Meghalaya Tourism: An Ideal Travel Guide
Meghalaya Tourism: An Ideal Travel Guide
For those who enjoy the outdoors, Meghalaya, which means “home of clouds,” is a heaven. The imaginations of travellers from all over the world have been captured by a hill station that is home to a truly magnificent and enchanting sky. The Himalayas in the northeast of India are the ideal location for it. It shares borders with Bangladesh to the east and south and Assam to the north. There is no shortage of tourist attractions in Meghalaya, a state that is home to enormous hills, valleys, countless lakes, beautiful waterfalls, pitch-black caverns, and holy forests. Panorama views, misty hills, terraced slopes, flowing waterfalls, and serpentine rivers are all sure to enchant your soul.
Meghalaya will awaken all of your senses. Numerous unforgettable encounters await the curious traveller, ranging from cultural highlights to heart-pounding pursuits.
There are numerous threads that make up Meghalaya’s cultural tapestry. The biggest traditional festivals are a great place to experience the uniqueness of the state’s indigenous population. Enjoy the customs of the locals and the breathtaking views while learning about the message that each festival conveys.
Explore some of the state’s local history while sampling the various cuisines it has to offer. Get lost in the area’s markets and take advantage of the nightlife that is developing there. Meghalaya is renowned for its contemporary cultural celebrations that honour local and international artistic talent. There is a showcase of music, art, intriguing cultural customs, and more.
In Meghalaya, popular tourist spots include Shillong, Tura, Jowai, Cherrapunjee, Nongpoh, and Baghmara. There are several tourist attractions in Meghalaya that are worthwhile to visit, including Wards Lake, Green Rock Ranch, the Butterfly Museum, Lady Hydari Park, Mawsmai Cave, Sweet Falls, Khoh Ramhah, and Nohkalikai Falls. You only need to take the first step to allow Meghalaya to help you discover who you are. There is a lot of action in store, from beautiful climbs and treks to exploring some of the world’s most challenging tunnels and cascades. When it comes to bringing something back, you will be content with your collection of unforgettable moments as well as the exquisite handiwork created by this state’s citizens. In conclusion, everyone can have a wonderful time visiting this incredibly lovely, lush, and vibrant state.
History, Language, and People of Meghalaya
Meghalaya’s history demonstrates that the state has had a turbulent past. The history of Meghalaya focuses on the different events and examples that have contributed to Meghalaya’s emergence as a sovereign state.
Beginning with Meghalaya’s history, it can be noted that a number of tribes, including the Garo, Khasi, and Jaintia, have called Meghalaya home. Each of the three tribes in Meghalaya—the Garo, Khasi, and Jaintia—had separate control in the various regions of the state up until the 19th century. However, the fate of these tribal tribes in India was altered by the entry of the British into the country’s political system.
The three primary languages spoken in Meghalaya are Khasi, Pnar, and Garo. English is the official language of the State. The development of the languages and literature of the Khasi, Pnar, and Garo peoples and their inclusion in the list of Modern Indian Languages was spurred on by Christian missionaries. One of the extremely rare dialects of the Mon-khmer language family that still exists in India is thought to be the Khasi language.
The majority of people that live in Meghalaya are Tibeto-Burman (Garos) or Mon-Khmer (Khasis) natives, and these people speak languages and dialects that are related to them. The only speakers of the Mon-Khmer language in India are the Khasis. Along with Bengali, Assamese, and Hindi, the plain languages of Pnar-Synteng, Nepali, and Haijong are also spoken in the state. Along with Jaintia, English, and Khasi, these are the languages of the state. The three main religions practised there are Christianity, Hinduism, and Hinduism in its animistic manifestations. A tiny proportion of people also identify as Muslims, while even smaller groups do so as Buddhists and Sikhs.
The majority of the state’s population resides in rural areas, and the state has few municipalities. The largest town is Shillong, while smaller cities are listed in descending order. Shillong is the major town; the other urban areas are Tura, Mawlai, Nongthymmai, and Jowai, listed in decreasing order of population.
Top Tourist Attractions in Meghalaya
Shillong, often known as “Scotland of the East,” is one of the most well-known Meghalaya tourist destinations in the Northeast and is on everyone’s bucket list. Its forested hills, agreeable atmosphere, and visual splendour draw visitors from all over the world who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. One can explore the following places in Shillong.
