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Places to visit in Meghalaya

Discovering the 10 Amazing Places to Visit in Meghalaya: Unravelling the Serenity

From cascading waterfalls to cleanest villages and vibrant cities, there are so many places to visit in Meghalaya that are worth exploring. A state in northeastern India, Meghalaya, is known for its picturesque landscapes, rich culture, and abundant natural beauty. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or looking for a place to unwind, Meghalaya has something to offer to everyone.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the top places to visit in Meghalaya and what makes them so special. So pack your bags and get ready for a journey through some of the most breathtaking places to visit in Meghalaya, India.

Cherrapunji

Places to visit in Meghalaya
Cherrapunji – Places to visit in Meghalaya

One of the most popular places to visit in Meghalaya, Cherrapunji is also known as Sohra – a town located in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya, India. It is known for being one of the wettest places on earth, with an average annual rainfall of around 11,777 mm (463.7 in). Despite its reputation for heavy rainfall, Cherrapunji is a popular tourist destination and has a lot to offer to visitors.

Location:

Cherrapunji is located in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya, about 56 km (35 miles) from the state capital, Shillong. The town is situated at an altitude of about 1,484 meters (4,869 feet) above sea level, and is surrounded by lush green forests and stunning landscapes.

Tourist Attractions:

Cherrapunji has plenty of tourist attractions that are worth exploring. Some of the top attractions include:

  1. Nohkalikai Falls: This is the tallest plunge waterfall in India and is one of the must-visit places to visit in Meghalaya (Cherrapunji). The waterfall is surrounded by lush green forests and is a popular spot for nature lovers.
  2. Living Root Bridges: These are bridges made of living tree roots, which are unique to Meghalaya. The bridges are made by weaving the roots of the Ficus elastica tree across streams and rivers.
  3. Mawsmai Cave: This is a limestone cave system that is located about 6 km (4 miles) from Cherrapunji. The cave is known for its stunning rock formations and is one of most popular places to visit in Meghalaya for its special spot for caving enthusiasts.
  4. Double Decker Living Root Bridge: This is another living root bridge that is located in the nearby village of Nongriat. The bridge is a unique example of indigenous engineering and is a popular spot for trekkers.
  5. Dainthlen Falls: This is a waterfall that is named after a local legend about a serpent-like creature called the Dainthlen. The falls are surrounded by lush green forests and offer a serene and tranquil setting.
  6. Thangkharang Park: This is a popular park that is located about 12 km (7.5 miles) from Cherrapunji. The park offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys, and is a perfect spot for picnics and family outings.
  7. Khasi Monoliths: These are large, upright stones that are found throughout Meghalaya. The monoliths are believed to have been erected by the Khasi tribe, and are a popular spot for history and culture enthusiasts.

Weather:

Cherrapunji has a subtropical highland climate, with heavy rainfall throughout the year. The best time to visit Cherrapunji is from October to May, when the weather is cool and dry. During the monsoon season (June to September), it is advised to check weather updates before planning a trip, as heavy rainfall can cause landslides and road closures.

Getting There:

Cherrapunji is located about 56 km (35 miles) from Shillong, the state capital of Meghalaya. The nearest airport is in Guwahati, which is about 150 km (93 miles) from Cherrapunji. The town is well-connected by road, and buses and taxis are easily available from Shillong.

Cherrapunji is a stunning destination that is perfect for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. With its breathtaking landscapes, unique culture, and abundant natural beauty, Cherrapunji is definitely worth a visit.

Shillong

Places to visit in Meghalaya
Shillong – Places to visit in Meghalaya

Shillong is the capital city of the Indian state of Meghalaya and is located in the northeastern part of the country. The city is nestled in the hills and is surrounded by beautiful landscapes, waterfalls, and forests. It is surely one of the top popular tourist places to visit in Meghalaya and a destination that offers a unique mix of traditional and modern culture.

Location and How to Reach:

Shillong is located approximately 100 km away from Guwahati, the largest city in the state of Assam. The nearest airport to Shillong is the Shillong Airport, which is located about 30 km from the city center. However, the airport has limited connectivity, and the Guwahati airport is a better option as it has better connectivity and is well-connected to other major cities in the country. From Guwahati, one can take a taxi or a shared taxi to reach Shillong. The drive takes approximately 3 hours and offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and forests.

