Discover Meghalaya: Everything you need to know before planning your trip

Discover Meghalaya: Everything you need to know before planning your trip

Welcome to the mesmerising land of Meghalaya, a hidden gem of India known for its lush green landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and warm-hearted locals. From the picturesque valleys to the charming hill stations, Meghalaya offers a unique travel experience that leaves every visitor in awe. Let's embark on a responsible journey to explore the wonders of Meghalaya.

What is Meghalaya Famous For?

Meghalaya, often called the "Abode of Clouds," is renowned for its abundant natural beauty and diverse landscapes. This northeastern state is famous for its living root bridges, which are unique structures made by intertwining the roots of trees. The region is blessed with stunning waterfalls, including the majestic Nohkalikai Falls, the tallest plunge waterfall in India. Meghalaya is also celebrated for its vibrant tribal culture and delicious local cuisine, making it a paradise for food enthusiasts.

Also read: 10 Most Amazing Experiences of Meghalaya

The Best Time to Visit Meghalaya

To experience the best of Meghalaya, plan your visit between October and April. During these months, the weather is pleasant, and the region is adorned with lush greenery, blooming flowers, and glistening waterfalls. This is the perfect time for outdoor adventures and exploring the picturesque landscapes.

Meghalaya Places to Visit

  1. Shillong

The capital city of Meghalaya, also known as the "Scotland of the East," offers a blend of colonial charm and urban vibrancy. Visit the Lady Hydari Park, Don Bosco Museum, and the bustling Police Bazaar for a taste of local life.

  1. Cherrapunji (Sohra)

Renowned as the wettest place on earth, Cherrapunji is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. Witness the breathtaking Nohkalikai Falls, Mawsmai Cave, and the fascinating living root bridges.

  1. Mawlynnong

Known as "Asia's Cleanest Village," Mawlynnong is a hidden paradise with its immaculate cleanliness and lush gardens. Walk on the sky-view bamboo bridge and soak in the serenity.

  1. Dawki

This border town will enchant you with its crystal-clear Umngot River. Take a boat ride on the translucent waters and be mesmerised by the colourful riverbed.

Meghalaya Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Shillong - Embrace the Scottish Charms

Your Meghalaya adventure begins with your arrival in the enchanting city of Shillong, the "Scotland of the East." After checking into your hotel and refreshing yourself, set out to explore the local markets and food joints. Wander through Police Bazaar, the bustling commercial heart of Shillong, where you can shop for souvenirs, handicrafts, and local delicacies. Indulge in delectable Khasi cuisine, savouring dishes like Jadoh (red rice with meat), Dohneiiong (pork curry with black sesame), and Momos. As the evening approaches, return to your hotel and rest for the exciting days ahead.

Day 2: Excursion to Cherrapunji - Nature's Delight

On day 2, gear up for an exhilarating excursion to Cherrapunji, also known as Sohra, the wettest place on earth. The journey will take you through breathtaking landscapes of lush green valleys and rolling hills. Witness the majestic Nohkalikai Falls, plunging from great heights, and be awestruck by its grandeur. Explore the mystical Mawsmai Cave, a labyrinth of limestone formations, and discover the wonders hidden within its dark passages. Don't miss the opportunity to marvel at the fascinating living root bridges crafted by the Khasi tribes.

Day 3: Journey to Mawlynnong - Asia's Cleanest Village

Today, embark on a scenic journey to Mawlynnong, acclaimed as "Asia's Cleanest Village." Experience the pristine beauty and village charm as you walk on the Sky-View Bamboo Bridge, offering awe-inspiring views of the lush surroundings. Explore the immaculate gardens and marvel at the villagers' dedication to cleanliness and sustainable living. Relish the tranquil ambiance and immerse yourself in the serenity of this hidden paradise.

Day 4: Head to Dawki - A Magical River Cruise

Proceed to the enchanting town of Dawki, nestled near the India-Bangladesh border. Prepare for a magical experience as you take a boat ride on the crystal-clear waters of the Umngot River. The river cruise will leave you mesmerised as you witness the colourful riverbed beneath the translucent waters. Capture these unforgettable moments with your loved ones, creating memories to cherish forever.

Day 5: Return to Shillong - Captivating Peaks and Cascades

As you bid farewell to Dawki, return to Shillong and explore its captivating attractions. Visit Shillong Peak, the highest point in the city, offering panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys. Continue to the picturesque Elephant Falls, a series of cascading waterfalls surrounded by lush greenery. Spend your evening in leisure, reminiscing about the beautiful journey you've undertaken.

