PLACES TO VISIT IN MEGHALAYA : A COMPLETE GUIDE

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I will go to ri Sohra to be among the hills,

The land of u tiew sohkhah and u tiew pawang lum;

The land of ka sim pieng, the land of u kaitor,

The land of valour, the land of culture.

– U SOSO THAM

Before we begin with the places to visit in Meghalaya, let’s look at the state itself. Aptly named as “abode of clouds”, it is one of the Seven Sisters of India, the common name for the north-eastern states of India which include Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Tripura, Assam, Manipur and Mizoram. Known for lush green landscapes, incredible waterfalls, rich biodiversity and a past that is soaked in violence. The state’s history is deeply intertwined with the lives and traditions of the Khasi, Jaintia, and Garo tribes, each contributing uniquely to the region’s rich heritage. Meghalaya is unique in India for its matrilineal society, especially among the Khasi and Jaintia tribes, where lineage and inheritance are traced through women.

To get a sense of the place, one must be in touch with the locals, and lucky for you, Explurger- travel social app that boasts of hosting people from all over. You can connect with locals and fellow travelers using the “Explore Your City” feature and make your journey into seeing the best places to visit in Meghalaya a cultural immersion!

Meghalaya Tourist Attractions that ought to make it to your Travel Bucket list

 

SHILLONG: The Scotland of The East

Scotland of The East
Scotland of The East

Shillong serves as the capital of Meghalaya and is a gateway to exploring the state’s myriad natural and cultural wonders. It is one of the most famous places to visit in Meghalaya because of its convenience and beauty. 

Things to Do:

  • Explore Ward’s Lake: Take a leisurely boat ride on this picturesque lake surrounded by manicured gardens.
  • Visit Shillong Peak: Enjoy panoramic views of the city from the highest point in Shillong, a major Meghalaya tourist attraction because of its high elevation that offers a clear view of the Himalayas. 
  • Stroll Through Police Bazaar: Shop for local handicrafts, souvenirs, and enjoy street food.

Things to See:

  • Elephant Falls: A stunning three-tiered waterfall located a short drive from the city. A must-add to your Explurger Bucket List.
  • Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures: A museum showcasing the diverse cultures of Northeast India.
  • Laitlum Canyons: Breathtaking vistas of deep gorges and lush valleys.

Foods to Try:

  • Jadoh: A traditional Khasi dish made with rice and pork.
  • Dohneiiong: Pork cooked with black sesame seeds.
  • Tungrymbai: Fermented soybean paste cooked with pork and spices.

Cherrapunji / Sohra: The wettest place on planet Earth

The wettest place on planet Earth

Not for nothing has this place been added to the list of the best places to visit in Meghalaya. This geographical wonder has been an awe-inspiring place for everyone who has visited it. The native inhabitants, the Khasi people are one of the most culturally significant tribes of India- with their staggering belief in nature and its link with the divine.  The ingenious creation of the living root bridges in Meghalaya reflects the creative prowess of the Khasi community’s ancestors. These marvels draw thousands of international tourists to the state. 

Things to Do:

  • Trek to Living Root Bridges: Experience the unique living root bridges, especially the Double Decker Living Root Bridge in Nongriat.
  • Caving Adventures: Explore the fascinating Mawsmai Caves and Arwah Caves.
  • Visit Nohkalikai Falls: Witness one of the tallest waterfalls in India with a dramatic drop of over 1,100 feet, a wonderful Meghalaya tourist attraction.  

Things to See:

  • Seven Sisters Falls: A series of seven segmented waterfalls, especially stunning during the monsoon. 
  • Thangkharang Park: Offers splendid views of the plains of Bangladesh and the Kynrem Falls.
  • Dainthlen Falls: Known for its scenic beauty and associated folklore.

Foods to Try:

  • Pukhlein: A sweet dish made of rice flour and jaggery.
  • Kyat: A local rice beer. Find locals and fellow travelers on Explurger’s “Explore Your City” and give this a try!
  • Nakham Bitchi: A tangy fish soup.

Mawlynnong: Asia’s Cleanest Village

Asia’s Cleanest Village

Situated at the border of India and Bangladesh, this is a must when it comes to places to visit in Meghalaya because of its stunning, clean beauty, unperturbed by nosey tourists. The Khasi tribe maintains a strict code of sanitation to preserve this hamlet in the East Khasi Hills.  The eco-friendly living, the matrilineal society, the high literacy rate as well as the importance given to agriculture as a primary support has made Mawlynnong one of the most forward-thinking cities. Lets see what makes it a great Meghalaya tourist attraction:

Things to Do:

  • Walk Through the Village: Experience the pristine cleanliness and beautiful flower gardens.
  • Nohwet Living Root Bridge exploration: Believed to be over 150 years old, it’s a single-decker bridge, whose beauty lies in its simplicity and accessibility. Made from the aerial roots of the Indian rubber tree (Ficus elastica), the bridge is a testament to the traditional knowledge and skill of the Khasi tribe. This should definitely make it to your Eplurger Bucket List under places to visit in Meghalaya.
  • Climb the Sky View: Enjoy panoramic views from a bamboo platform built high above the trees.