Things to Do and See:

  1. Umiam Lake: Also known as Barapani, Umiam Lake is a popular tourist spot located just outside Shillong. The lake is surrounded by lush green hills and offers stunning views. One can enjoy boating, kayaking, and water sports here.
  2. Shillong Peak: Located at an altitude of 1,965 meters above sea level, Shillong Peak offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding hills. One can also visit the Shillong Peak Observatory to learn more about the geography and climate of the region.
  3. Ward’s Lake: A popular spot for picnics and boating, Ward’s Lake is a beautiful artificial lake that is located in the heart of the city. The lake is surrounded by lush green gardens and is a perfect spot to relax and unwind.
  4. Don Bosco Museum: One of the largest cultural museums in Asia, the Don Bosco Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in the culture and history of the northeast region. The museum has an impressive collection of art, artifacts, and handicrafts from the seven sister states.
  5. Elephant Falls: Located on the outskirts of the city, Elephant Falls is a popular tourist spot known for its stunning cascading waterfalls. The falls are surrounded by lush green forests and are a perfect spot for nature lovers.
  6. Laitlum Canyons: A popular trekking destination, Laitlum Canyons offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys. The place is ideal for those who enjoy hiking and nature walks.
  7. Golf Course: Shillong has a beautiful golf course that is located in the heart of the city. The course is surrounded by lush green forests and is a perfect spot for a leisurely game of golf.
  8. Police Bazaar: A popular shopping destination, Police Bazaar is a bustling market that offers a wide range of products, from handicrafts to clothing to electronics. The place is a perfect spot to indulge in some retail therapy.

Overall, Shillong is a beautiful city that offers a unique blend of culture, history, and natural beauty. It is an ideal spot for those who are looking to explore the northeast region of India and soak in the beauty of its landscapes

Mawlynnong

Places to visit in Meghalaya
Mawlynnongn – Cleanest village in Asia – Places to visit in Meghalaya

Mawlynnong is a small village located in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya, India. It is known for being one of the cleanest villages in Asia, with its residents taking great pride in maintaining the cleanliness of their village. The village has won several accolades, including the title of “Cleanest Village in Asia” by Discover India Magazine in 2003 and “Cleanest Village in India” by the Ministry of Tourism in 2005.

Mawlynnong is located about 90 km from Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya. The village is nestled in the midst of lush green forests and is surrounded by rolling hills and waterfalls. The village is home to about 500 people, who are predominantly Khasi tribe members.

The main attraction of Mawlynnong is its cleanliness and the unique structures built by the locals. The village has several bamboo dustbins placed at regular intervals, and visitors are encouraged to use them to maintain the cleanliness of the village. The locals also use bamboo to construct several structures like bridges, watchtowers, and even houses.

Apart from its cleanliness, Mawlynnong is also known for its picturesque scenery. The village has several walking trails that take visitors through lush green forests, waterfalls, and streams. The most popular trail is the “Sky Walk,” a bamboo structure that is built on the edge of a cliff, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys and hills.

Visitors to Mawlynnong can also explore the nearby village of Riwai, which is known for its living root bridges. These bridges are made by weaving the roots of the Ficus elastica tree and are a unique example of bioengineering.

Mawlynnong is a great destination for those looking to experience the unique culture and natural beauty of Meghalaya. The village has several homestays that offer visitors an opportunity to stay with local families and experience the local way of life. Overall, Mawlynnong is a surely one of the must-visit places to visit in Meghalaya and a destination for those who want to experience the natural beauty and unique culture of Meghalaya.

Dawki

Places to visit in Meghalaya
Dawki – Places to visit in Meghalaya

Dawki is a small town located in the West Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya, in northeastern India. It is situated on the border between India and Bangladesh and is known for its crystal clear waters of the Umngot River. Dawki is a popular tourist destination, with visitors flocking to the town to witness the mesmerizing beauty of the Umngot River and to enjoy boating and swimming in its crystal clear waters.

One of the main attractions of Dawki is the Umngot River, which is said to be one of the cleanest rivers in India. The water of the river is crystal clear, and the riverbed can be seen even at a depth of 5-6 meters. Boating is a popular activity on the Umngot River, with visitors taking to the waters in small boats or bamboo rafts to soak in the mesmerizing beauty of the surrounding hills and the clear waters. The boats and rafts are usually operated by local villagers, who offer tourists an authentic experience of life in the village.

Apart from boating, swimming and fishing are other popular activities in Dawki. The clear waters of the Umngot River offer an ideal spot for swimming, and fishing is a common activity for locals and tourists alike. Visitors can also enjoy a picnic on the banks of the river or take a leisurely stroll along the riverbanks.