In Shillong, Meghalaya, the Shillong Peak makes a great location for a picnic. A stunning aerial perspective of the city sprawled out against the picturesque hill slopes is available from this peak. Meghalaya’s Shillong Peak, which is 1956 metres high, is the state’s highest point. One of the most beautiful areas of the state, it is known for its lush tropical foliage and the huge chasms that drop off the road. Meghalaya, an Indian state in the country’s northeast, has Shillong as its capital. It is thought to be a well-liked vacation spot.
The elephant-shaped stone is at the foot of Elephant Falls, one of Meghalaya’s natural wonders. The best thing to do in Meghalaya is to visit this waterfall, one of the most well-known in the North East. Since the breathtaking Elephant Falls are made up of three majestic falls that follow one another, the indigenous Khasi people call them “Ka Kshaid Lai Patang Khohsiew,” which translates to “The Three Step Waterfalls.” The first waterfall, the biggest of the three, is hidden behind two enormous trees.
In the centre of Shillong, there lies an iconic lake. Both tourists and residents of the area go there. Because of the lake’s thick vegetation, it appears gorgeous. You can spend valuable time in the lake’s beautiful and tranquil surroundings.
Don Bosco Museum
The Don Bosco Museum is a 7-storey historical complex with 17 galleries that feature exhibits that walk visitors through Northeast India’s way of life. It is located in Shillong. Additionally, these galleries feature a varied assortment of artistic expressions, antiques, clothing styles, weapons, and laborious work that illustrates the cultures and way of life of the various tribes and individuals in Meghalaya.
Umiam Lake is all you need to change your mind if you believe artificial lakes cannot be as lovely as natural ones. Due to its 221 square kilometres of surface area, the lake is enormous. Umiam is the ideal location for taking excellent pictures and appreciating how flawlessly creative nature and people can be. Here, watching the sun set is such a beautiful sight that you’ll want to remember it forever. This reservoir, which is surrounded by lush hills, is one of Meghalaya’s most picturesque tourist destinations. Boating, yachting, skiing, and other enjoyable water sports are also available at Umiam Lake.
The maximum annual rainfall is predicted in Cherrapunji, making it one of the planet’s wettest locations. The Dain-Thlen, Kynrem, and Nohkalikai waterfalls, often known as the well-known Cherrapunji waterfalls, are visited by tourists from all over the world. Some of Meghalaya’s best waterfalls are located in the town. One can explore the following places at Cherrapunji.
Double Decker Living Root Bridge
A double-decker live root bridge formed of the roots of an Indian rubber tree is noteworthy for being located at Cherrapunji, Meghalaya. The bridge spans a distance of 3 kilometres and rises 2400 feet. The Umshiang river flowing beneath the bridge while you are crossing makes for the most beautiful scene. Only 50 people can cross it at once, despite the fact that it is the oldest natural bridge and dates back almost 200 years.
Nohkalikai Falls, the fourth-most notable waterfall on earth, plunges 335 metres from a lush cliff to the ground, creating the impression of a vast and amazing paradise. One of the most magnificent and fantastic falls in the country, the falls are the pride of the Meghalayan region. The falls, which are cared for between the Khasi Hill’s evergreen rainforest and flow with all their splendour and might, plunge into a tidal pond that is as blue as the sky at dusk. One of the greatest times to travel to Meghalaya is in the fall.
Of all the caverns in the vicinity, Mawsmai Cave is unquestionably the most enjoyable. Even while the tunnel is not the longest among the local caves—it is about 150 metres long—it most certainly offers a glimpse into underground life. In Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills, just 6 km from Cherrapunjee’s centre, sits the magnificent Mawsmai Cave.
Seven Sister Falls
One of Cherrapunji’s well-known waterfalls is this one. The monsoon season is the finest time to visit these waterfalls because the water is at its most beautiful during that period. The combination of waterfalls dropping from the top and clouds floating over the mountains creates a stunning sight. Seven Sister Falls got its name because the waterfalls are divided into seven parts.
Wei Sawdong Falls
It is one of Meghalaya’s most stunning waterfalls and has three levels. The waterfalls’ stunning view compels everyone to take pictures of them. To reach these falls, you must descend a short distance, but the incredibly breathtaking vista of the falls is well worth the effort.
