Meghalaya is one of the most beautiful and possibly the most accessible Northeastern states of India. Considered as one of the wettest regions in India, 70 per cent of the state is covered in dense forests. Quite distinct from the rest, mountain forests of Meghalaya are worth taking a look at. Majestic hills, cascading waterfalls, beautiful valleys — this place is definitely ‘Heaven on Earth’. And if you are planning a trip to Meghalaya, here is a list of the 8 best tourist places that you should visit.
A visit to Meghalaya remains incomplete until you explore Shillong. The capital of this state, Shillong is also known as Scotland of the East. It is a hill station and has rolling hills and narrow lanes that remind you of Scotland. Ward’s Lake is one of the most preferred tourist destinations in Shillong for many. Adorned with a bridge and flower bed, the lake also has boating facilities for tourists. A 15-minute walk from the lake will take you to another beautiful attraction-Shillong Golf Course. The entire golf course is stunningly bordered by pine trees and also a picturesque clubhouse. Apart from all this, during your stay in Shillong, if you want to indulge in some fun activity, head to Umiam Lake (pictured above) which is situated at a distance of 15 km from the Golf club. They offer a wide range of water sports like boating, scooting, kayaking and also water cycling.
2. Don Bosco Museum of Indigenous Cultures
The Don Bosco Museum situated in Shillong is one of the major tourist destinations of Meghalaya. A visit to this place will make you privy to the rich, multi-cultural lifestyle of the indigenous people of the entire Northeastern states of India. 7 storied with 2 rooms on each floor, the building displays Northeastern culture and tribal lifestyle brilliantly. It is located about 3 km north of Shillong.
3. Living Root Bridges
If you want to witness one of the wonders pf northeast India, visit the Root Bridges which are situated in the dense forests of Meghalaya. They are also known as living root bridges since the residents — Khasi Tribes — have literally trained the growth of these roots from under ancient rubber trees. This footbridge is an alternative to any wooden bridge that may rot over time especially during monsoons. The ‘Double Decker’ root bridge in Nongriat near Cherrapunji is something that remains a major tourist attraction. However, a walk on the bridge cannot be done so easily. You have to cover at least 3000 slippery steps until you finally get to view the bridge.
4. Mawsmai Cave
Mawsmai Cave located in Cherrapunji is an experience of a lifetime that every traveller should have. There are narrow paths that are entwined with each other. Carry an extra pair of footwear and a change of clothes. Exploring this cave in Meghalaya as said by many travellers is ‘eerie’. The best part about Mawsmai Cave is the stalagmite formations and the fact that they are the only caves in Meghalaya that are lit enough for tourists to take a walk and enjoy these formations.
5. Garo Hills
If you love nature for its pristine beauty and picturesque landscapes, Garo Hills is where you should be. Situated in the western part of Meghalaya, Garo Hills is home to Nokrek Biosphere Reserve (pictured above), Balpakram National Park and also the Siju Wildlife Sanctuary. You can enjoy the calmness of nature and the majestic mountain views here.
The Elephant Falls in Shillong will leave you awestruck owing to the cascading waterfall. The structure on the black rocks resembles an elephant and hence the name. The rock structure was destroyed during an earthquake. The falls, however, are as majestic as they have always been. The best time to view the beautifully flowing water is during sunset when the light is slowly fading and the water shines. The untouched natural beauty and serenity are what makes this place a must-visit spot in Meghalaya.
7. Laitlum Canyon
If you love adventure, then Laitlum Canyon is the perfect place to be at. Ideal for trekking, this place should be put down in your list of best-trekking destinations in the northeast. It might be a little difficult, but if you have the right tools with the help of local guidelines, this trek is surely going to be fun. Once you reach the top which takes four to five hours approximately, the panoramic view of the pristine state of Meghalaya will make your effort worthwhile. On our way back down, you could also head to the Lwai Falls situated on the East Khasi Hills to cool off your tiredness.
Located near Cherrapunji in Meghalaya, Nohkalikai Falls is the tallest in India flowing from a height of 1115 feet (340 mt). The force of the water is so strong that there is a waterhole that has been carved. It turns blue in winter and green in summer. The spectacular view of the falls is a treat to the eyes.