Want to retire yourself from the daily monotonous life schedule for a while? Wondering what to do or where to go? Pack your bag and set yourself on a voyage to a breathtaking destination that will take you to the lap of nature. Now you must be pondering where this place is. It is one of the famous ‘seven sister states’, Meghalaya. We will inculcate in-depth knowledge of places to visit in Meghalaya and different facts about the state.
We have known Kashmir to be the heaven on earth so far. But Meghalaya competes in a good position with Kashmir in this category. The word Meghalaya has derived from Sanskrit, which means ‘abode of clouds.’
Facts about the places to visit in Meghalaya:
Lush greens, impressive waterfalls, humongous rugged mountains, green valleys, a breathtaking canyon, a clean village, giant pine trees, and a dense forest together form a picturesque frame of nature that we call Meghalaya.
The serenity of this place makes you experience deep inner peace and joyful fulfillment. It is not only an excellent place for mountain lovers and photographers but also a place for rejuvenation in the lap of nature.
Where is Meghalaya located?
The state of Meghalaya is situated in the northeastern part of India. Meghalaya has formed its border with Assam in the north and north-east, Bangladesh in the south and south-east, and river Brahmaputra in the west.
How is the climate of Meghalaya?
Before planning to explore places to visit In Meghalaya, you must know its characteristics. Meghalaya means ‘abode of cloud,’. It is densely clouded most of the time, followed by frequent showers. Due to dense clouding, sometimes tourist attractions lose their visibility.
But the climate varies at different elevations according to seasons. Therefore, you may experience a complex climate combination of heavy rain, pleasantness, humidity, warmth, and chilliness.
So whenever you plan your trip to Meghalaya, research the climate of the places you will visit according to the seasons.
How to reach Meghalaya?
When you are planning popular places to visit In Meghalaya, you must know the all convenient ways to reach there.
To reach Meghalaya, one usually has to arrive in Guwahati, Assam. The journey to any northeastern state, including Meghalaya, begins from Guwahati.
To reach Meghalaya by air, book a flight to Guwahati. Once you arrive at Gopinath Bordoloi Airport, Guwahati, you will find several cabs outside the airport. You can book a personal or shared ride to reach your destination.
Though Meghalaya has its airport, Umroi, it needs to be better connected to the rest of the country. Only a few selected flights fly to this airport, which is only sometimes.
If you travel by train, you must take a train to Guwahati just like a flight. Meghalaya needs railway connectivity.
So the only station near Meghalaya is Guwahati station, Assam, which is well connected throughout the country. Again you will get cabs outside the station to reach Meghalaya.
This option is best for those who prefer road trips or driving. Traveling by car or driving your vehicle can be pleasant for your eyes as you can witness lush greenery, gigantic mountains, tea gardens, waterfalls, etc. This is the best part of traveling by road.
If you take the road, whichever part of the country you start from, you have to arrive in Guwahati first. Reach Guwahati’s Bara bazaar area, where you will begin your journey via NH37.
After a long drive, once you arrive at Kamrup district, get into NH40, leading you straight to your destination. It’s a 3-4 hour drive from Guwahati to Meghalaya.
Best time for places to visit in Meghalaya?
If you have Meghalaya on your travel list, let us know when to plan your trip to this state. The best time for places to visit In Meghalaya would be from October to June.
Summer, which includes March to June, is a pleasant time to escape into the Meghalayan mountains. The weather remains pleasant and hardly goes beyond 30 degrees.
Autumn and winter, which include months from October to February, can be pleasantly thrilling as you can witness cherry blossoms, a few popular festivals, and, ofcourse, a bit chilly weather.
The rest of the months fall under monsoon season, which is not a recommendable time to visit Meghalaya as the roads may be troublesome while driving. Also, a few popular tourist attractions may be covered with clouds so that visibility will be almost zero.
