Mawphlang Sacred Forest
This is a protected area situated in the East Khasi Hills. It is also known as Law Lyngdoh and is preserved by the natives since ancient times as part of their religious beliefs in which forests are considered as sacred deities. The verdant forest of Mawphlang whisper legends and lore that are so old that there is no written record. This forest is one of the most important sacred forests adored and feared by locals alike due to its mysterious nature. The local deity of the forest is known as Labasa. In case of illness this deity is the prime pillar of belief. Legend has it that this deity often takes the form of tiger or a leopard to protect the tribal. There is a local saying that ‘Nothing goes out of this forest, not even a leaf, a stone or a dead leaf.’ Failing to comply with the rule may lead to death..The forest trail leads one through beautiful forest canopies. The thick forest is filled with evergreen, semi-green and deciduous trees. The villagers burn their dead inside the forest. The forest also abounds with monoliths in mysterious places. They are places of worship for the Khasis who use these stones to sacrifice animals. A monolith festival is organized annually when the sprawling forest comes alive with tribal heritage and glory. There is a Khasi Heritage Village- a mock village with mock tribal huts that showcases the authentic art and craft of the villagers. The David Scott trail leads through the forest to the Mawphlang village. It is a 15km hike, which takes one across and along a stream. The trail provides a panoramic view of the 2 banks and the verdant forest.