One of the causes of the increase in Meghalaya tourism is Mawsynram. One of the wettest places on earth, this location is well-known around the world. The monsoon season brings beautiful weather to the area as well as a spectacular view due to the clouds flying over the mountains and the wettest landscapes. There are many attractions in Mawsynram, including the well-known Jakrem Hot Spring, where the water is naturally warmer. One can visit and explore the following places here.
Made of calcareous sandstones, it is a well-known Mawsynram cave. Krem Mawjynbuin is another name for it. Stalagmites have developed there as a result of calcium carbonate deposits. You should travel following the monsoon season.
Jakrem Hot Water Spring
Hot springs are what make Jakrem famous. Due to the mildly sulfuric, alkaline water, water accumulates in a pool and becomes heated. You can unwind by taking a plunge in the pool. Toxins in the body can be removed by bathing in the water. During the winter, it is a fantastic location to visit.
A lovely village called Mawlynnong may be found close to Dawki. It is well known for being the cleanest village in Asia and has recently received recognition for this. The communities no longer function as a village but as a tourist destination. You can go here to take in the village’s cleanliness. It is one of Meghalaya’s most fascinating places to spend the day. This town welcomes you with all you need to make your trip to Meghalaya crucial, including stunning waterfalls and root bridges, a clean atmosphere, and a picturesque perspective. Other than this, you’ll need to stay in one of the many bamboo cottages around to get a better feel for the area.Following are some of the must explore places in Mawlynnong.
Living Root Bridge
A natural wonder of Meghalaya, it is a fascinating location. The roots that make up the bridge are organically entwined, creating a highly sturdy bridge that can last for decades. It is a spotless, lovely location with a peaceful, serene atmosphere. It is situated in the neighbourhood of Riwai Village, which is near to Mawlynnong Village. You must descend a little bit into the terrain to get to this village. The Living Root Bridge is surrounded by a truly wonderful landscape.
As the name implies, it is an incredible-looking big rock that is perched atop a smaller rock. At the top of the smaller rock, the larger one is balanced. The balancing of the large rock over the smaller one is quite amazing. Long-standing witnesses claim that the rock doesn’t even move during earthquakes. A beautiful sight for Mawlynnong visitors.
There is no need to introduce Dawki. Dawki, one of the world’s most Instagrammable locations, is well known for its crystal-clear river. Dawki needs to be on your itinerary if you’re planning a trip to Meghalaya soon. It is also a significant trade hub due to its location between Bangladesh and India. In Shnongpdeng Village, around 7 kilometres from Dawki Town, you may go kayaking and snorkelling as well as camping by the river. Dawki is a must-visit location for anybody who enjoys both nature and adventure. One can explore the following places at Dawki.
The Dawki River, which flows through Shillong, is well known for its breathtaking views of the outdoors and is regarded as the cleanest river in the nation. The Dawki River in Shillong, the marvel of the Northeast, is well-known for the breathtaking beauty that surrounds the area and makes it appear like a paradise for a nature lover.
A lovely location with a verdant garden can be found in Tamabil, which is 2 kilometres from Dawki and 83 kilometres from Shillong. At this location is also a branch of the Indian Border Security Force. Considering that this is a sensitive area, visitors should abide by the BSF’s instructions when they enter. The view point garden, which is located in this frontier region, provides travellers with a picturesque view of the valleys and mountains.
Best Time to Visit Meghalaya for Tourism
The choice of whether to visit this state is yours, whether you prefer the pleasantly balmy summer days or the stunning cherry blossom trees at their peak in the autumn. When to travel to your preferred vacation destination depends greatly on the weather. You can only choose the most advantageous time to go after assessing the benefits and drawbacks of each season. If you plan to visit between April-June, then at this time of the year, you will not find a dull moment in Meghalaya. The ideal time to go sightseeing and partake in adventurous activities is also due to the favourable weather.
July-September can be the greatest time of year to visit if you want to unwind, and enjoy this rainy state’s splendour with your family.
October-November is an ideal time to catch the beauty of the state in the form of Cherry Trees in Autumn season.
