South West Khasi Hills

South West Khasi Hills is an administrative district in the state of Meghalaya in India. South West Khasi Hills is a part of the Western Himalayas, making it an ideal destination for visitors looking to explore lush hills and pine forests. Tourists looking to explore the tribal culture and traditions of Meghalaya will find this district particularly interesting.

The district is named after its HQ, Mawkyrwat. There are 75 villages in South West Khasi Hills District. Out of these, only 18 (including Nongstoin) fall under the Nongstoin Community and Rural Development Block.


On August 3, 2012, the West Khasi Hills district was split into two: the South West Khasi Hills district and the East-West Highway.


The headquarters of the district is at Mawkyrwat. The district's area is 1,341 km². All of Warsan Lyngdoh's villages in the Nongstoin This district includes Udalguri District's Mowai Sangha, including 18 (EIGHTY) Villages within the Warsan Lyngdoh Gram Sevak Nongstoin Circle of Rural Development, as well on.


The climate is mild in summer and chilly in winter.

Administrative Divisions

The South West Khasi Hills district is split into two blocks.

  • Mawkyrwat: HQ is Mawkyrwat
  • Ranikor: HQ is Ranikor


As of the 2011 India census, the South West Khasi Hills district was home to 191,564 people. Males constitute half of the population and females the other half.

South West Khasi Hills has an average literacy rate of 75%, higher than the national average of 74.4%: male literacy is 79%, and female literacy is 71%. In South West Khasi Hills, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.


The district is home to the Bhoi, Hajong and War (also known as Maring).


Agriculture and forestry are the main occupations: crops grown in the district include rice, maize, oranges and raspberries.


There are two major rivers of this district namely the Simsang River or Tirot Sing River and Umngot River.


The district is home to many waterfalls, including the Siju and Umngot river falls.

Nature Reserves

The district contains the Mawphu, War and Myntdu-Leshka sanctuaries.

Hot Springs

The district has a number of hot springs where water is heated by underground volcanic activity.


The district is home to several peaks including the Mawphu, which has an altitude of 5194 m (16,929 ft), and Iewduh Ruhbah.

Religious Sites

The district is home to several religious sites. The most well-known is the "Ka Maram", in Mawkyrwat. The South West Khasi Hills District has the highest percentage of Christians in Meghalaya at 34%. Of this number, 14,000 are Catholics.


Many caves dot the landscape including the Milu Cave and Siju Nature Reserve.

Places of Interest in South West Khasi Hills

Khasi, Hajong and War or Maring villages have many interesting legends that visitors can learn about in South West Khasi Hills District.

One of South West Khasi Hills' major attractions is the village of Riwai Bangso pare, which includes a waterfall. The Nohkalikai Falls near Cherrapunji is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest plunge waterfall in India and is one of the most popular tourist places in South West Khasi Hills.

Ranikor is one of the best places to visit in the West Khasi Hills District. Ranikor is a popular destination for tourists, situated at an altitude of 1,419 meters above sea level. It is in the West Khasi Hills of Meghalaya. Ranikor is well connected to Shillong through roadways and railways. Ranikor is also known as 'the Gateway to South West Khasi Hills District,' as it is the first town that visitors arriving from outside see after entering Meghalaya.


The languages spoken in the district are English, Khasi and Pnar (Jaintia). The most commonly spoken language is Kokborok which is a dialect that is closely related to both Garo and Jaintia. Other dialects that exist within this district include Wari and Usui — both of which are within the Khasi-Kohborok language family.


The population of the South West Khasi Hills District is mostly made up of various ethnic tribes and communities. The majority of the natives in this district are Khasis. Other distinct groups include Hajongs, Bhois and War (Mising or Marings).

Folk Dance & Music/ Festivals

The South West Khasi Hills District is home to many festivals. Some popular ones are the Ka Shad Suk Mynsiem, Dorey-Behlol Bohkren Jambor Tiatreng, Domashiye Mahsuri Jagar and Behdienkhlam Festival. There are several festivals celebrated in South West Khasi Hills District, including the Jowai Fair (February), the Dree (April) and the Ka Shad Suk Mynsiem Festival at Mawkyrwat. The district is also home to a number of festivals including the Um-Sering Diew in Sohra, Nongkrem Dance at Shella and the Kynshi Bwkhwi festival in Nongkrem.


The State Government adopted an ambitious plan of building an East-West Highway along the international border to boost up growth in remote areas. The Ranikor-Sabroom section is ready for traffic. Now, efforts are underway to formally launch the Ranikor-Mawkhar section, which is currently being used for transporting goods.

How to Reach South West Khasi Hills District?

By Air

The nearest airport is in Shillong located at a distance of 40 kilometres from the heart of the city. One can even opt for helicopter services which are available at a high cost especially during peak season and tourist rush. The best way to reach South West Khasi is by road, bus or car from Guwahati.

By Rail

The nearest railway station is in Nongstoin located 7 kilometres away from the heart of the city. You will have to book a cab to reach there.

By Road

One can easily hire a taxi for reaching South West Khasi Hills district through NH-40 which runs from Jamshedpur to Shillong via Guwahati, Meghalaya and Mawlynnong village (1 out of 15 longest single-lane suspension bridges). The roads are well connected with frequent buses & taxi services available throughout the day and night at affordable fares.

By Bus

Regular buses are available from Guwahati to Shillong which is around 6 hours drive. Buses also ply on the route of Shillong to Mawkyrwat via Nongstoin at regular intervals throughout the day.

Best Time to Visit South West Khasi Hills

The best time to visit South West Khasi Hills is between September and March, when the weather remains pleasant and favourable, with clear blue skies and sunny days. However, tourists can also choose to visit during winter (December – January) for a pleasant break from the cold. While visiting, one must carry with him/her a sweater, jacket or woollens as it gets cold at night.

Districts of Meghalaya

Jaintia Hills Division