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One of the most beautiful and breath taking places to visit in India is Meghalaya. It is similar to entering a whole new world. Meghalaya stands for “Abode of Clouds”, and the place indeed does justice to its name. If you are one amongst those who are attracted towards nature, like to go through new experiences, are amazed by skies full of stars and spectacular waterfalls then Meghalaya is indeed a place to visit. This article will give you an idea to plan a Meghalaya Itinerary for a minimum of 7 days.
Day 1: Arrival at Guwahati Airport and travel to Shillong
Day 2: Shillong- Cherrapunji
Day 3: Visit Nohkalikai Waterfalls
Day 4: Trekking the Living Root Bridges
Day 5: Cherrapunji – Mawlynnong
Day 6: Mawlynnong – Dawki – Shillong
Day 7: Shillong – Guwahati – Departure
Following are few tips that you can go through to plan your Meghalaya trip in a much better way:
How to reach Meghalaya?
You can consider Guwahati as the starting point of your Meghalaya tour. It is also one of the most important attractions of North-East India and is located at a mere distance of 159 kms from Meghalaya. The Railway station at Guwahati is also the nearest one to Meghalaya. Meghalaya is also well connected with other important cities through well –established roadways. The journey will be smooth with decent amount of traffic.
What are the most popular tourist destinations in Meghalaya?
Meghalaya is home to a number of beautiful waterfalls, caves, scenic mountains with breath-taking view. Following are some of the most popular destinations in Meghalaya:
- Shillong: It is filled with beautiful hills, lakes, water falls coupled with great local food and rock music.
- Cherrapunjee: It is the land of the caves, and is famous for the living root bridges.
- Mawlynnong. It is the cleanest village of Asia.
- Dawki: It is on the Bangladesh border and the lake Umngot flows here.
- Mawphlang: This place is famous for the ritual of nature worship in the forest, which is also a local tradition.
- Mawsynram: The place with the heaviest rainfall and deepest caves.
- Laitlum: The place is known for canyons running deep into the valley.
- Nartiang: The capital of the Jaintia Kings during the summer season and is also a place filled with monoliths as well as ancient temples
Also Read: 9-Day Gujarat Itinerary
Is Meghalaya safe for solo travelling?
Meghalaya is one of the safest places in which you can plan a solo trip. You can complete your travel itinerary of seven days while travelling solo in Meghalaya.
Best season to visit Meghalaya
If you are looking forward to exploring the most beautiful places of Meghalaya, then it is recommended to plan trip in the summer season. A summer trip to Meghalaya will help you’re from the scorching summer heat. The temperature in majority of this state never crosses 28°C in the summer season. The evenings are just as pleasant as the mornings. Several regional festivals are held in summer from the month of April till June. Hence, summer is an ideal season to plan a trip to Meghalaya.
Where to stay in Meghalaya and the type of hotels available there?
Shillong has plenty of stay options which come at various prices. The central place of Shillong is the Police bazar. You can look across for hotels across this area. If you are looking avoid the crowd then you can prefer to spend your time in home stays in Sohra as well as Mawlynnong. Sohra has little well known resort such as Polo Orchid resort, Coniferous Hotel, and so on.
What type of food options is available in Meghalaya for vegetarians?
Just like any other city in India, Meghalaya has a plethora of options for vegetarians. In shilling you can experience the Indian and Chinese cuisines in the local Restaurants. You will also like the desserts served in cafes in Shillong. You can also choose to explore the street food where you will come across tasty jalebis, Delhi chaats, and samosas and so on.
Can you commute locally in Meghalaya if you are not hiring a vehicle for the entire trip?
In Shillong you will not face any commutation problems local cabs run across different points of the city on a sharing basis. The minimum fare charged can be anywhere between 10 to 30 rupees depending upon the distance covered. Several cabs are also available all across Shillong’s major sightseeing spots from the Police bazar which is the central place of Shillong. The tourism office of Meghalaya in the Police bazar also organizes trips the most popular destinations. The charges applicable on a person basis is also quite affordable for Solo travellers.
Is the trip to Meghalaya affordable for Budget Travellers as well as Backpackers?
The answer is indeed a yes. You can opt for shared accommodation facilities to travel across Meghalaya. If you’re trying to keep your budget on a lower side then it is a wise choice accommodation the central Shillong area. In Sohra, you can choose to stay at “By the way”. It is a popular station for backpackers as the majority of the homestays here are quite expensive. It is also preferable to camp in Dawki instead of Mawlynnong as the latter is very expensive.
Is Meghalaya a suitable choice for Young Travellers and Senior Citizens?
Meghalaya is quite suitable for travellers across all age groups. However, the older people may not be able to experience the cave exploration if they come across any mobility as well as breathing issues. Alternately, they can choose to explore the Living Root Bridge located in Mawlynnong as it has much better accessibility. Children can enjoy the sights just like adults provided they are above 8 years of age. Children will love to breathe in the fresh air, climb machans and run around parks in Sohra.
