Tourism in Meghalaya
Carved out of the state of Assam, Meghalaya today is beauty written
in lucid poetry. It is one of the beautiful states of the north-east
with waterfalls, pine-trees and caves adorning various parts of the
state. Other than Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya which is also known
as the Scotland of the East, Cherapunjee and Mawsynram are also popular
tourist destinations. Stay tuned for interesting articles on Meghalaya
covering all that is bold and beautiful!
It is one of the most picturesque states of India. Meghalaya serves as an ideal getaway for people in search of tranquility and beauty. The foggy hills, terraced slopes, serpentine rivers, cascading waterfalls and the panoramic landscapes calm the minds of weary travelers. The region is also blessed with rich wildlife. Apart from that, the cleanest and the wettest place on earth and also Shillong
, the beautiful hill station is located in Meghalaya. The state has a great tourism potential, which is still unexplored and untapped.
Meghalaya: Geography, History, and Culture
Meghalaya is located in the north-eastern part of India. Shillong
, The state capital is which is located at an altitude of 1496 meters. above sea level. The state of Meghalaya lies between latitude 20° 1' N & 26° 5' N and longitude 85° 49' E & 92° 52' E.
Meghalaya's history is related with the three predominant tribes the Khasis, Jaintias and the Garos inhabiting the state since centuries. According to legends the Khasis were the earliest immigrants of Meghalaya. In 19th century, the kingdom of Khasis, Jaintias and Garos came under the British rule. In the year 1824 the Burmese invaded Jaintia Hills and Cachar. On 21 January 1972, Meghalaya attained statehood with a Legislative Assembly of its own.
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Meghalaya is rich in culture and tradition. The different tribes in Meghalaya celebrate different festivals with much joy and enthusiasm. The people of the state are great music lovers. This beautiful state is a home to people belonging to different tribes and races.Also Read:Profile of MeghalayaCulture of Meghalaya
Top Destinations in Meghalaya
There are many beautiful tourist towns and cities in the state of Meghalaya. Mentioned below is the Tourist destination in Meghalaya.
is the capital city of the state of Meghalaya. It is also the district headquarter of the state of Meghalaya. The beautiful city is located at an altitude of 1,491m above sea level. Shillong is just 103kms from Guwahati. Shillong is referred to as the "Scotland of the East". Shillong, given its natural beauty and pleasant weather, has long been a favoured tourist destination. There are also many places of interest here which includes Lady Hydari Park
, Ward's Lake
, Cathedral Catholic Church
, Elephant Falls
, Golf Course, Shillong Peak and Umiam Lake
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Cherapunjee is located about 56 kms from Shillong
.It is one of the beautiful eco-friendly destinations in Meghalaya. The place is dotted with beautiful waterfalls cascading over deep gorges. There are several beautiful tourist places in Cherrapunjee which includes Mawkdok Dympep Valley View, Sa-I-Mika Park, Dain-Thlen Falls, Noh-Kalikai Falls, Ka Kper Syiem Sohra, Nongsawlia,Mawmluh Cave,Eco Park, Mawsmai Cave, Noh-Sngithiang Falls, Thangkharang Park, Ka Khoh Ramhah, Kynrem Falls.
Tourist Attractions in Cherapunjee
Cherrapunji experiences monsoon season all throughout the year. Tourists love to visit Cherapunjee because of its foaming rivers, hazy valleys, rolling clouds and flora and fauna. The place also has many parks, waterfalls and caves that interest the travellers. The sight of these falls becomes extremely beautiful during the monsoons. Some famous tourist spots in Cherrapunjee are:
Double Decker Root Bridge bridge:
This root bridge is among the premier tourist attractions of Cherrapunjee. It is located the Tyma Village. The bridge is a two-tier root bridge, basically a 100 feet long.Dainthlen Waterfalls:
This beautiful water fall is located about 5 km from Cherrapunji. It is a perfect picnic destination. Noh-Kalikai Falls:
An extremely beautiful waterfall cascading down from the hill top to the deep green pool. This is a must visit tourist spot.Mawsmai Cave:
This is also a must visit tourist spot in Cherapunjee. This is the only cave in Meghalaya that is fully lighted.
This fall is also known as Mawsmai falls. It is located about 1 km south of Mawsmai village.
This place is 15kms from Cherrapunjee
and is very popular for the living root bridge. There is also a holiday resort here and it offers tourist treks around the picturesque hills, the thrills of caving, spring bath and many more. There is also a village located nearby and famous for living root bridge known as Jingkieng Nongriat or more commonly referred to as the Double Decker.
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Mawsynram is located about 56 kilometres from Shillong.
It is a small village and is the wettest place on earth. Nature-loving people frequently visit this place wherein they take pleasure in the fresh air, sliding slopes, the rolling green mountains and the beautiful waterfalls. The Mawjymbuin Cave in Mawsynram, one of the well known caves in Meghalaya.
Located in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya Mawlynnong Village
is also referred as ‘God’s own garden’. The village is just 90kms from
Shillong. In the year 2003, the village has earned the acclaim of being
the cleanest village in Asia and Cleanest Village
in the year 2005. Mawlynnong is very popular for its cleanliness and
is a community based eco-tourism initiative. The village offers the
visitors with picturesque natural beauty.
in the monsoons, the village looks extremely beautiful when there is greenery everywhere with abundance of flowering orchids dangling
from the trees and waterfalls paving the way to small streams add to the
beauty of Mawlynnong. The locals of the village have made collective
effort to keep ambience of a clean village.
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There are bamboo garbage bins in every nook and corner of the village.
