Beyond the conventional tourist places in India, there is this charming state of Meghalaya. Wrapped in mesmerizing beauty, surrounded by a bounty of nature and draped in thoughtful clouds, Meghalaya makes for an offbeat travel destination. Purely aesthetic in the very sense of the term, there are plenty of places to visit in Meghalaya that you wouldn’t want to miss for life! Let’s get right to the subject.
If trekking is your bid then visiting this canyon in Shillong, is definitely the in thing for you. It is one of the finest trekking destinations in the North East. The terrain is rugged, but the more rugged, the more enjoyable for a trekker at heart. An approximately 5-hour trek with astounding views, you can watch the sun rays blend in brilliantly with the natural colors of the sky, almost right above your head.
This park is at a little distance from Jowai and is more of an unexplored destination. You can catch a view of the valley from here and there is a nearby lake as well, to untangle all the weariness of the journey.
No worries if you are not all about nature, and a little about facts. There is a cultural center to amuse you, right here in Shillong. It is a private museum and it has rich displays exhibiting the history and the lifestyle in the Northeast regions.
You can take a dip into religion as well. Meghalaya has beautiful churches, and this one surely is a fine specimen of the same. It is an Anglican church whose entrance is lined with beautiful flowers and the insides of the church being equally striking.
If nature is what thrills you, then you sure cannot afford to miss this one out. Lying deep into the tropical forest of East Khasi Hills, is this man-made natural wonder known as the living roots bridge. The local tribes to avoid the inconvenience of wooden bridges, decided to give this one a go as this bridge constructed of roots of rubber trees serves far more resilience during bad weather conditions. Probably one of the best places to visit in Meghalaya.
You might be not aware of this fact, but this village of Meghalaya has been named the ‘cleanest village in Asia’ by a travel magazine called Discover India. You can witness amazing level of ecotourism here as locals here not only like to keep their houses spic and span but also make sure that their nieghbourhood looks spic and span. It’s true, you will hardly spot a fallen leaf in this village.
With bamboo dustbins around every corner of the street, this village is a beauty! A 3-hour long drive from Shillong will bring you to this little heaven where you can experience hospitiality at its best. One of the top places to visit in Meghalaya!
Another location that makes it to the top 3 of my places to visit in Meghalaya is the border town of Meghalaya, where the Radcliffe line is drawn to separate territories of India and Bangladesh. You will see locals from both the sides walking past and chatting amongsteach other.
While that’s that about the border, the river Umngot is a scenery to behold. Claimed to be amongst the cleanest rivers on earth, a floating boat ride in this glittering lake is an experience you will never quite be able to forget.
There are a good mix of cultural and tribal festivals celebrated by the various tribes of Meghalaya, so, i’ll take this chance to not miss out a couple of them that stand out than the rest.
This festival is celebrated in the month of April that serves as a means of thanksgiving to mother nature. It involves dancing, playing local musical instruments and feasting.
This festival is a social event for people of all ages, wherein they annually thank god for the year gone by and prepare and relish a feat of pork and jadoh. Draught rice beer is also one of the delicacies of this festivity.
MANGONA is a this festival about celebrating the dead and the deceased and paying them respect or homage. Turns out, it is now becoming a rare festival, but the Garo’s in some regions still celebrate it. The community dances and sings, throughout the night and remembers the ones who are not amongst them anymore.
BEHDIENKHLAM festival is celebrated by the Jaintia tribe in July when the community celebrates the time to mark it as a good omen that will result in good harvest and good health. A game of football is typically played at this celebration, with a wooden ball.
Meghalaya is not just all about destinations, it is more about exploration. And this journey might also lead you to an abundance of caves which are free to be discovered by travelers. The most popluar one is Siju, that happens to be the third largest cave in India.
Shopping from “Lew Duh” is a must when you are visiting Meghalaya. This is a public market area and is also known as ‘bara bazaar’.
You can buy handcrafted goods from the sellers here, who are mostly village tribals.
Another interesting feature of Meghalaya is its monoliths. The Nartiang monoliths are quite popular, they are in stone and narrate a story of different clans and reigns of different rulers that it had witnessed over time. Another worth doing things are- visiting Ward’s lake and the Wankhar entomology museum if that happens to interest you at all.
you can also visit the Shillong Golf course (if golf is what interests you),
If you are fond of a rainy backdrop in your pictures and videos, then June to September might be an excellent choice. However, the rainfall in Meghalaya is pretty heavy and can go on for hours easily, hence it is a better bet o visit in the summer months (March to early June) or from October to February when the climate is cool and there is no rainfall as well.
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