future but right now sinking back to the villages of Meghalaya. Apart from all the charms showered by the benevolent nature, there is one more tradition prevalent that will surprise you. And that’s the matriarchal legacy that people of Meghalaya follow. Yes, it is the girl child who inherits all the wealth and family property from their mother!

When Cherry Blossom Trees lay carpet of their floral bliss, lakes of Shillong become more beautiful
When Cherry Blossom Trees lay carpet of their floral bliss, lakes of Shillong become more beautiful Image Source
Do you dare to enter the sacred grove?

Visiting Meghalaya and missing out the sacred grove would be such a crime. You know, 90% of the forests of Meghalaya are owned by communities and individuals and not the government. And these are no ordinary forests, they are the identity of the villages there. And Gosh! When I was entering the Mawphlang Sacred Grove which is near Shillong, I was thinking did I completely wash off the negative thoughts and energies out of my mind? It may sound weird but the locals had scared me that any deleterious notion can make the deities furious. Not only this, you are not allowed to take anything from the forests, be it the leaf or the stone!

Maybe this the reason that forests here are so biodiverse. There are more than 450 species of trees and plants and even has the rare species of birds and animals. One of the local’s even showed me one species of a tree which could indicate climate conditions beforehand.

Experience Shillong is beyond Cherry Blossom Festive you will find some amazing bio-diverse place this one, breath taking scenic beauty.
Experience Shillong beyond Cherry Blossom Festival, you will find some amazing bio-diverse place like this one, breathtaking scenic beauty. Image Source

There is so much to see in Meghalaya, be it the Cherry Blossom Festival of Shillong or the other munificence of the state. But sticking to the main topic of this blog, I would sum it this way. If in one of my previous blogs I called Valley of Flowers, the tapestry of God, Cherry Blossom Festival is certainly the most picturesque canvas stroked in shades of pink and white.

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