December-February serves to be the best time of the year when you can go on hiking excursions and explore nearby locations like Shillong, Tura, and Guwahati. A number of additional attractions, along with the views of morning fog.
How to Reach Meghalaya
The following three modes of transportation describe easy travel to Meghalaya.
The closest train station to Meghalaya, if you intend to arrive there by train, is in Guwahati (Assam). It is 180 kilometres away. Bangalore, Jammu and Kashmir, New Delhi, Amritsar, and Guwahati Junction are all connected. You have two options for getting to Meghalaya from Guwahati: buses or cab service.
Guwahati (Assam), 159 miles from Meghalaya, is home to a major airport i.e. Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport. The airport has excellent connections to Indian cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and Calcutta as well as the foreign destinations of Tura and Bangkok. Although there is no direct bus route connecting the Guwahati Airport with Meghalaya, you can use a taxi to get there.
Major cities are well-connected to Meghalaya by roadways. Mostly the roads are smooth and heavily travelled. Due to their love of nonstop rain, many tourists consider the monsoon the greatest month to visit Meghalaya. Due to the severe rain, certain roadways experience delays.
Travel Advice on Meghalaya
One of the safest states to visit is likely Meghalaya. Your needs will always be met with friendliness and willingness to assist. Among the safest destinations for female travellers is Meghalaya. Meghalaya is one of those states where a solitary traveller might feel quite at home.
A journey to Meghalaya should last 5 days if you want to see all of the state’s top sights. Shillong can be visited for two days, Cherrapunji for one, Mawlynnong (Asia’s cleanest village), and Dawki for another. If you plan well, you can cut your journey to Meghalaya down to 3 to 4 days, but it will be rushed.
Tips for Visiting Meghalaya
- Know The Local Permits.
- Concentrate On The Bookings.
- Carry the absolute necessities.
- Make preparations for the itinerary.
- Make a costing plan for your safety as well.
- Attempt regional cuisine.
- Respect the local culture
Rainfall in Meghalaya
The height affects Meghalaya’s climate in several ways. The climate is especially pleasant and brisk in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills. The weather over the plains of the Garo Hills is pleasant and humid, save during the winter, and neither too hot nor too cold. The Meghalaya sky rarely remains cloud-free, living up to its moniker. On average, 1,150 millimetres of rain falls annually.
Things to do in Meghalaya
Although there are numerous things to do in such a beautiful place like Meghalaya, here are few things that catches the sight of many visitors and tourists:
Elephant Falls Photography
This is a stunning waterfall that is very close to Shillong Peak. The waterfall, which resembles a huge elephant, captivates with its exquisite beauty. Due to the three noticeable steps that the waterfalls here descend, this waterfall was formerly known as the Three Steps Waterfall. However, the name was later changed by the British because they thought the nearby rock looked like a huge elephant. This place is still a very well-known tourist destination, so you will remember it for a very long span of time.
Sohliya Village Mountain Biking
Mountain biking is one of the top things to do in Meghalaya, so indulge in this exhilarating activity and get a chance to see the breathtaking landscapes of the Sohliya hamlet. Immerse yourself in the tranquillity of this community, ride through the forested pathways, country trails, and lush green excursions, and discover the Khasi people while indulging in a mouthwatering traditional lunch amidst the surreal splendour of this charming community.
Hiking the David Scott Trail
Among the popular hiking routes in this area for hikers, climbers, and visitors is the David Scott Trail. David Scott, a well-known hiker, is credited with finding the trail, hence its name. This 16-kilometre trail is brimming with natural beauty and thrills. One can witness the breathtaking sights, lush, magnificent forests, adorable tribal communities, and stunning waterfalls on the ascent.
Camping next to Umiam Lake
Camping at the Island in Umiam Lake, which is well-known for adventure sports and as a picnic location, will offer you an awesome high. Numerous adventurous activities are available, such as joommering, rock climbing, rappelling, zip lining, and many others. A rich, natural beauty and gorgeous, old, large trees surround the lake. With its calm surroundings, the sounds of singing birds, the gentle cold wind, and the gorgeous house boats in the lake, it makes for the ideal relaxed vacation.
Adventure Activities to do in Meghalaya
Although there are numerous adventurous activities one can do in Meghalaya. Shillong’s topography, which is abundant in woods, waterfalls, lakes, hills, and plains, makes it the Meghalayan centre for adventure sports. The most exciting activities in Meghalaya are listed in the following thorough list.
