Tourist Places in Meghalaya
Based in the northeastern part of India, Meghalaya is one of the seven north-east states of India, which are together known as the 'Seven Sisters of India', and it is also a hilly state due to which weather is always pleasant here. The word 'Meghalaya' is taken from Sanskrit, which loosely translates to 'abode of cloud', and this state truly justifies its meaning in every aspect. Meghalaya is popular for its natural beauty places, including its varied bio-diversity, high rainfall, dense rainforest, and many other sites, and all of these places together make Meghalaya one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. If one wants to spend their vacation peacefully, away from the city's hectic life, and around nature, then Meghalaya is a perfect choice for them. Lack of connectivity can be an issue here for the visitors, but living under nature's touch with its own way of surviving and living, one will truly feel blessed to have visited this state. The Northeastern part of Meghalaya is bounded by the borders of Assam, whereas the Southwestern part of the state is surrounded by Bangladesh's boundary, and that's why one can find not only Indian but also Bangladeshi tourists on their trip to Meghalaya. The tribal community of Meghalaya, which includes Jaintias, Garos, and Khasis, is one of the most popular tribal communities of India, and the tribal communities which are listed above, contribute to the major population of the state.
There are many tourist spots that can amaze and refresh the mind of the visitors, and this state will also surprise the tourists with a myriad of tourist attractions that one would surely include in their list. Tourists come here to take a break from their busy and hectic city work life and escape to forests and lush green valleys which cover the state from all directions. A pine-fresh mountain state among the Seven Sisters of India, Meghalaya has many things to offer to the visitors along with its gorgeous places covered with natural beauty, and visitors would never mind staying in this at least for a week. Meghalaya will surely refresh one's mind and make their heart happy with its pleasant weather and handicrafts made by its native tribal community. This article talks about all such tourist places of Meghalaya that one cannot afford to miss while having a visit to this beautiful state of clouds.
1. Mawphlang Sacred Forest
Mawphlang Sacred Forest is a tropical rainforest placed in the midst of the Nongrum region and is an abode of rich fauna and flora. Towering trees that are claimed to be 1000 years old enclose this forest. The forest's stunning vegetation mirrors the natural splendour of Meghalaya. This forest also holds mythical importance to the native population; hence it is contemplated hallowed by them. Without any doubt, the forest provides an astonishing getaway to nature admirers and is one of the eminent destinations among all the tourist attractions in Meghalaya.
Things to do at the place- Enjoy the scenic views of luxurious greenery
Best time to explore the forest- April to June
Located in East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya, Mawsynram is the rainiest landscape among all the tourist locations in the state. Surrounding luxurious green hills, this village watches an enormous amount of rainfall all through the year. Mawsynram experiences an average rain of about 11,872 millimetres per year, thus making it one of the peculiar destinations in Meghalaya. The village is embellished with low-altitude clouds, refreshing waterfalls, impressive landscapes, and foggy weather.
Things to do at the place- Get immersed in the charm of the unblemished waterfalls.
Best time to explore the Mawsynram- April to June
3. Laitlum Canyon
Positioned in the East Khasi Hills, Laitlum Canyon is surely an angelic abode. With low altitude clouds, picturesque outlook, and sprawling green landscape, it is considered one of the state's most beautiful tourist destinations. This place is an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts who loves to rejuvenate themselves in the lap of nature. Adventurous travelers can also enjoy their time at this site as the 3000-step stairway offers a spirited and exciting experience.
Things to do at the place- Witness the breathtaking surroundings
Best time to explore the Laitlum Canyon- April to June
Located in the West Jaintia Hills district, Dawki is one of the most recognized locations to explore in Meghalaya. Famous for its clear river, it is amongst the most instaworthy place on earth. One should surely mention visiting Dawki on their bucket list if they are traveling to Meghalaya anytime soon. In addition, it is a major trade center as it is sandwiched between India and Bangladesh.
Speciality of the place- Prepossessing River with clear water
Best time to explore Dawki- November
Placed in South Garo Hills, Williamnagar is amongst the most alluring places to explore in Meghalaya and houses rich flora and fauna. The place is named after the first Chief Minister of Meghalaya and is positioned by the side of the Simsang River. The beautiful town has picturesque mountains and rivers. If one has a desire to explore the countryside, they should surely take a trip to this breathtaking town.
Speciality of the town- Embellished with enormous flora and spectacular views of mountains.
Attractions nearby- Tasek Lake, Naka-Chikong, Domre Falls, Napak Lake
Best time to explore the town- October to February
Nongpoh is another beautiful destination to visit in Meghalaya. This is a small town positioned very close to the Brahmaputra Plains and located to the East of Khasi Hills. Tourists visiting Nongpoh admire salubrious weather, lush greenery, and the beautiful gushing rivers of this place. Situated in the Ri-Bhoi district of the state, this place is also considered a great stopover while traveling to the capital of the state.
