A 5-day annual harvest festival of Meghalaya that is celebrated in November, Ka Pomblang Nongkrem is observed by both tribal, as well as the local population of the state who perform folk dances and music to thank mother nature for a good harvest.
Out of all the music and dance performances, the most popular one is Nongkrem, which is a folk dance of the state that is performed in order to please the gods and goddesses to seek their blessings and a good harvest.
History of Ka Pomblang Nongkrem in India
Ka Pomblang festival is celebrated in the Smit village near Shillong. The festival is an opportunity for the locals to spread awareness about their customs and beliefs and introduce them to the next generations. Locals also offer their gratitude to nature for the good harvest.
The Pomblang festival is primarily celebrated by the people of the Khasi tribe. The local people also promote communal harmony through this 5-day event as many different tribes and people from different religions participate in and witness the festival.
An important ritual of Ka Pomblang Nongkrem is the sacrifice of a goat. Locals believe that this is done to please the gods for the next bumper harvest. People wear ethnic outfits to participate in the festival.
Major Attractions of Ka Pomblang Nongkrem Festival
1. Traditional Dresses
Traditional attire of the Khasi men and women is another major highlight of the festival. Khasi women wear a Jainsen which is an ankle-length skirt that is worn with a shawl on the top. Along with this, Khasi women also wear accessories to add style and glamour to the overall look. Silver crown is also worn by the women of the Khasi tribe which is unique and looks attractive. The men of the Khasi tribe wear a no collar, long-sleeved coat which is called Jymphong with a dhoti.
2. Relish the Khasi Food
The Pomblang festival also features the local Khasi tribal dishes that are made using local herbs and spices that offer a unique flavor and aroma. Some dishes that one must try at the festival are Jadoh (rice and pork), Ja Stem (rice and sesame paste), Dohneiiong (pork curry), and Dohkhlieh (salad).
How to Reach
Meghalaya is a popular tourist destination located in the northeast region of India that will surely mesmerize you with its immaculate beauty featuring waterfalls, hills, lakes, valleys, and a lot more.
You can arrive here easily via multiple routes and modes from any part of the country. Mentioned below are some best and economical travel options that you may consider if planning to travel to Meghalaya, the abode of clouds.
Traveling by road comes with two options one is to take the inter-state tourists bus to Meghalaya or take your personal car or bike and drive to the state. The best routes you can take to arrive here from nearby prominent cities and states have been listed below:
Guwahati - 191 km via NH 6 and NH 106
Nagaon - 275 km via NH 27 and NH 6
Tezpur - 330 km via NH 27
Dimapur - 430 km via NH 29 and NH 27
Tetelia train station is the nearest station to reach Smit village that hosts the festival every year. The railway station is well-connected to all parts of the country hence traveling to the city will not be a problem.
If arriving from Guwahati you can consider traveling via KYQ LMG Pass that runs on all days of the week. From the station, one has to take the local transport such as a bus or a taxi to reach the Smit village which is nearly 100km away.
Guwahati airport is the nearest airport to reach Smit village in Meghalaya. The airport receives direct and connecting flights from metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru. Listed below are the airlines that you may consider if looking to travel via direct flight.
Delhi - AirAsia, GoAir, SpiceJet, Vistara, IndiGo and AirIndia
Mumbai - SpiceJet and IndiGo
Kolkata - AirIndia, IndiGo, GoAir, AirAsia, and SpiceJet
Bengaluru - AirAsia and IndiGo
From the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to cover the further distance from your destination.