For the Khasi people, the sacred groves are more than just clusters of trees and plants – they are sanctuaries of spirits, revered ancestors, and gods. Keeping this in view, the Meghalaya government has launched a Travellers Nest, close to the famed sacred forests of the Khasis.
What Is The Traveller’s Nest?
Honorable Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Shri. Conrad K. Sangma, inaugurated the Kyiem – Travellers' Nest 2023 at Kyiem, East Khasi Hills District on Wednesday (August 16, 2023). Along side with our Hon’ble Tourism Minister, Bah Paul Lyngdoh; MLA of Mawphlang Constituency Shri.… pic.twitter.com/M4Kkz3hAfy
— Meghalaya Tourism (@meghtourism) August 16, 2023
According to an article by Outlook India, Conrad K. Sangma, the chief minister of Meghalaya, emphasised the significance of community involvement in driving the state’s economic model on Thursday. While opening “The Travellers Nest” at Kyiem village, Mawphlang, East Khasi Hills, adjacent to the renowned sacred forests of the Khasis, he made this statement.
According to Sangma, the government is providing significant subsidies, ranging from 30% to 75%, through the Chief Minister’s Elevate initiative for projects started by various businesspeople, self-help organisations, and other entities.
According to him, the government is aiming to highlight Meghalaya’s advantages as a prime example of community strengths driving sustainable economic success. The chief minister expressed optimism over the impact of programmes like “The Travellers Nest.” The CM also unveiled eight Toyota tourist vehicles during the programme as part of the Prime Tourism Vehicles programme.
The Travellers Nest is a prefabricated building 28 km south of the state capital that features five homes and a café to accommodate visitors.
The Sacred Forests Of The Khasis
the Sacred Groves of Mawphlang for centuries now have been woven into the Khasi customs, traditions and the forests.
— Shashwat Das (@dashashwat) July 18, 2021
These lush and undisturbed pockets of the ancient forest are known locally as “Law Kyntang” or “Rai Kyntang. They hold immense cultural, ecological, and religious significance within the lives of the Khasi community. These forests are treated with profound respect, and preserved through generations as essential parts of Khasi culture and spirituality.
The ecological significance of the Khasi sacred groves cannot be overstated. In a rapidly urbanizing world, these preserved habitats serve as natural reservoirs of biodiversity. Local lore and oral traditions abound with stories. From forest deities, guardian spirits, and ancestral souls residing in these forests. The sacred groves encapsulate a profound relationship between humanity and nature.
So, when are you planning a trip to Meghalaya?
Cover image credits: Twitter/Meghalaya Tourism