Located at an altitude of 1380 meter, Jowai is a small town and the district headquarter of the West Jaintia hill district of Meghalaya. The town and its surrounding area have been included on the tourism map only recently. Jowai is fast becoming a tourist hub for its unique scenic beauty, rich heritage, local people and culture. Nature has also blessed Jowai with unique and mesmerising flora and fauna. The lakes of the town, its natural beauty and the local culture and heritage make Jowai an attractive tourist destination. Jowai is also an important education and business hub in the area.
How to Reach
The nearest airport is Umroi airport (near Shillong), which is around 72 km away. The nearest railway station is Guwahati. Jowai is well connected with both Shillong (66 km, 2 hours) and Guwahati (160 km, about 4 hours). Shared as well as exclusive taxis can be hired to take you to and from Jowai. Tourists can also visit Shillong as part of a day excursion from here.
This lake is one of the most visited places in Jowai and also has historical significance. It is a manmade lake and is believed to have been made in medieval times by a young Khasi general named Sajar Nangli. In his memory, the lake is also referred to by the locals as “Pung Sajar Nangli”. It's situated on Jowai-Shillong National Highway about 9 km from the heart of Jowai town. There is a popular campers sanctuary next to the lake. The area is also a popular picnic spot for tourists and locals. The lake is surrounded by beautiful grassland and orchids and trees.
It is a nature park just west of Jowai town - located on the Shillong-Silchar highway close to Lalong village. The park is developed and maintained by the forest department and is a nature lovers' paradise. The place is full of Meghalaya flora and a variety of avifauna.
Jowai Presbyterian Church
Established almost 150 years ago by the Welsh Presbyterian Mission, it is the oldest church in Jowai. The church is located on National Highway 44 away from the hustle and bustle of the busy town.
It is a picnic spot amongst nature located on the banks of Myntdu river. The large area of the park includes some small dams, bridges and hanging bridges over the river, seating areas etc. You can also enjoy and even join the locals in angling in the river. There are several eating joints, and fast-food centres nearby where one can taste the local cuisine. The area is just on the outskirts of town and can be reached in a 15 to 20-minute drive.
Other popular attractions include the local Durga Temple; Stone Bridge of Maput which is an ancient megalithic bridge; Umlawan Cave which is one of the least explored and deepest and longest caves; Tryshi Falls which is a waterfall; Nartiang Monoliths touted to be the tallest monolith in the world; Krang Suri Falls on the way between Jowai and Dawki.
The population of the town is about 30,000 who mostly belong to the local Pnar tribe, there is also a substantial population of several other tribes. The Pnar tribes have a matriarchic society.
In Jowai there are two popular festivals. One is ‘Chad Sukra’ festival held in April and May. This festival celebrates mental and physical well-being through music and dance. The other festival is known as 'Behdeinkhlam’.
The weather of Jowai is pleasant during most of the year, it is neither too hot nor cold. March to May is a pleasant time to visit Jowai.
One may also combine a tour of Shillong, Cherrapunjee, Dawki, Mawlynnong from Jowai as all of these places are within short driving distance.
Shillong is 72 km and about a 2-hour drive
Cherrapunjee 104 km, about 3 hours
Dawki 56 km, around 2 hours
Mawlynnong 90 km, around 3 hours.