Meghalaya, in north-eastern India, was part of Assam. Known as the home of the clouds, it is famous for being the wettest place (heavy rainfall) on earth making it a popular monsoon travel destination for rain lovers. It would be unjust to count only a few best Places to Visit in Meghalaya.
The majority of the state’s population is made up of tribal peoples, Khasis (the largest group), Garos, and Pnars, who earn their living mainly from agriculture. The state is divided into three main hills: Khasi Hills (central chain), Garo Hills (western chain), and Jaintia Hills (eastern chain). Most of the tourist sites are located on the Khasi hills. Here are the places of most attractions:
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Living radical bridges
Perhaps Meghalaya’s most famous attraction, in the heart of a dense tropical forest and surrounded by clouds and rain for much of the year, are man-made natural wonders, known under the name of living radical bridges. Inventive members of the Khasi tribe trained them to develop from the roots of ancient rubber trees in the northeastern region. There are two places where you can see bridges: near Cherrapunji and Mawlynnong.
In addition to having an easily accessible living radical bridge nearby, the picturesque village of Mawlynnong has been named “Cleanest Village in Asia” by a travel magazine. Also called “Garden of God”, the city is an excellent example of community ecotourism. Residents built an extraordinary Sky View bamboo platform atop the tallest tree in the forest, nearly 80 feet tall. It offers a panoramic view of the village and a panoramic view of Bangladesh (the border is a few kilometers away). Mawlynnong is a three-hour drive south of Shillong in the eastern hills of Khasi. It is possible to stay in a regular village or a house on stilts.
Dawki – Shnongpdeng
About an hour east of Mawlynnong in the hills of western Jaintia, the border town of Dawki is worth a visit for its pristine, emerald Umngot River. The lack of security makes it difficult to believe that the border of the Radcliffe international lies between India and Bangladesh since people on both sides cross and mix. You can take a fascinating boat ride along the river, which is said to be one of the cleanest in the world. If you’re driving from Mawlynnong to Dawki, stop along the magnificent Bophill falls along the way. Shnongpdeng village, a short distance from Dawki, is the best place to stay.
Krang Suri Falls
In Meghalaya there are waterfalls and there is Krang Suri. This small but impressive waterfall is hidden near Jowai, about an hour north-east of Dawki and about three hours south-east of Shillong in the hills of western Jaintia. Its hardly 20 min walk away. It is possible to go swimming, although you will be asked to wear a life jacket. Changing rooms and bathrooms are available.
Sacred forest of Mawphlang
About 45 minutes southwest of Shillong, in the eastern foothills of Khasi, Mawphlang is home to a forest of sacred plants of the Khasi tribe. It is full of medicinal plants. Tribal men also make animal sacrifices and burn the bodies of their dead inside. There is a Khasi heritage village near the sacred forest, with different styles of tribal huts. If you feel energetic and want to spend a day in nature, try the suggestive David Scott Trail from Mawphlang to Lad Mawphlang. It is part of an old equestrian track that dates back to the British era.
Canyon of Laitlum
Combine a day trip to the sacred forest of Mawphlang with Laitlum Canyon, where you will feel as if you have reached the end of the world. It is only about an hour south of Shillong and an hour and a half east of Mawphlang on the eastern hills of Khasi. If you can avoid looking through the open expanse of the gorge, you can go down a steep staircase to the village of Rasong. The approximately 350 inhabitants of this remote village depend on a rustic pulley to transport food and other essential items across the valley.
Caves of Mawsmai
Meghalaya is the best speleological destination in India. There are more than 1,000 caves in the state, including the longest newly discovered sandstone cave in the world (Krem Puri in the Mawsynram region in the eastern foothills of Khasi). The most visited cave is Mawsmai, near Cherrapunji. It is kept as a cave for tourist shows and is always illuminated. The cave garden near the city of Laitmawsiang on the road to Cherrapunji is spectacular and has waterfalls.
The Arwah cave can also be explored in the region and is known for its prehistoric fossils. Other caves are more difficult to visit and are suitable for caving expeditions with the appropriate caving equipment. These include Siju (a bat cave), Mawmluh (with an indoor pool), Mawjymbuin (known for its stalagmites), and the Krem dam (along sandstone cave) near Mawsynram and Liat Prah (the longest natural cave of India). Meghalaya Tourism has a list of caves in the state. The Meghalaya Adventurers Association organizes one-week speleological expeditions from Shillong.
