The Mystical Charms of Meghalaya: Your Ultimate Travel Itinerary

Meghalaya, often referred to as the “Abode of Clouds,” is one of the most captivating states in northeastern India. Renowned for its lush landscapes, rolling hills, serene lakes, and vibrant culture, Meghalaya offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. This guide will take you through an ultimate travel itinerary, ensuring you experience the very best that Meghalaya has to offer.

Day 1: Arrival in Shillong

Morning: Arrive and Acclimatize

Your journey begins in Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya. Nestled in the Khasi Hills, Shillong is known for its colonial-era charm and picturesque setting. Upon arrival, check into your hotel and take some time to relax and acclimatize.

the Mystical Charms of Meghalaya: Your Ultimate Travel Itinerary

Afternoon: Explore Local Markets

Head to Police Bazaar, the bustling heart of Shillong. Here, you can explore local shops, buy traditional handicrafts, and taste some local snacks. Don’t miss out on trying the famous Khasi street food like Jadoh (a rice and meat dish) and Tungrymbai (fermented soybean curry).

Evening: Visit Ward’s Lake and Don Bosco Museum

Spend your evening at Ward’s Lake, a serene man-made lake surrounded by well-maintained gardens. It’s a perfect spot for a leisurely boat ride or a peaceful stroll. Following this, visit the Don Bosco Museum, which offers a comprehensive insight into the indigenous cultures of Northeast India.

Day 2: Exploring Shillong

Morning: Shillong Peak and Elephant Falls

Start your day with a trip to Shillong Peak, the highest point in the city. The panoramic view of Shillong and the surrounding hills is breathtaking. On your way back, visit Elephant Falls, a multi-tiered waterfall that is a popular tourist spot.

Afternoon: Mawphlang Sacred Forest

In the afternoon, head to the Mawphlang Sacred Forest, about 25 kilometers from Shillong. This ancient forest is revered by the Khasi tribe and is home to a variety of rare flora and fauna. A guided tour will offer fascinating insights into the local beliefs and biodiversity.

Evening: Experience Local Music

Shillong is known as the “Rock Capital of India.” Spend your evening enjoying live music at one of the local cafes or pubs. Many local bands perform a mix of rock, blues, and folk music, providing a perfect end to your day.

Day 3: The Living Root Bridges of Cherrapunji

Morning: Drive to Cherrapunji

Depart early for Cherrapunji, one of the wettest places on Earth, located about 54 kilometers from Shillong. The drive itself is scenic, with lush green landscapes and mist-covered hills.

Afternoon: Explore Living Root Bridges

Cherrapunji is famous for its living root bridges, unique to Meghalaya. These bridges are made by training the roots of rubber trees to grow across rivers and streams. The most famous one is the Double Decker Living Root Bridge in Nongriat village. The trek to this bridge is challenging but incredibly rewarding.

Evening: Visit Mawsmai Cave

End your day with a visit to the Mawsmai Cave, a limestone cave known for its impressive stalactites and stalagmites. The cave is well-lit and easy to navigate, making it accessible for most travelers.

Day 4: Natural Wonders of Cherrapunji

Morning: Nohkalikai Falls

Start your day with a visit to Nohkalikai Falls, the tallest plunge waterfall in India. The sight of the waterfall cascading down from a height of 1,115 feet is truly awe-inspiring. There is a viewpoint where you can get a spectacular view of the falls and the surrounding valley.

Afternoon: Seven Sisters Falls and Thangkharang Park

Next, visit the Seven Sisters Falls, also known as Nohsngithiang Falls. This waterfall is particularly impressive during the monsoon season when all seven segments are active. Follow this with a visit to Thangkharang Park, which offers a panoramic view of the Bangladesh plains and the Kynrem Falls.

Evening: Return to Shillong

After a day full of exploring, return to Shillong. Enjoy a relaxing evening at your hotel or take a leisurely walk around the city to soak in the cool mountain air.

Day 5: Mawlynnong and Dawki

Morning: Visit Mawlynnong

Head to Mawlynnong, which has earned the title of the “Cleanest Village in Asia.” The village is about 90 kilometers from Shillong and offers a glimpse into the pristine lifestyle of the Khasi people. Walk around the village, visit the Sky Walk for a bird’s eye view of the area, and explore the picturesque surroundings.

Afternoon: Dawki and Umngot River

Proceed to Dawki, located near the India-Bangladesh border. The highlight here is the Umngot River, renowned for its crystal-clear waters. A boat ride on this river is a surreal experience, as the water is so clear that the boats appear to be floating on air.

Evening: Return to Shillong

Head back to Shillong for your final night in the city. You can dine at one of the many local restaurants, enjoying traditional Khasi cuisine.

Day 6: Departure

Morning: Final Stroll and Souvenir Shopping

Take a final stroll through the city, perhaps visiting any spots you might have missed. Do some last-minute souvenir shopping to take back memories of Meghalaya.

Afternoon: Departure

Check out of your hotel and head to the airport or railway station for your onward journey.

Travel Tips

  1. Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Meghalaya is from October to April when the weather is pleasant, and the monsoons have receded.
  2. Local Cuisine: Don’t miss out on trying local Khasi dishes. Besides Jadoh and Tungrymbai, try Dohneiiong (pork curry with black sesame) and Nakham Bitchi (a soup made from dry fish).
  3. Cultural Sensitivity: Respect local customs and traditions, especially when visiting sacred sites like the Mawphlang Sacred Forest.
  4. Packing Essentials: Pack light but include essentials like a raincoat, comfortable trekking shoes, and warm clothing, especially if you are visiting during the cooler months.
  5. Transport: Hiring a local driver or a guide can be beneficial as they are familiar with the terrain and local languages.

Meghalaya, with its mystical charm and natural beauty, promises an unforgettable travel experience. From the vibrant culture of Shillong to the serene landscapes of Cherrapunji and Mawlynnong, this itinerary ensures you capture the essence of this enchanting state. So pack your bags and get ready to explore the Abode of Clouds!