Meghalaya- The land situated in the North-Eastern sector of India; is mainly popular because of the heaviest Rainfall in the world. The name Meghalaya is derived from the Sanskrit word which means ‘The Abode of Clouds’.
On the eve of Independence day of India, we decided to explore the Meghalaya. So, we packed our bags and headed to explore the places to visit in Meghalaya or can say the land of clouds during the Monsoon time.
How To Reach….? And Explore the Places To Visit In Meghalaya
That’s very challenging to decide how to reach Meghalaya from Delhi. Especially when you have to do a budgeted trip….!!
We started to search for the best flight deals on various sites. And every time we make ensure to empty our search history as you know the flight charges are dynamic. We spend about a week to find the best possible deal for our flight from Delhi to Guwahati and vice-versa. It will be better if you book tickets for at least one month earlier.
Then we started to prepare the list of places that we need to explore and decided to prefer the Homestays over hotels. By the way, you will hardly find Hotels in Meghalaya except in Shillong.
So, the most budgeted way is, to reach Guwahati, the main market of Guwahati is Paltan Bazaar, from there you will find taxies for Shillong.
Direct flight for Shillong is quite costly that’s why we preferred Guwahati. Bus services from Guwahati to Shillong is limited. Trusting on Bus service is not a smart decision but you may try it because the buses also operate from Paltan Bazaar… Try to opt for a taxi in sharing, it will be much cheaper. The taxi will take around 2.5hours to reach Shillong. By the way, road connectivity is tremendous in Meghalaya. So, if you can rent scooter, bike or car in Shillong to cover Meghalaya it will become a great lifetime experience.
Places To Visit In Meghalaya…
On the same day, we reached Shillong by evening and stayed at a hotel and tried to explore some of the nearby places. What I concluded is, if you are in Meghalaya then Shillong is a little bit overrated, if you want to explore the natural beauty and clouds of Meghalaya then avoid spending much time in Shillong.
On day-1 morning we started our journey towards Sohra, on our way to Sohra we explored some of the places.
NOTE: Many times I will use the term Sohra, the actual name of Cherrapunji. Britishers gave the new name to Sohra as Cherrapunji.
If you have plenty of time in hand, then give some time to the Mawkdok Valley. Otherwise better to avoid because there are more awesome hidden natures gem are waiting for you ahead.
We spend some time at Mawkdok Valley, it falls on the way to Sohra from Shillong. If you go down from the Mawkdok there is a small waterfall. We nourished our photograph clicking technique there. We spend a little bit at Mawkdok as we were getting out of time.
Garden Of Caves
The next destination was the Garden of Caves. It is an amazing place, which resembles the great combinations of flora and fauna. The local village administration takes care of the place and the entry fee is INR 20 per person. The Garden of caves is a great example of human restoration work for nature. Under the MNREGA scheme of Government people did some tremendous construction work to make the place an awesome tourist spot. The place is known as Ka Bri Ki Synrang by locals. We recommend you please spend some quality time at the Garden of Caves and thus we included it into our list of places to visit in Meghalaya.
Nongsawlia Presbyterian Church
It is the first church established in Meghalaya in the year 1846. In 1843 Thomas Jones received land by the chief of Ka Hima Sohra on that land two Bungalows were built. One for School and the other for the Church. In 1897 the church was destroyed due to earthquakes and the present church is built in 1898.
So, besides the natural beauty, the place also stored the history and its historical monuments on which the upcoming generations should feel proud. This Nongsawlia Presbyterian church was the last destination of our in day-1.
We found a homestay nearby and spend our night. In the area of Cherrapunji, Homestays are easily available so no need to worry if you are on a budget trip at least in the month of June, July, August.
When we left the homestay early morning raining starts. The weather of Meghalaya especially Cherrapunji is very unpredictable.
Seven Sister Falls
Our first destination of the day was Nohsngithiang Falls popularly known as Seven Sister Falls. The tip of the seven sister falls is developed as a tourist spot as Eco-park. We escaped the eco-park and feel the natural beauty of the waterfall from the front with the morning breakfast and cup of tea. The waterfall will be at its peak during monsoon time, so don’t forget to absorb the sound of the waterfall into your soul. Seven sister falls represent the seven north-eastern states of India that’s why we included it into our list of places to visit in Meghalaya. One more thing you can see the clear view of Bangaladesh from here.