Some excellent places to visit in Meghalaya:
Meghalaya is popularly known as the ‘Scotland of the East.’ The British referred to the title because of the surrounding mountains and green valleys. Following is the list of unique places to visit in Meghalaya:
Umian Lake is one of the most popular places to visit in Meghalaya. It is in the north of Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya. This lake resulted from building a dam on the River Umian in the 1960s to produce hydroelectricity.
The local name of the lake is Dam Sait. This lake is a water reservoir, and the water is used for drinking, irrigation, hydroelectricity, fishing, and water sports like water scooter rides, boating, kayaking, etc.
Umian Lake is surrounded by profuse green east Khashi Hills, creating a picturesque view for tourists. This is an ideal place for witnessing jaw-dropping views of both sunrise and sunset.
Laitlum Canyon is an exceptional piece of natural beauty. A majestic canyon encircled by extensive greenish mountains, meadows with grass as soft as velvet, and a misty atmosphere sounds like a never-never land. But it is accurate, and it’s Laitlum.
Though an off-beat spot but a visit to this place is a must. It is less crowded, so it is best for those who prefer solitude. The view of sunrise and sunset will surely give you goosebumps.
As the sun goes down, the last rays of sunlight create an awe-striking color combination just above the canyon. This leaves us to think what a great painter mother nature is, who delightfully fills her natural canvas with her natural colors.
Laitlum is located in the East Khasi Hills, Shillong. It is a place of photographer’s paradise, and nature lovers can spend hours and hours rejuvenating themselves in a peaceful and serene environment.
Also, for adventure lovers, among very few popular places to visit in Meghalaya, Laitlum has 3000 stairway steps on the edge where you can trek up and down and observe the canyon’s beauty more closely.
One of popular places to visit in Meghalaya is Nohkalikai Falls, located in East Khasi Hills near Cherapunji. Nohkalikai Falls is the fourth tallest fall in India at an elevation of 340 meters. The entry fee for this fall is ten rupees.
Between the evergreen rainforest, the waterfall jumps from the cliff into a bluish-green pool. What a mesmerizing view it is to see from the other side of the cliff.
You can spend a few hours here; click some Insta-worthy photos. This magnificent fall is faded by monsoon water and comes down at a mighty speed creating mistiness around the pool. You can go down near the pool to witness the awesomeness of the fall via stairway steps.
According to legends, there is a tragic story behind the name of the fall. A woman named Ka Likai was widowed and had a daughter. She remarried, hoping her second husband would care for her daughter.
She gave all her attention to her little daughter. This made the husband jealous, and out of anger, he killed the little girl and cooked a meal with her flesh.
Later he served the meal to his wife, who unknowingly consumed it. When she became aware of the incident, she could not bare the truth and jumped to death from the cliff of the fall.
Monsoon is not a correct time to visit Nohkalikai Falls as heavy rain and dense clouding may spoil your expectation.
Green mountains drenched in rainwater throughout the year, valleys and meadows never dry up, low flying clouds floating all around, a slight chilliness in the weather, mistiness spread all around, and as calm as the ocean; yes, we are talking about the wettest place in the world, Mawsynram.
Mawsynram is located in the east Khasi Hills district. This place receives an annual rainfall of 11,872 mm. Monsoon lovers will find heavenly pleasure in this place. It rains throughout the year.
Mawsynram village is an ideal places to visit in Meghalaya to escape into nature’s lap. The village is famous for its stalagmite formation. To enjoy more of nature, the village also offers a few impressive waterfalls nearby.
Double-decker Living Root Bridge
The double-decker living root bridge is becoming the most demanding and popular places to visit in Meghalaya. It is located in Cherapunji.
Double-decker Living Root Bridge is not an artificial bridge but a nature-made one that can hold 50 persons at a time. This clearly shows how capable mother nature is.
This living root bridge is a trek down 3500 steps. You will find village houses in between as you trek down the slope. The tour takes 4-5 hours and is dead tiring after you finish. But for the village people, it is a daily task, and they do it quickly.
