If you wanted to do trekking in Meghalaya, then the David Scott Trail is an ideal one. David Scott Trail is a 16 km trail from Mawphlang to Lad Mawphlang in Meghalaya. The trek is an easy one day trek with grandiose views of the rolling mountains, green valleys interspersed with waterfalls and clear pools, something that Meghalaya is known for.

The trail is named after David Scott, a British administrator who operated in the Khasi Hills and the surrounding area for almost a period of 30 years from 1802 to 1832. He had built a horse-cart trail from Cherrapunji to Sylhet in Bangladesh to transport goods and people. This 100 km long trail was also the reason for a war among the Khasis and the British. The Khasi king U Tirot Singh of the Khadsawphra Syiemship had waged guerrilla warfare against the British for almost four years until he was captured by the British and deported to Bangladesh. Tirot Singh later died in Bangladesh.

The trek starts from Mawphlang and ends in Lad Mawphlang, both quaint villages in the Khasi hills. Mawphlang is known for its sacred groves and holds an important place in the Khasi community.

Trek details

Trek Distance: 16 km

Trek Type: Easy

Altitude: 4892 feet

Time taken: 4 – 5 hours

The trek can be started from either Mawphlang or Lad Mawphlang. But the more usual route is from Mawphlang to Lad Mawphlang.

After you start the trek from Mawphlang village, the first thing you will come across is a resting place. There is a stone memorial called ‘Ka Kor Ka Shonmai’. This is named after a daughter of Dorsing Lyngdoh, the 1st Lyngdoh with the British. Crossing the resting place, you have to take the muddy and winding trail. The trail here is easily marked. Very soon, the Umiam River will be seen beside you.

‘Umiam’ literally means flood of tears. It is said that the river was formed by the tears of a girl who had lost her sister while they were coming down from the heaven. After about 3 km of descent, you will reach a hanging bridge over the Umiam River. You can take lovely photographs from the hanging bridge.

After crossing the stream, follow the trail for sometime when you will come across the river. This is usually the lunch point where you can have your lunch.

Cross the river by hopping over the boulders. Follow the trail and you will come across a field and a few Khasi villages. After this, there is an ascent for another 3 km till you reach Laitsohma village. On the way, you will see huge rock forming. One of the rocks resembles the face of a human being.

The trail after this becomes narrower. You will also find some diversions on the way. Do not attempt to take shortcuts. Follow the trail for almost another hour until you reach Lad Mawphlang. This is the end point of the trek. From Lad Mawphlang, you can take any vehicle to Cherrapunji.

David Scott Trail is an easy, but extremely beautiful trek. You will experience the nature’s bounty in this trek. The green forests, the crystal clear water bodies and the blue skies add such a charm to the trek that it will remain a memorable experience for you.

How to Reach Mawphlang, the starting point of David Scott Trail:

Mawphlang is just 25 km from Shillong and you can take a shared cab from the Bada Bazar in Shillong to Mawphlang. Alternatively, you can also book a car to reach Mawphlang.

Best time for David Scott Trail:

Winter months from November to April are the best time to do the David Scott Trail. You can also do the trek in the monsoons, but during that time, you have to be careful to cross the river. Also, beware of leeches during the monsoon time.

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