Meghalaya – The Land in the Clouds | Travel Guide & Blog
Meghalaya is without a doubt one of our favourite places. Meghalaya, located in the hills of the eastern sub-Himalayas, is one of India’s most beautiful states. Meghalaya means “abode of clouds” in Sanskrit, and it is appropriately so. This is said to be one of the wettest places on the planet, with the sun and rains playing hide and seek.
Meghalaya, surrounded by the Khasi, Jaintia, and Garo Hills, offers visitors simple and unspoiled beauty. The state is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, cascading waterfalls, sparkling clean rivers, natural caves, and vibrant cultural heritage. Meghalaya is a place halfway between heaven and earth, with stunning waterfalls in Cherrapunjee and crystal-clear waters in Umngot.
We enjoy returning to Meghalaya and would like to invite you to do the same. Continue reading to learn more about this location and how to plan the perfect Meghalaya trip.
Where is Meghalaya?
Meghalaya is a state in India’s northeastern region. This was formed from the state of Assam and shares western and southern borders with Assam and Bangladesh.
Meghalaya is probably one of the safest states we’ve visited. The people are friendly and always willing to assist you.
Meghalaya is also one of the most secure places for women to visit. Crimes against women are uncommon in this matrilineal society. I have travelled alone in Meghalaya to remote locations such as Tura without fear. Meghalaya is another state where I feel at ease when travelling alone.
When is the best season to travel to Meghalaya?
The climate in Meghalaya is tropical. The winter months of October to March are ideal for a visit. However, if you want to see the waterfalls in their full glory, go between August and the beginning of October, which is the end of the rainy season.
Meghalaya is one of those places in India that is stunning in all seasons. While the monsoon season is our favourite time to visit, the other seasons are equally beautiful. When you want to go on a Meghalaya trip is determined by what you want to do.
Meghalaya season in April to June (Summer)
The weather is pleasant at this time of year, and the temperature remains cool. Summer is unquestionably the best time to visit Meghalaya. This is an excellent time to go outside and explore. This is also an excellent time to go caving. The waterfalls, on the other hand, will have less water. During this time, the Seven Sister Waterfalls in Cherrapunjee are rarely visible. During the summer, it appears to be small strips of water cascading down the mountain cliff.
Meghalaya season in July to September (Monsoon)
The monsoon arrives in Meghalaya in June. However, the monsoon season begins in July. Meghalaya receives a lot of rain because it is one of the wettest places on the planet. The monsoon season in Meghalaya is simply breathtaking. Everything appears lush and green, and the waterfalls come to life. The fog and clouds add mystery and charm to the setting.
Cherrapunjee and Mawsynram are especially lovely at this time of year. However, the clear water of the Umngot River in Dawki is unlikely to be available during this time. Caving is also not advised at this time.
In short, if you enjoy travelling during the rain, we highly recommend a trip to Meghalaya. However, expect a few showers every now and then. Also, bring your rain gear with you during this time.
Meghalaya season in October to November (Autumn)
This is one of the most beautiful times of year to visit Meghalaya. The rain has stopped, but the aftereffects of rain are still visible, with lush greenery and tumbling waterfalls. The weather is sunny and cool, making it ideal for outdoor activities and hikes.
Meghalaya season in December to February (Winter)
The weather is still cold, but the days are getting warmer. Mornings are typically foggy. Winters are also ideal for exploring and participating in outdoor activities such as trekking and caving. This is also an excellent time to visit Dawki. You will see the river’s crystal clear waters, for which Dawki is famous.
Locations to See in Meghalaya
Shillong, the state capital, is a bustling, trendy, and energetic city with a thriving population. Shillong’s architecture is heavily influenced by the British. Shillong is known as the “Scotland of East” because of the beautiful hills surrounding it and the number of lakes. Shillong’s busiest point, with a bustling marketplace, is Police Bazar. Shillong has some excellent cafes that also provide live music. Shillong is a music lover’s paradise.
Ward’s Lake, Lady Hydari Park, Shillong Peak, Elephant Falls, Shillong Golf Course, Smit, Laitlum Canyons, Bishop & Beadon Falls, and Umiam Lake are among the many attractions in Shillong.
Cherrapunji or Cherrapunjee, also known as Sohra, is about 60 kilometres from Shillong. You can visit Cherrapunji from Shillong and return in a single day. Cherrapunji tours are available through Meghalaya Tourism. However, we recommend spending the night at the location. Shared taxis to Cherrapunjee are available from Shillong’s Bada Bazar. The Yellow Sumos transport you to various locations throughout Meghalaya.
Before Mawsynram took over, Cherrapunjee was said to be the wettest place on the planet. Naturally, the location is spectacular during the monsoon season.