This is a 200-year-old bridge; though there are many older root bridges, this is the most popular one. This root is created out of an Indian rubber tree and is 3km long and at a height of 2400 feet.
As you reach the bridge after the trek, you will be pleased to see River Umshiang flowing below the bridge.
India Orchidarium was established to promote eco-tourism places to visit In Meghalaya. It is an ideal place for people interested in flora or Botany students. Meghalaya alone is home to 300 orchid species.
The Orchidarium has each of these 300 species of orchid showcased for tourists and locals to learn about the existence of these species. The Orchidarium is located in the upper area of Shillong, apace with Ward Lake.
While exploring Meghalaya, you must take advantage of ‘On Asia’s cleanest village,’ Mawlynnong. The scenic view of the village will blow your mind away. It is filled with dense greenery, which is well maintained, and small huts where villagers live.
An early morning walk in the village will make you forget all your stress and hectic life. The villagers live a simple (rustic) life and work hard to keep the town clean and dust free. This cleanest village is must be one of the popular places to visit in Meghalaya.
In Mawlynnong, you will find a living root bridge and some majestic waterfalls to explore. It’s a whole day tour in the village, but if you want to experience village life, you can plan to stay a few days in the town as simple homestays are available.
Staying within such surreal surroundings is quite worthwhile. It falls in the east Khasi Hills District and is bordered by Bangladesh. The village has a tree house from where you can get a good view of the landscape of Bangladesh.
Dawki – Umngot River:
Among top places to visit In Meghalaya, Dawki must be in your list. It is located in the west Jantia Hills District. Dawki acts as a trading hub for India and Bangladesh as it falls between the border areas. But there are other reasons for its fame.
Dawki is famous for the crystal clear River Umngot. The water is so clear that you can see every particle under the water. Taking a boat ride on the Umngot River is a soothing experience—massive cliffs standstill on both sides.
As the river flows, it enters Bangladesh, where you can see Bangladeshi people enjoying river baths and waving their hands toward India.
Krang Suri Waterfalls:
A hidden jewel of Meghalaya is Krang Suri Waterfalls. Krang Suri is an awe-inspiring attraction and one of the most famous places to visit In Meghalaya.
It is situated in the Jantia Hills District. If you are in Shillong, it shall take you 3 hours drive to reach the waterfall. The waterfalls in a greenish lagoon.
The water is excellent, and some tourists take the chance to plunge. There are giant boulders between the water body, so one must be careful.
The waterfall area is encircled by giant green trees, which add more to the beauty of the place. Though it’s open 24*7, visiting during the day is the best time.
There is an entry of 50 rupees to enter the waterfall area. If you plan to swim, take extra clothes, and you also have to pay 100 rupees for a life jacket. Once you reach the place, you walk for 15-20 mins through a stony pathway that leads to the fall.
Mawphlang Sacred Forest:
Meghalaya is also famous for its lush green dense rainforest. Mawphlang Scared Forest is the quintessential one among the rainforest.
It is regarded sacred by the locals as they believe it is the home to a deity name Lasaba. It is located Nongrum village region.
This forest is dense and great for trekking. It is advisable to take a guide along, or else you may not find the way back. If you are passionate about trekking, Mawphlang Sacred Forest is one of the places to visit In Meghalaya.
Mawphlang Sacred Forest is a residence of numerous exotic flora, gigantic trees, and fauna. Most of the trees are 1000 years old. Leopards can appear in the forest.
If you wish to explore an off-beat places to visit In Meghalaya, then Williamnagar is your place. This remote town is more or less like the countryside. This is located in the south Garo Hills and by the side of the Simsung River. It is 244 km away from Shillong.
Williamnagar will reward you with a wealth of natural vegetation, fertile rolling mountains, and alluring waterfalls. The place’s calm and composed beauty will take your breath away.
This place gets its name after the first Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Captain Williamson A. Sangma.
