The scenic hills of Laitlum are often called the amphitheaters of Meghalaya and a beautiful rocky trail to Laitlum canyons is a trekker’s paradise. The roads are tough to navigate through but it’s worth the effort since Laitlum has some of the best views in the world and the freshest air one can breathe. Narrow and uneven rocky paths lead to several small slate-roofed houses perched at great heights of the canyon, each with its very own picture perfect view.
The residents literally farm on the edges of these mist-shrouded cliffs that plunge sharply into the valley below. Don’t forget to pack a traditional Khasi lunch from a local eatery for a picnic at this exquisitely beautiful 270-degree viewpoint that provides a glimpse of four waterfalls!
Once you get on top of the Laitlum canyons, you get a glimpse of Rasong, a tiny village nestled deep in the greenery and the ridges of the canyons. Surprisingly, the residents of Rasong still use an old ropeway to transport food, grains, and essential commodities down into their village and to the top of the ridge. Mawkynrew is the nearest town to the village and Laitlum canyon is the nearest motorable village.
Rasong is surrounded by Laitlum on the North, Rangphlang on the southwest side, Mawblang village on the North East side and Mawlyngot to the southeast side.
The Road to Nowhere
The only way to reach the village is a rocky pavement which is about 1 Km long. The journey to the village can take 1 hour but it varies from person to person and their trekking abilities. Rangphlang is a neighboring village to Rasong and both of them share the same altitude.
A long replete maze of steps leads down from the canyon to the village, winding up and down the edges of the gorge. This stairway, which passes through sprawling bamboo plantations and colorful bursts of orchids, is the only route between the village and the nearest market, and has 3000 steps!
God forbid if the pulley stops working because then the villagers have to do this trek carrying all their fares in bamboo buckets tied to their back. The main cash crop of Rasong is the broom plant, which the locals use to make traditional brooms sold in the markets of Shillong. The walk to the Rasong Village down is hard and steep, so it is advised to be careful as nothing is close by the place. Food items and water are to be carried. There is only a small shop in the hilltop which has only a few selective things.
The tiny hamlet lacks facilities in terms of basic amenities such as education, health care, transport system, electricity, drinking water and other means of livelihood for the villagers. The road from Smit Market to Laitlum is in a bad condition, due to which the drivers charge extra fares for ferrying tourists from Smit to Laitlum.
There are no medical facilities in the village or anywhere close by so the locals have to depend on other villagers who keep medicines in their houses for an emergency. In times of serious health issues, the villagers are bound to carry the patients up to the canyon of Laitlum which is accessible by cars in order to take them to the respective hospitals.
Plan Your Tour with Far Away Travels
A village that is a prisoner to time and hasn’t been able to experience modernization yet. But it’s good in a way. The land is pristine, the people unspoiled by our greeds, the water is pure, the air is clean and it’s a different world altogether! If you want to visit Rasong, please contact my friend Hrishikesh who runs Far Away Travel in the North East. They are an experiential travel company that specializes in conducting trips across the North East states of India. Their services include Weekend Getaways, Offbeat Trails, Festivals, Camping, Adventure Sports, Rides, Leisure Trips and Nature Trails.
You can see more about them here.