Meghalaya, one of India’s seven sister states, is a hilly state situated in the North East India. It’s luscious green valleys, dense woodland, high rainfall, and also its rich biodiversity that will leave you characterised by this charming state. Meghalayas has more than just green landscapes and thunder clouds. Surrounded by the Khasi, Garo and Jaintia ranges, Meghalaya offers an untouched natural beauty experience. There’s plenty of places to visit in Meghalaya from the magnificent hills that cascade waterfalls to the breathtaking valleys.
Meghalaya is a paradise for lovers of nature, meaning the “abode of clouds.” In a real sense, a hill station that is home to a stunning, mesmerizing sky has captivated the minds of visitors across the globe. Panoramic views, foggy valleys, terraced cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and serpentine rivers are what you might expect to mesmerize your mind. Couples can appreciate the warm environment on a romantic holiday, friends and families can rest in towns like Shillong in the lap of nature, and adventure adventurers can take up the task of trekking through the rugged terrains of Meghalaya.
What is the Best time to visit in Meghalaya?
Most tourism destinations in the state get temperatures that barely reach 30 ° C, making it a great break from the summer season of the world between March and June. It is also a favorite during autumn and winter, i.e. from October to November and from December to February, for visitors coming from high or moderate temperature areas. Considered the wettest area of the world, Meghalaya is not always recommended for tourism during peak monsoons. Overall, the perfect time to visit Meghalaya is between October and June.
How To Reach Meghalaya?
By Air: Umroi Airport is just about 35 km from Shillong. There is also Gopinath Bordoloi Airport that can be used in Guwahati. It is 128 kilometers away from Shillong. You can use shared cabs at this airport, which is a nice choice. Helicopter service flexibility is also a plus. With the exception of Sundays, services can be used on both days. These rides are going to be enjoyable and are still very cheap. Traveling by air to Meghalaya is in itself a rare experience.
By Road: Meghalaya Transport Corporation has excellent connectivity with neighboring states and not only within the province. Meghalaya is well-connected through roads to major cities. The highways are often smooth with traffic and are well-frequented. If you could take care when driving in the intense monsoon season, it would be perfect. Owing to heavy fog, some of the roads will slow down. You can book a cab for a whole day or for short visits across the city if you plan to go for some sightseeing. Getting to some places in monsoons could get a little difficult otherwise you are good to go and explore the places of this beautiful state at any time.
By Rail: If you are planning to travel by train to Meghalaya, the nearest Meghalaya Railway Station is in Guwahati (Assam). It lies about 180 km away. New Delhi, Amritsar, Jammu and Kashmir and Bangalore are connected by Guwahati Junction. You can opt for buses or hire a taxi to reach Meghalaya from Guwahati. Meghalaya does not have a train station of its own.
Here are the Best Places to Visit in Meghalaya
Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya, a beautiful city surrounded by pine trees. As high as 1496 metres, Shillong offers a country-wide heat relief. This mountain station is renowned for its historical monuments and traditions. The relaxing atmosphere makes Shillong ideal for visitors every season. The area is also called “Scotland of the East.” The thrilling hill tops, crystal clear lakes, amazing golf courses, museums and the zoo are the main reasons why visitors visit Shillong.
Shillong is blessed all year long with a nice climate, so it can be visited all year round. One of the important tourist attractions in the northeast is the romantic city of Shillong. Owing to its startling resemblance with the Scottish highlands, it is sometimes referred to as the “Scotland of the East” There are luxurious hotels, resorts, hostels, shopping malls, and high-end restaurants and bars that add to the now-developed Shillong attraction. Shillong tourism, however, is not only about natural scenery and modern amenities, but also about the interesting local culture and a lively history that keeps visitors captivated.
2. Elephant Falls
Meghalaya’s popularity is primarily attributable to the numerous astounding waterfalls with which it is blessed. Elephant Falls is one of the most famous of these waterfalls. In a soothing luxuriant green forest it is a 3-tiered waterfall. The ringing, however ironical it might sound, of crystal clear water with strong rocks sounds calming. These falls are one of Shillong’s most amazing locations, just a couple of miles from Shillong, the capital.
The stunning Elephant falls is referred to by the local Khasi people as ‘Ka Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew‘ which means ‘The Three Step Waterfalls‘ as these falls consist of three consecutive mesmerising falls. Tucked between the thick woods, the first of the three waterfalls is very large. Because of the receding water levels, the second waterfall decreases to thin strands of water and is almost insignificant in winters. With smooth water streaming like a sheet of milk on the dark rocks in the distance, the third and most prominent waterfall is the tallest. The third waterfall, out of the three, appears to strike tourists as the most spectacular.
Cherrapunji, one of the world’s most wettest areas. The highest rainfall in India is also the spot. The Cherrapunji’s waterfalls are Dain-Thlen, Kynrem and Nohkalikai and every year attract thousands of tourists. Cherrapunji’s key attractions include Living-Root Bridges, Mawsmai Grotto, hypnotic waterfalls, the Eco- park and caves garden. Cherrapunji to visit is a must when it comes to Meghalaya’s best tourist destinations.
This is an incredible place and Cherrapunji’s prized entry into the Guinness Book of World Records long ago was the year-round rain as the wettest place on earth, the place where the rainfall can be measured in feet rather than in millimeters. Today, from the topmost ‘wet’ slot, climate changes have edged Cherrapunji, but it still maintains its pristine elegance, its rare facets, the perpetual clouds, and the perpetual mists. Cherrapunji, correctly speaking, lies in the center of the State of Meghalaya-the abode of the clouds.
4. Nohkaikai Waterfalls
India’s highest waterfall – Nohkalikai Waterfall. This magnificent waterfall stands 1115 feet high and is a marvel of nature itself. On the cliff’s bank, from where it looks like a thick, white seal suspended from the luxuriant green cliff, you see the tall waterfall.
