Best Tourist Places to visit in Meghalaya

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The North-East is one of the most under-explored parts of India. It’s a pity that most visitors to India stick to the usual tourist hotspots in Goa, Rajasthan, Kashmir and Kerala, and have little idea of just how delightful a trip to the North-East can be. The North-East has everything you would want from a tourist getaway, what it probably lacks is marketing. In this article, we try to shed light on the splendours of the North-East and to give it the coverage that it so richly deserves.

We introduce you to the beautiful state of Meghalaya, one of the “7 Sisters” of the North-East, popularly called as the “Scotland of the East”. You will find nature at its finest in Meghalaya – calm and tranquil lakes, bustling waterfalls, expansive hills, incredible natural structures called living root bridges, and yes, the wettest place on the planet, Cherrapunji.

Meghalaya was once a part of Assam, and was carved out as a full-fledged state in 1972. Meghalaya can be reached by a direct flight from any of the major cities in India such as Kolkata, Delhi or Mumbai, to its capital, Shillong. There are many friendly, ethnic tribes in Meghalaya such as the Khasis, Garos, and Pnars.

Meghalaya is translated as the “Abode of the Clouds” in Sanskrit. Feel the cool, soothing breeze striking you in the face as you visit Meghalaya this summer, a far cry from the heat and humidity in the rest of Indian. Breathe in the fresh and clean air, totally free from pollution, a luxury that you will probably not get in Delhi or Mumbai.

So what are the best places to visit in Meghalaya? There are so many of them, we bring to you the best 6 tourist places in Meghalaya.

Here are the 6 Best Places to Visit in Meghalaya.

Double Decker Living Root Bridge

Living Root Bridge Cherrapunji

You have probably heard of them – living root bridges – but you will need to actually see one with your own eyes if you really want to know just how unique and magnificent these man-made natural structures are. The Double Decker Living Root Bridge is Meghalaya’s most popular living root bridge. It is very close to Cherrapunji and has been created by members of the Khasi tribes, who made these bridges grow from the roots of ancient rubber trees.

You will truly enjoy walking on the Double Decker Living Root Bridge. Living root bridges are much more stable than wooden bridges that decay and get damaged by the rain. The Double Decker Living Root Bridge is very stable and can support the weight of quite a few people crossing it. The trek to this living root bridge is a lot of fun as well. In fact, you will find as many as 11 living root bridges in the area, of which the Double Decker Living Root Bridge is the biggest

Umium Lake

Umium Lake Meghalaya

Umium Lake is a large artificially created lake nearby Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya. It covers an incredible 221 square kilometres, which makes it bigger than many islands or even small European countries! The Umium Lake is a source of income for the locals, who can be seen fishing in its waters from dawn to dusk.

Legend has it that Umium – which is translated as ‘water of tears’ – was formed from the tears of a young woman searching desperately for her lost sister – hence the name. It is surrounded by lush green, coniferous forests, and serves as a perfect weekend getaway for the residents of Shillong. There are a few houseboats on the Umium Lake where tourists can spend the night, floating on its waters.

Elephant Falls

Elephant Falls Shillong

The Elephant Falls is a powerful waterfall that’s at a distance of 12 kilometres from Shillong, which serves as a perfect picnic spot and receives hundreds of tourists each day. It is a two-tier waterfall that comes alive during the Monsoon or the rainy season, when the water gushes down with incredible force. The Elephant Falls looks truly magnificent when in full force and is a sight to behold, especially during July and August. Photographers love the Elephant Falls and it is one of the most picturesque waterfalls in India, so don’t forget to get your best cameras when you go visiting.

Nohkalikai Falls

Nohkalikai Falls Meghalaya

The Nohkalikai Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in India. It is also the fifth highest waterfall in India and looks photogenic from every angle. Water gushes down at a height of 1,100 feet from the highest point of the Nohkalikai waterfall to the depth of the gorges below it. Nohkalikai Falls are just 7 kilometres from Cherrapunji, the wettest place on the planet. There’s actually a very sad and tragic story behind the Nohkalikai Falls.

Nohkalikai is translated as the “fall of Ka Likai”. “Noh” means jump in the Khasi language and Ka Likai was an actual woman who out of desperation after losing her only child, killed herself by jumping off the top of the waterfall.

The Nohkalikai waterfall is on its best behaviour in the summer and the monsoon season, when water gushes down with full force. It is truly a magnificent sight during the Monsoon season, from mid-June to the end of August. Not so much in the winter, when it is nothing more than a small stream, appearing like a white rope in contrast with the green forest.
There’s always a fog clinging to the top of the Nohkalikai waterfall, so it’s impossible to get a clear view of it. It is a great place for bird watching, trekking, camping, fishing and swimming.

Mawlynnong Village

Mawlynnong Village Meghalaya

Mawlynnong has the reputation of being a model village and quite possibly, one of the loveliest villages in the country. It is at a quick three hour drive from Shillong. Mawlynnong was originally famous for its living root bridge, but has lately become well known ever since it was dubbed as the “Cleanest Village in Asia” by a popular travel magazine. “Mawlynnong” translates from the Khasi language as God’s Own Garden. It is one of the best examples of community driven eco-tourism you will ever find.

Mawlynnong is right next to the India-Bangladesh border. When in Mawlynnong, be sure to get on the Sky View platform, built purely from bamboo trees, which is on top of the highest tree in the surrounding forest. It gives a panoramic view of the entire village, as well as of the India-Bangladesh border. Be sure to spend a night at Mawlynnong at the local village guesthouse created for visiting tourists, which has all the amenities you will need.

Dawki River

Dawki River Meghalaya

Photo Credit: Jayakumar Jayakodi (500px)

 

Dawki is a beautiful border town that’s about 95 kilometres from Shillong and is situated right at the edge of the India-Bangladesh border. It is a major trade centre between India and Bangladesh and is a beehive of activity with major import and export transactions taking place here on a daily basis. But Dawki is famous or another reason – the Dawki River or the Umngot River. The Umngot River is one of the most beautiful rivers you will ever see and separates the Jaintia Hills of the Ri Pnar tribe from Hima Khyrim of Khasi tribe. It is also the venue of a hotly contested annual boat race. There’s a single span suspension bridge across the Umngot River, which you will love walking on.

JayB

A self-described travel enthusiast...

1 Comment

  1. Resort in shimla

    May 26, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    Very scenic place. Meghalaya is really beautiful place to trvavelling, there are many attraction place to visit.

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