Things to See:

  • Balancing Rock: A large boulder balanced on a small rock, defying gravity.
  • Bamboo Walkways: Scenic trails through the lush forests.
  • Village Church: A quaint, serene place of worship in the village.

Foods to Try:

  • Bamboo Shoot Fry: A delicious preparation of bamboo shoots.
  • Jhur Sideh: Smoked meat, often pork or beef.
  • Rice Beer: Locally brewed from fermented rice.

Mawsynram: a competition to Sohra

Asia’s Cleanest Village

Some people have transferred the title of “the wettest place on planet Earth” to Mawsynram, where air from the Bay of Bengal is forced upwards by the Khasi Hills and makes the city of Mawsynram drenched in the process. The residents of Mawsynram have adapted beautifully to their perpetually wet environment.  Traditional Khasi houses are built with strong, slanting roofs to efficiently shed the heavy rainfall. But there is more to this wonderful places to visit in Meghalaya than just the downpour. 

Things to Do:

  • Visit Mawjymbuin Cave: One of the highlights of Mawjymbuin Cave is a massive stalagmite formation shaped like a Shivling. 
  • Experience Rainfall: Embrace the heavy rains that make this place one of the wettest on Earth.
  • Trek Through the Lush Landscapes: Explore the verdant hills and valleys.

Things to See:

  • Krem Puri: Holding the title of the Longest Sandstone Cave in the world, this is a major Meghalaya tourist attraction that was discovered in 2018. The discovery marked a triumph for explorers and a significant milestone for the scientific community. Such geological marvels offer invaluable insights into Earth’s history, past climates, and the processes that have shaped the planet’s surface.
  • Mawphlang Sacred Forest: A protected forest with ancient trees and unique biodiversity.
  • Jakrem Hot Springs: Natural hot springs believed to have medicinal properties.
  • Khreng Khreng Waterfalls: A beautiful waterfall hidden in the lush greenery.

Foods to Try:

  • Bamboo Shoots: Prepared in various styles, often with pork.
  • Dohkhlieh: Pork salad with onions, ginger, and chillies.
  • Minil Songa: Sticky rice prepared in a special way.

Some Natural Wonders You Can’t-Miss in Your Trip to Meghalaya

 

Dawki River

Dawki River

Located in the West Jaintia Hills, forming on the India-Bangladesh natural border is a river with exceptionally crystal clear waters is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Meghalaya, that allows a look into the riverbed and stones beneath the surface. The annual boat race is a major Meghalaya tourist attraction that has boosted tourism and has allowed for people all over the world to witness the Khasi culture that holds major ties with nature and divinity. Go for a boat ride, camping, visit the border, Jaflong Zero points- just enjoy nature in all its glory!

Jaintia Hills

Jaintia Hills

This sparsely populated mountain range is a wonderful gem when it comes to places to visit in Meghalaya. You should visit Nartiang Monoliths, the largest collection of monoliths in a single area that conveys Meghalayan history and legacy. Another is Thadlaskein Lake, an artificial lake you can chill by. Don’t miss out on a hidden gem-Krang Suri Falls, a mesmerizing plunge that will leave you wanting more. These scenic spots scattered all over the hills are a testament to the wonders in the north-eastern states of India that deserve more attention.  You can visit fellow travel buddies from Explurger’s “Explore Your City” feature and get the adventure started!

Best time to visit 

These places to visit in Meghalaya are pleasant all around the year but it all depends on your preferences. 

  • Spring (March-May): Perfect for enjoying pleasant weather, blooming rhododendrons, and attending the annual Shad Suk Mynsiem festival.
  • Monsoon (June-September): Experience lush greenery, thundering waterfalls, and occasional snowfall at higher elevations in the places to visit in Meghalaya. 
  • Autumn (October-November): Witness vibrant fall foliage, clear skies, and participate in the Wahan Laremian festival.
  • Winter (December-February): Explore the state amidst chilly temperatures and the possibility of snowfall in the places to visit in Meghalaya like Shillong and Cherrapunji. 

As you realize your wishes onto what attracts you among these places to visit in Meghalaya, let us remind you that this state is a wonder in its existence- from its culture, its history and legacy to its natural environment, biodiversity and locals. You can connect with locals and travelers alike on Explurger, a travel social app that can connect you with explorers and adventurers like yourself from all over the world. You can discover hidden gems, local delights and much more and with a simple click, add that to your customizable Bucket List. The state has much to offer for each kind of traveler- the solace seeker, the nature enthusiast, the history buff, the adventurer etc. 
This blog on places to visit in Meghalaya comes to an end with a simple note: when and wherever you go, do respect local customs and traditions. Make sure you opt for sustainable travel and sanitation to preserve this natural beauty.