Jowai is the largest town in Jaintia hills- the homeland of the Pnar tribe. It is at present the headquarters of West Jaintia hills district. It is located on a plateau and surrounded by the beautiful Myntdu River on three sides. The town has an altitude of 1,380 m above sea level. Summers are pleasant and winters are cold.
Jowai is a fast developing town that is becoming an important centre for education, trade, and tourism. The famous Behdiengkhlam festival is celebrated at Jowai in the month of June-July. Chad Chukra and Bam Phalar which is the annual theatrical festival of Jowai are other popular festivals of Jowai town.
A trip to Jowai town is incomplete without visiting the beautiful Syntu Ksiar valley that is about 15-20 minutes drive. A monument of the famous Jaintia warrior U Kiang Nangbah is located at this place. The Syntu Ksiar is drained by the Myntdu river and is a popular place for fishing and picnics.
Another place worth visiting in Jowai is the Iawmusiang market. It is the largest market in Jaintia hills. The Iawmusiang market day occurs once in an eight-day circle. Jaintia hills district is known for the production of high quality spices and they are abundantly found in the market along with other local delicacies.
Jowai is the tourist gateway in Jaintia Hills. The Tyrchi Falls, Rynji Falls, Krang suri Falls, Umhang Lake, Jarain Pitcher Plant Lake, Thlu Muwi falls, Ruparsor bathing ghat, Nartiang Monoliths etc are accessible from Jowai. Some of India’s famous caves are located in Jaintia Hills. Umlawan cave at Lumchnong village is the longest and deepest cave in the India sub-continent.
Jowai has some good hotels and lodges. Tourists can make reservations at Passah Lodge, Starline Hotel, Tyrchi Inn, Orchid Inn, Syrman Lodge, Cottages at Ialong Eco Park etc. Jowai is about 65 Km from Shillong and has good transport connection. Buses, cars, and four-wheelers travel frequently to Jowai from Shillong.