Best Places to visit in Meghalaya- Northeast Tourism
The Abode of the Clouds is famous for being the wettest place on Earth. Travelers who enjoy the rain flock to this destination during the monsoon season. Most of the state's people are tribal -- Khasis (the largest group), Garos, and Pnars -- who primarily earn their living from farming. The state is divided into three main ranges -- the Khasi Hills (Central range), Garo Hills (Western range), and Jaintia Hills (Eastern range). Khasi Hills are home to most tourist attractions.
Here are some of the top attractions you should visit while in Meghalaya
Double Decker Living Root Bridge, Cherrapunji
The Double Decker Living Root Bridge (Umshiang), nestled in the verdant forests of Cherrapunji, is a beautiful way to begin your trip to Meghalaya. With a height of 2400 feet and a length of 3 km, this iconic bridge was built by connecting the roots of two ancient rubber trees. Khasis are largely responsible for this inventive invention since they train such trees (for 10 to 15 years) to grow in a way that allows bridges to be built. Umang Root Bridge, however, is the most famous, due to its impressive size and the way it combines science and nature. In addition, it is robust enough for you to cross the quietly flowing Umshiang River.
The tallest waterfall in India, Nohkalikai Waterfall, is an experience not to be missed. Standing 1115 feet tall, this spectacular waterfall is a wonder of nature in itself. You can witness the tall waterfall standing on the edge of the cliff from where it looks like a thick, white rope hanging from a lush green cliff.
This waterfall is one of those places where you cannot help but take as many pictures as you can. Cherrapunji town is a must-see tourist spot in Meghalaya.
As a bonus, the place is also associated with some interesting legends. A piece of advice: avoid making plans to visit the waterfall during monsoon season as thick cloud cover may ruin the view.
In addition to having a living root bridge nearby, scenic Mawlynnong village was named the "Cleanest Village in Asia" by a travel magazine. The village is also known as "God's Own Garden" because of its community-based ecotourism. In the forest, nearly 80 feet up, the locals have built a bamboo Sky View platform. It offers a bird's eye view of the village and a panoramic view across to Bangladesh (the border is only a few kilometers away). Mawlynnong is a three-hour drive south of Shillong in the East Khasi Hills. It's possible to stay there in a basic village guesthouse or house on stilts.
Elephant Falls, Shillong
During the British era, this stunning waterfall was named after a rock that resembled an elephant. Unlike the first fall, which is broad and hidden by trees, the second fall is small and weak. The third one catches the eye with its milky white water cascading over fern-covered rocks. Elephant Falls can be accessed by descending carefully along slippery and steep steps surrounded by thick vegetation. There are benches at the first and second levels of the waterfall where you can relax, take pictures, and enjoy nature's unparalleled beauty.
Dawki, a border town in the West Jaintia Hills about an hour east of Mawlynnong, is worth visiting for its pristine emerald Umngot River. It is hard to believe that the International Radcliffe Line between India and Bangladesh is located there (and yes, locals from both sides do cross and mix). You can take a boat ride along the river, which is said to be one of the cleanest in the world. While driving from Mawlynnong to Dawki, stop at the magnificent Bophill Falls along the way. The best place to stay is in Shnongpdeng village, which is a short distance from Dawki.
Krang Suri Falls
Meghalaya has waterfalls and Krang Suri. The waterfall is located about an hour northeast of Dawki and three hours southeast of Shillong in the West Jaintia Hills, near Jowai. Getting there requires hiking down a trail of steps for around 20 minutes. Tickets cost 50 rupees each. Although you'll be required to wear a life jacket, you can go swimming. Toilets and changing rooms are available.
Umiam Lake Shillong
Visit Umiam Lake if you think man-made lakes are not as beautiful as natural ones. The lake is vast in a literal sense as it covers an expanse of 221 sq. km. Umiam is a perfect place to capture perfect frames and to admire the flawless creativity of nature and human limitlessness.
Sunsets here are so magical that you want to savor them forever. The reservoir is surrounded by green hills and is one of the most scenic places to visit in Meghalaya. Umiam Lake also offers boating, yachting, and skiing.
Mawkdok Dympep Valley
Imagine being sandwiched between densely forested hills on both sides and staring into their V-shaped abyss - that's Mawkdok Dympep Valley for you! On the Shillong - Cherrapunji Road you can enjoy unforgettable views of this green valley. Duwan Sing Syiem Bridge is a popular place for tourists to take panoramic photos. Despite being untouched by civilization, the valley intrigues with its play of light and shade when mists or clouds swirl over it. Enjoy hot Maggi or other goodies at the café nearby and try ziplining across the valley if you need an adrenaline rush.
Rainbow Falls is a must-see attraction in the remote village of Nongriat. You can see a beautiful rainbow when the sun shines on the rushing water, as the name suggests. Located amidst lush green hills, the hike to this waterfall is rocky and steep. You will, however, feel immense satisfaction when you reach the spot and take a dip in the gorgeous pool at the bottom surrounded by boulders. Make sure you carry dry food and water with you and try and stay for at least a night in the Nongriat Village so that the trek doesn’t tire you out.
In the "abode of the clouds," you'll find sparkling waterfalls, dense forests, exotic spices and fruits, mysterious caves, and serene lakes that will blow your mind. Additionally, it boasts the cleanest village and wettest place on earth! The moment you set eyes on Meghalaya, whether you enjoy leisurely travel, adventurous treks, adrenaline-filled activities, or nature photography, you will fall in love with it.