Another interesting fact of the village is that it has hundred percent
literacy rate and most of the villagers are fluent with the English
Tourist Attractions in Mawlynnong
village offers the tourist the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking sight
of the Bangladesh plains from the Sky Walk (a 80 feet high observatory
or machan) built by the locals. Mawlynnong is located on the Indo-Bangla
border. The most attractive feature of the village is the Living Root
Bridge. You can also enjoy a trek to the living root bridge at a
neighbouring Riwai village.
tourist spot is the natural balancing rock (a boulder balancing on
another rock). The village has number of small tea shops, where you can
relish a cup of hot tea. The only place to stay at Mawlynnong village is the Mawlynnong Rest
House. These are two traditionally built cottages which are available
for staying at the village. There is one small cottage which can be
shared by 2 people and one bigger cottage for accommodation of 4 people.
The rooms are good with western styled bathrooms. Local dishes of
lesser variety are available for the tourists.
Room TariffFor Indian National
Interesting Facts on Mawlynnong Village
- Mawlynnong Village is the cleanest village in Asia.
- The village is more than hundred years old
- The village locals grow different flowers around their tiny cottages to enhance its beauty.
- The village is arguably best educated in India with 100% literacy.
- Bamboo dustbins can be found everywhere in the Village.
- Workshops are organized by the village council to create awareness of the dangers from global warming.
- It is an eco-tourism spot and visited by 1000s of visitors every year from various parts of the country.
- Community Population is around 450-500 people.
- Small Cottage: Rs. 2200/ (2 People)
- Big Cottage: Rs. 3300/ (4 People)
- Small Cottage: USD 60 (2 People)
- Big Cottage: USD 80 ( 4 People)
Jowai is a beautiful place situated on a plateau surrounded by the Myntdu river on three sides, bordering Bangladesh to the south. It is also the headquarters of West Jaintia Hills district. "Law Musiang", one of the oldest market in Jowai, is a must visit place. Other tourist place in Jowai includes Syntu Ksiar, Tyrchi Fall, Jowai Presbyterian Church, Thadlaskein, Lalong Peak, Nartiang Village and Nartiang Monoliths.
Travelling from Shillong
to Dawki is certainly a thrilling experience. Throughout the journey you will pass across ravines and deep gorges. Dawki is located at a distance of 95 kms from the city of Shillong
. Umngot River is a popular tourist destination in Dawki. This is the venue of the annual boat race. Dawki is the gateway to Bangladesh where major import and export transactions take place.
Tura is a beautiful town located at the foot of the Tura peak. It is 323 kms from Shillong. Tura is also the headquarter of West Garo Hills. The place is named after Durama-Imbama. There are also few tourist places in Tura which is worth visiting. The tourist places includes Tura peak, Nokrek Biosphere, Chibragre and Pelga Falls.
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The place is named after Capt. Williamson Sangma, the 1st Chief Minister of Meghalaya. This beautiful town is located on the curve of Simsang river. It is also the headquarter of East Garo hills. Williamnagar is 313 kms from Shillong and is is 76 kms from Tura.
Lakes in Meghalaya
The state of Meghalaya is blessed with Mother Nature. There are number of man made as well as natural lakes dotted across the state of Meghalaya. These lakes provide beautiful tourist destinations and many tourists from across the country as well as from all over the world come to view these beautiful lakes.
The Umiam lake
is a water body located in the hills 15 km north of Shillong in Meghalaya. The lake is also popularly called Barapani (big water). The landscape of the lake has mesmerizing beauty. The Umiam lake is one of the major tourist spots of the state of Meghalaya because of its ethereal beauty.
The Umiam lake was created as part of building a dam. The construction of the dam started in 1965. The dam is the first hydel-power project in the Northeast.
Umiam lake is managed by the Meghalaya State Electricity Board. The lake is an ideal picnic spot. Umiam lake is one of the major tourist spots of Meghalaya. The lake is surrounded by hills and mountains all around. The lake also provides opportunities for water sport and adventure facilities. The lake draws large number of tourists for boating, scooting, water cycling and kayaking facilities.
The Ward’s lake
is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Shillong
. The lake was built in the memory of Sir William Ward. In the year 1894, Colonel Hopkins carried out the construction of the lake. Boating facilities is also available in the lake. One can also find different kinds of fish in the lake. The lake also has gardens with various orchids and flowers beautifying the lake.
Umhang Lake is an artificial lake overlooking the plains of Bangladesh. The lake at Wataw village is flanked by lush green forests on it either sides. The lake is significant because on this spot Jaintia chieftain Sajar Nangli dined and drank water from a spring to quench his thirst. He and his followers decided to create a lake incomparable to any lakes in the Jaintia kingdom. The lake took several months to be dug. The lake is sacred to the people of Wataw. They pay homage in the lake. Annual sacrifice is practiced in the lake by the people. Umhang Lake is an ultimate destination for nature lovers. The pristine water of the lake along with the lush green forests surrounded on its sides provides breath taking view to the tourists.
This lake is formed by the River Damring during the Great Earthquake of 1897. According to locals, it is believed that this lake was the home to a huge water serpent called Sankini. This lake is located near the Songsak block in the Darugiri-Songsak road. This lake is a popular picnic spot.
Dwar Ksuid is popularly known as the the "Lover Paradise. It is located in Khapmara, in Umroi. The meaning of Dwar Ksuid means Devil's Doorway. This beautiful lake attracts lots of tourist and picnickers.
Thadlaskein Lake offers lot of scope for picnic and boating and is one of the most sought after places in Meghalaya. The lake is located at a distance of 56 kms from Shillong.Tourists visit this place to enjoy its beautiful atmosphere. The legend believes that this lake was constructed by the members of the 290 clans of U Sajiar Niangli, who was the rebel general of the Jaintia king.
Parks in Meghalaya
Meghalaya is one of the favored tourist destinations in North east India. The state has many beautiful parks frequently visited by tourist. Whether you are a local or tourist, one should not miss visiting the following parks in Meghalaya.
Sai Mika Park
Sai Mika Park is located in Cherrapunjee
, on the way to the world famous ‘Dainthlen Falls’. The park is located about 3 kms before reaching the town of Cherrapunjee. The park is a popular tourist destination. Sa -I – Mika is situated amidst 69 acres of pristine surroundings and it offers not only accommodation to the tourist but also a host of activities that is caters to people from all ages and walks of life.