Camping In The Forest
Given the legend surrounding it, nothing is said to leave the sacred woodland of Mawlynnong, which might as well be called the sacred forest of Mawlynnong. Nothing should be removed from the forest, not even a dead leaf or log, according to the local tribe, as doing so could result in a strange ailment that is even potentially lethal.
Be sure not to stray off the path and end up far into the forest as you search for a decent camping location by following the woodland’s captivating pathway. For obvious reasons, it is not advisable. Take in the scenery as you travel, taking in the frequent monoliths and the enigmatic Labasa groove, which the locals revere as their deity and whom they think has the power to transform into a tiger or leopard in order to defend the locals from harm.
Boating In Umngot River
The Umngot River, also known as the Dawki River, is close to Shillong and is so clean that boats seem to be floating atop glass. Numerous different fish species are swimming alongside you while you travel the length of the river, and the river’s bottom is home to some unusual rocks. There are other activities accessible here than boating, such ziplining and cliff jumping. Or you can just unwind at the river’s shallow end while your feet are submerged. Even though it’s a long ride, Shillong to Dawki River is full with stunning landscapes that make it impossible to look at your watch.
Paragliding in Nongjrong
Enjoy paragliding in Nongjrong Valley, when you glide at a height of 700 metres, the breathtaking scenery you see below will leave you speechless. No matter how long you stay in the air, you always come back down yearning for more. Paragliding in Nongjrong will be soon available.
Paragliding in Nongjrong
River Rafting and Kayaking
White-water rafting is the number one activity for any water enthusiast and makes up a significant portion of adventure sports in Meghalaya.
One can feel the powerful, frigid freshwater flowing over the face as you fiercely paddle the raft along with the river’s current. The Barapani Lake or the Dawki River are both great places to go river rafting. However, kayaking may also be done in the Umiam lake, which is within a half-hour drive from Shillong. For beginners, kayaking on the Kynshi river is recommended, one of the top kayaking sites in India. You would feel renewed and energetic after participating in water sports in Shillong, which are a popular Meghalaya tourism activity.
Shillong’s caves are your new best buddy if you’re a mystery seeker; cave exploring is a significant component of Meghalaya’s tourism industry. Meghalaya is home to nine of the ten deepest caverns in India, which have drawn the interest of hikers, geologists, and historians alike. Shillong’s underground exploration is equivalent to travelling to the enigmatic island.
The following are the top 6 caves to visit:
1. Mawjymbuin Cave (Mawsynram Village)
2. Mawsmai Cave (Cherrapunjee)
3. Krem Mawmluh (Cherrapunjee)
4. Krem Umshyrpi (Cherrapunjee)
5. Siju Cave ( East Garo Hills)
6. Marai Cave (Jowai Road).
Best Places to Stay in Meghalaya
|Hotel Polo Tower||Shillong||Starts from INR 7,172/- per night|
|Hotel Centre Point||Shillong||Starts from INR 6,160/- per night|
|The Heritage Club-Tripura Castle||Shillong||Starts from INR 4,976/- per night|
|Hotel Woodland Hill Stay||Shillong||Starts from INR 3,385/-per night|
|The Crescent Hotel||Shillong||Starts from INR 5,001/-per night|
|Pine Hill Homestay||Shillong||Starts from INR 3,360/-per night|
|Polo Orchid Resort||Cherrapunji||Starts from INR 21,000/-per night|
|Nature Lap Cottage Stay||Mawlynnong||Starts from INR 2,850/-per night|
|Kutmadan Resort||Cherrapunji||Starts from INR 5,000/-per night|
|Jiva Resort||Cherrapunji||Starts from INR 7000/- per night|
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Weather of Meghalaya
Meghalaya boasts some of Northeast India’s most agreeable weather. Meghalaya offers agreeable weather all year round with an average temperature of 24°C because it is a hilly country and receives a lot of rainfall.
There is sufficient rainfall throughout the monsoons, which enhances the beauty of the waterfalls, lakes, rivers, and vegetation. The fogs above the mountains make the entire region of Meghalaya captivating because of the lovely weather during the monsoon.