7-Day Meghalaya Itinerary
Arrival at Guwahati Airport and travel to Shillong
Once you reach the Guwahati airport, Shillong must be the immediate place to visit. The distance between Guwahati and Shillong is just approximately 100 kms. The soothing climate along with breath taking landscapes makes Shillong the ideal destination to visit after arriving at the Guwahati Airport.
You can reach Shillong by hiring a cab. In addition, cabs are easily available at the airports. To make your journey hassle-free, you can also pre-book a cab. While in Shillong, you can visit the Ward’s Lake. Few of the other places worth visiting in Shillong are the Elephant Falls, Umiam Lake, and the Shillong Peak and so on. The beauty of Shillong leaves everyone at loss of words to describe its beauty and is rightly been given the title of ‘Scotland of the East’. In the evening, you can explore the local cafes as well as pubs in Shillong. Your trip to Meghalaya has just begun with one of the most beautiful place for any tourist.
Today, you get to visit the wettest places in the world that is Mawsynram as well as Cherrapunji. The route to Cherrapunji from Shillong is extremely beautiful with amazing Mountain View. While travelling, you can also give a try to zip lining. This will surely give you an adrenaline rush as you slide down from one mountain to another on a rope. Zip lining is a must try in Meghalaya and is also undoubtedly the best one in our country, considering its placement over gorgeous mountains.
Cherrapunjee experiences the heaviest rainfall when compared with any other place on this planet. When you visit Cherrapunji, you get the chance to see the abundant greenery of the place. Your first sightseeing place must be the limestone caves. You can explore these caves which served as homes to ancient human beings. It will be a unique experience as you crouch, walk and slither your way through these caves. Krem Liat Prah, in Meghalaya is one of the longest known caves and is approximately 31 kms in length. Following the exploration of the cave, you can visit the famous waterfalls of Cherrapunjee the next day.
Visit Nohkalikai Waterfalls
The Nohkailikai Falls, Dainthlen Falls and the Nohsngithiang Falls are the major attractions of the place due to their scenic beauty. The Nohkailikai Falls is the tallest plunge waterfall of India and is also the most photogenic one. It falls evenly from the cliffs top over the rocks without any break. When you look beyond the waterfall you can catch a view of the wild mountains and jungles. This view in itself makes the trip quite exciting. The water from the falls form a small blue pool and it is quite comforting to dip your legs on warm sunny days. You can also choose to swim in such shallow areas.
Also Read: 4-Day Goa Itinerary
Trekking the Living Root Bridges
The Living Root Bridges are the most fascinating as well as extraordinary sights of Meghalaya. The Living Root bridges are formed by a set of bridges which in turn is formed out of barks as well as trunks of the trees located on either side of the stream. The total time taken for a round trip across the Living Root bridges is around 5 hours.
The trek to the Living Root bridges is extremely beautiful. While trekking, you will go through small local villages, narrow streams and jungle. You will even have to cross a rope bridge, beneath which is located one of the bluest natural water pool. The Jingmahan Living Root Bridge has been given the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site as this bridge is formed by the sheer strength of nature.
Cherrapunji – Mawlynnong
Mawlynnong is the cleanest village of Asia. It is located at distance of 90 kms from Shillong. The village takes extreme pride in in keeping its surroundings clean. Collective effort from each and every villager is responsible for keeping the village clean. The places so clean that you wouldn’t even come across a leaf on the road. Well going through this village you can experience the local life the interacting with the villagers, having lunch with them climbing up a tree house and watching the breath-taking views of the landscape. From the tree house can even catch a glimpse of Bangladesh and if you are lucky, you can even spot some shooting stars.
Mawlynnong – Dawki – Shillong
Dawki is a small town located in the Jaintia Hills. Dawki as well as the river Umngot is one of the must visit places in the beautiful Meghalaya. The town is situated between India and Bangladesh and is a hub for trade between the countries. The town is also known for its tourism as the tourists explore the local town while enjoying the boat ride on the popular Umngot River.
Shillong – Guwahati – Departure
Post breakfast you can leave the hotel and drive back to Guwahati. On the way back, do visit the Umiam lake. The place is Surrounded by the Majestic Khasi Hills. The lake is actually a man-made reservoir. The sunrise at the Umaim Lake is a treat to watch. Once you arrive in Guwahati, you can try to visit the Kamakhya Temple, following which you can visit Kalakshetra. The Kamakhya Temple is an extremely important place as per Hindu mythology. It is the most important shrine Goddess Shakti.
Kalakshetra is nothing but a cultural institution bit with an objective to protect the cultural ethnicity as well as the Heritage of Assam. The place is a must visit if you are looking to explode the cultural diversity of North East India. You are free in the afternoon; you can also choose to go on a cruise on the Brahmaputra river. You can also visit the ISCKON Temple, Guwahati War Memorial and the Guwahati Planetarium. You can even explore the local market and buy some cute souvenirs for your relatives and friends. Few of the famous markets from which you can purchase silk products, footwear, handicrafts as well as crockery are Maligaon Market, Fancy Bazaar as well as NEDFi Haat.