Meghalaya means the Abode of Clouds and is one of the most beautiful states in North East India. It boasts a village that’s labeled the cleanest in Asia. It has a region that sports the most rainfall in India and has picturesque lakes and waterfalls spread out all over the state. So with this vision in mind, finding reasons to visit Meghalaya isn’t all that difficult!
Exploring Meghalaya in its entirety would require a week ideally, but if you are short on time, we have curated a list of some of the most eminent destinations in Meghalaya that you could visit on a 3-4 day vacation. Read on for the must visit attractions & festivals in Meghalaya.
If you have arrived at Cherrapunji and it hasn’t rained, it will because Cherrapunji is the second wettest place, not only in India but also in the world. A cup of hot tea in your hands is perfect when in Cherrapunji! Apart from the dense forest cover, misty clouds, and non-stop rainfall, you can also visit these tourist destinations nearby Cherrapunji. Mawsmai Cave is a classy and majestic work of nature and makes for a thrilling experience. The Krem Mawmluh Cave has a pool inside, which is a confluence of five rivers. It is also the fourth-longest cave in India.
David Scott Trail
The David Scott Trail is named after a British administrator who administered the Khasi Hills for nearly 30 years. It is an Easy to Moderate hike and stretches for over 16 km. The trek starts at Mawphlang and ends at Ladmawphlang, most of which is descending. In this trek, you can expect to find rivers that accompany you through most parts of the trek and bridges that connect villages. Some of the landmarks which you find on the trek route are the Umiam river, Simpanghang Falls, and a part of Mawphlang Dam. One significant thing about this trek is the water in the rivers – It’s the sweetest you’ll find. You can refill them on your trek whenever needed. The trek ends at Ladmawphlang, where you can camp overnight and return back the next day.
Nongriat is a beautiful village in Meghalaya, 3500 steps down from the nearest village of Tyrna. After reaching Nongriat, there are two places that you must visit – the Rainbow Falls and the Double Decker Root Bridge. Though trekking down to the Nongriat village is a tedious task, these places make up for all the hardship. A refreshing swim in the falls prepares you for the trek back up! ( 3500 steps all over again ).
The Dawki or the Umngot River is the center of attraction in Meghalaya, which also borders Bangladesh. The crystal clear water of the lake is quite impressive, and a boat ride here is a must. A ride here is for around half an hour to 40 minutes, which you a serene feeling with wonderful views all around.
A lesser popular place among tourists is the Shnongpdeng, which is famous for water activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and other adventure activities such as zip-lining, cliff jumping, etc. There are also camping options in between Shnongpdeng and Dawki. The water is at its clearest best from December to April, and that would be the best time to visit the lake.
The Nohsngithiang Falls is situated 5 km away from Cherrapunji on the East Khasi Hills and is one of the tallest waterfalls in India. Situated in the Mawsmai village, it is also called the Mawsmai falls, or the Seven Sister Falls, signifying the seven sister states of North East India. The limestone rocks, the glorious waterfalls and the lush green beauty of the Champai forests around, all make for a spectacular view. Tourists are not allowed to enter the waterfalls. However, the Nohsngithiang falls are not perennial. If you go there in the summer, the waterfalls may not be at their best. The best time to visit these falls would be right after the monsoons – from June to September.
Meghalaya is the less popular tea producer as compared to Assam but nonetheless produces high-quality tea. The reason is that Meghalaya is situated at a higher altitude of around 2000 meters. Tea plantations at higher elevations tend to be of better quality. Apart from tea, Meghalaya is also popular for cultivating Cashew Nuts and Areca Nuts.
The cleanest village in Asia definitely deserves a visit. An epitome of cleanliness, this village is a classy example. You find bamboo dustbins everywhere on the roads, and fallen leaves find their ways to the bins upon first sight on them. It’s inspiring to see how every person in the village takes up this responsibility to keep their village clean as if it was their home! Sky View is a bamboo viewing tower that’s over 85 feet high, from where you get a bird’s eye views of Meghalaya and even Bangladesh.
Nongkrem Dance Festival
The Nongkrem dance festival is celebrated at Smit in Khasi hills for over five days long. It is celebrated in Autumn of every year to appease the Gods & Goddesses for a rich harvest. One dance that is particularly popular in this festival is the Ka Pemblang Nongrem dance, coupled with the music by Tangmuri & Nakra. Women and men both participate in the Nongrem dance, with the women dancing on the inner circle and the men on the outside, with a sword in one hand and yak-hair whisk in the other.
Pineapples in Meghalaya
You get some of the juiciest pineapples in Meghalaya, that is complemented with spicy chilly powder mixed with salt. Make sure not to miss them on your trip to Meghalaya.
So, with this thorough guide on Meghalaya, I am sure you won’t regret missing any destination from your trip. If you have visited Meghalaya before, or are planning a trip to this beautiful state in the near future, let me know of your experiences in the comments below. I would love to hear them!
Have a great trip and most importantly stay safe 🙂