This is a must-visit Meghalaya tourist place, a short distance from Cherrapunji city. There are also some fascinating legends that make it all the more interesting.
Drive through a high tableland, walk for a short distance and you get to the point of view from which you can have a panoramic view of the waterfall of Nohkalikai, cascading down into a pool-like shape. Tourists can not only enjoy a panoramic view of the waterfalls from the observation gallery, but also the green surroundings. A fleet of stairways will take you to other points of view.
5. Umiam Lake
Umiam Lake is a beautiful man-made lake about 15 km north of Shillong. After the construction of a dam to generate hydropower, the lake was created. The beautiful, green eastern Khazi slopes surround the picturesque lake Umiam, which provide nature lovers with a breathtaking view. You can also take a long boat ride in the lake and enjoy varied water sports and floating.
The nearby Sylvan Hills and the green Khasi pines add to the beauty of this vast lake, created when the Umiam River was dammed for hydroelectric power production to store water. While it was originally created as a reservoir or a dam, it is now a popular tourist attraction. Water activities and adventure services such as kayaking, water walking, scootering and boating are also known. Near its coastline, there is a lovely garden called Lum Nehru Park, which is a must-visit for birdwatchers. The park is also remembered for its orchid home, aviary and sprawling lawns, in addition to being a popular picnic spot.
Tura is an eco-tourist centre of the state in the western part of Meghalaya. It is 311 kilomets from Shillong and 219 kilometres from Guwahati in Assam. In comparison to the strongly ethnic Shillong. It boasts rich untouched biodiversity and natural attractiveness such as waterfalls, caves and rivulets, and the other areas of the district. The main attraction of this city is the national park of Nokrek, 12 km from the city where many animals including leopards, golden cats, wild buffaloes, pheasant and more live.
Throughout the year, Tura enjoys beautifully cool temperatures. Tura is also home to loving locals who take great pride in welcoming and incorporating visitors into their everyday lives. For adventure seekers and lost souls, Tura is paradise. A variety of breathtaking waterfalls and famous tourist spots grace Tura, which has recently made it a popular destination. The names of the townspeople will keep your morale up on the journey until you reach Tura.
A village which in 2003 became the cleanest village, not only for India, but for Asia as a whole. The village of Mawlynnong is often referred to as the “God’s Own Garden” and is evident from the beauty with which he was blessed. In this town you can see the special living-root bridge. Furthermore, there is a lush, thick wilderness in every sense of the village. Waterfall Mawlynnong, where you can spend a time to sooth the soul.
The village is very beautiful, particularly in the monsoons when there is lush greenery all around, with waterfalls paving the way to small streams and the charm of the village is added to the abundance of flowering orchids hanging from the trees and hedges. With any person living in the village, the responsibility to keep the village clean lies. A very popular sight is local road sweeping, gathering up leaves and tossing trash in the landfill. The awareness of cleanliness among the villagers is stressed by bamboo garbage bins adorning every nook and corner of the village. Among both villagers, cleanliness is an age-old tradition and a way of life.
8. Balpakram national park
This location is also recognised by visitors and local people as the ‘Land of Spirits.’ You will find animals like Red Panda, Wild Buffalo, Elephants, Tige, Deer, Leopards, Wild Cows, Marbled Cat, etc. in this National park. It is also a haven for lovers of nature and photographers. One of Meghalaya’s must-visit parks.
It is home to one of the world’s rarest species – as it is widely called, the Lesser Panda or the Red Panda. Balpakram is known for its canyon-cum-gorge filled forest, which is now part of a National Park. The park also contains the plateau and surrounding woodland of Balpakram. The breathtaking scenic elegance of the scenery, however, will not fail to attract you. To create a unique atmosphere, the wonderfully curved trees, the canyons, the thick woods that contain some of the extinct, uncommon animals and the unresolved mysteries merge!
Around the former town of Simsanggre, which is built on the wide plains of the River Simsang, was founded Williamnagar, situated 244 kms from Shillong. It is a remote region that is widely known for its abundant natural beauty, flanked by the mountains, and has a rich water and vegetation composition.
Williamnagar is now a significant artistic, educational and socio-economic centre. As a planned city, it has the benefit of not having older towns in Meghalaya, which gives it a cleaner look and a better architecture. As the district’s headquarters, Williamnagar is a perfect place to set up a base and start enjoying the attractions the district offers. Williamnagar is predominantly inhabited and submerged in the customs and culture of the Garo people, an enigmatic refuge of stunning picturesque mountains, glittering rivers and verdant valleys. Experience nature’s ecstasy in its truest essence when traversing Williamnagar’s tracks.
10. Mawsmai Cave
It’s mysterious cavities. Historic cavities. It is one of Meghalaya’s most open caves. Without a guide you should explore it. Mawsmai is one of Cherrapunji’s most revered temples.
This calcareous cave is gorgeous in its own way and is a crowd puller. Mawsmai cave is one of Meghalaya’s most interesting tourist places to discover anything outside of high waterfalls and rainforests on your visit to Meghalaya.
Revered as one of Cherrapunji’s most famous and prominent attractions, tourists flock to the striking natural cave in large numbers. Mawsmai Caves are made of limestone and share the distinction of being the only sufficiently illuminated caves in Meghalaya so that visitors can enjoy their natural formations. The handiwork of years of natural deforestation and underground water is this beautiful natural marvel. The cave has a spacious entrance, but a small path was quickly crammed into it. As far as the cave goes, the interior is expansive and some of the halls inside look like an amphitheatre. There are areas in the tunnel, though, where tourists need to lean to squeeze themselves out.