Dawki is also home to a vibrant market, where visitors can purchase local handicrafts, including woven baskets, bamboo products, and traditional shawls. The market is also a great place to sample local cuisine, including fish and rice dishes, and traditional sweets.

Dawki is located about 82 km from Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya. The town is easily accessible by road, with regular bus services and taxis available from Shillong. The best time to visit Dawki is from November to May, when the weather is pleasant, and the water of the Umngot River is crystal clear.

In conclusion, with its crystal clear waters, scenic beauty, and vibrant culture, it offers a unique experience that is sure to leave visitors spellbound, and thus Dawki gets a special mention in the list of must-visit places to visit in Meghalaya.. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a glimpse of local life, Dawki has something to offer to everyone.

Nohkalikai Falls

Places to visit in Meghalaya
Nohkalikai Falls – Places to visit in Meghalaya

Nohkalikai Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in Meghalaya, located in the Cherrapunjee region. The falls are known for their stunning beauty and the surrounding lush green forests, making it one of the must-visit places to visit in Meghalaya for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.

The falls are approximately 5 km from Cherrapunjee town, and can be easily reached by hiring a taxi or taking a bus. The nearest airport is Shillong Airport, which is about 60 km from the falls, and the nearest railway station is Guwahati Railway Station, which is approximately 170 km away.

At a height of 1115 feet, Nohkalikai Falls is the highest waterfall in India, and the fourth-highest waterfall in the world. The falls are fed by the rainwater collected on the top of the plateau, and the water cascades down in a free fall, creating a misty spray that forms a beautiful rainbow.

Visitors can enjoy the stunning view of the falls from the viewpoint located near the falls. The viewpoint is easily accessible by a well-maintained staircase that takes visitors down to the base of the falls. The staircase offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and waterfalls, making it a perfect spot for photography.

The area around Nohkalikai Falls is also known for its trekking trails, and visitors can choose to take a guided trek to explore the surrounding forests and hills. The trekking trails offer a glimpse of the diverse flora and fauna of the region, and visitors can spot various bird and animal species on the way.

While visiting Nohkalikai Falls, it is recommended to carry a raincoat or an umbrella as the weather can be unpredictable, and it is common for visitors to get wet due to the misty spray of the falls. It is also advised to wear comfortable footwear as the trek to the viewpoint can be steep and slippery.

In conclusion, Nohkalikai Falls is a spectacular destination that offers a unique experience to its visitors. With its breathtaking beauty and surrounding natural wonders, it is one of our most recommended places to visit in Meghalaya for anyone traveling to this beautiful state.

Laitlum Canyons

Places to visit in Meghalaya
Laitlum Canyons – Places to visit in Meghalaya

Laitlum Canyons is a popular tourist destination located in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya. It is situated about 45 kilometers away from Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya, and can be easily reached by road. The name “Laitlum” means “end of hills” in the Khasi language, and the location lives up to its name as it offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and valleys.

Laitlum Canyons is a perfect destination for those who love trekking and nature walks. It is a relatively new tourist spot and has quickly become popular due to its stunning landscapes and breathtaking views. The trek to Laitlum Canyons can be a bit challenging, with a steep climb of about 1 kilometer. However, the views from the top are well worth the effort.

The trail to Laitlum Canyons is lined with dense forests, and visitors can spot a variety of flora and fauna along the way. The forests are home to several rare and endangered species, including the Asian elephant and the clouded leopard.

Once you reach the top of the canyon, you will be greeted with spectacular views of the surrounding hills and valleys. The canyons are a series of deep gorges and ridges that are covered in lush green forests. Visitors can spend hours exploring the canyons, taking in the natural beauty and the fresh air.

For those who want to stay overnight, there are a few guest houses and homestays available nearby that offer comfortable accommodation. The guest houses and homestays are equipped with basic amenities and offer a cozy and comfortable stay. The local people are warm and welcoming and are always ready to help visitors with anything they need.

Umiam Lake

Places to visit in Meghalaya
Umiam Lake – Places to visit in Meghalaya

Umiam Lake, also known as Barapani Lake, is a beautiful artificial reservoir located near Shillong in Meghalaya, India. The lake is situated on the Guwahati-Shillong highway, around 17 kilometers from Shillong, and is easily accessible by road. It is a popular tourist destination and attracts a large number of visitors every year.

The lake was created in the early 1960s when a dam was built across the Umiam River to generate hydroelectric power. The lake is surrounded by lush green hills and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. It covers an area of 220 square kilometers and is considered one of the largest artificial lakes in Northeast India.