Exploring caves is an adventurous task. Meghalaya is the habitat of numerous caves. Each shelter has its own story and beauty. Though 150 meters long compared to other caves, Mawsmai Cave stands out distinctly among all the other caves.
Mawsmai cave is located in east Khasi Hills, just near Cherapunji. The uniqueness of this cave is its formation out of limestone. As you explore the cave, you will be taken by the vegetation growing inside.
Sufficient daylight enters the shelter to keep you walking without the need for any artificial light. Therefore, it becomes one of the most famous places to visit In Meghalaya.
Mawsmai cave has two segments, but only one is explored by the tourist, and the other remains shut. You need an entry fee of rupee 10 to enter the cave.
Mawkdok Dympep Valley:
When traveling through the Shillong-Cherapunji route, you will come across Duwan Sing Syiem Bridge, one of the beautiful places to visit In Meghalaya.
Halt there to experience one of the most astounding views of the massive and densely green velvet-like valley; this is Mawkdok Dympep Valley.
Also, there is a step way down through the valley that leads to a waterfall. You can trek down the steep path toward the waterfall, and in between, you can stop to witness the valley’s beauty closely.
It takes around 20 mins to reach the waterfall. As far as your eyes go, the covering of green vegetation will mesmerize your eyes.
For those adventure seekers, it is the zip-liner activity that will give a thrill. Before leaving the viewpoint, trying the hot Maggie noodles at the cafe on the other side is recommended.
Between your itinerary on places to visit In Meghalaya, there should be a day or two for relaxation. Daily exploring can be a little tiresome and monotonous. What can be more relaxing than taking a day off in the lap of nature? One such place is Ward’s Lake in Shillong.
It is a manufactured lake surrounded by rich flowerage. It’s given the shape of a horseshoe. You can sit by the lake or walk throughout the area for tiredness or stress to vanish in thin air.
Spending quality time in Ward’s lake fills you with joy and calmness. This lake was named after Sir William Ward, chief commissioner of Assam, during the late 19th century.
Among famous places to visit In Meghalaya is Police Bazaar. It is in Shillong is the city center and a shopaholic’s paradise. The city center remains congested throughout. You can shop for various things right, from clothes, shoes, souvenirs, handicrafts, honey, cinnamon, etc.
After shopping, you can try different delicacies, including local bakeries. The place is filled with uncountable snack points and restaurants.
There are some emporiums and shopping plazas to explore in Police Bazaar. Despite heavy congestion, Police Bazaar is recommended to include in your itinerary.
Don Bosco Museum:
Meghalaya is not only about its beauty but also about its rich culture and heritage. The best place to learn about the Meghalayan tribes and their culture is Don Bosco Museum in Shillong.
The museum’s uniqueness is that it’s a seven-story building, but only the top story is visible from the outside, and the rest 6 stories are built underground. Each floor has a gallery.
Each gallery showcases different artifacts, attire, weapons, handworks, etc., that make you walk through the history of the Meghalayan people. If you want to know the facts about north-east Indian culture, visit this place. This place also surprises you with a Skywalker installed at the top of the building, where you can get a panoramic view of Shillong City.
Balpakram National Park:
Balpakram National Park is a rich ecosystem in the Garo Hills of Western Meghalaya and one of the attractive places to visit In Meghalaya. This park offers you a variety of vegetation and animals to witness. The fascinating beauty of Balpakram will capture your soul.
Balpakram covers an area of 200 sq. km. with an altitude of 3000 ft. The locals also call this place the ‘Land of Spirits’ due to some myth. This rich biodiversity is home a numerous fauna like Red Panda, Wild Buffalo, Elephant, Tiger, Deer, Leopards, Wild Cows, and Marbled Cat, including Lesser Panda, Indian Bison, Sterow, etc. This place is ideal for wildlife photography.
My Final Thought
This article expectantly provides satisfying knowledge about different places to visit in Meghalaya, along with facts that include the climate, the route, and the best time to visit. The detailed beauty of each class will motivate you to visit Meghalaya.