Presently, the park has four double bedded rooms with all modern facilities and two traditional cottages. On offer the park also has are well appointed rooms, hot and cold running water, and the room tariffs are from Rs.1200/- to Rs.1500/- per night. A 200 capacity conference hall is also available, which is suitable for hosting cooperate and departmental events, workshops, seminars and concerts. The management, on request can also arrange bonfires, barbecues, tour guides, local cuisine, traditional Khasi dance and drink.
As the park is located close to the waterfalls and one can also arrange treks and tours to the places of interest, as well as the caves.
The Park is located about 8 kms from Jowai in the Jaintia hills. The park is known for its sacred grove and for its setting which adds beauty to the Pynthorwah Valley. The district administration, through the Special DRDA Tourism Project has taken steps to beautify the park by creating infrastructure such as toilet facilities with changing rooms, water dams and canals, jungle clearance and hoardings which has attracted tourist far and wide. A water eco park is also being set up with an intention to change Lalong into a major tourism place of the district.
The Nehru Park is located about 15 km from
, adjacent to Orchid Lake Resort, at Umiam. The park is an ideal
place for holidaymakers. The park is noted for its orchid-house,
aviary, and superbly maintained lawns.
Looksi (Kupli) Park
Looksi village in Laskein Block is located about 40kms from Jowai. The District administration through the Department of Forest (Social Forestry) have constructed an approach road to the park, railing in the view points, ram shelters, sitting benches and play items for kids to attract visitors to park.
The Meghalaya government has established a
large "Eco Park" in the plateau, which houses several hybrid and
indigenous orchids in the Green House donated by Shillong
Agri-Horticultural Society. Also the Eco Park offers mindblowing view of
distant Sylhet Plains of neighbouring Bangladesh.
Parks in Shillong
There are also some beautiful parks in Shillong which includes: Lady Hydari Park:
This Park is located at the heart of the city and is a popular tourist destination.Mattilang Park:
This is an amusement park situated in Upper shillong.Thrills Fun Park:
This Park is situated about 25 kms from Shillong, at the Shillong-Guwahati Road. Shillong. The park is just 5kms away from the Umiam lake resort.Also Read:Parks in Shillong
Museums in Meghalaya
also has museums that may interest the visitors. Some of the important
museums of the state are Captain Williamson Sangma Museum, Don Bosco
Museum, Entomological Museum, Air Force Museum, Arunachal State Museum,
Rhino Heritage Museum, Zoological Museum,Tribal Research Institute,
Anthropological Museum and Meghalaya State Museum.
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Also ReadMuseums in Shillong
Living Root Bridges in Meghalaya
Shrouded in cloud and rain for most of the year and deep in the dense tropical forest of Meghalaya, and, are some astonishing man-made natural wonders. The root bridges in Meghalaya are grown from the roots of century old rubber trees, most commonly found in the northeast region of India. For a new root bridge to become strong enough to bear the weight of people, it takes around 15 years. Some of the root bridges in Meghalaya are believed to be hundreds of years old, although their exact age is not known. Root bridges in Meghalaya can be seen in two places Cherapunjee and Mawlynnong.
Living Root Bridges in Cherapunjee
The most famous root bridge in Meghalaya is the “Umshiang double decker root bridge”
. There are altogether 11 functional root bridges in Cherapunjee. Cherapunjee is just 3hours drive from Shillong
Denis P. Rayen of the Cherrapunji Holiday Resort re-discovered these bridges. Due to Rayen’s efforts to promote interest in the bridges, the local people have been alerted and they also prevented the bridges from being destroyed in favor of steel ones.
The treks to the root bridges vary in level of difficulty and duration. The most popular ones, which are all nearby to the Resort include:
Ummunoi Root Bridge
This bridge is one of the oldest and the most popular root bridges in this area. Due to its combination of accessibility and impressiveness it is perhaps the most popular with tourists. The length of the bridge is 17 meters.
- Starting point: Laitkynsew village
- Location: Ummunoi river near Siej village, Nongkroh, via Sohsarat village.
- Duration: 2 kilometers one way and 3-4 hours return.
Umkar Root Bridge
Tourist those who are lacking in fitness or mobility, the best option is the Umkar Root Bridge. During the monsoon season one can also see a waterfall alongside the bridge. The length of the bridge is 30 meter and is the longest known living root bridge.
Ritymmen Root Bridge
- Starting point and location: Siej village
- Duration: 0.5 kilometers one way and 30 minutes return
The length of the bridge is 30 meter and is the longest known living root bridge. The bridge can be visited on the way to the Double Decker root bridge.
- Starting point: Tyrna village
- Location: Nongthymmai village
- Duration: 1.5-2 hours return
Umshiang Double Decker Root Bridge
Not everyone can visit this double decker bridge, it requires a lot of physical strength. The length of the bridge is 20 meter.
- Starting point: Tyrna village
- Location: Umshiang River at Nongriat village
- Duration: 3 kilometers one way. 4-5 hours return
Mawsaw Root Bridge
A walk around 20 to 30 minutes from the Double Decker root bridge is the Mawsaw Root Bridge. These are also some beautiful natural swimming pools near this root bridge. But these pools are unsafe during the monsoon season.
Living Root Bridge in Mawlynnong
There is also a beautiful root bridge near Mawlynnong village. Mawlynnong is renowned for being declared the cleanest village in Asia by a travel magazine. It also promotes itself as "God's Own Garden". Mawlynnong is located near the Bangladesh border, and is only three hours drive from Shillong
. The living root bridge is located at the Riwai village, a few kilometers before Mawlynnong. From there, the bridge is approximately a 15 minute walk one way.
