Monsooning in Meghalaya!

One part of India that I had not visited at all so far, was the north-eastern states. I broke that jinx this month by visiting Meghalaya, the predominantly tribal state carved out of Assam in the 1970’s. It seemed right to be visiting the wettest place on earth, in the middle of the monsoon season!

Shillong, the capital, is a busy little town with the usual urban paraphernalia of shopping centres, cafes, schools, markets, traffic jams…In fact, apart from chilling out at a few cafes in town, I spent most of my time outside Shillong in the midst of nature. This is where you will really see the true beauty of Meghalaya.

Everyone will tell you that if you are in Shillong, a visit to Cherrapunjee is a must. Aside from the fact that it was once the district with the highest recorded rainfall in the world (this position is now held by Mawsynram, also nearby), Cherrapunjee or Sohra as it called locally, also offers amazing views of nature in all its grace. Places you should not miss while visiting Cherrapunjee include the Wah Kaba falls, Dainthlen falls, Eco Park, Nohkalikai falls and the Seven Sisters falls. The drive from Shillong takes about 2.5 to 3 hours one way, and it is a scenic route.

IMG_0090

Meghalaya also has a large number of limestone caves and cavers from all over the world visit in order to explore them. I visited the Mawsmai limestone caves, and the stalactites and stalagmites were indeed imposing to see.

While in Shillong you can also take a trip to Mawlynnong and Dawki. Mawlynnong is known as the cleanest village in Asia, and after seeing the place I didn’t really doubt the title. From here you can easily get to the nearby Living Root bridge in Riwai. Living root bridges are natural bridges found in a couple of places in Meghalaya. Locals take the roots of Indian Rubber trees, and train and weave them into a mesh. They then plaster the mesh with mud and stones to form a natural bridge , allowing people to cross over streams. Ingenious idea, and the bridges are still going strong! Be prepared for a hike up and down several steps though!

Dawki is about 100km from Shillong and you can easily combine it with a Mawlynnong excursion. It offers scenic views of the Umngot river, and the India-Bangladesh border. Outside the monsoon season the river is very popular for boating.

Meghalaya is a must-visit destination that offers natural beauty, offbeat experiences and an opportunity to get away from the concrete jungle. The people you meet here will in general be really warm and friendly, and you will feel welcome wherever you go.

I know that I will be going back someday soon!

Getting there: Flight to Guwahati; 3 hour drive from Guwahati to Shillong

Where to stay: Definitely not in Police Bazaar area, unless you want to be stuck in traffic all day. The Laitumkhrah area is better. If budget allows, go for Ri Kyinjai near Umiam lake.

 

Two Traveling Texans

15 thoughts on “Monsooning in Meghalaya!

  1. Our first trip to Meghalaya is in 10 days and I am so excited about it. Though we might not be able to see much of rains, we are hoping to experience a little bit of it in Mawsyram. Meghalaya in your pictures is beautiful. I decided on a few places to visit from this blog of yours. Thanks for sharing

  2. Hi Neha, North-East states are definitely in my bucket list and I am planning to travel there this year 🙂 I’m aware of the tribal festival in Nagaland in early December but places like Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur – do you know when is the best time to go? I’m thinking, perhaps mid to end Nov so that I can coincide with the festival in Nagaland? Thanks. I love your post and pics – am looking forward to read more 🙂 #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. Neha

      Thank you so much Kat! The North-east is primarily hilly so you’d be good October – December and again April – June. Feel free to get in touch for any specific travel inputs when you plan your trip!

  3. There are many places in India that I would like to visit. I’ve never heard of Meghalaya. It sounds quite remote but very interesting. I don’t think I would like visiting it during the monsoon season though (lol!) #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. Neha

      Yes Anda, Meghalaya isn’t as well known as some other parts of India. The North east has remained relatively unexplored due to connectivity issues. If you want to avoid monsoon then October-November and April through June would be good. Thanks for stopping by 😊

    1. Neha

      Happy New Year and thanks for stopping by. I’ve planned to write more about India this year so hopefully will be able to introduce people to a few more lesser known places 😊

  4. Anisa

    Meghalaya looks beautiful, so green. I love waterfalls so sounds like a great place for me. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *