The abode of clouds, Meghalaya is known for being the wettest place on earth. Thus, this North-eastern state of India makes a popular monsoon destination. The state is blessed with impressive natural wonders and the tribal population residing here makes it look even more colourful.
Places to Visit
Living root Bridges of Meghalaya remain its most magical attraction. These look unreal due to their intricate formation and make many jaws drop. Also visit Mawlynnong Village, the cleanest village in Asia. This village possesses a wealth of nature and makes an ideal location to forget all worldly sorrows. Dawki Town of Meghalaya is known for its pristine emerald Umngot River. Take a boat ride on this river which is one of the cleanest on earth. For some nature walk nothing can be as calming as the Mawphlang Sacred Forest. This holy plant grove of the Khasi tribe offers a charming 16 kilometre walking trail. Spend some time at Laitlum Canyon from where the world seems even more beautiful. This remote village is far from worldly glitz and glamour and presents the simplest pleasures of life.
Caves of Meghalaya remain popular among travellers seeking something unusual. Some of these are challenging to visit and remain popular among those taking caving expeditions. Some of the most popular caves of Meghalaya include Siju, Mawmluh, Mawsynram, and Liat Prah. Serenity seekers must spend some time near the Umiam Lake. The lake supplies water to the city of Shillong and charms visitors with its unbelievably picturesque beauty. Elephant Falls of Shillong make the best picnic spot for family vacationers. Views around the falls look jaw-dropping and travellers can spend hours here soaking into its serenity.
Meghalaya is home to 2 National Parks and 3 Wildlife Sanctuaries where visitors can spot numerous mammal species, including Asian elephants, rare Stump-tailed macaque, Pig-tailed macaque, etc.
Festivals of Meghalaya are simple yet pleasing. Autumn Festival, marking the onset of a season, is celebrated in Shillong. This cultural gala showcases the cultures of Meghalaya in the form of dancing, singing, food and various games. It is a great time to bag handicraft items of the state. Behdienkhlam Festival is celebrated to ward off the evil forces. Locals perform a special dance during the festival where they sing and dance to the tune of pipes followed by the game of Dad-Lawakor (Football). Nongkram Dance is another religious festival of the state celebrated by the people residing in the Khasi Hills. The festival sees sacrifices of goats and vigorous dances by young boys and girls. Wangala is another popular festival celebrated mostly by the Garos. The festival is dedicated to the God of fertility and sees people dressed in vibrant costumes and dancing on drum beats.
Meghalayan cuisine is unique and fresh in nature. Rice is a staple food of Meghalaya and is served with most of the dishes. Jadoh is a popular dish of the Khasi community prepared with red rice and pork meat. Doh-Khlieh is a salad made using minced pork, onions and chillies. This is an adventurous dish as sometimes it has curry of pig brains. Nakham Bitchi, a dry fish, is served as a starter. Doh-neiiong is the yummiest pork curry dish that will surely make you fall for gluttony. Also, savour the taste of Pukhlein which is a sweet made with jaggery and rice mixture. In all celebrations of the state, you can spot locals drinking Kyat, local fermented rice beer of Meghalaya.? ???
Meghalaya is a satisfying place to gratify the shopper inside you. Visit Lewduh market which is one of the oldest markets in Shillong selling everything from vegetables to handloom and handicraft items. Police Bazaar brims with multi-cuisine restaurants and hotels and must be visited during evening hours. Naga and Manipuri shawls of Meghalaya are very popular. Here you can also find Scottish Dress Materials which are warm and beautiful. Khasi scrub also remains a must buy here. Also, those looking for local handicraft items can pick Baskets, Coiled Cane Containers, Mud Shovel, Khasi Bamboo Comb, etc.
By Air: Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport of Guwahati (Assam) is the nearest airport to Meghalaya located at a distance of 159 km.
By Rail: Closest railway station to Meghalaya is in Guwahati (Assam) which is well connected to New Delhi, Amritsar, Jammu and Kashmir, etc.
By Road: Meghalaya can be easily accessed by road. However, one must take precautions while driving during monsoons as roads become slippery.