Waterfalls in Meghalaya
Meghalaya has many waterfalls cascading down from the vast valleys and hills adorning the state. Due to the hilly terrain, there are many waterfalls gushing out from the streams flowing through these hills and valleys. Shillong has number of beautiful waterfalls which includes Bishop and Beadon Falls, Elephant Falls, Sweet Falls, Spread Eagle Falls and Crinoline Falls.
In Cherapunjee too, torrential rains have sculpted many natural waterfalls. The hauntingly beautiful Nohkalikai falls, the cascading Nohsngithiang waterfalls at Mawsmai and the Dain Thlen falls are the best known waterfalls in Cherapunjee.
The Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills too have their share of beautiful waterfalls, notably the Pelga falls near Tura in Garo Hills and the Tyrchi falls on the route to Jowai.
Waterfalls in Shillong
Bishop and Beadon Falls:
Located in Suna valley within the Shillong city, the Bishop and Beadon Falls are two high waterfalls in Meghalaya. These waterfalls form the primary tourist destination of MeghalayaElephant Fall:
The Elephant Falls is located at a distance of 12 km from the Shillong in East Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya. The British name it Elephant falls and it is also major tourist location in Meghalaya.
The Sweet fall is located at a distance of 5 km from the Happy Valley in Shillong, and it is one of the beautiful falls in Meghalaya.
Spread Eagle Falls:
Located about 3 kilometers from Polo Grounds, the Spread Eagle Falls is another very beautiful falls in Shillong.Crinoline Falls
: The Crinoline Falls is located in the heart of the Shillong town. it is also a must visit tourist place in Shillong.
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Waterfalls in Cherapunjee
Dainthlen falls is also a must visit tourist place in Cherapunjee. Just before reaching Cherapunjee, a road to the right, leads one to the falls which isabout 5 kms away. The waterfall gets it’s its name from a Thlen (snake) of a huge size which dwelt in a cave. It is believed that the local people killed the snake in order to save themselves of its reign of terror.Kynrem Falls:
It is the highest waterfall in Meghalaya. Kynrem Falls cascades down in three stages from the top of the hill and overlooks the Thangkharang Park.Nohsngithiang Falls:
It is also known as Mawsmai falls. It is located about 1km south of Mawsmai village and the fall derives its name because the waterfalls are situated in a south westerly direction and get illuminated by the sun from morning to sunset. The vibrant colours of the setting sun on the Nohsngithiang fall make it beautiful to behold.
A strikingly beautiful waterfall, cascading down
from the top of the hill to the mystic deep green pool below. The falls
reminds one of the tragic incidents associated with it. A grief
stricken mother who jumped to her death, unable to overcome her misery
over the murder of her daughter by her husband.
Some other water falls in Meghalaya are:
Imilchang Dare is a wonderful waterfall situated at West Garo Hills district. The waterfall is situated near the Chokpot-Tura road. The best time to visit the falls is during monsoons when the fall is voluminous. Water cascades from the top in thick volume and drains into a deep pool at the bottom. There are fishes of varied size and species in the deep and broad pool. The waterfall is an ideal outing and picnic spot. The waterfall is situated on a stream that flows through a deep, narrow winding bed of crevice rocks till it emerges on to broad wide opening and cascades in a thick, wide formation, over a broad chasm which creates a thrilling fall of extreme beauty.
Krang Suri waterfall is one of the most beautiful falls in the Jaintia hills district. The fall is located in the Amlarem Civil sub division. For the betterment of tourism perspectives of the spot the district administration has taken steps to make chiseled and graveled footpaths and view points so as to make it convenient for the tourists to appreciate the majestic beauty of the place. The footpaths are erected from the natural multi colored stones available in the area. Stones have also been placed symmetrically to enhance the appeal of the site. The waterfall can have a mesmerizing effect on the onlookers. The ethereal beauty of the place at once attracts the tourists. The hue of the fall formed by the multi coloured stones and the green vegetation is breath taking.Weinia Falls
Quick facts about Meghalaya
- Capital: Shillong
- Major Tourist Cities: Shillong, Jowai, Cherapunjee, Tura
- Climate: Moderate and Cool
- Summer temperature: Within 25degree Celsius.
- Winter temperature: Not below 4 degree Celsius.
- Major Lake: Umiam Lake (Barapani)
- Clothing Required: Summer-Cottons, Winter-Woolens
- Best Time to visit : February to October
- Major Festivals: Christmas, Nongkrem Dance, Behdienkhlam and Wangala
- Tourist Attractions: Shillong, Cherapunjee, Mawsynram and Mawlynonng
Weinia falls is located at the West Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya. It lies on the river Kynshi. The Weinia falls lies in close vicinity to the Thum falls. Because of its immaculate beauty Weinia waterfall draws tourists round the year. Tourists are spellbound by the natural vegetation of the surroundings. The Weinia waterfall is an ideal outing and picnic spot for its green and serene atmosphere.
The water is voluminous and cascades down from a height of 60 meters into a pool below. The water of the fall is voluminous. Tourists can have a glimpse of the hue of the sunlight that forms a mesmerizing color like that of rainbow on the water of the beautiful fall.A wooden bridge has been constructed on the Weinia falls to facilitate entrance into the Nongkhnum island. The best time to visit the island is during monsoon when the water cascades in a huge volume. Massive step-like structures formed by natural agencies are also seen on one side of the fall.Thum Falls
This fall of about 60 meters high on the river Kynshi is located near Dilingim village. The base of the falls is a pool surrounded by rocks on three sides.Jakrem
Jakrem is situated at East Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya. It is located 64 km from Shillong on the Shillong-Mawkyrwat road. Jakrem is famous mainly for the hot springs of sulphur water. Jakrem has developed as a health resort in due course of time. It is famous mainly for the hot springs of sulpher water which is believed to have medicinal qualities.
