Got enough resources at hand to head to Scotland? Fret not, you could do that a lot more easily – head to ‘Scotland of the East’ instead! Many Indians are now looking for Meghalaya tours, amongst other North-East customised packages, to indulge in the beauty of nature without the swarm of tourists playing spoilsport. If you’re one of those who love to romance nature and culture together in their virgin state, pack your bags without a second thought.
Meghalaya is one destination that you can visit all-year around. That’s because its geographical features like hills, water pools and waterfalls always appear to be sparkling clean, fresh and ready to be explored, thanks to the abundant rainfall. In fact, the village of Mawlynnong in Shillong is the cleanest village in Asia. Feel truly liberated and relaxed as you stay in a tree house here and let your lungs take in the pure and fresh air.
Abundant tea gardens on the hillsides with clouds floating on top make for a dream-like scenery that’s so addictive that you wouldn’t want to blink your eyes. The Mawlynnong waterfall is a sight to behold, with white waters pushing through lush green vegetation. You can also climb up the village Skyview and soak in mesmerizing views of the plains of Bangladesh. Another waterfall – Nohkalikai Falls, the third highest waterfall in India and also the tallest plunge waterfall in the country, is also located near Cherrapunjee.
Yet another marvel of nature is the clear water at Dawki with its blue green hues. A ride on the river will leave you spellbound. If you’re daring enough, you can also take a swim in the water alongside the boats. To complete the experience, we recommend staying in one of the adventure camps for the night.
The ‘Abode of Clouds’ is also the ultimate paradise for cave explorers. There are many caves waiting to be discovered in Meghalaya – secret passages devoid of sunlight and countless mysteries. The local people are more than happy to lead you into these untamed tunnels lined up with stalactite and stalagmite formations.
The frequently visited caves include those at Mawsmai and Syndai in the Jaintia hills. Mawsmai is more frequented, with the thrill surrounding its only one entry and exit point and the tradition of taking off your shoes before entering it sounding eerily scary in the first place. Head towards Mawjynbuin caves in Mawsynram to see a Shiva lingam made of stalactite.
The cramped and narrow paths of these caves surely set a number of chemicals flowing within your brain.
Living root bridges
Yes, a mere mention is enough. The living root bridges remain one of the popular attractions of the north-east and a major reason why travellers started to look for Cherrapunjee tours.
The Double Decker Living Root Bridge in Nongriat village in Cherrapunjee is a unique natural structure formed by the living roots of rubber trees. Half of the fun lies in the challenging trek through the dense forest and moss covered stairs to the bridge, while the other half is walking on the age-old bridge, which can support the weight of more than 50 people at a time.
However, if you’re looking for an easy way to the living root bridges, there are others around Cherrapunjee and Mawsynram – Riwai Living Root Bridge at Mawlynnong Village being one of the most easy ones. Whether you visit the Double Decker or the other less arduous ones, you cannot afford to miss living root bridges on a Meghalaya tour!
The breathtaking treks
We’ve already talked about the trek to the living root bridge in Nongriat. Moving on, there’s another journey in Meghalaya that promises to be a trekker’s paradise – the expedition to the Laitlum Canyon. This offbeat trek offers an experience replete with hues of reds, browns and other earthy shades in the sky during dusk and dawn, while you make your way through lush meadows and rocky paths. When you reach the top, you can see all the features and colours of Meghalaya in a panoramic view. What’s more, you can even visit the beautiful Lwai falls on the way, to get rid of your tiredness from the trek.
There are many other treks that you can take up as part of Cheerapunjee and Shillong tours, all offering breathtaking views of the lush mountains and the clouds hovering over them.
All for the love of mountains and their majesty!
The bold matriarchal society and culture will leave you spellbound
As shocking as it may sound, the local people of Meghalaya have an inherent matriarchal mindset, with property and wealth being passed down from mother to daughter instead of father to son. An evening spent with the locals will walk you through the stories of celebration when a girl is born, as opposed to the quiet acceptance at the birth of a boy child.
Apart from that, the local tribes have lent a very unique culture to the region, with music and colorful dances being a part of their cultural festivals. Blend it with their savory preparations, and you’re all set for a delightful evening.
There are many other places in Meghalaya worth visiting, like the Mawphlang sacred forest where you can’t take away even a stone as per the local customs, and the Nongkhnum river Island, the Siju Caves and the Elephant Falls and the list goes on. Plan your Meghalaya tour today and discover this hidden gem before most other wanderers do!