Cherrapunji attractions include the Nohkalikai Waterfalls, the world’s fourth highest waterfall, which is a magnificent sight. Visit the Seven Sister Falls, Wei Sawdong Falls, and Dainthlein Falls as well. Other places to visit include the Mawsmai and Arwah caves. These caves contain amazing stalactite and stalagmite formations.
You can visit Mawsynram, the wettest place on the planet, and the Khasi monoliths from Cherrapunji.
Nongriat Trek in Meghalaya
The visit to the Double Decker Root Bridge in Nongriat village is a fascinating Cherrapunjee experience. The route from Tyrna is the shortest, but it requires a steep descent of up to 3500 steps to reach Nongriat. When you arrive at Nongriat, the trouble will seem insignificant in comparison to the views and hospitality you will receive. If you want to do the Double Decker Living Root Bridge Trek, you should spend the night in Nongriat.
Mawlynnong has been designated as Asia’s cleanest village. The location is approximately 80 kilometres from Shillong, and a trip to Mawlynnong and Dawki can be completed in a single day if you base yourself in Shillong. Meghalaya Tourism, like Cherrapunjee, offers tours to Mawlynnong. Mawlynnong also has a number of homestays where you can spend the night.
The village is extremely clean and well-kept, with bamboo dustbins in strategic locations. Mawlynnong looks stunning with its lush greenery and blooming flowers and orchids.
Attractions in Mawlynnong: Riwai village has another single decker Living root bridge. You can pay a visit to a balancing rock. The Skywatch is a tall bamboo structure from which you can climb and enjoy stunning views of the Bangladesh plains. Asia’s cleanest village, Mawlynnong
The Mawphlang Sacred Groves are located in the East Khasi Hills, about 45 kilometres from Shillong. When you arrive, you will see rolling green plains and dense forests against a backdrop of blue skies. You can also get a shared sumo to Mawphlang. If you want to spend the night in Mawphlang, there are lodging options available. A sacred grove is a small forest area that the Khasi tribe considers sacred. The sacred grove is usually filled with medicinal plants, herbs, and exotic plant species.
Mawphlang attractions include the sacred grove and the Khasi Heritage Village.
The David Scott Trail begins in Mawphlang as well.
All of the beautiful photos of country boats reflecting in crystal clear water that you’ve seen were most likely taken at Dawki’s Umngot River. Dawki, located on the border of Bangladesh, is the last town on the Indian side before the border. You can take a shared Sumo from Shillong’s Bada Bazar to Dawki.
You can stay in Dawki or continue on to Shnongpdeng, another lovely hamlet on the banks of the Umngot River. There are several homestays in Shnongpdeng, as well as camping options in both Dawki and Shnongpdeng.
Water activities such as country boat rides, scuba diving, cliff jumping, and fishing are available at Dawki and Shnongpdeng.
Meghalaya Trip to Unusual Places
There are a number of unexplored and unusual locations. We’ve written about a few of them here. Read our article on Offbeat and Unexplored Places in Meghalaya for a more detailed guide.
Mawlyngot is a lovely village surrounded by green tea gardens and a peaceful atmosphere. There are tea gardens and tea factories to visit here. Learn more about our time at Mawlyngot.
Mawlyngbna is an adventurer’s paradise. The Travellers Nest is the only place to stay in this area. The Travellers Nest has only two cottages and is located in the woods. Camping is also available here. Trekking, waterfall visits, and lake kayaking are all options.
Kongthong is a fascinating Meghalayan town. Getting to Kongthong, which is located between two famous ridges, is an adventure in and of itself. The inhabitants of Kongthong have a distinct culture in that they do not address each other by name; instead, they sing out names assigned to each individual in the village as a child. Kongthong is also known as Meghalaya’s Whistling Village.
Umden is known for its eri silk production and is located in the Ri-Bhoi district. You can see all of the steps in sericulture here, from silkworm rearing to spinning and reeling silk to yarn production and dyeing, and finally weaving. The village itself is stunning, nestled in a tranquil valley.
Nongkhnum Island in Meghalaya
The journey to Nongkhnum Island is long, but the view is well worth the effort. It is Meghalaya’s largest river island, located near Nongstoin. The island with clear river waters is a peaceful place with few people. On the river island, you can also camp.
Tura, Garo Hills
After Shillong, Tura is Meghalaya’s second most important city. Tura, located in the Garo hills, provides excellent ecotourism opportunities, and the wildlife sanctuaries in the area are home to diverse wildlife. Tura is also close to the Siju Caves, one of India’s longest cave systems.
Shillong Polo Ground offers overnight buses to Tura. Sumos are also available first thing in the morning. Tura can also be reached from Guwahati. Tura has both hotels and homestays.
Attractions in Tura: There are numerous interesting places throughout the Garo Hills. Tura Peak, Nokrek National Park, and Rongbang Dar Waterfall are just a few of the nearby attractions. The majestic Balpakram National Park and gorge, Pelga Falls, Siju Caves, and Naphak Lake are also worth visiting.
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