People from different parts of the country visit the place for having a dip in the hot spring. There are bathing compartments around the spring. Jakrem is surrounded by rocky cliff, green valleys and picturesque sites that are ideal for qualifying as a picnic spot. People also visit Jakrem for enjoying picnic. Jakrem is situated 64 kms from Shillong.Tyrshi Falls
Tyrshi Falls is located in Jaintia hills about 5 kms from Jowai. The fall is connected by an arched bridge which consists of 20 hundred steps which go down to the end of the falls. The Tyrshi Falls is atleat three times taller than the elephant falls. The best time to visit the fall is during the monsoon season.
Located at the distance of 7 km from Tura, Pelga falls has become increasingly hot spot for picnickers and anglers in recent years. This place was developed by the tourism department by constructing a footpath and a view point. A typical traditional Garo bamboo bridge constructed over Ganol river is another added attraction.Rong’bang Falls
Rong’bang fall is situated in the West Garo Hills District, about 25 miles away from Tura. The fall is a tributary of the Simsang River. The real beauty of the fall can be experienced when one goes down to the bottom of the waterfalls.
Wildlife in Meghalaya
Meghalaya, abode of greenery and filled with beautiful valleys, has many sanctuaries and reserve forests spread across the state. These forests have many varied species of flora and fauna, some of which are found especially in the beautiful state of Meghalaya. The beautiful national parks in Meghalaya not only provide an excellent opportunity of discovering the wilderness of the nature, but also it is popular for providing a panoramic view of the picturesque hills.
Balpakram National Park
The Balpakram National Park is located in the extreme end of South Garo Hills in Meghalaya. It is located near the Bangladesh boundary at a distance of 90 kms from Baghmara, the district headquarters of Garo Hills. Balpakram is a place of breathtaking beauty. The literal meaning of Balpakram is the land of permanent winds. Balpakram was declared a national park in 1987. The park covers an area of 200 sq kms and lies at an altitude of about 3,000 feet above the sea level. It comprises the whole Balpakram hills and adjoining areas in the south Garo Hills District. The winter season in the park falls from November to February and is mild and dry. During summers temperature reaches a high of 37 degrees. Monsoon lasts from June to September during which Balpakram experiences an annual rainfall amounting 6000 mm.
Balpakram National Park is rich in biodiversity. Forest types in the park consist of tropical wet evergreen, semi evergreen and moist deciduous trees. Balpakram has in abundance many medicinal plants, shrubs and herbs. A variety of medicinal herbs called ‘dikges’ grow in abundance in the area. Rare plant species like pitcher, orchids and drosera are found abundantly in the park. The varied fauna of Balpakram comprises of elephants, tigers, hoolock gibbon, clouded leopard, golden cat, serow, black bear, red panda, slow loris, wild dog, barking deer, pangolin, deer, great Indian hornbill, wild bison, pheasant, wildcats, wild cows, wild buffalo, leopards and butterflies. Reptiles like python, king cobra, viper, krait and monitor lizard are found in Balpakram. The park is home to varied bird species such as greet hornbill, common hornbill, peacock, oriole, kingfisher, Indian roller, etc. Varied species of butterflies are also found here.
Balpakram National Park is one of India’s biodiversity rich areas home to some of the worlds endangered flora and fauna. The park is known for its mysterious stories and folklore. Famous for the exotic scenic beauty, Balpakram draws huge number of tourists who are attracted to the exotic flora and fauna of the park. There is a deep gorge in Balpakram which is compared to the Grand Canyon of US. It is home to the rare lesser Panda, the Indian bison and the stag like serow. The Balpakram National Park offers variety of treks and is particularly ideal for wildlife treks. The best time to visit the park is between April to June. Balpakram Forest Guest House is available at the national park where the tourists can stay.
Darugiri Reserve Forest
The Darugiri Reserve Forest is located
alongside the Dudhnoi-Damra-Darugiri-Baghmara road in East Garo Hills
district in Meghalaya. It is located between Songsak and Rongjeng. The
reserve forest covers an area of ten and half sq km. It was set up
towards the close of the 19th century. The reserve forest consists of
sal plantation which stands tall, spreading an eternal canopy of emerald
green over vast areas with very little undergrowth except their smooth,
tall trunks which look like pillars set to uphold and bear the weighty
canopy of sal foliage. The Darugiri reserve forest is a naturalists’
paradise. On the border of the reserve forest lays the century old
Darugiri forest rest house which is simple and rustic. It is one of the
major attractions for the tourists.
Siju Bird Sanctuary
Siju Bird Sanctuary is one of the finest Sanctuaries for birds in the north east India. The sanctuary is located in the South Garo Hills District, on the bank of the Simsang. It is a home of various protected and rare birds and also other wildlife. The Siberian ducks can be seen in the park, during the winter months. One interesting and rare bird that can be seen in the park is the Peacock Pheasant. It is a perfect destination for people who love watching birds of different species. The entrance of the Sanctuary is beautifully decorated by rock formations.
The sanctuary apart from the common birds, also is a home to many unique as well as those birds which are facing the danger extinction. Though you can visit the Bird Sanctuary during anytime of the year, but the best time to visit it would be winters when you can see a lot of foreign birds migrating to the sanctuary.
Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary
The Nongkhyllem Sanctuary near Nongpoh is one of the very renowned wildlife sanctuaries in the north east. It is also a good place for bird watching. The best time for bird watching is March and April during the nesting season. Alarge number of animals including mammals, reptiles, and rodents, avian are found in the sanctuary.
Nongkhyllem Sanctuary is one of its kinds as it houses a wide range of flora and fauna. The sanctuary is also the home of various species of fauna which also includes those facing the danger of extinction. They include, Indian Bison, Royal Bengal Tiger, Clouded Leopard, Himalayan Blcak Bear, etc. Among the birds, the rare species that can be seen here and are facing the danger of getting extinct are Manipur Bush Quail, Brown Hornbill, Rufous Necked Hornbill, and many more.
