Mawphlang guides charging high rates, allege tourists
FROM STAFF CORRESPONDENT
SHILLONG, May 31: Mawphlang sacred groove, located just 25 kilometers from Shillong, is not a nondescript place for tourists, yet its appeal has affected due the alleged exorbitant charges of the local guides. The local guides mostly educated youths with fluency in English and Hindi charges Rs 300 for a one hour trek inside the forest. The rate is just too exorbitant for a tourist or group of tourist who wanted to experience the ambience of the forest associated with anecdotes related to a traditiol mythology. “I have not paid such an amount visiting the Taj Mahal or Brindavan garden,” a tourist from Ahmedabad told The Sentinel. The tourists who visited the sacred groove felt that Rs 20-30 per head should be a feasible price instead of the sweeping amount charged by the guides. While there is no bar for any visitors to enter the sacred groove except for certain prohibitions as listed in the signboards, some of the young local guides are also learnt to be persistent with the their polite offer to guide them to the forest. The guides who spoke to this correspondent denied of being the unrelenting ones, but stated that their insistence is to ensure that the visitors can know better about the origin, about the myths associated with the place and other related aspects. Other tourist who visited the place felt that money should not be problem if it is an adventurous trek around the nook and corner of the forest.