The next destination of the day was Mawsmai Cave. Another natural cave with the surrounding of greens, blues, browns, and reds of nature. There are two caves present there and you have to pay an entry fee for each one separately. The first cave is around 100m long and the second cave which is more adventurous is about 40m long.
You can experience the naturally formed caves with the continuous sounds of birds and insects which definitely gives pleasure and provide peace of mind.
Meghalaya is among some of the states of India which has an extensive network of underground caves. Most caves are still undiscovered. There are various teams present in Meghalaya especially in Shillong whose main motive is to discover the caves. Even it will be not surprising if you can see the fossils in the caves…Yes, fossils of prehistoric creatures preserved in time on the walls of the caves.
The fall is nearby Cherrapunjee and near the main road. The splendor of the falls is enhanced by the presence of a large number of natural potholes.
According to the legend, there was a huge demon python, named Thlen; who was very powerful. Some brave warriors caught the demon and destroyed its hood with a huge stone, which can be seen near the fall.
Some marks are present on the stone, which indicates the struggle. Due to this the waterfall gets its name.
The natural view of the place will convince you why Meghalaya is known as Scotland of Asia. The most amazing experience is to see the waterfall from its top. The way to reach the waterfall is by crossing a small iron bridge that is constructed above the river.
To enjoy the nature walk. We will recommend you to cross the river and reach the other side. And go for a walk the tremendous view of nature will definitely Trap you and the memories with the place will become unforgettable. We walked at the top of the mountain. Usually, local people come there for a Picnic, but be aware of the climate. Because weather change is very unexpected. Go their with precautions especially if you are handling the camera.
We reached Tyrna village. It is the way to experience the beauty of a natural double-decker bridge. From Tyrna village we did tracking towards Nongriat village. If you want you can hire a guide they charge around 700INR to guide you up to double-decker bridge only and return back.
We reached Tyrna village in the evening nearby at 4 pm. So, We started our trek very fast and decided to take a night stay at Nongriat village at some homestay and explore the place the next day.
On our way to Nongriat village rainfall starts. As already told the weather is very unpredictable, but we were prepared. You have to get down of about 3500 continuous stairs then crossing 2 bridges and many ups and downs. Crossing sacred forest, rivers gives goosebumps especially if the rain is continuous.
Nongriat Sacred Groves
Khasi people have their own indigenous religion who believe in God and his presence in nature. People still believe in Deities and Elements such as fairies in the rivers, dwarves in dens and caves and the presence of spirit in all living and non-living things. Khasi people have ancestral beliefs that harming nature by anyway may create a curse on their children. In order to prevent a curse, they call on all the spirits to reside and use some of the selected parts of the forests called Sacred groves. People offer small sacrifices to nature annually; in terms of selected young animals like roosters.
Even picking up fruits or plucking flowers is prohibited and forbidden in such regions.
We reached the Nongirat village and due to heavy continuous rain decided to take immediate stay and thus find a homestay ‘Serene homestay’ and stayed there.
You can find a lot of homestays in Nongriat village. The next day early morning we headed to explore nature……
Double Decker Bridge
Next day after taking brunch, we headed to explore the pure nature, untempered by the human settlement. The double-decker bridge presents very nearby the place where we stayed.
The construction of this beautiful natural bridge is done with a long process of pulling the roots of a particular species of rubber tree scientifically known as ‘ficus Elastica’ across the bamboo which creates the wood bridges. This process is called ‘Training of the roots’.
There is a lot of such kind of root bridges available in the dense forests of Meghalaya some are known to us and many more are unexplored.
After spending some quality time at root bridge we headed for a long trek for Rainbow Falls. If you are a trekking enthusiastic then come here with some more time and experience the beautiful, thrilling, exciting treks for Rainbow falls and Nohakalikai falls.
Due to time constrain we only trek for the Rainbow falls. The tracking was awesome, Lots of ups and downs, slippery rocks, rain gives a thrilling experience. Due to time constrain we were moving quite fast. And at last, by crossing all the hurdles we finally reached the destination. The Rainbow falls, as the name indicated you can always see the rainbow at falls but during monsoon, due to heavy rainfall and clouds it was difficult for us to see the formation of a rainbow.
After absorbing the beauty and with the feeling of achieving something we started our tracking back to the Nongriat village. Packed our bags take some brunch and headed back to the top of Tyrna village.
Ramkrishna Mission Ashram
It was almost evening and we were searching someplace for the stay at night. While searching the places we reached Ramkrishna Mission Ashram. A building has a school, administrative area, and a museum. We went to the museum which is open to all.