Many mysterious monoliths can be found scattered on the hills of Khasi and Jaintia of Meghalaya, erected by the tribes of the regions as a symbol of remembrance. However, the largest collection is located near the village of Nartiang in the Jaintia Hills, about two hours east of Shillong. This city was the summer capital of the rulers of Jaintia and is a lesser-known tourist destination, perfect for escaping the crowds. Some of the many monoliths can reach 10 meters in height!
Mawryngkhang Bamboo Trek
Thrill-seekers will love the new Mawryngkhang Trek, which opened in 2017. It starts in the village of Wahkhen, about two hours south of Shillong, east of the Khasi hills, and takes you to the top from the huge Mawryngkhang, the legendary “King of Stones”. The path crosses through a series of connected bamboo bridges built by the locals and partly embraces the side of a huge steep rock. Below there is a deep gorge and a river. Even though the hike is fairly easy and can be done in 2-3 hours, definitely jump if you are afraid of heights! There are no accommodations in the area, so you will have to return to Shillong or Cherrapunji on the same day.
If you are a nature lover who wants to think outside the box, head to the densely wooded hills of Garo in the western part of Meghalaya. This vast area is home to the Nokrek Biosphere Reserve, Siju Wildlife Sanctuary, and Balpakhram National Park. It is pristine and full of biodiversity, including hundreds of butterfly species. Tura, the second-largest city in the state after Shillong, has a useful tourist office that can organize guides and tours.
In Shillong: don’t miss Iewduh Bara Bazar
Considered one of the largest traditional-style markets in Northeast India, this bustling congested market in the heart of Shillong is the place where local Khasi women come to sell their fresh produce and livestock. You will also find delicious local street food there. The market is a fascinating place to stroll, especially if you like street photography. It is open every day from 8:00 to 17:00 except Sunday. It gets a little crowded after the late mornings.
It is one of the best places to visit in Meghalaya if you want to spend relaxing moments during your holidays. This park is located 10 km from Jowai. It was a hidden gem in the past. Today, the number of people visiting this region has increased repeatedly. This park has several hiking trails. Enjoy hiking, picnics, fishing, and leisure walks in the lush park. From the park, you have a good view of the valley and the Myndtu river.
Don Bosco Center for Indigenous Culture
Meghalaya is not just a matter of nature. Culture is also an integral part of the region. Visit the center to explore the museum. The museum’s collections and artifacts which explain the history and pride of the state and the six sister regions. There is a huge library inside, open for tourists to explore. If you like adventure, choose the boardwalk to enjoy a majestic view of the city. Skywalk gives a beautiful view of the place as well.
Located in the Ri Bhoi district, it is one of Meghalaya’s winter destinations. From October to February, the lake will be full of vegetation and the place will be very picturesque. During the summer months, the water level will be very low, you can find small islands here and there in the lake region. After the rainy season, the lake is filled with fresh water and the place becomes very picturesque with greenery. In winter, you can enjoy many water activities on this lake. The cost of nautical activities is quite expensive. If you want to find an economic activity, choose a group rowing boat to enjoy the lake at sunset. It is one of the most
romantic places in Meghalaya.
Church of all saints
The background and the church make this region worthy of a postcard image. The area around the church becomes lush with fresh, dark herbs during the winter. Walking around the church on the lawn is a great outdoor activity. The church is famous for its architectural beauty, its woodworking, and others. This Anglia church is located in one of the popular spots of Meghalaya.
It is one of the landmarks of tourism in Meghalaya. A trip to the top is an activity you will cherish. From above you can see Bangladesh in the south and the Himalayas nearby. To the east, you can see the hills of Khasi. The place is full of lush vegetation and thick grass. Here you can enjoy a picnic, a hike and nature tours. Smell the fresh, clean air above will want you to extend your time.
This is not the end of places to visit in Meghalaya. You can find many attractions, natural landscapes, cultural activities and much more here. It is also the best place to find unique souvenirs. For your next visit to Meghalaya, pay attention to the weather, and pack your bags accordingly. Always carry your rain wears with you.
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