Selbagre Hoolock Gibbon Reserve
Selbagre Hoolock Gibbon Reserve is located at West Garo Hills district. The reserve forest is the home to the hoolock gibbons, the only ape species found in India. There is a sacred grove in the reserve which is the pride of the village community. The Garo community preserves the reserve. The Garo community never kills the gibbon, which is locally known as ‘huru’. They never hunt the gibbon as it is a traditional belief among the Bodo community that if a gibbon is killed a famine or curse would befall the entire village.
Nokrek National Park
Located on the West Garo hill district, the about 45 kms from Tura. It is the highest peak in Garo Hills. Many different species of wild animals including Hoolock Gibbons and Elephants. Established at Nokrek, the national park is the home of various wildlife including rare varieties of birds and pheasants, herds of wild elephants and rare orchids. You can also find a very rare species of citrus-indica endemic in the park locally known as memang narang ('orange of the spirits'). The park is also believed to be the home of Mande Burung.
Baghmara Reserve Forest
The Baghmara Reserve Forest is located in the South Garo Hills District. It is situated about 4kms from the main town of Baghmara. The forest is inhabited by birds of different species, langurs, elephants, etc. Many tourists have reported sighting herds of elephants as they travel from Baghmara to Balpakram National Park via Baghmara Reserve Forest.
Mawphlang Sacred Forest
Located about 25 kilometres from Shillong Mawphlang Sacred Forest, have been preserved by traditional religious sanction, since the ancient days. The sacred grove is an ideal destination for nature lovers and its has an amazing life form of plants, orchids flowering trees and butterflies.
Religious Spots in Meghalaya
is one of the beautiful states in the Northeast India. There are many
beautiful religious places in the state to cater the spiritual needs of
the people. The streets of Meghalaya are adorned with beautiful churches
and cathedrals. There are also some important temples located across
the state of Meghalaya. Some of the important religious tourist places
in Meghalaya are:
Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians:
Located in Laitumkhrah locality in Shillong, the church is one of the
beautiful and bigges churches in Meghalaya. This is also one of the most
visited tourist spot in Meghalaya.The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Health:
This shrine is located about 30 kms off Jowai in Ralian village in the Jaintia hills.Borghat temple:
This temple is situated near the Bangladesh border in Borghat. Nartiang Durga Temple
: This is a 500 year old temple and is one of the oldest temples in Meghalaya.
Dargah of Hazrat Shah Kamal Baba: Popularly known as Pristhan, this Dargah is located at a distance of 80 kms from Tura. Also Read:
Religious Places in Meghalaya
Explore Meghalaya like never before! Take a trip into the interiors of Meghalaya or even better have your wedding organised amidst nature and beauty!
Village Tourism in Meghalaya
Travel through some of the beautiful and clean villages of Meghalaya and get a warm welcome from the people living there!
Mawlynnong Asia’s cleanest village in India is located in Meghalaya. This village is also referred to as the God’s own earth. This village known is world famous for its cleanliness. As the village is located on the Indo-Bangla border offers breathtaking view of Bangladesh plains. Surprisingly, the village has hundred percent literacy and most of the locals are fluent with the English language. The village also has number of tea shops where one can relish a hot cup of tea. The Living Root Bridge and Natural Balancing Rock are the two things which you must definitely see while you are in Mawlynnong. Mawlynnong is about 90kms from Shillong. There are regular taxi services from Shillong to Mawlynnong.
Located at the foot of the Nokrek Peak, Sasatgre Village is a beautiful village in the West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya. The entire village is filled with several typical Garo pattern houses. Any visitors who visit this village can gain a lot of knowledge about the Garo traditions and customs. This village is mainly popular for the excellent oranges that it produces every year. Presently, the village is on the side-line of the Nokrek Sanctuary cum Biosphere Reserve.
Which village produces Eri Silk? Click to know
Ialong village is located in East Jaintia Hills. For tourist who is looking for some more serenity and tranquility then Ialong is the best option. During the festive season a lot of tourist visits this village. The Pynthorwah Valley located at the hill top near the village is one of the beautiful tourist spots.
Mawlyngbna, a beautiful village located located on a hilltop few kilometers south of Mawsynram. One can view the dramatic sequence of the beautiful Khasi hills merging into the Bangladeshi plains from atop the hill. There are several natural springs within the village. On the outskirts of the village there is a large broadleaf forest known for its varied different flora and fauna. The village locals in order to showcase their culture display their handicrafts like handlooms items, baskets, organizes local dances and implements at the village museum.
If you want to know more about history and culture of Bhoi people then you must definitely visit Umden Village. This village is located about 55kms from Guwahati. This little village is known for Eri silk production and weaving of traditional handlooms like stoles, ryndia in exquisite patterns. Umden also takes pride in continuing with the age old tradition to produce silk by following the unique style of not killing the silk worm during the process of extracting silk from the cocoons. Apart from these one can also the enjoy the natural beauty with its many streams and diverse flora.
If you are tired with your hectic daily schedule, going around for a jolly Picnic would not hurt. Everybody loves a day out especially in a fine weather. There are many beautiful picnic spots in Meghalaya which welcomes the visitors with open arms. If you have a good company any place becomes a good place for picnic but definitely a good venue adds charm to it. Spend your day in some exotic tourist locations in Meghalaya and take back memories of a lifetime.
Picnic Spots in Meghalaya
commonly known as Barapani attracts a large number of tourists especially for its beautiful ambience and scenic beauty. It is located just 15 km from Shillong. Locals as well people from neibouring states visit this place for picnics and getaway plans. Boating facility is also available for the people. The water complex here provides water sports facilities like kayaking, scooting and water cycling. The people can take a sweet pleasure of this facilities. This is one of the favoured picnic spots in Meghalaya.
