Meghalaya – The Abode of Clouds is a cool, serene mountain state that separates the Assam valley and the Bangladeshi plains. This hilly Northeastern region is home to Cherrapunjee and Mawsynram- the wettest Places on this planet (Cherrapunjee receives the highest rainfall). Don’t be surprised to see two set of landscapes; one that consists of the lush green, rain-fed forests and the other with barren land due to erosion.
The state is bounded to the south by the Bangladeshi divisions of Mymensingh and Sylhet, to the west by the Bangladeshi division of Rangpur, and to the north and east by India's State of Assam. It is one of the only two states of India which has only one neighbouring Indian state, other being Sikkim. The state is the wettest region of India.
How to reach:
By Air: Major airport from Meghalaya is located in Guwahati (Assam) at a distance of 159 km (Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport). The airport is well- connected with major Indian cities. Traveling to Meghalaya by flight is a unique experience in itself. There are no direct bus connection from Guwahati Airport to Meghalaya, but you can hire a cab to reach your destination.
By Rail: If you are planning to travel to Meghalaya by train, the nearest railway station from Meghalaya is located in Guwahati (Assam). It lies at a distance of 180 km. To reach Meghalaya from Guwahati you can opt for buses or can hire a cab.
By Road: Meghalaya is well-connected to major cities through roads. The roads are mostly smooth and well-frequented with traffic.
Places to visit in Meghalaya:
- Tura: Tura is a hilly town in West Garo Hills district in the Indian state of Meghalaya. One of the largest towns in Meghalaya, Tura is a valley located at the foothills of the Tura Hills and right below the Tura Peak. The climate in Tura is moderate throughout the year and has a large number of interesting and unexplored areas. The native god Durama was believed to have resided in these hills.
Points to cover: Nokrek National Park, Siju Caves, Rongbang Dar Waterfall
- Nonstoin: It is the headquarter of West Khasi Hills District surrounded by lush green hilly terrain. It is a heaven for adventure lovers. The main attraction of this tranquil hamlet is Nongkhnum Island, which is the biggest river island in Meghalaya and the second largest island in Asia. Another popular attraction among the tourists visiting Nongstoin is Embroidery Stone, which is a natural stone formation that has an embroidered design on it.
Points to cover: Weinia Falls, Langshiang Falls
- Cherrapunjee: Hailed as the wettest place on earth, the torrential rains and the mystic scenery, unveiled among wispy clouds, imparts a surreal feeling. The place impresses with its gushing waterfalls and deep gorges. You will also get stunning views of Bangladesh. Cherrapunjee’s oranges and honey are famous, and you can pick up fine handwoven baskets from Sohra market.
Points to cover: Nohkalikai Falls, Mawsmai Caves, Seven Sisters Waterfall
- Shillong: Shillong is even called ‘Scotland of the East’, thanks to the picturesque mountain ranges. Shillong still has some colonial architectural marvels in certain pockets. This colorful city is located on Khasi hills and is a perfect destination to experience natural beauty and take a challenging trek.
Points to cover: Umium Lake, Ward's Lake, Bara Bazar
- Sasatgre Village- Located on the hilly crescent-like saddle, at the foot of the Nokrek peak, in the West Garo Hills district, Sasatgre village is accessible by a jeep able road from Oragitok village which lies on the Tura-Asanangre-Williamnagar State highway. Sasatgre has been blessed by nature in so far as orange plantations are concerned and the village is surrounded by healthy, dark green orange bushes, which are highly productive. The village now falls on the periphery of the Nokrek Gene Sanctuary-cum-Biosphere Reserve.
Points to cover: Pelga Falls, Tura Peak, Chibragre
- Balpakram National Park- Balpakram has been declared a National Park some years ago. This place is about 220 sq kms in area and is 167 kms from Tura. This place is not only of mythological importance but also the natural habitat of many rare and exotic animals and plant life. It is also believed to be the original home of the rare citrus plant Me-mang Narang. Balpakram is exquisitely beautiful when ground orchids are in bloom. The best time to see is from April to mid June. There is the guest house at Hattisil at the entrance to Balpakram run by the Forest Department.
Points to cover: Darga of Hazrat Shah Kamal Baba, Bhaitbari
- Baghmara- Baghmara the head quarter of South Garo Hills District is a fast growing township. It is situated on the banks of Simsang river on the international Bangladesh border. Nearby just below the picturesque Dilsa hill, the State Tourism Department has constructed a Tourist bungalow. b Legend has it that the town was originally called Barokar and got renamed Baghmara (bagh: tiger and mara: killed) when Bong Laskar, a militiaman, killed a tiger by crushing its jaw.
Points to cover: Baghmara Reserve Forest, Nengkong
- Jowai- Jowai is the headquarters of West Jaintia Hills district of the state of Meghalaya, India and is home to the Pnar, a sub-tribe of Hynniewtrep people. It is a scenic place located on a plateau surrounded on three sides by the Myntdu river bordering Bangladesh to the south, about 50 km from the Indo-Bangladesh border. Due to its high altitude of 1380 m above sea level, Jowai experiences warm and pleasant summers with cool to chilly winters.
Points to cover: Umhang Lake, Kiang Nongbah Monument, Syntu Ksiar
- Dawki- Travelling from Shillong to the International trade route border town of Dawki is a splendid drive of 95 kilometres passing through deep gorges and ravines, which is certainly a thrilling experience. On approaching Dawki is the Umngot river, the venue of the annual boat race held during March - April at Umsyiem. The Umngot river is the natural boundary between Ri Pnar or Jaintia Hills with Hima Khyrim of Khasi hills over which is a single span suspension bridge was constructed. This is the gateway to Bangladesh where major export and import transactions take place.
Points to cover: Shnongpgeng, Dawki Bridge and Jaflong Zero Point
- Mawsynram- Mawsynram is a small village in the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya state in north-eastern India, 56 kilometers from Shillong. Reportedly the wettest place on Earth, Mawsynram receives an average annual rainfall of 11,872 mm (about 39 feet). However, as there has been no meteorological department office in the area and for all practical and statistical purposes, Cherrapunjee has been recorded as the wettest place in the world. Mawsynram is a place where nature-loving people frequently visit wherein they take pleasure in the steep, sliding slopes, the fresh air, the rolling green mountains and the deafening but beautiful waterfalls.
Points to cover: Laitkynsew, Mawthadraishan.