In Meghalaya, winter is dry and offers moderate daytime temperatures of 12 to 15 °C, while nighttime lows of 10 °C are common. However, one remarkable feature of Meghalaya’s winters is the absence of fog, which allows residents to take advantage of the sun’s warmth starting at dawn.
|Travel Seasons||Min/Max Temperature||Season|
|April to June||15 to 25 °C||Pleasantly warm|
|July to September||24 to 33°C||Moderate to heavy rainfall|
|October to November||18 to 25°C||Cool and humid|
|December to February||2 to 19°C||Cool and humid|
Frequently Asked Questions on Meghalaya Tourism
Bus transportation is typically used by Meghalayans for local transportation.The buses are readily available and run frequently throughout the state. Aside from that, there are great links between the major cities. You can also get on the unmetered yellow and black taxis for internal transportation. Any local or the hotel where you are staying can provide you with the anticipated cost of your trip.
Meghalaya is a state that loves to party. It exudes happiness, vibrancy, and good vibes. If you’re coming here, make an effort to attend at least one festival.
Shad Suk Mynsiem Dance
Laho Dance Festival
God’s Own Garden, also known as Mawlynnong Village, has widespread acclaim. It has won the distinction of being the cleanest village in India and has excelled in other areas, such as fostering women’s empowerment or having a 100% literacy rate. Mostly a Khasi tribe settlement, Cherrapunji’s Mawlynnong. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is the location of the living root bridges. Additionally, the food made by the villagers in this village is entirely organic. Even the meat served here is produced on-site using domesticated birds and animals.
Meghalaya can be a difficult place to trek. The fact that these paths are not covered in snow, unlike those in the Himalayas, means you won’t need to bring as much winter gear with you. Additionally, expect to be greeted with flora and creatures that you might not otherwise witness. Your journey will be entirely worthwhile because of these terrifying uncommon creatures. Here are a few of Meghalaya’s top trekking routes:
Living Root Bridge
David Scott Trail
Everyone enjoys shopping, and Meghalaya cheerfully provides our needs in this regard. When it comes to shopping, Shillong is typically the most popular destination. You can purchase a few trinkets for your loved ones from a number of locations throughout the state. Here are a handful you ought to go to without a doubt:
Lewduh (market also known as Bara bazaar)
Meghalayan food is primarily composed of rice, dried fish, and beef. The dish is flavourless but is improved by the hot fish chutney that is added on top. The cuisine “Jadoh,” which is made with rice and pork, is a local favourite. The native rice beer known as “Kyat” is also a popular beverage here. The top locations in Meghalaya to sample the greatest native food are listed below.
Location: L.P. Building Niit Building, Main Road, Laitumkhrah, Shillong
Location: Hotel Polo Towers, Polo Grounds, Shillong
Location: Laitumkhrah Main Road | Opposite Sweety Studio,Near HDFC Bank ATM, Shillong
Location: Police Bazaar, Shillong
City Hut Family Dhaba
Location: Earle Holiday Home Oakland Road, Shillong
The state of Meghalaya is indeed now open to tourists following the outbreak. The Meghalaya Tourism App’s e-invite generator is however required. A negative RT PCR report may be required if you are not fully immunised.
Meghalaya produces bamboo goods and other distinctive native handicrafts that you can purchase. Additionally, Meghalaya offers high-quality native products including good-quality honey and turmeric. The police bazaar has gift shops. You can get yourself one as a souvenir of your Meghalaya Tour.
Meghalayan oranges and pineapples are well-known and of high quality.
A journey to Meghalaya should last at least 5 days and cost no more than $15,000 per person. It will cover lodging, transportation, and sightseeing.
It is true that Meghalaya Tourism requires an e-invite. The tourist attractions have been opened by the Meghalayan government. In order to enter Meghalaya, visitors must first get an e-invite. The Meghalaya Tourism App has this e-invitation available. The app is available on the Play Store.
Meghalaya is home to a variety of unusual flora and animals in addition to its stunning waterfalls, picturesque mountains, and breathtaking clouds. Any of the following national parks and wildlife sanctuaries offer opportunities to see uncommon species of birds and animals:
Nokrek National Park
Balpakram National Park
Siju Bird Sanctuary
Baghmara Reserve Forest