This is another ideal spot for picnic. It is located 5kms from Cherapunjee. It is one of the most famous waterfalls in Meghalaya. A legend is associated with this waterfall, according to which the locals have killed a huge snake living in the cave to get rid of the terror. People visiting the waterfall can explore the natural rock carvings of the huge snake.From where can you get a bird's eye view of Shillong city? Click to know
Sai Mika Park
This park is located 3kms from Cherrapunjee, a few kilometers away from the Dain-Thlen Falls. It is a wonderful place to spend your day. The park is surrounded by greenery and it also has a meandering stream, a basket ball court and also a park for the children. There are picnic huts arranged all around the Sa-I-Mika park. It is a perfect for picnic lovers.
Located about 8 Kms from Cherrapunjee , the park is a popular tourist and picnic spot. The park is maintained by the Meghalaya Forest Department. As the park is situated on a high rocky hill, the tourist can enjoy a panoramic view of the plains of Bangladesh. The beautiful sight of Kynrem Falls cascading down the hill can also be viewed by the tourists. Apart from the natural beauty, the park is also the home of some rare orchids and plants.
The peak is located about 10 kms from the main city of Shillong. It gives a bird’s eye view of the entire city of Shillong. Shillong Peak is also the highest point of the state. There are small shops in the peak which offers Khasi traditional dress on rent. The tourist can wear the traditional attire and get some photos clicked. It also one of the most favoured for picnic spots.
Wedding and Honeymoon Destinations in Meghalaya
As Meghalaya is colourful, majestic, vibrant and beautiful as well. It is one of the most sought destinations in India for couples to solemnize their wedding. Meghalaya has some very beautiful and fantastic wedding destinations which includes Shillong, Jowai, Jaintia hills, Tura , Cherapunjee and many more.
Also Meghalaya has lots of post-wedding destinations. For couples who want to spend some alone and romantic time in serene and beautiful natural surroundings Meghalaya is the perfect destination. Some very famous honeymoon destination in Meghalaya includes Shillong, Cherapunjee, Mawsynram and Mawlynonng.
Shopping in Meghalaya
Meghalaya is the home of three different hill communities the Garos, the Khasis and the Jaintias. The people of Meghalaya are expert in making handloom and handicraft items. We can also find cane and bamboo items in Meghalaya. While you are on a tour to Meghalaya you must be also keep yourself updated with the best shopping places in Meghalaya. Some of popular items which you must definitely buy while you are in Meghalaya include ornaments, handloom and handicraft items, musical instruments and many more.
Shillong the capital city of Meghalaya is a popular shopping destination for the tourist. The city has many traditional markets and also shopping malls like Reliance trendz and Vishal Mega mart. These markets are located in different parts of the town. The two very famous markets in Shillong are Police bazaar and Bara Bazaar (Lewduh market). The Bara Bazar is one of the traditional and oldest market in the entire northeast. This market is one of the busiest shopping areas in Shillong.
Police bazaar is located in the heart of the city. Both the shopping malls are located in Police bazaar itself. Police Bazar being the commercial hub of the city, the tourist visits this area for shopping. Police bazaar is packed with restaurants, hotels and shops.
Top Hotels in Meghalaya
Meghalaya is one of the popular tourist destinations in India. Every year thousands of tourists visit this part of the country. Over the past few years with development of the tourism sector, the state has also witnessed growth in number of hotels as well. Hotels in Meghalaya range from Cheap to luxury and the customer can always choose hotels as per their budget. List of Hotels in Meghalaya are mentioned below:
Address: European Ward, Rita Road,
Shillong – 793 001
Phone no: 0364-2223146, 2223116, 2223263
E-Mail Id: Pinewoodhotel@Dataone.In
Web Address: www.meghalayatourism.orgTarrif:
Royal Heritage-Tripura Castle
- Presidential Cottage: Rs 9500 (Single Room) Rs 10,000 (Double Room)
- Presidential Room: Rs 6800 (Single Room) Rs 8400(Double Room)
- Super Deluxe Room: Rs 6200 (Single Room) Rs 7600 (Double Room)
- Deluxe Room: Rs 4700 (Single Room) Rs 5800 (Double Room)
- Standard Room: Rs 2100 (Single Room) Rs 3100 (Double Room)
Address: Cleave Colony, Shillong
Phone no: 0364 2501149, 2501111,
E-Mail Id: Rh_Tripuracastle@Rediffmail.Com
Web Address: www.tripuracastle.com
- Maharaja Suite: Rs 7000 (Single Room) Rs 8000 (Double Room)
- Superior Room: Rs 4200 (Single Room) Rs 4800 (Double Room)
- Supreme Room: Rs4200 (Single Room) Rs 4800 (Double Room)
- Deluxe Room: Rs 3800 (Single Room) Rs 4300 (Double Room)
Hotel Pegasus Crown
Address: Ward's Lake Road, Police Bazaar,
Phone no: 0364 2220667, 2220668, 2220669, 2220665
E-Mail Id: Pegasuscrown@Gmail.ComTarrif:
Cherrapunjee Holiday Resort
- Special Rooms: Rs.1090 (Double Room) Rs 990 (Single Room)
- Deluxe Rooms: Spl Rs. 1470 (Double Room) Rs 1300 (Single Room)
- Deluxe Rooms: Rs. 1640 (Double Room) Rs 1420 (Single Room)
- Executive Rooms: Rs. 1990 (Double Room) Rs 1770 (Single Room)
Address: Village Laitkynsew, Cherrapunjee
Phone no: 03637-244219, 244218, 244220.
