You are currently viewing Discover Meghalaya: Top Activities and Destinations in the Abode of Clouds

Discover Meghalaya: Top Activities and Destinations in the Abode of Clouds

Meghalaya, often referred to as the “Abode of Clouds,” is one of the most picturesque states in Northeast India. With its lush green landscapes, majestic waterfalls, serene lakes, and rich cultural heritage, Meghalaya is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to do in Meghalaya to make the most of your visit.

1. Explore the Living Root Bridges of Cherrapunji and Nongriat

One of Meghalaya’s most unique attractions is its living root bridges, particularly in Cherrapunji and Nongriat. These natural wonders are created by guiding the roots of rubber trees over streams and rivers. The double-decker root bridge in Nongriat is a must-see and requires a challenging but rewarding trek through lush forests and waterfalls.

2. Marvel at the Majestic Waterfalls

Meghalaya is home to some of the most breathtaking waterfalls in India. Nohkalikai Falls, located near Cherrapunji, is the tallest plunge waterfall in India and offers stunning views, especially during the monsoon season. Other notable waterfalls include Seven Sisters Falls, Elephant Falls, and Dainthlen Falls. Each waterfall has its own unique charm and beauty, making them perfect spots for photography and relaxation.

3. Visit the Cleanest Village in Asia - Mawlynnong

Mawlynnong, often referred to as “God’s Own Garden,” is acclaimed as the cleanest village in Asia. Stroll through its spotless streets, admire the beautifully maintained gardens, and experience the warm hospitality of the local Khasi people. Don’t miss the Sky Walk, a bamboo structure that offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and the plains of Bangladesh.

4. Explore the Mystical Caves

Meghalaya’s caves are a treasure trove for adventure seekers and spelunkers. The state boasts some of the longest and deepest caves in India. Mawsmai Cave, near Cherrapunji, is easily accessible and offers a glimpse of Meghalaya’s subterranean wonders with its stalactites and stalagmites. For a more challenging experience, explore the Siju Cave and Liat Prah Cave, which require guided tours.

5. Relax by the Serene Umiam Lake

Umiam Lake, also known as Barapani, is a picturesque man-made reservoir located near Shillong. Surrounded by rolling hills and lush greenery, the lake is an ideal spot for boating, kayaking, and picnicking. The serene ambiance and stunning sunset views make it a popular destination for nature lovers and photographers.

6. Wander Through the Bustling Markets of Shillong

Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya, offers a vibrant mix of traditional and modern attractions. Explore the bustling markets such as Police Bazaar and Bara Bazaar, where you can shop for local handicrafts, textiles, and fresh produce. Don’t forget to sample local delicacies like Jadoh, Dohneiiong, and Tungrymbai at the street food stalls.

7. Visit the Sacred Forest of Mawphlang

The Mawphlang Sacred Forest, located about 25 kilometers from Shillong, is a biodiversity hotspot and a site of religious significance for the Khasi tribe. The forest is home to a variety of rare plants, orchids, and medicinal herbs. Guided tours are available to explore this mystical forest and learn about the traditional beliefs and practices of the local community.

8. Experience the Thrill of Water Sports at Dawki

Dawki, a small town near the India-Bangladesh border, is famous for its crystal-clear Umngot River. The river’s transparent waters offer a surreal experience, making it a popular spot for boating, kayaking, and snorkeling. The Dawki-Tamabil border crossing is also a point of interest, where you can witness the bustling trade and cultural exchange between India and Bangladesh.

9. Trek to the Stunning Laitlum Canyons

The Laitlum Canyons, located near Shillong, offer some of the most stunning landscapes in Meghalaya. The name “Laitlum” translates to “end of the hills,” and true to its name, the canyons provide breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys and hills. The trek to the viewpoint is moderately challenging but immensely rewarding, especially during sunrise and sunset.

10. Learn About Local Culture at Don Bosco Museum

The Don Bosco Museum in Shillong is a cultural and educational hub that showcases the rich heritage of Northeast India. The museum’s seven floors feature a vast collection of artifacts, artworks, and exhibits on the region’s indigenous cultures, traditions, and lifestyles. Interactive displays and multimedia presentations make it an engaging experience for visitors of all ages.

Meghalaya, with its diverse landscapes and cultural richness, offers a myriad of experiences for travelers. Whether you’re seeking adventure, tranquility, or cultural immersion, Meghalaya has something for everyone. Plan your trip to this enchanting state and discover the many wonders of the Abode of Clouds.

Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

The best time to visit Meghalaya is from October to April when the weather is pleasant and ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The monsoon season, from June to September, brings heavy rainfall but also enhances the beauty of the waterfalls and lush greenery.

The nearest airport to Meghalaya is the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati, Assam. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to Shillong, which is about 100 kilometers away. Meghalaya is also well-connected by road with regular bus services from neighboring states.

Meghalaya offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels and resorts to budget guesthouses and homestays. Some popular choices include The Heritage Club – Tripura Castle, Ri Kynjai, and Polo Orchid Resort.

Meghalaya is generally safe for travelers. However, it’s advisable to take standard precautions, such as avoiding isolated areas at night and keeping an eye on your belongings in crowded places.

Local transport options in Meghalaya include taxis, shared cabs, and buses. In Shillong, you can also hire scooters or bicycles to explore the city. For remote areas and attractions, it’s best to hire a taxi or use guided tours.