A tiny state in the north-eastern part of India, Meghalaya which means “abode of the clouds” in Sanskrit literally lives up to its name. Sharing its international boundaries with Bangladesh, this state is the wettest region in India in terms of average annual rainfall giving rise to an astounding variety of flora and fauna thus making it a paradise for nature lovers. Harbouring the rainiest place on planet earth and the cleanest village in Asia, this north-eastern state has a lot of delightful surprises ready to be unwrapped by the tourists.
How to reach: Although there is an airport in Umroi, Meghalaya which is 35 kilometres from Shillong, the capital of the state, but the best possible option is the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Borjhar in Assam which is 128 kilometres from Shillong. Shared or reserved cabs are readily available from Borjhar airport in Guwahati to Shillong which will drop you off at Police Bazaar – the centre point of Shillong from where you can get transportation to almost any part of the state. Being a predominantly hilly region, Meghalaya lacks any railway line and the nearest railway station is the one in Guwahati which is 104 kilometres from Shillong and is very conveniently connected to most parts of India. Road transportation from Guwahati to Shillong or vice versa is very common and easily available through the busy Guwahati-Shillong Road.
Tourist spots: The main tourist attractions in the state of Meghalaya would include the following main places:
Shillong: Shillong, the capital of the state, which was actually built as an army cantonment by the British, holds a whole lot of opportunities for tourism and amazement. It is a very youthful and exciting place to enjoy a night or two. Undoubtedly the most developed region in the state, Shillong has numerous hotels in various budgets to suit your needs.
Just in the middle of the town is the Ward’s lake and the Lady Hydari Park which can be a favourable option to go for boating or to just take a stroll by the afternoon.
The Shillong peak, in upper Shillong awaits amidst the dense Khasi Hills to delight you with a panoramic view of the entire Shillong town.
Among the numerous enticing waterfalls in Shillong, the Elephant Falls and the Sweet Falls are two such spots you cannot afford to miss at any cost once you are in Shillong.
Cherrapunjee: Recognised as the wettest place on planet Earth, Cherrapunjee is a very sparsely populated village amidst the high Khasi Hills. If you are up for some adventure, you can try the Mawjymbuin Cave – an amazing natural creation. Otherwise, Cherrapunjee is a very calm place with a soothing weather perfect for a relaxing holiday or a honeymoon.
Mawlynnong: Proudly bearing the tag of “Asia’s cleanest village”, this tiny spot amidst the high hills, with its lush green gardens and the naturally created living root bridge, is a sight to behold. Moreover, the journey from Shillong high up to Mawlynnong is truly a path through paradise.
Dawki: Dawki has ample opportunities in store for all the adventurers out there. The ferocious hilly rivers provide you with thrilling water sport options like river rafting and scuba diving.
Mawsynram: One of the wettest places on earth, Mawsynram is a true piece of natural beauty with all its natural caves amidst the lush green mountains concealed by the clouds.
Jowai: Situated in the lap of the west Jaintia hills, Jowai is another alluring spot in Meghalaya that can enthral anybody with the captivating natural beauty of its lakes, caves and waterfalls.
Tura: One of the largest towns in Meghalaya, Tura has many recourse for caving expeditions in the mountains apart from the scenic beauty of the calm valley.
If you are planning on spending your next vacation to relax amidst the soothing calmness of nature, Meghalaya can prove to be a great bet. Just pack a few of your woollens and your raincoat, put on your gumboots or hiking shoes and set out on an wonderful journey into this rain-soaked piece of heaven on earth!