Meghalaya is a state in the northeast of India. It is one of the states amongst the seven sisters of North East India. The meaning of Meghalaya itself is “Abode of Clouds”. Its capital Shillong is given the name of “Scotland of East” during the British rule of India. Meghalaya covers an area of approximately 22,430 kilometers. Its population is estimated to be 3,211,474. The state of Meghalaya shares its international boundaries with the country Bangladesh.
Historically, unlike many other states of India, the people of Meghalaya follow a unique way of matrilineal system. The men go to the house of the women after marriage. Also, the wealth of the family is inherited by the youngest daughter and she also takes care of her parents. Most of the population follows Christianity in Meghalaya. Meghalaya is considered one of the wettest places in the whole world. It rains almost every season. Due to the cold weather throughout the year, this state is a all season site for tourist attraction. Its a must visit place and here in this article we will help you plan your meghalaya itinerary
What does Meghalaya offer to the tourists?
Meghalaya is home to a number of beautiful waterfalls, caves, scenic mountains with breath-taking view. Meghalaya also offers adventurous sports at certain spots in the itinerary. Sports like zip lining, ropeway, boating etc can be experienced here. Taking part in these sports will make your journey more thrilling. Also there are pretty little cafes for you to enjoy the ethnic meals and have a good time with your travel mates. Meghalaya also offers a wide variety of street food in its most famous shopping area known as Police bazaar. Police bazaar is a well known area for you shop your heart away and enjoy delicious street food while roaming around the place.
What types of hotels are available in Meghalaya?
Tourists who are visiting Meghalaya mostly choose to stay in its capital city Shillong. Shillong has plenty of hotels which are for family and couple friendly as well. You can pre book a hotel or book for your stay of convenience on spot if rooms are available. You will get the best deals on hotels if you book online through sites available on the internet. The main attraction site is Police Bazaar. So choose to stay in hotels near by Police Bazaar. You can also book for home stays in Sohra as well as in Mawlynnong. If you are looking for a more peaceful and less crowded area to stay then choose the latter option to book you stay at.
Can you travel locally in Meghalaya if you are not hiring a vehicle for the entire trip?
Yes you can. Cabs run throughout the capital city Shillong. You will not face any transportation problems. You can either book the cab in sharing if you are going to places nearby the central location Police Bazaar or you can hire a cab for the entire day also. The cab fare when sharing is as low as Rs.10 to Rs. 30 depending on the distance covered. Cabs are also available at major tourist site attractions. So you can take a one way cab and hire for another cab in your return. The tourism office of Meghalaya in the Police Bazaar also organizes trips to the most popular destinations. The charges applicable per person are quite affordable for the travelers.
What kind of tourists is most attracted to Meghalaya?
Meghalaya is suitable for both the young crowd and the elderly crowd but it attracts mostly the young crowd. It is a trip preferable for all the age groups. Since the state is full of adventure and thrill it is for the people who want a rush in their adrenaline while being on a trip.
It is not a trip for the faint hearted. Some attraction sites don’t even allow the elderly people to climb in to as they are risky to the core. The elderly people might experience breathlessness in certain places like the caves or the top of the hills. So it is advisable for them to take precautions while going to such places. Alternatively, the elderly people can choose to go to places which are not at a high altitude like the attraction sites nearby Shillong or to the Mawlynnong Village and visit the Living Root Bridges.
Find below the Meghalaya Itinerary for 7 days 6 nights
Guwahati-Shillong-Cherrapunji-Nohkalikai Falls-Living root bridges trek-Mawlynnong-Dawki-Shillong-Guwahati
Day 1: Guwahati Shillong
Firstly, you need to reach the Guwahati airport. Here you can hire a cab or book for a private car. Remember to pre book a cab for hassle free travel and conduct. Choose the mode of transportation as per your convenience. It will take you about 2-3 hours to reach the capital city Shillong. Book a hotel or a home stay beforehand or on spot.
Shillong is full of beautiful lakes, hills, waterfalls. Shillong also offers good food and rock music for you to entertain yourself. Today you can visit the local sites in Shillong like the Ward’s Lake or the Lady Hydari Park. If you are willing to travel little longer than I would suggest you go the Shillong Peak and enjoy the scenic view of the entire city of Shillong from up top.
Day 2: Shillong Cherrapunji
Today, you get to visit the wettest places in the world that is Mawsynram as well as Cherrapunji. The route to Cherrapunji from Shillong is extremely beautiful with amazing Mountain View. While travelling, you can also give a try to zip lining. This will surely give you an adrenaline rush as you slide down from one mountain to another on a rope. Zip lining is a must try in Meghalaya and is also undoubtedly the best one in our country, considering its placement over gorgeous mountains.
Day 3: Nohkalikai Waterfalls
The Nohkailikai Falls, Dainthlen Falls and the Nohsngithiang Falls are the major attractions of the place due to their scenic beauty. Nohkalikai Falls is India’s tallest plunge waterfall. It is the fourth highest waterfall in the world. The whole scenery is wonderful and worth a visit. This is a heavenly spot on Earth surrounded by greens of the nature. It falls evenly from the cliffs top over the rocks without any break. When you look beyond the waterfall you can catch a view of the wild mountains and jungles. This view in itself makes the trip quite exciting. The water from the falls form a small blue pool and it is quite comforting to dip your legs on warm sunny days. You can also choose to swim in such shallow areas. It can be best viewed during the monsoon season which is the default season of Meghalaya.
Day 4: Living Root Bridges Trekking
The Single Decker Root Bridge is a simple suspension bridge. It is formed by living plant roots of trees growing since decades. Root bridges are common in the Northern eastern part of India. These bridges grow on steep slopes of forests. Root bridges are hand made from aerial roots of rubber fig trees by the Khasi and Jaintia hills. The root bridges grow thick and strengthen as long as the tree from which it is formed is healthy. The roots of this tress are manipulated so that the roots can form a desired shape and formation. If active care is not taken, the bridges decay or wild plants grow on it.
This tourist attraction site is for real adventure seekers. It is not an experience for the faint hearted people. We need to climb down 3500 steps to get a wholesome experience of the Double Decker Living Root Bridge. There is a set of total 4 bridges, 2 of them are made of metal and the other two are naturally built bridges made of rubber tree roots. At the end, the bridge is a Double Decker living root bridge. View from this place is a treat for the eyes. This place has its own lavish history. To climb up and down 3500 steps is signing up for some real adventure.
Day 5: Cherrapunji Mawlynnong
Mawlynnong is the cleanest village of Asia. It is located at distance of 90 kms from Shillong. The village takes extreme pride in in keeping its surroundings clean. Collective effort from each and every villager is responsible for keeping the village clean. The places so clean that you wouldn’t even come across a leaf on the road. Well going through this village you can experience the local life the interacting with the villagers, having lunch with them climbing up a tree house and watching the breath-taking views of the landscape. From the tree house can even catch a glimpse of Bangladesh and if you are lucky, you can even spot some shooting stars.
Day 6: Mawlynnong Dawki Shillong
Dawki is a small town located in the Jaintia Hills. Dawki as well as the river Umngot is one of the must visit places in the beautiful Meghalaya. The town is situated between India and Bangladesh and is a hub for trade between the countries. The town is also known for its tourism as the tourists explore the local town while enjoying the boat ride on the popular Umngot River.
Day 7: Shillong Guwahati Departure
Post breakfast you can drive back to Guwahati while enjoying your ride with gallon full of memories and photographs. You can visit the Kamakhya Temple on your way the airport to get blessings of the deity Kamakhya. Or you can just spend some time in a dhaba nearby to enjoy the ethnic food of Assam as well.