To enhance the tourist spot at Pnah Kyndeng Hill in Ri Bhoi District, the Ri Bhoi Tourism & Developmental Forum (RBT & DF) organised a 5km trek from Pahambir Village to the hill. The trek, led by RBT & DF, was attended by Bansynsharlang Nongkynrih, Officer of the Tourism Department, and RBT & DF leaders, including Plielad Tiewsoh as Chairman, among others.

Paul Lyngdoh, Minister of Tourism and Arts & Culture, and Mayral Born Syiem, MLA of Nongpoh Constituency, attended as the chief guests. They visited the cave within the Sacred Grove Pnah Kyndeng, which has been home to thousands of bats for many years.

Syiem appreciated RBTDF’s efforts to promote tourist destinations in Ri Bhoi District. He highlighted the significance of the hill and emphasised the need for proper infrastructure to boost tourism.

“We also need to change our mindset if we want to develop in the field of tourism, as sometimes villagers discriminate against those who come from outside the state. We must learn to welcome such people as they can bring various benefits,” Syiem added.

Addressing the gathering, Paul Lyngdoh expressed happiness at witnessing the Sacred Grove and the Bat Cave. He appreciated RBTDF’s initiative to showcase the place, which he believes will become one of Meghalaya’s famous tourist spots.

Lyngdoh mentioned Meghalaya’s shift towards sustainable livelihoods, focusing on tourism and local economic development. He stressed responsible stewardship of natural resources like the Pnah Kyndeng grove.

“We have observed in the Sohra area over the past years that people relied on jobs or income from coal or limestone mining. However, it has become evident that such work is not sustainable in the long run, especially with the declining authority of the MCCL cement plant. Consequently, villagers are now shifting towards self-sustainability through individual businesses and focusing on tourism. This includes developing attractive tourist accommodations, restaurants, and other amenities. This shift is essential for the community’s economic stability,” he said.

Both leaders pledged to work towards the development of Pnah Kyndeng in accordance with the outlined report.