Speciality of the place- The picture-perfect environment
Major attractions of the destination- Lum Sohpetbneng, Nongkhyllem wildlife sanctuary, Dwar Ksuid, Lum Nehru Park
Best time to explore the Nongpoh- August to November
Positioned in Garo Hills, Jowai is another popular tourist attraction to explore in the state. This destination is popular among tourists due to its perfect blend of culture and heritage. Visitors here experience the local lifestyle of townspeople and learn about their way of life. Beautiful lakes in the location make it even more worth witnessing. Tour Thadlaskein Lake and spend a few hours thinking about your life as you watch the tranquil views.
Speciality of the place- Untouched waterfalls
Best time to explore Jowai- March to May
Placed in West Garo Hills, Tura is amongst the best tourist places to visit in Meghalaya due to its calm environs. This place is a heaven for nature admires and wildlife enthusiasts. At a distance of 12 km from Tura, Nokrek National Park is situated where one can find a wide range of species like wild buffalo, pheasant, golden cat, and leopard. Another nearby attraction is Siju Caves which one should surely visit on their trip to Tura.
Speciality of the place- Tura is an abode of rich fauna
Best time to explore Tura- December to February
9. Umiam Lake
Located at a distance of 15 km north of Shillong, Umiam Lake is a beautiful man-made reservoir. The lake was formed after a dam was built to generate hydroelectric power. The scenic Umiam Lake is enveloped by lush green East Khasi Hills, which makes for an enclosing sight for nature admirers. Daybreak is worth witnessing at the lake with naked eyes that shouldn't be missed. Also, visitors can go boating on the lake, and adventurous travelers can enjoy drifting and many other water sports.
Speciality of the place- Gleaming man-made lake
Charges for boat ride-Yachting- INR 100, Pedal boat: INR 20
10. Mawsmai Cave
Amongst all the other caves in the region, Mawsmai is undoubtedly the most delightful one. A lot of greenery inside the cave is enough to grab one's eye. As this cave is only 150 meters in length and isn't the longest in comparison to other caves in the area, it most presumably offers one a glimpse into life below the ground. Spotted at a distance of only 6 km from the Cherrapunjee's core, Mawsmai cave is an astounding cavern placed in Meghalaya's East Khasi Hills.
Speciality of the place- An exciting escapade
Opening hours- 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
Entry charges- INR 10
11. Nohkalikai Waterfalls
Nohkalikai Waterfalls is the 4th most noteworthy waterfalls on the planet and cascades around in the range of 335 meters from a verdant cliff to the ground offering the presentation of enormous and astonishing divine nature. These falls are the pride of the territory of Meghalaya and are one of the most glorious and tremendous falls in the country.
Reserved between the Khasi Hills' rainforest and cascading with all its prestige and may, the falls plunge into a tidal pond that is as blue as the eventide.
Speciality of the place- A heaven-like destination with magnificent natural scenes
Visiting hours- 8 am to 5 pm
Entry fee- INR 10
Located in the South Garo Hills, Baghmara is one of the favorite destinations in Meghalaya for all visitors, and this place holds many surprises for them. Baghmara Forest Reserve, which is a perfect spot for all wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers, is only 4 KM away from the town of Baghmara, and it provides a refreshing environment for all visitors. Every wildlife enthusiast planning a trip to Meghalaya should include Baghmara Forest Reserve in their list as it is preserved with langurs, feathered creatures, elephants, and many other animal species. Apart from animal species in the forest reserve, there are the Siju caverns which are must-visit tourist attractions for labyrinth lovers. The Speciality of this cavern is that it is comprised of chambers and an endless maze, and it is the third-longest cavern framework in the Indian subcontinent. Inside the caverns, there are wonderful and gorgeous limestone rock arrangements that are truly sensational, and it is named the 'Princess Di's Chamber.' As if all this wasn't enough to attract all the visitors, during the winter season, the Siju Bird Sanctuary of Baghmara also offers the rarest of species relocating here, which is sufficient in itself to keep the winged creature fans snared.
Speciality of the place- exotic wildlife and home to rare species
Best time to explore Baghmara- October to January
13. Mawlynnong Village
Positioned on the East Khasi Hills of the capital city, Mawlynnong Village is the cleanest village in India, and this town invites all the tourists with everything that is basic to make one's trip to Meghalaya pivotal and complete. From a clean environment and the scenic view of the place to root bridges and beautiful waterfalls, Mawlynnong village is one of the most exotic locations in Meghalaya, which can make anyone's day more meaningful. Apart from this, tourists need to stay inside a bamboo house to become adaptive to these places as there are numerous bamboo houses in these villages, and one cannot escape from staying in them.
