A Complete Meghalaya Travel Guide

CAPITALShillong
STATE BIRDCommon Hill Myna
STATE ANIMALClouded Leopard
LANGUAGE SPOKENEnglish, Khasi & Garo
MAIN CITIES

Cherrapunji, Dawki, Baghmara, Shillong, Jorabat, Tura, Jowai, Williamnagar

TEMPERATURE

Summer 15°C to 33°C  and Winter 4°C to 16°C

Meghalaya: The real meaning of Meghalaya means “The Abode Of Clouds”. The state is surrounded to the south by Bangladesh divisions, to the west by the Bangladeshi division and to the north and east by the India’s state of Assam.

Britishers also named Meghalaya as ‘Scotland of the East’. About 70% of the state is forested. The state is surrounded by cool, pine – fresh mountains. It is the wettest place on Earth. This state also includes the beautiful and mesmerizing waterfalls and Asia’s longest caves.

The state is also rich in its biodiversity of mammals, birds and plants. Potatoes, rice, maize, pineapples, bananas, papayas and spices are found here. The place will refresh you with its beautiful natural beauty.

Also Read: A Complete Rajasthan Travel Guide

Places to Visit in Meghalaya

1. Mawlynnong Village

mawlynnog village

It is Asia’s cleanest village. One can enjoy the mesmerizing views of Mawlynnong waterfall from here and the Line Root Bridge is also a major attraction. It is the most humbling choices for a retreat. 

2. Laitlum Canyon

laitlum canyon

Trekkers should make it to the bucket list of trekking expedition in the northeast. The panoramic and mesmerizing view of Meghalaya from the top is breathtaking. On the way to back down, one should go to watch the Lwai falls.

3. Double Decker Living Root Bridge

double decker living root bridge

It is situated in the rainiest place in India, Cherapunjee. The trek of the bridge is very long after crossing 2000 slipping steps. It is one of the unique naturally formed attractions. 

4. Lalong Park

lalong park

State Government here takes more initiatives to make the Park more environment-friendly. One can do leisurely activities like fishing and walking are a great way to relax. The view of the valley is lush greenery. 

5. Balpakram National Park

balpakram national park

This Park is full of flora and fauna. The wildlife variety found in the sanctuary consists of a spectrum of species. It is also the observation point of the birds of various species. 

Also Read: A Complete Himachal Travel Guide

6. Siju Cave

siju cave

It is the main source of observing material phenomenon among researchers. It is the longest existing cave in India and it is the source of major water bodies of the region. 

7. Mawthadraishan Peak

mawthadarishan peak

It is surrounded by views of the Himalayas in the north, Bangladesh to the south while Khasi hills to the east, Garo Hills on the west. This place has the cleanest air to breathe in.

8. Don Bosco Square

don bsco square

This museum conveys and is the main source of history and life in the North East. The museum is rich in an excellent condition. 

9. Umiam Lake

umiam lake

The Lake is basically made from the reservoir built due to Dan Hill. Many travelers also compare the lake with Scottish water bodies.

10. Elephant falls

elephant falls

The structure of Black rocks which resembles an elephant was destroyed during the earthquake but the falls are equally majestic. It has the lucid contrast of the frothy falls beside the dark rocks. The evening view of Elephant Falls is one of the most mesmerizing views in Meghalaya. One should visit this place to enjoy their souls with the sheer natural beauty of the falls. 

Also Read: A Complete Kerala Travel Guide

11. Seven Sister falls

seven sisters falls

It has been also declared as the 4th highest waterfall in the country. These falls are best to visit in monsoon season. The view of setting sun from here is awesome and the natural beauty around the cascading waterfall is also mesmerizing. 

12. Cherrapunji

cherapunji

It is also known as the wettest place on Earth. It receives rainfall throughout the year. The beautiful rain kissed views of the valley of the east of the Khan Hills and the valley of Bangladesh attracts people from all over the world. River canoying, rock climbing and camping are some of other activities that you can enjoy here.

Also Read: A Complete Andaman and Nicobar Islands Travel Guide

Festivals of Meghalaya

1)      Behdeinkhlam Festival: It is known to be one of the most colorful festivals in India. The festival is celebrated in the month of July at Jowai for 3 days with great enthusiasm. The festival is celebrated as it means ‘driving away from evil by wooden sticks.’

