Meghalaya: How to make the most of it ?

What would you imagine if you want to get away from all the drama in your home or workplace.

What would you imagine if you wish to leave the rut of a bustling citylife behind to reconnect with yourself.

And

What would you imagine if you’re looking to rekindle romance in your life or give yourself some adrenaline rush?

Maybe a few misty mountains, green meadows, deep woods, fresh water streams, a walk in the clouds, bathing under the waterfalls, spending night in a tent by the riverside counting stars, and most of all no biscuit wrappers or chips packets lying on your way…

If yes, then welcome to Meghalaya, a place with the right mix of romance and adventure in its air. And to remind you, Meghalaya is not just Shillong!

Sohra by travel jaunts

Introspection among mountains, clouds and drizzle at Sohra (the wettest place on earth)- pic by Travel Jaunts

Meghalaya- Shillong, Mawlynnong, Dawki & More

A word of caution however, if your ability to find joys in simplicity, raw and basics has been hijacked by the need for luxury, flashier lifestyle and list of amenities, then you may probably want to relook at this.

Because what I am recommending here is no good-looking, luxe properties/hotels but virgin places, yet to be commercialized for the tourist of today. And unfortunately, rustic stays and spartan lives are not everyone’s cup of tea. Children need swimming pool in hotels, elders love the idea of a nice lounge bar and a spa, so on and so forth!

But here, you would find homestays or eco-friendly homes/tents, unless you are in Shillong. Shillong does have sophisticated options. But as I said, fun is in something else.

Fun would be a gang of friends or relatives, staying in tents on the banks of the river in a village called Shnongpdeng near Dawki. Do fishing, cook yourself, play games, sing songs, look at stars and thank God that some places still have not been manhandled.

In fact, the idea of proposing someone at such a place is not bad either. If you are an adventurous couple and not a boring one whose every date is in a mall or a restaurant, take your loved one to Meghalaya. Meghalaya is the place to do adventure activities like trekking, zip lining, river rafting, kayaking, camping etc. And besides walking in the clouds, this is a place for long drives. Except for a few patches, roads are fantastic.

My Meghalaya expedition was with my son; just us. Not that we enjoyed less but I did imagine that self-drive, group of friends or first love would add much more to what Meghalaya has to offer. I didn’t take self-drive rental car since Arunachal too was part of my trip and those are difficult terrains. However, if you only plan to do Meghalaya and would love to drive down yourself, you can take cars on rent from Guwahati. There are quite a few options including zoomcar, assamonwheels and savaari.com

Road to Shillong

Twists and turns on the road trip -Dawki to Shillong

Here is a list of things you could do in Meghalaya

Trek to double decker living roots in Cherapunji or trek to Scott’s trail

Double decker Living roots near Cherapunji photo credits (BBC)

Stay in Dawki- Shnongpdeng village

Dawki is famous for the cystal clear lake and Umngot river. It is also the border town in the Jaintia Hills, between India and Bangladesh. This is the place to do camping however the transparency of water depends on the weather for sure.

Boating in Dawki- Crystal clear waters

Dawki-river-Meghalaya photo credits travelspeak

Shnongpdeng

The bridge, the river and the camping site at Shnongpdeng by Travel Jaunts

Spend a day at Umiam lake popularly known as Bada pani- Picnic, boating, rafting, fishing, and camping.

Umiam lake,Shillong

Bada pani/Umiam lake just before entering Shillong by Travel Jaunts

Drive to Mawlynnong, the cleanest village in Asia . Stay there & experience the local life.

The day we were here, it was drizzling and it was foggy for the pictures to come clear but nevertheless this village has much more to cast a spell.  Apart from achieving the cleanest village in Asia award, the village has achieved 100 percent literacy rate and women empowerment. Here, the khasi tribals of Meghalaya follow matrilineal system with property names and wealth passing from mother to daughter rather than father to son and children take their mother’s name. Interesting right in the context of India?

Apart from being known for natural beauty, green surroundings, the village is also home to the unique living roots bridge. The main occupation is farming; beetle nuts and brooms.

Living roots bridge in Mawlynnong by Travel Jaunts

Living roots bridge in Mawlynnong by Travel Jaunts

 

Mawlynnong Village by Travel Jaunts

Mawlynnong Village by Travel Jaunts

Village Mawlynnong by Travel Jaunts

Village Mawlynnong by Travel Jaunts

 Try zip lining near Shillong on the way to Cherapunji

Ziplining near Shillong by Travel Jaunts

Ziplining near Shillong by Travel Jaunts

Go for river rafting in Badapani, Ranikor or Dawki

River water rafting (photocredits-holidaytravel)

Go for camping in Mawlynnong forest, Khasi hills or Dawki

Camping in Meghalaya by Travel Jaunts

Camping in Meghalaya by Travel Jaunts (photo credits- pioneeradventures)

Stay in a tree house

Visit waterfalls

Nohkalikai falls in Sohra by Travel Jaunts

Nohkalikai falls in Sohra by Travel Jaunts

Waterfalls on the way to Dawki

Waterfalls on the way to Dawki

Elephant falls Shillong by Travel Jaunts

Elephant falls Shillong by Travel Jaunts

And lastly, take a stroll, sit in one of the cafes, try Indian Chinese and get on the bandwagon in the rock capital of India which is Shillong.

Conclusion – So make a list of experiences you wish to have and then plan the itinerary for Meghalaya. To enjoy a place, one needs to understand and blend with the local theme or else if you hire a tourist cab or bus and go around touching places of sightseeing, you would only end up feeling half satisfied.

Other related posts on northeast travel in India

Trip to North East of India – Must read before you plan any holiday in India

A day in Pobitora

Trip to Manas National Park 

Kaziranga 

Nameri National Park & Bhalukpong

Arunachal Dirang, Tawang & Zimithang 

 

 

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