Speciality of the place- Scenic surroundings and encompasses gorgeous landscapes
Best time to explore Mawlynnong Village- Throughout the year
Cost to stay in this place- Around Rs 1500 to Rs 2000
14. Kyllang Rock
Located on the West Khasi Hills of the capital city of Meghalaya, Kyllang Rock is positioned somewhere 78 KM away from the town region of Shillong, and this rock is 5400 ft above sea level with a width of around 1000 ft. All these properties of this rock make it a mammoth square, and this rock is truly a giant rock that is made out of red stone. Being a mammoth square of granite stone, this rock appears to be in a very lovely shape, and it is also a piece of Khasi fables. One can get cherish, and high dose of dopamine by climbing to the highest point of this rock, and they can also enjoy the stunning views of the encompassing zone there. It is a very popular saying that this rock has an uncommon attractive field, and the reason behind this is that it is encompassed by age-old Red Rhododendrons. From the northern side, the mammoth dome is brimming with shrubs and rhododendrons, but from the southern side, it is blocked off.
Speciality of the place- Being one of the highest peaks of Meghalaya
Best time to explore Kyllang Rock- Throughout the year, but it is advisable to avoid the Monsoons
15. Don Bosco Museum
Located in East Khasi Hills, Shillong, Meghalaya, Don Bosco Museum is a perfect destination for visitors who are engrossed in knowing the state's cultural history. The museum is a seven-stored historical center possessing 17 galleries on shows describing the lifestyle of Northeast India. In addition, these galleries showcase a spacious arrangement of weapons, expressions, relics, clothing types, and painstaking work that displays the culture and lifestyle of different individuals and tribes of the state. Additionally, Don Bosco Museum is recognized as one of the best in Asia.
Speciality of the place- A perfect depiction of Meghalaya's cultural history
Entry charges- INR 100 for Indians and INR 200 for foreigners
16. Double-decker Living Root Bridge
Placed in Cherrapunji, Meghalaya, a Double-decker Living Root Bridge is popular for its bridge made of roots of an Indian rubber tree. The bridge is at the height of 2400 feet and is 3 km long. The most picturesque experience is when the Umshiang River runs under the bridge, and one is walking over it. Made around 200 years ago, it is the age-old natural bridge having the capacity to accommodate only 50 persons at one time. Couples on their Meghalaya honeymoon got to visit this beautiful bridge. The bridge starts at the town of Tyrna and traverses the Umshiang waterway amid its adventure. Getting to the correct location is a little bit of a trek. The climb down to the bridge is a wonderful 3500-3600 steps each route to the scaffolding and once again from Tyrna's base town, placed at a distance of 20 kilometers from Cherrapunjee's principal town.
Speciality of the place- Age-old natural bridge
Trek hours- 4 to 6 hours
Best time for visiting the place- Except from May to September, because it is quite slippery
17. Elephant Falls
The enduring Meghalaya, which has lush greenery spread all over the state, is also popular for its incredible waterfalls. Located 12 kilometers from Shillong, the beauty of the state, Elephant Falls, has an elephant-like stone at its foot and is one of the most recognized locations in the North East. The sublime Elephant falls were referred to as "Ka Kshaid Lai Patang Khohsiew" by the close Khasi peoples, which indicates "The Three Step Waterfalls " as these falls are made up of three glorious falls in continuation. The first of the three waterfalls are pushed in the midst of the dense trees and is broad.
The succeeding fall reduces to thin water strands and is virtual of no importance during winters due to the retreating level of water. The third and the most viewable waterfall is the highest, with crystal-clear water flowing like a sheet of milk hitting on rocks in the background. With its glorious environs and picturesque views, this waterfall is amongst the most in-demand places to explore near Shillong.
Speciality of the place- Enclosed by luxurious greenery and offers breathtaking views
Best time for visiting the place- During the Monsoon
18. Balpakram National Park
While having a trip to Meghalaya, one should not miss the chance to visit Balpakram National Park, which is located in the Garo Hills of Western Meghalaya and is popularly known as a visitors' paradise. Many tourists who have come to explore here during their vacation refer to this national park as the 'Land of Spirits', and they love to explore its rich biodiversity. One can easily spot animals like Marbled Cats, Wild Cows, Leopards, Deer, Tigers, Elephants, Wild Buffalo, Red Pandas, etc., and that's why this park is called a Paradise for all wildlife photographers or wildlife enthusiasts. Apart from these, this park is also home to some rare species, including Sterow, Indian Bison, and Red Panda. This park is so special and amazing that tourists who have visited this compare it with the Grand Canyon in the USA. One can easily find many budget-friendly accommodations around this national park, which is counted among the best national parks in India.
Best time for visiting the place- October to March
Entry Fee- No entry fee is charged from tourists to enter Balpakram National Park
Speciality of Balpakram National Park- Rich Biodiversity