One night @ Dawki Camping, Meghalaya
Dawki Camping in Meghalaya is arguably the most talked about experience on the internet from North East India. The question is what makes this the most talked about experience on social media.
There are various reasons why Dawki camping is all over the internet. We at tlow have been backpacking to North East India specially Meghalaya since 2014. Back then Dawki wasn’t even on the internet as a destination.
The camping experience at Dawki has started relatively recently. It’s only in the year 2018 that camping started in Dawki. The experience back then was raw and rugged, limited to just Quechua tents for 2-3 people to sleep in. A makeshift toilet and a cafe made out of bamboo and straw to hold good during the dry season.
So what exactly is there to experience while on a camping journey with tlow at the Dawki river bed? It’s a boat ride to get to the island where the campsite is located and after you reach the island, the feeling that will engulf your soul is that of the Tom Hanks movie, Cast Away. The campsite setup is very much the same just with full network and civilization a short boat ride away.
The meals that are provided at the campsite are very basic but you can’t expect more from the setup that’s available. So if you arrive around lunch time you’ll get dal, rice and pickle. Dinner is again a repeat of the same thing with pork and fish as options. But you have to pre-order what you want since without electricity there is no way they can store the meat products. Sourcing it from the village nearby is the only way to fulfil the demand.
Breakfast at Dawki camping is limited to Maggie and omelette bread. So the food is always going to be basic. But the whole experience is about everything other than the food and the washroom. It’s the Cast Away experience which you can get for 24 hours on the border between India and Bangladesh.
After catching the sunset, the night sky clubbed with campfire (bonfire) is what makes the whole vibe change. Being the North Eastern part of the country means the sun will set as early as 5 pm during summers which makes the night extremely long. This leaves you with ample of time to sit and reconnect with nature or with the friends you have made while on the tlow trip.
Remember that there isn’t any electricity at Dawki camping, so carrying a power bank to charge your gadgets is the only way to get things powered up once they drain during your night camping.
From telling ghost stories, real and fictional, to talking about life and what the future holds its the kind of experience that words can’t describe and imagination can’t do justice to. Agreed that such raw camping isn’t meant for everyone. But the ones who are brave enough to give it a shot, will end up with memoirs of a lifetime and an experience which they will remember even on their death bed.
When it comes to sleeping in the small Quechua tents, it’s provided with blankets and pillows but they will be full of river sand, since it is extremely windy. But that’s not really going to hamper your sleep time. The tents will keep you warm and cosy.
Your morning will start early since you will end up waking up to the sounds of nature and the local fishermen. But it’s a treat to be awake in the morning, you can always catch up on the incomplete sleep later on in the day. Wake up early and go by the river to wash your face and speak in a whole new vibe by the river Umngot. Which is unlike the vibe you from the evenings.
It’s a lot more peaceful with less tourists and a great time to wake up and do some meditation and yoga before you pack up and head back to the main road to return back to civilisation.
The 24 hours that you spend camping by the river bank at Dawki, will indeed be the best of your entire Meghalaya stay. It is definitely worth all the hype that it’s been receiving for the last three to four years on social media.