Come to Umden and Explore the history and culture of the Bhoi people (a sub group amongst the Khasis). Nestled in a serene and beautiful valley, and located just about 55 kms from Guwahati City, this small hamlet is an ideal getaway. The quaint little village of Umden is famous for Eri silk production and weaving of traditional handlooms like ryndia, stoles in exquisite patterns etc.. The village takes pride in continuing the age old tradition of producing silk following the unique method of not killing the silk worm during the process of extracting silk from the cocoons. We call this the ‘ahimsa’ tradition of sericulture. Here one can witness all the steps in the sericulture value chain- starting from rearing of silk worms to spinning and reeling of silk to yarn production and dying and finally to weaving. You can even try your hand at weaving with a one-day course on weaving being offered for the tourists!!
If Silk tours and weaving don’t excite you, there is more- one can enjoy the bounty of nature, with its many streams and diverse flora. You can start your day with a breakfast of local rice cakes and Sha or any of the other standard fare and start exploring the place. Walking along the forest trails, you are led through an era gone-by. The monoliths, stone tombs, and ancient stone gateways each tell their own story in the sounds of the forest. The history and culture of the Bhoi people can be discovered through the guided Heritage Walks conducted by trained local youth. You could also go angling at the pond just behind your cottages and catch a fish for the evening meal or go mountain biking along the moderately challenging biking track around the village. After a long day spent outdoors you could return to the comfort of the nest; sit by the campfire and soak yourself in the local music and folklore in company of village musicians. End your day with a sumptuous meal selected from a small but eclectic menu comprising of both local and popular cuisine options. Exotic dinner options like Silk Worm curry or the more famous silk worm Chutney are also available, but please give your host’s atleast a day’s advance notice!!
The Umden Traveller’s Nest, comprises of two cottages and some common areas built amid a lush green space a kilometer away from the village. The nest is owned and managed by the Diwon Handloom Cotton Khadi and Village Industrial Cooperative Society Limited. The women of the society have been in the silk production and weaving business for many years and now decided to venture into Village Tourism as an additional livelihood activity to increase incomes and provide employment to the youth of the village.
Umden is not just a destination. It is a journey in itself, a story waiting to be woven, a story waiting to happen to you.
Sample over Night Package Itinerary:
8:00 am – Depart for Umden Village from Shillong.
11:00 am – Arrive at Umden. Check in at the Traveller’s Nest where light refreshments will be served followed by lunch after you have settled in.
12:30 pm – Walk to the Weaving Centre for the Silk Tour.
5:00 pm – Evening tea will be served.
8:30 pm – Dinner will be served. Meals will be served in local styles.
Bonfire and Overnight stay.
8:00 am – Breakfast will be served.
9:00 am – Mountain bike to the head of the Heritage Walk.
12:00 pm – Lunch will be served in the forest, cooked in bamboo and served in plantain leaves.
1:00 pm – Heritage walk resumes.
4:30 pm – Return to Traveller’s Nest for evening tea and light refreshments.
5:30pm – Depart for Shillong