March 7, 2018
- This post is a long one as this covers all the important places one must not miss at all, there can be new activities and places but the below are the must-see options.
There can be two ways of a trip- one a super exciting travel to a state or country and explore as many as places possible in the limited time, another is to prepare a relaxed itinerary. Both ways the excitation do not goes down but if you follow the second way you may miss a place or two but will have plenty of time with your loved ones or the co-traveler to catch up.
We choose the second as we were traveling with a kid to Meghalaya. Northeast part of India is very much unexplored so to escape the hot sun of Mumbai we decided to visit the northeast state- Meghalaya. Meghalaya is situated in and around the hills, it means “the abode of clouds” in Sanskrit and it stands true to its name. We had 8 days tour and a relaxed itinerary with us to travel and enjoy the weather around.
We reached Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati, Assam which is the closest airport to reach Meghalaya. Assam is also another beautiful state but we had plans already fixed. And the next day our tour to Meghalaya began. We had 5 full days of travel and sight-seeing in Meghalaya. With the limited time, we could explore few of the fascinating places.
Our route was from Guwahati to Umiam Lake and reaching Cherrapunjee after spending 2 nights here we left for Mawlynnong Village and saw beautiful villages nearby. With some amazing memories from this village we move ahead to Tamabil village and Dawki River, the last stop was beautiful Shillong and returning to Guahati. Let me take you through our beautiful tour via pictures below.
We left after breakfast for Cherrapunjee, we had plans to halt at Umiam Lake at around lunch time and then move ahead towards Cherrapunjee.
Umiam is around 12 KM from Shillong but we had a long way to go ahead of Shillong. Locals call it Bara Pani (translated- big water, because this manmade lake is spread across 221 square km making it a huge one), one can do different types of the boat ride, Anaconda ride, kayaking or simply chill on the banks, we choose to chill. The lake is very useful as it is the major source of storing water for electricity generation, developing the ecosystem services, it also serves irrigation, fisheries and drinking water for the villages nearby.
The water current that day was strong but that did not stop us from enjoying the water. The water was crystal clear, cold and cold breeze made us relaxed and enjoy the moment. The lake is well-known picnic spot and ideal for camping. There are many spots to reach the lake as it touches different hills or you can say villages. We enjoyed the view, water before heading for park area and later lunch at Orchid Lake Resort along the lake view.
Our next step was Cherrapunjee resort, the journey had beautiful mountains, trees, and clean roads. We could find our resort- Kutmadan at the end of the mountain road. It was 6 pm and pitch dark outside and as the place is famous for it was heavily raining.
So we got up early in the morning at 4:30 for the sunrise visible from our hilltop resort, due to rains the whole night it was all clouds, we came back to see the sunrise at 5:30 with more of light but clouds surrounded the sky with no visibility of the road ahead of the resort let alone the sunrise. With more hopes, my friend and I roam around to see the place, the mountains, and greenery, experience the clouds and pose for some pictures while our respective better halves decided to sleep.
After the breathtaking experience, it was time to get ready and witness the beauty of Cherrapunjee. The locals call it Sohra which was world-famous to have the highest rainfall in the world. The main rainy season starts from mid of Aril to mid of September every year. The locals believe the best time to visit Meghalaya is in October after the main rainy weather, more water in waterfalls and the lakes to witness the beauty. We went in 2nd week of April- onset of Monsoon, the place was still magnificent.
There are many places to see in Sohra, we covered
- Nohsngithang falls also known as seven sisters’ waterfalls
- Ka Khoh Ramhah a 60ft giant rock
- Kynrem falls a beautiful distant view as well a bridge built bringing us closure to the falls
- Thangkharang Park an eco-park
- Mawsmai Cave
- Noh-Kalikai Falls the tallest plunge type waterfalls
One can plan double-decker natural root bridge with needs trekking and further mid- jungle water pool, due to lack of time we had to sip them which is sad.
Our day was more than we expected, beautiful falls, cave and spectacular nature with its beauty. Locals claimed there is more to the small city but the ones we covered are the must if you ever enter Sohra and you must visit here once in your life.
Cherrapunjee made me closer to the sky, the clouds; clouds would pass by me not only making my visibility zero but also my hair and clothes moist.