The main attraction of Umiam Lake is its scenic beauty. The crystal clear waters of the lake are surrounded by thick forests and rolling hills, making it one of the most perfect places to visit in Meghalaya for nature lovers. The serene surroundings of the lake offer a calm and peaceful environment where visitors can unwind and relax.

The lake also offers various water sports activities such as boating, kayaking, and water skiing. There are various boating facilities available, including paddleboats, speed boats, and rowboats. Visitors can also take a ride on the Shikara boat, a traditional Kashmiri boat, and enjoy the stunning views of the lake.

Apart from water sports, the lake is also an ideal spot for picnics and day trips. There are several small islands in the lake that are perfect for a picnic or a day trip with family and friends. Visitors can also enjoy a picnic on the lakeshore, which is surrounded by lush green lawns and gardens.

There are several resorts and hotels located near Umiam Lake that offer accommodation to tourists. These hotels and resorts offer a comfortable stay with scenic views of the lake and the surrounding hills.

Umiam Lake is a must-visit destination in Meghalaya, offering a beautiful environment to relax and unwind, surrounded by natural beauty. It is an ideal spot for those who enjoy water sports, picnics, and day trips, and provides a serene and peaceful environment to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Balpakram National Park

Places to visit in Meghalaya
Balpakram National Park – Places to visit in Meghalaya

Balpakram National Park is a renowned wildlife sanctuary located in the southern part of Meghalaya. It covers an area of about 220 square kilometers and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. The park is situated at an altitude of about 3,000 feet above sea level and is known for its unique terrain and breathtaking views of the surrounding hills.

Location:

Balpakram National Park is located in the South Garo Hills district of Meghalaya, near the international border with Bangladesh. It is about 300 km from the state capital, Shillong, and can be reached by road. The nearest airport is in Guwahati, which is about 200 km away, and the nearest railway station is in Guwahati.

Flora:

Balpakram National Park is known for its rich biodiversity and is home to a variety of plant species, including several rare and endemic ones. The park has dense forests of sal, teak, bamboo, and other tropical trees, which provide a habitat for a range of animals and birds.

Fauna:

Balpakram National Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including several rare and endangered species. Some of the animals that can be spotted here include Indian bison, clouded leopard, red panda, elephant, tiger, and wild dog. The park is also home to several species of birds, including the great Indian hornbill, crested serpent eagle, and grey peacock pheasant.

Tourist Activities:

Balpakram National Park offers several activities for tourists, including wildlife safaris, trekking, and birdwatching. The best time to visit the park is from November to February, when the weather is cool and dry. The park has several well-marked trails that are ideal for trekking and offer stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys. The park also has several waterfalls and streams that are ideal for picnicking and relaxing.

Accommodation:

There are several accommodation options near Balpakram National Park, including government-run guesthouses and private lodges. The park also has a forest rest house that can be booked through the forest department.

Balpakram National Park is surely the best of the places to visit in Meghalaya for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. With its unique terrain, rich biodiversity, and stunning views, the park offers a truly unforgettable experience. Whether you’re looking to go on a wildlife safari, explore the forests on foot, or simply relax in the lap of nature, Balpakram National Park is the perfect destination for you.

Jaintia Hills

Places to visit in Meghalaya
Jaintia Hills – Places to visit in Meghalaya

Jaintia Hills is a district located in the state of Meghalaya in northeastern India. It is situated on the eastern side of the state and shares its borders with the districts of East Khasi Hills and Ri-Bhoi. The district is named after the Jaintia tribe, which is one of the major tribes residing in the region.

From a tourist’s point of view, Jaintia Hills is a great place to explore the natural beauty and rich culture of Meghalaya. The district is home to several stunning waterfalls, scenic hills, and beautiful lakes. Here are some of the top tourist attractions in Jaintia Hills:

  1. Krang Suri Falls: Located near the village of Amlarem, Krang Suri Falls is a popular tourist spot known for its clear blue waters and picturesque surroundings. Visitors can swim and relax in the pool beneath the waterfall and take in the stunning views of the surrounding hills.
  2. Thadlaskein Lake: This is a picturesque lake located in the heart of Jaintia Hills. It is a great place for boating and fishing, and visitors can also take a stroll around the lake and enjoy the tranquil surroundings.
  3. Syntu Ksiar: This is a scenic hill located near Jowai, the district headquarters of Jaintia Hills. The hill offers stunning views of the surrounding valleys and is a popular spot for picnics and hikes.
  4. Ialong Park: This is a beautiful park located in the village of Ialong. It is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, and visitors can take a stroll around the park and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
  5. Nartiang Monoliths: The Nartiang Monoliths are a collection of ancient stone structures located in the village of Nartiang. The structures date back to the 16th century and are a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the Jaintia tribe.
  6. Tyrshi Falls: Located near the village of Thangkharang, Tyrshi Falls is a beautiful waterfall that is surrounded by lush green forests. Visitors can hike to the top of the waterfall and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding hills.

