A travel Guide to Meghalaya
Meghalaya, popularly known as the ‘Abode of Clouds’ is a beautiful state located in Northeast India. Previously a part of Assam, the districts of Garo, Khasi, and Jaintia Hills were made into the new state of Meghalaya. Surrounded by hills, the state is the epitome of natural beauty. Vast stretches of table-land, gorgeous valleys, and several winding rivers make up for the mesmerising geography of the state. The exotic wildlife, beautiful landscapes, and awe-inspiring hills are what make Meghalaya tours an unforgettable experience.
Apart from its geographical and ecological grandeur, Meghalaya is also a famous spot to visit for tourists. One of the most popular Meghalaya tourist attractions is the city of Shillong. With the confluence of modern and traditional, the capital city of Shillong offers a vibrant city life. Apart from its modernity, the city also has its natural wonders, which can be shown by a Meghalaya tour guide.
Home to many tribes and a host of different identities, the state is a melting pot of cultures. So if you are in the search for some urban city experience interspersed with cultural experiences, Meghalaya India is definitely for you.
Places to visit in Meghalaya
The city of Shillong is one of the most popular Meghalaya tourist places. A place where tradition meets modernity, the city is the cultural hub of the state. Apart from the happening youth culture and cuisines, the city is also known for its natural beauty. Lakes, waterfalls, hills, all are in abundance in the capital. One of the famous Meghalaya attractions is the Khasi Hills, east of which engulfs the cityscape. The tourists can indulge in a variety of fairs and festivals that celebrate the local culture of the place. Some other attractions include several botanical gardens, museums, and famous churches that increase the cultural value of the spot.
2. Elephant Falls
One of the places your Meghalaya travel guide is sure to take you is the Elephant Falls. If you are a fan of breathtaking, picturesque beauty then this waterfall should be on top of your list. It is a three-step waterfall situated quite close to Shillong Peak. For the locals, this is just another picnic spot, but for the tourists, it is a true natural beauty and an Instagram-worthy spot.
3. Living Root Bridges
This is a perfect example of the wonders that can happen when man and nature combine. The Living Root Bridges are some of the finest Meghalaya attractions. Many years ago, members of Khasi tribes had trained the roots of ancient rubber trees in the area to grow purposefully. Today these root bridges substitute regular wooden ones which are more prone to damage. One such famous bridge is the Double Decker Root Bridge in Cherrapunji. It is one of the most popular Meghalaya tourist places amongst the tourists. They are not only utilitarian but also picture-worthy.
4. Balpakram National Park
Balpakram National Park is another feather in the cap of Meghalaya tourism. Home to the rare population of the Red Panda, it houses various species of animals and birds. Also known as the ‘Land of the Spirits’, the park stands 3000 ft above ground level and is surrounded by the beautiful Garo Hills. Subtropical vegetation, deciduous trees, and wildflowers exemplify the beauty of this place. The deep canyon here poses as a very intriguing feature. Your Meghalaya travel Guide will tell you of the numerous legends that originate from the spot. All these features create a unique experience for tourists. If you are into wildlife photography, the Balpakram National Park should be heaven for you.
5. Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Culture
This place was made by the Salesians of Don Bosco in Northeast India to promote and preserve the various indigenous cultures of the region. It is a major destination in the list of cultural Meghalaya attractions. The DBCIC epitomises the unique culture of Meghalaya and allows the visitors to experience it in a well-curated manner. It houses several galleries, focussed on different aspects of their culture. The Agriculture Gallery, the Language Gallery, the Art Gallery are some of the innumerable exhibitions present here. Tourists with an affinity towards the culture of the destination visit this place to have a knowledgeable experience.
Things to do in Meghalaya
There are several things to do in Meghalaya that attract tourists every year. Some of the most exciting activities are as below.
Shopping at Bara Bazaar
It is a must to roam around the colourful streets of Shillong and explore the local markets. One such market is the Bara Bazaar. It sells various locally made products, handicrafts, and souvenirs.
Trek to Living Root Bridges
With the help of your Meghalaya travel guide, you can trek to the majestic root bridges located in Meghalaya. Trekking to the double-decker living bridge in Cherrapunji can be both adventurous as well as therapeutic. It is one of the crown-jewels of Meghalaya tourism.
Experiencing the local cuisine
Meghalaya cuisine is one to die for. It is divided mainly into three categories: Garo, Khasi, and Jaintia. Composed mainly of rice and a variety of curries, the state offers delicacies like Jodoh, Bamboo shoots, and of course, the steaming momos. Tourists are bound to be treated to some lip-smacking dishes, leaving the visitors content and filled with joy.
Cycling at Sohliya village
If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, mountain biking through the village of Sohliya is bound to provide you with that. Your eyes will be treated to its beautiful strawberry farms and scenic beauty. Not only that, but you can also learn about the rural life of the Khasi tribe and even enjoy a traditional meal with them. This certainly makes Sohliya one of the top Meghalaya tourist places to visit.
Best time to visit Meghalaya
Known for its captivating landscapes and stimulating cultural experiences, the best time to visit Meghalaya would be between October and June. During summer, the temperature is quite moderate, which offers respite from other sultry parts of the country. On the other hand, if you want to experience the chilly side of Meghalaya, then you should visit in the winter. The best season to visit Meghalaya may vary, depending on the tourist’s preferences.
How to reach Meghalaya
Meghalaya can easily be reached from various parts of the country. Here are some of the ways of how to reach Meghalaya:
By Air: Meghalaya does not have an international airport. The nearest major airport is in Guwahati, Assam. People can take a taxi or a bus from there and reach Meghalaya.
By Train: Meghalaya does not have a railway station. The nearest one is in Guwahati, from where tourists can take a cab or a bus.
By Road: The MTC (Meghalaya Transport Corporation) is a very well-connected network, within the state as well as with other states. The National Highway 40 connects Shillong to Guwahati. If you wish to enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way then it is advised to visit Meghalaya by road.
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