During our visit we could see deforestation, excavation and Earthmoving (Cutting the mountains) leading to weather disturbance, it was heartbreaking to see naked mountains at many places. Our driver also mentioned this is the reason for the reduction in rainfall deteriorating the Mother Nature beauty as well.
After a spectacular stay at Cherrapunjee its time to witness the new destination in Meghalaya and explore more beauty around. We were enjoying the cold breezing and unalarmed rains in Cherrapunjee.
Our next destination Mawlynnong Village was equally enchanting. Mawlynnong is also in the East Khasi hills and is well known for its cleanliness and close to nature attraction. One can observe the rural life in the state as well as wonder how the natives ensure to keep their culture live.
The beautiful bamboo built house and the cleanliness won our hearts. You must spend one full day here to walk around and talk with locals to know more.
We stayed at Areca resort which was in the middle of the jungle isolated from the village and close to nature.
Limited but beautiful places we saw during the day.
- Mawlynnong village tour
- Root bridge and Bamboo top view
- Nohwet Village
- Bamboo Plateau view- Bangladesh border
- The oldest house in the village
- Balancing rock saw it the next day but would like to add to the itinerary of this day
Our stay at the village was more than satisfying. We had all the experience that one search away from the city life. We stayed in Treehouse styled cottage in the middle of the jungle. Also took an adventure to walk down to village area in the pitch dark all by ourselves. It was scary but together we enjoyed that small adventure.
This little village and its people gave us an experience of our life.
Indo Bangladesh Border and Dawki River
Now the next stop was Shillong, but loads of sightseeing throughout the day before reaching Shillong in the evening. Our itinerary gave us the freedom to touch Bangladesh border, view some more falls and experience Dawki River.
We reached a small village named Tamabil which had very busy roads. A Huge queue of roads on one side of the roads made us wonder the reason for the traffic, we soon realized it was incoming and outgoing of goods truck between India and Bangladesh. This was a small border post but very strict for trucks. We could go and see the border, on one side India and another side Bangladesh. Not many people come here but it is a busy place and army Surveillance all around.
Just a few kilometers away we reach Dawki River. The spot where we can take a boat ride and see water border of Indo-Bangladesh. More than this it is the most beautiful river I have ever been on. Locals say after the rains are over and when the water is more stable one can see the bottom of the river even from the famous bridge over the river. As we went during the rainy season, the water was turbid and hence we could not see the real magic but what we witnessed was mesmerizing enough. Our boat rower showed us the Bangladesh water border as well.
Due to time constraint, we could not do Zip lining and hill jumping activities near this place. However, on the way, we could enjoy the view of BOP hill fall and Elephant fall. We reached our next destination Shillong late evening.
Shillong is a beautiful hill station also is the capital of Meghalaya, also known as “The Abode of Clouds”. The city is surrounded by rolling hills and the view makes it a resemblance to Scotland hence it is also referred as ‘Scotland of the East’.
There are many places in and around Shillong including nature view, history, churches etc. We could visit the below places which made our day.
- Ward’s Lake
- Sacred Forest
- Shillong View Point
- Shillong Golf Course
- Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians
Our day’s itinerary also included State museum, Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures but it was closed for few days due to Good Friday and Easter. We have missed this wonderful museum as informed by the locals. There are many other museums one can see and enjoy like Rhino Museum, Air Force Museum, Capt. Williamson Sangma State Museum, Entomological Museum (Butterfly Museum) and many others.
This was small but fulfilled day we spent in Shillong.
Next day we returned to Guwahati for our trip back to Mumbai. On the way, we could see Umiam Lake viewpoint. A few days back we went down to see the lake today we saw a helicopter view from the viewpoint.
Overall we all enjoyed the trip to Meghalaya which is very much unexplored. The cotton ball-like clouds and green carpet of grasses, huge beautiful mountains, and cold calm weather, all combined gave us the reason to rejuvenate. The people around love their culture and respects the nature which they have in abundance.
Though there is much more left to venture we all were super satisfied with the itinerary we had for us. Next time when you are planning for a vacation, do not omit this mesmerizing state we have in our very own incredible India.
Also read : 8 Must See Falls in Meghalya.