Meghalaya: An Otherworldy Experience
If earth is an Oyster, North-East is the pearl inside. Aptly called as 'Abode of Clouds', Meghalaya is known to receive the highest rainfall in the world. It has the most ecstatic waterfalls, magnificent scenery, abundance of wildlife and unforgetful memories for every visitor.
So let us list down some of the must-do things for your next trip to Meghalaya!
1. Sail on the crystal clear waters of Umgot River-
Dawki is a small border town in the West Jaintia Hills, with Bangladesh, a famous destination for tourists and traders. One of the natural wonders of Meghalaya lies at Dawki, known for its crystal clear blue water, Umgot river is possibly India’s cleanest river. You drive through voluptuous roads, savouring picturesque views of valleys and waterfalls along the way. As you reach near the Umgot river, you can hire a boat and set sail along the crystal clear waters. You will be mesmerised by the sight of marine life at the bottom of the river bed. Be an adrenaline junkie and take a plunge from the cliffs!
2. Indo-Bangla Border-
Dawki is a border town, 2 kms from it you can look at the Indo-Bangladesh border from a vantage point of a treehouse. A little near Dawki is a town of Shongpdeng, choose to visit this place for some excellent Kayaking and Zipline experience!
3. Double decker root bridge, a living legend-
Not built, but grown. Hidden inside the lush tropical forest of Meghalaya, cloaked with rain during most part of the year are the magnificent man-made cum natural wonders of the living root bridges. These roots takes about 15 years to get strong enough, mostly used by the locals of the Khasi Tribe to cross the river. The most popular one is Umshiang Double-Decker Root Bridge. It has two bridges stacked one over the other. You will have to cross over 3500 steps across hills, and rickety rope pathways to reach this one of its kind place in the world. It’s all worth it!
4. Visit the Cleanest Village in Asia-
Mawlynnong, is known as the cleanest village in Asia. It is known for its cleanliness is located around 90 kms from Shillong and is a community based eco-tourism initiative. Walk around the village, engage with the locals and learn more about the life there. It will be a peaceful experience!
5. Visit Mawphlang Sacred Forest-
While on your way to Cheerapunji, you should take a small detour to visit the Sacred Forest or Sacred Grove in Mawphlang. This lush green is spread across 78 hectares of land, is protected by the local deity-Labasa. Be one with nature while you hear tales about this forest from your guide. But, you need to know only one thing here, You cannot take Anything Out of this sacred forest. Yes, Nothing. Not even a leaf!
6. Waterfalls and Caves-
Known as the wettest place on the earth, Cherrapunji is is nestled in the East Khasi Hills about 50 km southwest of the state’s capital, Shillong. Cherrapunji, also known as Sohra or Churra, means ‘the land of oranges’. The cliffs here also offer stunning views of the plains of Bangladesh. Stand in awe as you see the gushing water flowing through a cliff at Nohkalikai waterfalls. It is the tallest plunge waterfall in India and fourth highest waterfall in the world. Falling from a height of 1,100 ft. Later head to Jaintia Hills where Mawsmai cave is situated. Its beautifully hidden beneath groove on a hill. Spend some time exploring the cave which is home to various flora and fauna and makes a good home for bats and insects. Enjoy the splendour of the Daiñthlen Falls. Gushing sound of it is a music treat to our ears. Peace!
7. Ward’s Lake in Shillong-
Ward’s lake is a rejuvenating pool surrounded by some pretty gardens and exotic trees, it makes an ideal spot for some relaxing and boating. In winter the park sheds most of its hues along with the leaves; except for the oddly rejuvenated cherry blossoms, which paint the park in lovely off-white pink. A stylish white wooden bridge suspended in the middle of the lake is the most recognizable feature of Ward’s Lake. Spend some time admiring the fishes that swim up to the surface.
8. Visit Monolith Gardens in Nartiang-
The Monolith Garden places Nartiang on the History Map is 2 hour drive away from Shillong. The Jaintia Kingdom was active between 1500 AD until they acceded to the British Empire in 1835AD. The area under their rule extended from present day Jaintia Hills region in Meghalaya to Sylhet in Bangladesh. Visit the ancient Durga Temple in the park which is established in 1500 AD. Rome around this heritage park to understand the Khasi culture in depth.
9. Excursion to Laitlum-
Adore the picturesque Shillong from the Laitlum Canyons. Set in the East Khasi Hills of Shillong, Laitlum Canyons is a little-explored haunt of the mountainous state of Meghalaya. It is a wonderful spot covered in mystical mist and fog. The view point is one of the most popular and sought after attractions for adventure and nature lovers. It allures thousands of people from all parts of the world. The gorgeous view of green hills, bamboo plants, foggy clouds and the orchids, all from one point might leave you awestruck.