Day 6: Departure from Shillong - Farewell to the Abode of Clouds

On the final day of your Meghalaya itinerary, bid adieu to the mesmerising landscapes and warm hospitality of Meghalaya. Depart from Shillong with cherished memories of the "Abode of Clouds," promising to return for more remarkable experiences in this magical land of natural wonders and cultural richness. As you leave, carry with you the spirit of responsible travel, preserving the beauty of Meghalaya for generations to come.

Also read: Top 10 Waterfalls Of Meghalaya

Meghalaya Solo Trip

For solo travellers seeking adventure and soulful experiences, Meghalaya is a safe and welcoming destination. Embrace the warm hospitality of the locals, join guided tours for thrilling treks, and immerse yourself in the cultural festivities.

Meghalaya Trip Cost

The trip cost to Meghalaya varies depending on your preferences and travel style. Budget travellers can plan a trip with accommodation and food for around INR 1500 - 2000 per day. Mid-range travellers can expect to spend INR 3000 - 5000 per day, including guided tours and better accommodations.

Responsible Travel in Meghalaya

As you explore the wonders of Meghalaya, let's ensure we travel responsibly and sustainably.

  • Respect the local culture and traditions.

  • Avoid littering and dispose of waste responsibly.

  • Opt for eco-friendly accommodations and support local businesses.

  • Engage with the locals respectfully, understanding their way of life.

  • When visiting the living root bridges, tread lightly to preserve their natural beauty.

Meghalaya is a land of dreams, offering the perfect blend of adventure, culture, and nature. Embrace responsible travel, and this enchanting journey will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime. Pack your bags, embark on a soul-stirring trip, and let Meghalaya weave its magic on you!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for your Trip to Meghalaya

1. What is Meghalaya famous for?

Meghalaya is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, lush green hills, cascading waterfalls, living root bridges, and unique village culture. It is often referred to as the "Abode of Clouds" due to its misty weather and receives the highest rainfall in the country, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.

2. What is the best time to visit Meghalaya?

The best time to visit Meghalaya is during the months of October to April. These months offer pleasant weather with cool temperatures, making it ideal for sightseeing, trekking, and exploring the natural beauty of the region.

3. What are the must-visit places in Meghalaya?

Some of the must-visit places in Meghalaya include Shillong, Cherrapunji, Mawlynnong, Dawki, Laitlum Canyons, Nongriat Village, and Umiam Lake. Each destination offers unique experiences and breathtaking views.

4. Is Meghalaya safe for solo travellers?

Yes, Meghalaya is generally safe for solo travellers. The local people are friendly and welcoming, and the region has a low crime rate. However, it is advisable to take standard safety precautions, such as avoiding secluded areas at night and keeping your belongings secure.

5. What are the adventure activities available in Meghalaya?

Meghalaya offers a range of adventure activities, including trekking to living root bridges, hiking to Nohkalikai Falls, caving in Mawsmai Cave, river rafting in Dawki, and exploring the pristine landscapes on nature walks.

6. How to plan a budget-friendly trip to Meghalaya?

To plan a budget-friendly trip to Meghalaya, consider travelling during the off-season when accommodation and travel costs are lower. Opt for home stays or budget hotels, and try local eateries for affordable meals. Group tours or shared transportation can also help reduce expenses.

7. What is responsible travel in Meghalaya?

Responsible travel in Meghalaya involves being mindful of the environment and local culture. Avoid littering, respect the customs and traditions of the indigenous communities, and support eco-friendly tourism initiatives. Conserve water and electricity, and opt for sustainable travel practices.

8. Do I need any permits to visit Meghalaya?

Indian citizens do not require any permits to visit Meghalaya. However, foreign nationals need an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to visit some areas in Meghalaya, which can be obtained online or at the entry points.

9. What kind of weather can I expect in Meghalaya?

Meghalaya experiences a temperate climate with cool summers and chilly winters. The monsoon season from June to September brings heavy rainfall. Be prepared for mild to heavy showers, especially during the monsoons.

10. What should I pack for a trip to Meghalaya?

Pack comfortable clothing suitable for the weather, including light jackets, raincoats, and sturdy walking shoes for trekking. Don't forget essentials like sunscreen, insect repellent, a first aid kit, and a camera to capture the stunning landscapes.

11. Can I explore Meghalaya without a guide?

While it is possible to explore some popular tourist spots in Meghalaya without a guide, having a local guide can enhance your experience and provide valuable insights into the region's culture, history, and hidden gems.

12. Are there any COVID-19 travel guidelines for Meghalaya?

As the COVID-19 situation is subject to change, it is essential to check the latest travel guidelines and restrictions issued by the Meghalaya government before planning your trip. Follow all safety protocols and guidelines during your visit to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.

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