- Executive room: Rs 3825 (Double Room)
- Deluxe Room: Rs 2350 (Double Room)
- Standard Room: Rs 2230 (Double Room)
Rl Kynjai Resort
Address: Umniuh Khwan,
U.C.C Road Ri Bhoi,
Phone no: 098624 20300, 20301
E-Mail Id: Info@Rikynjai.Com
Web Address: www.Rikynjai.Com
- Hybrid Cottages: Rs. 11, 000/- + 27.42% Taxes per night
- Superior Rooms: Rs. 8, 000/- + 27.42% Taxes per night
- Supreme Rooms :Rs. 7, 000/- + 27.42% Taxes per night
For more hotels in Meghalaya Click
Restaurants in Meghalaya
The people who visit Meghalaya can enjoy delicious food in the multi-cuisine restaurants as well as in the local food stalls that are located across the state of Meghalaya. If one is adventurous enough to sample the local food, besides the usual Indian, Chinese and Continental dishes, one can be sure the taste buds are in for a treat. Some of the best restaurants in Meghalaya are mentioned below:
- Pinecone Restaurant (Hotel Pinewood), Rita Road
- Ginger Restaurant (Hotel Polo Towers), Near Polo Ground
- La Galarie Restaurant (Hotel Centre Point), Police Bazar
- Broadway Restaurant (Broadway Hotel), Police Bazar
- City Hut Dhaba Restaurant, Police Bazar
- Bamboo Hut Restaurant, Rap's Mansion, MG Road
- Exclusive Restaurant (Hotel Alpine Continental), Police Bazar
- Yalana Restaurant (Yalana Hotel), Laitumkhrah
- The Unicorn Restaurant (Hotel Pegasus Crown), Police Bazar
- Barbeque Restaurant, Police Bazar
- Blue Vada Restaurant (Orchid Lake Resort), Barapani
- Eden Restaurant, Police Bazar
- C.K's Multicuisine Restaurant, Malki Point
- Tasty Bud (Micasa Hotel), Police Bazar
To know more about Restaurants in Shillong Click
- Kimfa Restaurant, Malki Point
- Kimpao Restaurant, Police Bazar
- Kowloon Restaurant, Malki Point
- The Wok: Lachumiere, Laitumkhrah
- New World Restaurant, Police Bazar
Fast Food Restaurants
- Bombay Bites, Police Bazar
- Cafe Coffee Day, Police Bazar
- Bread Café, Police Bazar
- Regal Restaurant, Police Bazar
- Swish Café, Laitumkhrah
- Matter of Taste (M.O.T), Laitumkhrah
- Eee Cee Restaurant, Police Bazar
- Different Flavours, Opp. Nazareth Hospital
- Pizza, Police Bazar
To Know more about Fast Food Restaurants in Shillong Click
Local Cuisine Restraunts
- Trattoria, Police Bazar
- Neolith, Motphran
- Jadoj, Laitumukhrah
Tourist Offices in Meghalaya
There are few Tourism offices in Meghalaya
, for the help of people who visit this beautiful state. For any information regarding travel you can always visit these offices. Following are the Tourist Offices in Meghalaya:
The Directorate of Tourism
Address: 3rd Secretariat Nokrek Building,
Shillong – 793001,
0364 – 2502166, 2500736
Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation
Address: Polo Road, Shillong – 793001
Phone No: 0364-2222731, 2224933, 2505012, 2224471
Address: Tirot Singh Road, Shillong – 79001
Phone No: 0364-2225632West Garo Hills District
Deputy Director of Tourism
Address: C/O Dakopgre, Near Tura Orchid Lodge
Tura – 794001
Phone No: 03651 – 232394
East Garo Hills District
Tourist Officer & Information Centre
Address: C/O Tambu A. Ding, Tourist
Williamnagar – 794111South Garo Hills District
Tourist Officer & Information Centre
Address: C/O Dilsa A’Bri, Baghmara – 794102
Phone No: 03639 – 222141
Jaintia Hills District
Tourist Officer & Information Centre
Address: C/O Kynrooh Sahphlang, Jowai – 793150
Phone No: 03652 – 221902
West Khasi Hills District
Tourist Officer & Information Centre
Address: C/O Deputy Commissioner
Ri Bhoi District
Tourist Information Centre,
Address: Umlyngkdait, Nongpoh -793 102
Phone No: 03638-291029
How To Reach Meghalaya
The best means to reach Meghalaya is by road. However, the
state is also connected by air with the other cities in India. Though Shillong
, the capital is well connected but the other parts of Meghalaya don’t have proper road transportation facilities.
The only airport in Meghalaya is in Umroi, located about 40 kms from
the capital city, Shillong on the Guwahati-Shillong highway. However,
because the airport is small it does not allow operation of large
aircraft. Only the small aircraft operate from Agartala
. A new flight service has begun in the state. The nearest international airport of Meghalaya is the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport
The airport connects Meghalaya with several important cities in India. The state also has helicopter service, which connects Shillong
to Tura and Guwahati and.
Meghalaya does not have a railway station. The Guwahati Railway Station
is the closest railway station. However, the Government has planned an extend of the rail link from Guwahati
to Byrnihat within Meghalaya.
The best means to travel to Meghalaya is by road.
There are number of timber bridges in Meghalaya. The state has roads of
around 7,633 km. Around 3,691 km of road is black topped. The national
highway connects the State with Mizoram
. The state
also has day and night bus services which connects major towns and
cities of the North East regions. Private taxi and bus services are also
available in the state.
Meghalaya Tour Packages
For the convenience of the visitors a list of tour package in Meghalaya is mentioned below:
A trip to Scotland of the East
Days: 3 days 2nights
Places covered: Shillong and Cherapunji
Price: Rs 10,000
Hotels: Lake view Inn
Explore the blue Hills of Meghalaya
Days: 5days 4 nights
Places covered: Shillong and Cherapunji.
Price: Rs 13,300
Hotels: Lake view Inn
The Scenic Assam and Meghalaya
Days: 5 days 4 nights
Places covered: Guwahati, Pobitora, Kaziranga, Shillong
Price: Rs 22,299
Hotels Zizina Resort-Pobitora, Lake View Inn- Shillong, Aranya Tourist Lodge-Kaziranga
Winter Special-Assam and Meghalaya Delight
Days: 5 days 4 nights
Places covered: Guwahati, Kaziranga, Shillong, Cherapunjee
Price: Rs 30,999
Hotels - Hotel Rialto- Guwahati, Aranya Tourist Lodge-Kaziranga, Lake View Inn- Shillong, Coniferous Resort-Cherrapunjee