A decorative structure called rath is prepared by every colony and then is immersed in the small lake of Aitnar. Women are not allowed to participate in the dance performances that are held on the streets but they play an important role as they have to prepare the special food.

2)      Laho Dance: Men and women both participate in the dance festival as this festival is celebrated for enjoyment and entertainment. All the people are dressed very beautifully and two girls and two boys link their arms and dances together in steps. The festival will surely refresh you and is celebrated with great enthusiasm.

3)       Chad Sukra: It is believed that a farmer should start sowing his land after the end of the festival. Therefore, this festival is also known as the sowing festival which is celebrated in the month of April and May. The festival is commonly celebrated by local people of Pnar.

4)      Autumn Festival: The festival is celebrated in the month of October – November. It is celebrated in Shillong. The local designer of Meghalaya showcases their fashion in fashion shows which are held during this festival.

This festival offers you to do different activities like winning the beauty pageants, food and wine festivals, flower shows, kite flying competitions, music and rock festivals, golf tournaments and fishing competitions.

5)      Nongkrem Dance Festival: This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and is celebrated in Smit which is located 15 kilometers from Shillong. You can witness the traditional style of Syiem in this festival. Many tourists not only from India but also from the world come here to participate and enjoy this festival.

Also Read: A Complete Jammu and Kashmir Travel Guide

Culture

Meghalaya is state of India which has many tribal groups.

It is home to importantly three indigenous tribes that are

1)      Khasis who are located in Khasi Hills.

2)      Jaintas who are located on Jainta Hills

3)      Garos who are located in Garo Hills.

Hynniewtrep people include the Khasis, Jaintas, Bhois and Wars. Meghalaya tribal groups are said to be the first ethnic group of settlers of the Indian subcontinent. Meghalaya follows matrilineal system which means the main lineage and even inheritance should be passed by women of a family.

Largest matrilineal culture in the world that is survived is in Meghalaya. Khasis tribal group worship U Blei Nongthaw. People of Meghalaya have are very religious. Meghalaya is also influenced by Hinduism.  

Also Read: A Complete Andhra Pradesh Travel Guide

Interesting Facts about Meghalaya

1)      Nohkaliaki Falls is the highest plunge type waterfall which is located near Cherapunji with a height of 1115 feet.

2)      Mawlynnong Village in East Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya is known as the cleanest village in India.

3)      Meghalaya is also one of the among three states of India who follow Christianity as a chief religion.

4)      Khasi Hills Forest of Meghalaya is tended to have 325 different species of orchids.

5)      Meghalaya is the wettest place on Earth.

Tourism

This place is famous for its natural beauty but also for its beautiful and entertaining people and culture. Meghalaya includes three Tribal groups that are:

1)      Khasi

2)      Jayantia

3)      Garo

The state is rich in culture and also in flora and fauna. There are many festivals celebrated here and all the three tribal group have their own famous festivals, cuisines, dances, customs and culture.

The state is very peaceful and colorful. Meghalaya is a pleasant land and is surrounded by spectacular views as the state is located in the lap of nature. Meghalaya is surrounded by beautiful hills, a variety of wildlife, mesmerizing waterfalls and lush green mountains makes this place a paradise on earth.

Meghalaya is also popular for its beautiful handmade handicrafts.  The state is also very popular for its biological diverse ecosystem. Meghalaya is also home to a great population of wild cat species which are found in South East Asia. Meghalaya is a perfect place for a perfect holiday and is a great place to enjoy to the fullest.

Climate

Climate of Meghalaya is hot in summers and not too cold in winters. 

The climate is warm and humid except in winter in the Garo hills. 

Best time to visit in Meghalaya is in between monsoon and winter. 

Adventure Activities 

Also Read: Top 5 Winter Treks in India

Adventure activities that can be done here are

1) Boating in Umiam Lake

2) Angling at Dawki

3) Trekking 

4) Horse Riding

5) River Rafting

6) Kayaking

7) Waterfall Rappellus

8) Waterfall Hopping

9) Camping

10) Exploring the Caves

11) Golfing

12) Rock Climbing

Cuisine 

cuisine

The staple food is rice with spicy meat and fish preparations. Some of the famous cuisines are:

1) Kyat

2) Sakin Gala

3) Pukhlein

4) Pumaloi

5) Jadoh

6) Pumaloi

7) Poh-Khlieh

8) Pukhlein

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