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Best places to visit in Northeast India: Discover Meghalaya

Author: Mohammad Amaan
Date: 2020-04-21

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India's Northeast is a land of undulating hills and plains with luxuriant green cover and a wide variety or rare and exotic flora and fauna. Consisting of 8 states Northeast India has some real surprises for the travelers. Not so much established on the tourist map, yet the North Eastern India, has its own charm that will sweep you off your feet. Come here for once and lose yourself in its charismatic magic.

Northeast India consists of the eight states Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. Tourism in this area is based around the unique Himalayan landscape and culture distinct from the rest of India.

Meghalaya – The Abode of Clouds

Meghalaya 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.

Krang Suri Falls Krang Suri Falls,Meghalaya

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 capital of Meghalaya is Shillong. During the British rule of India, the British imperial authorities nicknamed it the "Scotland of the East". Meghalaya was previously part of Assam, but on 21 January 1972, the districts of Khasi, Garo and Jaintia hills became the new state of Meghalaya. English is the official language of Meghalaya. Unlike many Indian states, Meghalaya has historically followed a matrilineal system where the lineage and inheritance are traced through women; the youngest daughter inherits all wealth and she also takes care of her parents.

The state is the wettest region of India, recording an average of 12,000 mm of rain a year.About 70% of the state is forested. The Meghalaya subtropical forests ecoregion encompasses the state; its mountain forests are distinct from the lowland tropical forests to the north and south. Th forests are notable for their biodiversity of mammals, birds, and plants.

Meghalaya has predominantly an agrarian economy with a significant commercial forestry industry. The important crops are potatoes, rice, maize, pineapples, bananas, papayas, spices, etc. The service sector is made up of real estate and insurance companies. It is also a major logistical center for trade with Bangladesh

The State enjoys a temperate climate. It is directly influenced by the South-West Monsoon and the Northeast winter wind. The four seasons of Meghalaya are: Spring - March and April, Summer (Monsoon) - May to September, Autumn -October and November and Winter - December to February.

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:

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. 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

Dawki Dawki, Meghalaya

  1. 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.

Arunachal Pradesh- Arunachal Pradesh is a mysterious and relatively unexplored land of the Eastern Himalayas, with the beautiful Gori Chen range and Kangto peak towering above the unending carpet of pine tree tops. Arising somewhere from the Assam plains along the Tibetan border, it is entirely a hilly state that lies on the mighty Himalayan and Patkoi ranges and is famously referred to as ‘nature’s treasure trove’. It is endowed with rich biological and cultural diversity. It has limitless beautiful landscapes, trekking trails, and water sports that need to be explored. It is one of the best tourist Places in India for adventurous folks. If you are seeking to step into a world of extraordinary beauty and discover experiences found nowhere on earth, Arunachal Pradesh is the place for you.

Assam- Assam, the land where you sip the best flavors of tea, dip your feet in its mighty rivers, and relax. It is famous throughout the world for its tea; the Kaziranga National Park that conserves the endangered Indian one-horned rhinoceros; Muga silk, which is solely produced in the state; colorful festivals; beautiful temples; and exotic biodiversity. You can witness and experience spectacular landscapes, hospitable locals, exotic cuisines, and artistic heritage. Assam is a mixture of wildlife and complex ethnicity. Spend your holidays in Assam and take back home some of the most wonderful memories to cherish.

Manipur- Manipur (‘Jewelled Land’) sits amid rolling hills stretching to India’s border with Myanmar. It is in the north-eastern part of the country and is listed among one of the most beautiful Places of India. It's a place of great geographical and cultural variety. The state offers endless enjoyment and pleasure with its exotic landscape, undulating hills, green valleys, blue lakes, and dense forests. The Keibul Lamjao National Park in Manipur is the only floating national park in the world. Manipur is well-known in the whole country for its classical folk dance called Raas.

Mizoram- Mizoram is a mountainous state nestled in the southern tip of the north-east region of India. Mizoram is covered with verdant forests dominated by thick bamboo groves, teeming with vibrant wildlife; sheer cliffs; and breath-taking waterfalls. The entire region of Mizoram is dotted with unique Places/landmarks of myriad folklores and picturesque villages with houses built on stilts. Mizoram is a land of dramatic seas of morning mists that enfold islands of hills and peaks. Mizoram is the land of the Highlanders, or the Mizos. For anyone looking for a quiet holiday or outdoor activities in pristine and peaceful setting, Mizoram is a destination worth your while.

Nagaland- Nagaland is a state in the far north-eastern part of India. It borders the state of Assam to the west, Arunachal Pradesh and part of Assam to the north, Myanmar to the east and Manipur to the south. The state capital is Kohima, and the largest city is Dimapur. It has an area of 16,579 km² with a population of 2,280,602 as per the 2012 census, making it one of the smallest states of India. Two threads common to all, is language and religion - English is in predominant use and Nagaland is one of three states in India where the population is predominantly Christian, with conversions starting in the British Raj era.

Sikkim- Sikkim surprises many with the variety of experiences it has to offer to travelers and its inhabitants. Sikkim is adorned with colorful Buddhist monasteries in the west, lush green valley in the north, religious stupas in the south, and the urban hustle-bustle in the east. From every corner, Sikkim offers spectacular views of the Khangchendzonga range. The snow-covered mountains, terrace farming, and organic vegetable gardens are not only a visual treat but they also invigorate one's soul by their beauty. One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the unique cultures of the most 3 dominant tribes--Lepchas, Nepalis, and Bhutias--is to opt for a homestay experience. It is one of the best tourist Places in India for honeymooners.

Tripura- The beauty of the erstwhile kingdom of Tripura stems from the splendor of its natural and cultural heritage. There are neither great mountain peaks, nor major rivers in Tripura yet its verdant expanses and rich forest land have had a great attraction for visitors for centuries. Tripura offers a plethora of delightful attractions in its cavalcade of historic Places, rock cut carvings, sculptures, Buddhist and Hindu holy Places, wildlife sanctuaries, and tribal people. Poet laureate Rabindranath Tagore found its pollution-free, eco-friendly environment, pleasant climate and tranquility the perfect retreat to compile some of his works here. Blending into the hills and valleys, the villages are a tapestry of rich ethnic traditions.

You may check more Northeast India must visit Places for tourist below:

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Tura

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Nongstoin

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Cherrapunjee

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Shillong

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Sasatgre Village

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Balpakram National Park

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Baghmara

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Kodaldhowa Lake

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Imilchang Dare

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Shillong Peak

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Nartiang

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Mawphlang

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Mawlynnong

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Jowai

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, David Scott Trail

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Dawki

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Lawmusiang

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Jaintia Hills

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Kongthong

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Sohtyngkhur Viillage

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Thum Falls

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Mawsynram

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Jarain

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Dimapur

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Kohima

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Diezephe

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Ntanki National Park

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Dzukou Valley

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Kisama

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Tuopehma

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Wokha

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Pfutsero

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Zunheboto

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Mt. Saramati

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Mon

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Mokokchung

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Khezhakeno

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Longkhum

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Benreu

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Aizawl

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Champhai

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Saiha

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Lamsai Puk

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Hmuifang Village

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Reiek

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Tezpur

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Maguri Beel

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Ukhrul

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Andro

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Ravangla

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Bomdila

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Tawang

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Itanagar

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Ziro

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Pasighat

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Bhalukpong

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Pakke Wildlife Sanctuary

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Sessa Orchid Sanctuary

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Naharlagun

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Seppa

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Pilak

Best Places to Visit in Northeast India, Gandacherra


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