How often do we pause for a moment when we hear the name of a place and make an effort to find out its meaning? Well, for me, Meghalaya is definitely one of those very few places that left me in awe when I heard the name for the very first time. Meghalaya is a place where time becomes still as you watch over the crystal clear river waters and the heart skips a beat every time you witness a beautiful waterfall gushing down the sharp cliffs. Meghalaya is a must-visit destination for every traveller who is on a quest for scenic beauty as well as adventure. A visit to Meghalaya will be one of your best experiences and worth your time. Whether you are a family vacationer or solo traveler, a visit to Meghalaya is something you cannot afford to miss. Meghalaya, which means the abode of clouds, is a box of treasure in the northeast India, well known for its pristine waterfalls, winding roads, cleanest village in Asia, and the best of landscapes that you’d witness throughout your visit in Meghalaya.
A breathtaking landscape of Meghalaya- the abode of clouds
Umngot river in Dwaki, Meghalaya
The best way to reach Meghalaya is to fly to Guwahati Airport and take the roads thereon to other parts of Meghalaya. The distance from Guwahati to Shillong is about 98 km and the time taken is approximately 3 hours. Shillong, a vibrant town, known as the rock capital of India, is the capital city of Meghalaya and also the best place to commence your visit in Meghalaya. Shillong, Cherrapunjee, Mawlynnong, Dawki, Nongriat, and Mawsynram are the best of notable places that will make your visit to Meghalaya a unique experience.
One of the most important aspects of planning a vacation is to choose the best time to visit that particular destination. The weather and sceneries add up to the overall experience. This article intends to provide you insights of the best time to visit Meghalaya based on personal as well as accumulated experiences from people who have witnessed the beauty of Meghalaya.
An aerial view of Shillong at night
The best time to enjoy a visit to Meghalaya is highly subjective. The state of Meghalaya is the wettest state in general, but the weather varies throughout the year. However, the most favoured time is during the summer months, between March and June, when the temperature is at its best. As mentioned earlier, Meghalaya is a treasure box, offering different ways and means during different seasons to witness its glorious beauty. The year-long weather of Meghalaya for experiencing the best of Meghalaya is jotted down below:
Summer Sojourn in Meghalaya
In Meghalaya, the summer months expand from mid-March to June. Even though it’s the peak/best time to visit Meghalaya for tourists, the rush is quite low as compared to other tourist destinations in India. As Meghalaya is still well hidden and quite unexplored, a visit to Meghalaya during summer months is a good plan. Meghalaya experiences temperatures between 12-30 degrees over these months. Though the afternoons could get quite warm, the mornings and evenings in Meghalaya are quite pleasant even during summer.
A summer scene of Mawphalang village in Meghalaya
You could spend your summer days in Meghalaya by visiting the serene villages and forests. Summer time is the best time to visit Meghalaya as famous festivals are held at this time. The famous festival of Shad Suk Mynsiem that spans over three days and Chad Sukra festival are held in the month of April every year in Meghalaya. It’s the best opportunity for you to couple your nature admirer soul and culture seeker mind by witnessing these festivals of Meghalaya, rich in heritage, culture, and colours. A win-win for you!
Monsoon Madness in Meghalaya
Monsoon in Meghalaya roughly spans over July to October. In some cases, the rains often hit in the end of June itself. While some might suggest not planning a trip to Meghalaya during monsoon as the connectivity via roads within the state of Meghalaya may face a hindrance due to heavy rainfall, locals have a different take on this and consider the monsoon to be the best time to visit this state. The beauty of Meghalaya reaches its peak during monsoon months. The rainfall is more or less continuous, with two of the wettest towns of the world—Mawsynram and Cherrapunjee—situated in Meghalaya. You might face some discomfort while traveling on the roads, but the hues of the sky, gigantic chunks of clouds ranging from grey to black with lush green meadows below them, and the sounds of the mighty waterfalls will come together to form a breathtaking landscapes and symphony, making your visit to Meghalaya a one-of-a-kind experience.
Nohkalikai falls in Meghalaya
Elephant falls in Shillong
One of the significant festivals held in Meghalaya during the monsoon season is Behdienkhlam. This festival is celebrated by the Jaintia tribe in the northeastern regions of the state of Meghalaya. While rains hit the ground, the festival marks the victory of good over evil. You can witness the locals gather to cook, dance, enjoy traditional music, and play various sports. If you’re someone who prefers taking the odd roads, a visit to Meghalaya in monsoon is worth giving a shot!
Winter Wanders in Meghalaya
Autumn and winters in Meghalaya can be considered intertwined with each other, with autumn roughly spanning over end of October to the whole of November. December, January, and February are the winter months in Meghalaya, with temperatures ranging between 15 degrees during day time to 3 degrees at night. For some, winters is the best time to visit Meghalaya as you’d be treated to romantic misty mornings, cool breezes, and pleasant cold nights. Trekking and hiking expeditions are common in the winter months to experience thrill in the terrains of Meghalaya. With trees covered in pink and white flowers and foggy landscapes, the beauty of Meghalaya goes beyond description in winters. Sightseeing in Meghalaya, walking the sacred forests, and hiking through the double decker living root bridge are some activities that can be experienced best during the winter months.
Living root bridge in Nongriat Meghalaya
Along with connecting with nature, there are a truckload of things to do in Meghalaya in winters. Music festivals, flower shows, food and wine tasting festivals, and fishing competitions are few of the experiences that await your visit to Meghalaya in winters. The Strawberry festival and the Ranikor festival are the most prominent festivals held in Meghalaya during February. If you want to experience a variety of activities, while not complaining of the extra baggage of woolen garments, planning a visit to Meghalaya in the winter season is the best idea you could have.
Meghalaya is a place that will never give you a reason to complain. Be it the hospitality of the locals or the wonderful landscapes, a smile on your face is sure to be a constant throughout your journey. Decide on what you seek from your visit and choose the best time to indulge in an affair with the waterfalls and mountains. Meghalaya awaits your arrival.
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