Elephant Falls

Places to visit in Meghalaya
Elephant Falls – Places to visit in Meghalaya

Elephant Falls is one of the most popular tourist places to visit in Meghalaya, located just outside the capital city of Shillong. The falls are a three-tiered cascade that flows down into a small pool, surrounded by lush green forests and boulders. It is a perfect spot for a day trip with family and friends or a picnic in nature.

Location:

The falls are located around 12 kilometers from the city center of Shillong, near the Upper Shillong area. The best way to reach Elephant Falls is to take a taxi or a private car from Shillong. The falls are easily accessible from the main road, and there is ample parking space available for visitors.

Tourist Attractions:

The three-tiered Elephant Falls are the main attraction here, and visitors can get a stunning view of the falls from the observation deck. The falls are surrounded by lush green forests, which are home to a variety of birds and butterflies, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers.

Visitors can take a short trek down to the base of the falls, where they can witness the force of the cascading water and feel the cool mist on their skin. The pool at the base of the falls is a perfect spot for a quick swim, but visitors should be cautious as the rocks can be slippery.

The area around Elephant Falls is also home to several other tourist attractions, including the Shillong Peak, which offers panoramic views of the city, and the Lady Hydari Park, a beautifully landscaped garden that is home to a variety of flowers and trees.

Facilities:

The falls are well-maintained, and there are plenty of facilities available for visitors, including clean washrooms, changing rooms, and food stalls selling local snacks and drinks. There are also plenty of benches and seating areas where visitors can relax and enjoy the view.

Visiting Tips:

It is advisable to wear comfortable walking shoes as the terrain around the falls can be slippery. Visitors should also carry a change of clothes if they plan to take a dip in the pool at the base of the falls. It is best to visit the falls during the weekdays to avoid crowds. The best time to visit is during the monsoon season, between June to September when the falls are at their most magnificent.

It’s a wrap!

Meghalaya, with its abundant natural beauty, vibrant culture, and friendly people, truly offers a unique travel experience. From the pristine waterfalls and serene valleys to the living root bridges and bustling markets, this state has something to offer for everyone. We hope this guide has helped you plan your trip to Meghalaya and inspired you to explore the best places that this beautiful state has to offer. So pack your bags, and get ready to discover the wonders of Meghalaya.

FAQ

  1. <strong>What are the top tourist attractions in Meghalaya?</strong>

    Meghalaya is known for its natural beauty and has a lot of tourist attractions. Some of the top tourist attractions in Meghalaya include the Living Root Bridges, Umiam Lake, Shillong Peak, Elephant Falls, Mawlynnong Village, Cherrapunji, and Dawki.

  2. <strong>What is the best time to visit Meghalaya?</strong>

    The best time to visit Meghalaya is between October and May. During this time, the weather is pleasant, and the state receives very little rainfall. The monsoon season, from June to September, should be avoided as the region receives heavy rainfall, leading to landslides and roadblocks.

  3. <strong>How do I reach Meghalaya?</strong>

    Meghalaya is well-connected to the rest of the country by air, rail, and road. The nearest airport is in Guwahati, Assam, which is around 128 km away from Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya. Shillong is also well-connected by road, and buses and taxis are readily available. The nearest railway station is also in Guwahati, and from there, visitors can take a taxi or a bus to Shillong.

  4. <strong>What is the food like in Meghalaya?</strong>

    Meghalaya is known for its unique cuisine that reflects the culture and traditions of the state. Some of the popular dishes include Jadoh, a rice dish served with meat or fish, Doh Khlieh, a spicy salad made with pork, and Nakham Bitchi, a chutney made with smoked meat. Visitors can also try the local delicacy of betel nut and leaf, which is commonly chewed in Meghalaya.

  5. <strong>Is Meghalaya safe for tourists?</strong>

    Yes, Meghalaya is considered to be a safe destination for tourists. The people of Meghalaya are friendly and welcoming, and visitors are treated with respect and hospitality. However, like any other tourist destination, visitors should take basic precautions, such as not leaving their valuables unattended and avoiding isolated areas at night. It is also advisable to check the local news and weather conditions before planning a trip to Meghalaya.

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