The museum has a great collection of artifacts and historic items that speak the cultural and traditional richness of Gharo, Khasi, and Jaintia people. The museum also introduces us to the services that the Ramkrishna Mission is giving to the people of Meghalaya. One more interesting thing is, the museum tells about the British merchants, who make the trade routes in Meghalaya. British relations with tribal people and connectivity of Meghalaya with Bengal.
If you are interested to know about the historical, cultural and traditional significance of Gharo, Khasi, Jaintia people must include this museum in your list of places to visit in Meghalaya.
Wei Sawdong Waterfall
The waterfall was our first destination on day-3. The beauty of the place can not be expressed in words. If you are physically fit then don’t forget to include the Wei Sawdong Waterfall into the places to visit in Meghalaya.
The Wei Sawdong waterfall is really a paradise for nature lovers. The steep nearly 70-80 degree trek will definitely give you a thrill. The villagers have made some temporary paths with Bamboos for the convenience of travelers, which makes the trekking little bit easier. You have to trek downward to reach the waterfall. The path is challenging but after seeing the three-step waterfall all the tiredness will be lost.
NOTE: You cannot predict the weather of Meghalaya but still be cautious while starting your trek because in heavy rainfall you might get stuck and at downside near the waterfall the flow of water gets high.
There is a small trek after completing its traveler can reach the notch of the Nohkalikai Falls. It will be an amazing experience to see the tallest waterfall in India. But as I told earlier we cannot trust the weather of Meghalaya. When we were on our way for the trekking the weather gets worst and due to safety reasons, we dropped our plan to reach the Nohkalikai Falls. But we enjoyed the waterfall from some distance.
Visiting Nohkalikai Falls is one of the must place to visit in Meghalaya, to enjoy the tallest waterfall in India.
Then we headed back to Shillong and take our stay at Shillong. Till day-3 we have traveled the western part of Meghalaya. From day-4 we planned to cover the eastern part of Meghalaya. If you don’t have any prior bookings don’t be panic, there are plenty of Homestays available in the whole Meghalaya.
The village is popular for its cleanliness and natural beauty. In 2003, Mawlynnong Village is awarded as the cleanest village of Asia. The village is known as ‘Gods own Garden’. The Cleanest and scenic beauty of the village bonds us to visit the place and we placed it into the places to visit in Meghalaya. The place also provides a small trek to reach the Root bridge situated nearby the village. Planes of Bangaladesh are also visible from the village. The literacy of the village is 100% and we can learn a lot from the residents of the village.
We did some shopping in Mawlynnong village and enjoyed hot tea with some snacks and move towards the Dawki.
Dawki The Transparent River
Dawki falls at the Indo-Bangladesh border, surrounded by Jaintia hills. It is the only road trade route between India and Bangladesh. The river Dawki is popularly known for its stable and transparent water. The boating experience at Dawki, can’t be described in words. The river divides India and Bangladesh. The riverside will be quite rowdy because of the continuous movement of Tourists from both countries.
Camping At Shnongpdeng
The place is situated at the bank of the Umngot river. The place is a hotspot of young travelers how like camping, trekking, boating, the place is heaven for them. The Umngot river passes from Shnongpdeng to Dawki and finally to Bangladesh. The place is nearly 8 km from the Dawki. A suspension bridge present over the river is like a crown on the head of Shnongpdeng.
We spend a night at the place, Home-stays and camps are easily available here, so nothing to worry about it. Food is quite costly but I think that is worth it in that area because the service providers will try to give you the best possible service.
On the fifth day of our trip, we decided to spend some time at Shnongpdeng and then will explore one place that is Laitlum Canyon.
The place is a paradise for trekking enthusiasts. The awesome view of nature from the top of the peak will definitely trap you and binds you to stay at the place. If you are a nature lover and trekking freak than the place is heaven for you. Because of this, we included the Laitlum Canyon into our list of places to visit in Meghalaya. Even if I get a chance to visit Meghalaya again then Laitlum Canyon will be at the top of my list.
After that, at night we reached Shillong did a great party at our hotel and the next morning we headed towards the Guwahati to board our flight back to Delhi.
If you want to experience the virtual tour to Meghalaya then don’t forget to visit the Nishi Travel Vlog
Go On, Tell us what you think!
Come on! Tell us what you think about the Places to Visit in Meghalaya. Do mention in the comment box below. Thanks!