“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”
The home we are talking about here is adorned with gorgeous waterfalls, natural marvels, enchanting caves, sacred forests – all under one roof. It’s the abode of clouds, the home of nature, the wettest region on earth and one of the seven sister states of India – Meghalaya. The “rain factor” is a major attraction here which makes it a very popular monsoon destination to those who love the rain. But not many are aware of the fact that Meghalaya offers more than just rain. This place is filled with jaw-dropping and spell-binding nature’s wonders, starting with mystical waterfalls where you can spend hours bathing, taking a dip in nature pools to sprawling green valleys soaked in the rains where you can do adventure activities like hiking, zip lining, trekking. from hidden caves to root bridges, from crystal clear waters to sublime villages, Meghalaya has tons of things to offer to travellers and no other place can match up to its exquisiteness. And the best part is: one can visit anytime of the year to witness the beauty of this place as it has unique attractions to offer for particular seasons. Here are our top 5 attractions that you shouldn’t give a miss when making a list of places to visit in Meghalaya.
THE GRAND CANYON OF NORTHEAST – LAITLUM CANYON
The name that means “the end of the world” feels like “the beginning of majestic view”. Laitlum Canyon is a picturesque destination that offers a great view and forms as a beautiful background for greater clicks. Perched atop the East Khasi Hills of Shillong, this canyon offers a unique glimpse of the beauty of Shillong from a bird’s eye perspective. The breath-taking 360 degree view, the constant calming breeze, the natural terrains – everything about this place has a charm of its own. If you love photography or love getting clicked, this is where to head as this destination is the ultimate paradise for perfect shots. A DAY-OUT PICNIC WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY AMIDST MAJESTIC HILLS, A PERFECT SUNSET POINT, A HIKING DESTINATION ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU CAN ENJOY IN LAITLUM.
TRAVEL TIP: Not everyone would suggest you to be here but this place will not disappoint you. As a matter of fact this one would remain a must go for me among all the places to visit in Meghalaya. You can reach to this place easily with a rented car or two wheelers. Cab drivers show the least interest because a drive to this place can be strenuous (cause of uneven roads), so make sure you rent a car instead beforehand.
Must Read: The Most Beautiful Hill Stations of India
NATURE IS NURTURED HERE – LIVING ROOT BRIDGES
It’s said that the best view comes after the hardest climb. But in this case, you will have to climb down (3500 steps to be precise) to witness the bio-engineered marvel created by the khasi tribes of Meghalaya. The living root bridges (Single Decker and Double Decker) are created by directing the rubber tree roots to entwine with Betel plants and fortified by mud and stones, nature’s marvel that takes over 15 years to build, connects villages and serve generations after generations. The bridges made of living plants are sturdy enough to allow an army of 50 humans to walk on it at one time. The steps down take you to the village name Nongriat where the Double Decker bridge is located and on the way you get several cross over bridges and Single Decker bridges. The people of Khasi tribe are proud inventors of this masterpiece and one has to witness it to find out why. The double Decker Bridge ages way beyond 180 years and it stands strong and sturdy, a living representation of Man and his relationship with Nature.
TRAVEL TIP: In order to visit this unique attraction, one has to undergo a moderate to difficult trek that could take up to 5-6 hours. So it is advisable to stay at the villages for a couple of days before you climb back. And for a perfect staying experience, choose Bryonn’s Homestay. The Double decker bridge is just 2 mins walk away from the Homestay.
FALL IN LOVE WITH THE BEAUTY OF RAINBOW FALLS
At a glimpse, you will fall in love with this serene waterfall that is located near Nongriat Village (2 hour trek from Double Decker Root Bridge). It is one of the famous waterfalls in Meghalaya and among the popular places to visit. Secluded deep within the forest, the falls got its name from a small rainbow that adorns the waterfall like a necklace. And the major attraction to this place is the nature pool near to the fall. After the 2 hour trek, travellers can take a dip in the natural pool amidst nature, take beauty shots, enjoy packed lunch and even witness several flora and faunas inside the forest.
TRAVEL TIP: Make sure to start early in the morning, so that by the time it’s noon, the rainbow is visible (thanks to Sun shining bright at this hour). One needs to wear comfortable shoes, and also carry enough snacks and water while trekking to Rainbow Falls. Guides are not mandatory but for first time trekkers, the guidance can be useful.
Must Read: The Top 10 Highest Waterfalls In India
A PLACE OF MANY SURPRISES – DISCOVER THE BEAUTY OF CHERRAPUNJI
TRAVEL TIP: There are a few resorts and hotels amidst nature where you can have a great stay with your family and friends so make sure you spend a couple of days to witness these beauties – Nohkalikai Waterfalls, Mawsmai Cave, Seven Sister Falls, and Dain-Thlen Falls, Arwah Cave, Kynrem Falls, Thangkharang Park, Eco Park, and Garden of Caves.
CRYSTAL CLEAR IS SYNONYMOUS TO DAWKI RIVER
Boats floating on invisible water surface, cliff jumpers taking leap of faith on the emerald green colour water, rocks and boulders surrounding the pristine beauty are some of the common sights that will totally captivate your senses. The Umngot river, also popularly called the Dawki river can be quite a sight in any season that you visit in Meghalaya. Considered as one of the cleanest rivers of India, you can see the bottom of the river as your boat rows across it. The locals have treasured this place like a sacred getaway. Located on the international border of India and Bangladesh in West Jaintia Hills, this town boasts being completely unspoilt. If you think that a stroll along this stunning river will alone make your day, wait till you take a boat ride here where you can actually see the river bed (thanks to the clean water). There are a range of homestays and guest houses where you can spend a night. If you are little adventurous, you can also prefer to stay at Shnongpdeng village to indulge into some camping activities.
TRAVEL TIP: You can hire a boat ride, sailing till the Bangladesh-India Border. The boat ride here would cost you anywhere between 400 and 600 bucks. While driving from Mawlynnong to Dawki, you can also stop by for some time at Bophill Falls for another amazing experience in Meghalaya.
Must Read: The Top 10 Longest Rivers Of India
With that, here comes the end of our “must explore” attractions among all the places to visit in Meghalaya. Don’t forget to give your much-needed feedback, suggestions and queries in the comment section about this blog. If you want to know any other details about the beautiful country India or have got ideas about the offbeat, adventure and picturesque destinations of this country share with us.