Meghalaya, a place unimaginably close to the nature that it incessantly keeps enchanting its visitors with the roaring waterfalls, clouds like a rubber ball, dark mysterious caves, milky white water streams, crystal clear rivers, dense jungles, and intoxicating fresh air. We will definitely be ticking some of the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ to do’s during this trip as we hike to the Double Decker Living Root Bridges, skip a few heartbeats while crossing suspension bridges over rocky waters, witness some of the highest waterfalls in the country and do boating in the cleanest river in India.
It’s a rare place in India which is so close to nature yet so developed and modern. Meghalaya, especially Khasi tribal areas, is often compared with Europe because of its sustainable practices, clean wide roads, progressive culture, and no patriarchal communities. Environment-friendly practices are so valued that even trash bins are made from bamboo. You’ll be astonished to know that some villages have banned the use of plastic within their boundary line and have their own waste management systems. No wonder that Meghalaya is the home to the Asia’s cleanest village! In fact, some of the rarest flora are also found here including insect-eating Pitcher plant and …
Let’s join our hands and embark on a nature trail to Meghalaya which is unquestionably going to be one of the most memorable journeys of our lives. Not to mention that fruits such as Pineapple, jackfruit, and melons grow in abundance and hence, we all are in for some fresh juicy treats.
- Umaim Lake: Dotted by a few islands, surrounded by coniferous forests, and enveloped by East Khasi Hills, Umaim Lake is breathtakingly beautiful and serene. It’s a man-made wonder located just a few miles away from Shillong and covering an area of 221 sq. km.
- Don Bosco Museum: Don Bosco Museum is arguably one of the best museums in India. Visiting this museum is the best start to learning the culture of indigenous tribes of North East India. The various galleries here such as ornaments, food, basketry, housing, culture, religion, and agriculture are quite intriguing.
- Cathedral Church: Graciously perched over a small hill, Cathedral Church is a big blue beauty which is definitely worth a visit in Shillong. Stunning stained glass windows behind the idols of Jesus and Mother Mary add a lot of charm to the church.
- Police Bazaar: Located in the heart of Shillong, Police Bazaar is an unavoidable landmark for any tourist. It’s a one-stop shopping solution for any guest to Shillong. The night stalls selling local food are worth a visit.
- Bada Bazaar: Bada Bazaar is like a confusing maze of alleys, nooks, and corners, and narrow streets where getting lost would be fun. Primarily, it’s a grocery market where vendors come to sell their fresh produce. A great place to taste local fruits and also a preferable place for street photography.
- Elephant Waterfalls: Elephant Waterfalls are the three-tier cascading falls which are named after an elephant-shaped rock near the falls. The milky white water sheets flow thunderously on the dark rocks and falling into a waterbed with plenty of rocks, making it a paradise for tourists.
- Sacred Grove Forest: Sacred Grove Forest is named so because it is protected by a local deity. The entrance to the forest feels like a green tunnel formed by the branches of the trees. Rare medicinal herbs, flowers, beautiful trees, and monoliths make the forest no less than a heavenly green place to visit.
- Khasi Heritage Village: Quaint looking thatched houses and rustic surroundings immediately give an impression of being a picture perfect model village. Khasi Heritage Village showcases the lifestyle of traditional Khasi tribes by using the replicas of their houses equipped with bedroom, kitchen, living room and livestock rearing area.
- Seven Sisters Waterfalls: The waterfall is called Seven Sisters because it’s a seven segmented waterfall. Located in Cherrapunjee, it’s a cascading fall, falling from a height of 1033 feet. The magnificence of Seven Sisters Waterfalls is indescribable in words.
- Nohkalikai Waterfalls: Falling from a height of 1115 feet, Nohkalikai Falls is the tallest plunge waterfall in India. Beautifully nestled between the evergreen rainforest of Khasi Hill, it falls into a crystal clear lagoon.
- Mawsmai Cave: The wondrous result of natural abrasion, Mawsmai Caves is the spellbinding limestone caves with some rare fossils, flora, and fauna on cave walls. The caves have just enough light to enable visitors to intricately enjoy the natural formations including stalactites and stalagmites.
- Laitmawsiang: Laitmawsiang, also known as the garden of caves, is a natural wonder which is a combination of caves, waterfalls and rock formations. It offers one of the unique sights including waterfall plunging into a cave, a naturally carved heart-shaped rock, and bamboo bridges.
- Living Root Bridges: Living Root Bridges, also known as Breathing Bridges, are a flabbergasting natural cum man-made wonders. They are formed by folding the pliable roots of the ancient rubber trees in the form of the bridges, over a river or stream. It takes more than a decade for the roots to be strong enough to bear the weight of human beings. We’ll also visit the Double Decker Living Root Bridges in Nongriat Village near Cherrapunjee.
- Mawlynnong: Mawlynnong, also known as Asia’s cleanest village, is more than a model village. Super clean wide roads, bamboo dustbins, functional toilets in every household, a matriarchal society, strict ban on plastic and smoking and own waste management system definitely make it ‘God’s own garden’. Not to mention that it has some breathtaking viewpoints to visit. Unfold more gobsmacking secrets when we visit this mystic heaven!
- Umngot River: Words are not enough to describe the beauty of this crystal clear blue water river. The water is so clear that when seen from little far, it appears as if the boat is floating in mid-air.