Meghalaya Bike Trip Itinerary – our adventure on roads

by Apr 30, 2019Meghalaya, Northeast India

Oh! How I always wanted to do a Meghalaya Bike Trip! The pitch black roads through the beautiful Khasi villages always lured us. Though we had previously visited Shillong and Cherrapunji, we wanted to do explore Meghalaya on a bike or scooty.

There are very few people on this planet who have visited Meghalaya and have not fallen in love with the place. We can give you hundreds of reason for this and go on and on about how beautiful the place is with its greenery, waterfalls, caves and lakes. And that will not be enough! There are so many offbeat places in Meghalaya to explore and discover.

Before we visited Meghalaya, we had lots of plans in mind, but once we reached here, we simply thought of letting go of all our plans. We rented a scooty and off we went towards an incredible journey. So here are our experiences on Meghalaya on a Scooty! An unplanned vacation with no fixed destination with the Google map and the friendly locals to help us with directions.

Who needs a map, when one can create their own map…

We rented the scooty from Shillong for 7 days. The rent was INR 500 per day without petrol. Not exactly a budget trip, but then the experience was priceless!

Meghalaya Bike trip Map _ Meghala trip map

Meghlaya roads - the signpost showing the distance in our Meghalaya bike trip

Our Meghalaya Bike Trip Itinerary for 7 days

Meghalaya Bike Trip Day 1: Shillong, the beautiful town

The first day was reserved for Shillong itself. This quaint little town is quite close to our heart. We have visited Shillong for the first time in 2012 and fell in love with the city where Amit and Labanya of Shesher Kobita had found love. After 2012, we again visited Shillong in 2017 during the Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival. The city had changed, but our love for the city remained the same.

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We visited the Shillong Peak, the Elephant Falls, the Catholic Cathedral and the Bara Pani. Had coffee from Café Shillong while we chatted with a few new friends that we made on our way.

Travel route: Shillong – Umiam Lake – Shillong

Places to visit in Shillong: Umiam Lake, Shillong Peak, Elephant Falls, Bishop and Beadon Falls, Catholic Cathedral, Lady Hydari Park, Ward’s Lake and the many quaint cafés.

Places to stay: There are a number of hotels, homestays and also hostels in Shillong catering to all types of budget. We stayed at Isabella Hostel. Book your stay at Isabella Hostel.

Nearest Petrol Pump: There are a number of petrol pumps at Shillong. You can find one at Police Bazar, Nongthymmai and Anjali.

Umiam Lake or Barapani - places to visit in Meghalaya

Catholic Cathedral at Shillong _ Places to visit at Shillong

Meghalaya Bike Trip Day 2: Mawlyngbna, a place where dinosaurs walked!

When there is no fixed plan, we both tend to argue a lot about the next destination. This time also it was no different! But Agni being such a sensible one always agrees to my suggestion! We started our journey early in the morning towards Mawlyngbna. This is a rather unexplored place in Meghalaya. The weather was fine with blue skies and crisp wind. With spring in our feet and alacrity in our hearts, we followed the road that promised us lovely views and an affair to remember!

Boating can be done at Mawlyngbna _ Meghalaya bike trip

Things to do at Mawlyngbna:

There are a lot of things to do here. There is only one accommodation option here – the “Traveller’s Nest”. It is better to book it beforehand. We were quite lucky to get a tent to stay for the night. At Mawlyngbna, you can trek to the jungles, visit waterfalls, drink honey from the pitcher plant and go to the lake for kayaking. You need to take a guide along with you.

Khasi folklores run high at Mawlyngbna. It is said that footprints of animals are found at a place called ‘Ka iew Luri Lura’ (a marketplace believed to have been run by animals way back in time).

Travel route: Shillong – Mawsynram – Mawlyngbna

Approximate Distance covered: 75 km

Places to stay: There is only one place to stay at Mawlyngbna – the Travellers’ Nest

Nearest Petrol Pump: There are no petrol pumps at Mawlyngbna. The nearest one is at Mawsynram. So get your fuel tank filled up.

View from Mawlynnong - Bangladesh is just there!

Meghalaya Bike Trip Day 3: An impromptu hike through the David Scott Trail

Mawlyngbna was a great experience. Getting to know a new place is always exciting. Again we started early in the morning and came back to Mawphlang. The place simply looks amazing. With stretches of green in front of you and clear blue skies having white cottony clouds – you simply cannot but fall in love with this place. We went inside the Sacred Groves.

Our tour to the Sacred Groves was already over by 10 AM. We were contemplating on our next destination when our guide suggested us to do the David Scott Trail.

Walking through the David Scott Trail towards Cherrapunji

– But we have a scooty. What will happen to that?

– Oh, one of us will take your scooty to the end point near Sohra. No problem, Maa’m!

Well, you can’t really say anything after this. So we started walking on the path that was taken by David Scott to Bangladesh. The trail that remains now is just a small part of the original one. Well, the David Scott Trail was not even in our thoughts. This was a bonus!

We completed the trail while chattering with our guide BG and listening to interesting Khasi folk tales. BG wouldn’t tell us his full name. It’s BG only – would all he said. At around 4 PM we were at Sohra, the endpoint of the David Scott Trail. One of the guys from Mawphlang was waiting there with our scooty!

Khasi Hwritage Village at Mawphlang

Cherrapunji was the next stop for the day.

Travel route: Mawlyngbna – Mawphlang – Cherrapunji (trek through David Scott Trail)

Approximate Distance covered: Mawlyngbna to Mawphlang is 50 km. Mawphlang to Cherrapunji by road is another 46 km. We trekked through the David Scott Trail while our scooty was taken by a local guy to Cherrapunji (Sohra) at some cost.

Guide charges for Mawphlang Scared Grove: INR 500

Guide charges for David Scott Trail: INR 1200. Since we did both Sacred Grove and David Scott Trail with the same guide, he charged INR 1400 total.

Places to stay: There are many homestays and hotels at Cherrapunji catering to almost all types of budget.



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Nearest Petrol Pump: On the way towards Cherrapunji by road, you will find a petrol pump at Mylliem. Petrol pumps are available at Cherrapunji

Meghalaya roads are in quite good condition except the interior ones. Perfect for a bike trip or car trip

Meghalaya Bike Trip Day 4: Cherrapunji, the land of clouds and perpetual bliss

Cherrapunji is simply bliss. Those who have visited this place would know that I am not exaggerating. It had the crown of being the wettest place on earth before Mawsynram took over. Nevertheless, the charm of Cherrapunji is forever. Every now and then, you will see yourself surrounded by clouds and in the next moment, the sparkling blue skies will resurface. We spent the day well at Cherrapunji visiting the waterfalls, Mawsmai caves and the eco-park.

Travel route: Cherrapunji

Places to visit at Cherrapunji: The Seven Sisters Falls, Nohkalika Falls, Mawsmai Cave, Arwah Cave, Dainthlein Falls and Eco Park.

Nohkalika Falls at Cherrapunji

Meghalaya Bike Trip Day 5: A memorable hike to the Double Decker Living Root Bridge at Nongriat

It would really be a sin not to hike down to the Living Root Bridge while in Cherrapunji. In Meghalaya, folklore and folk tales are inexorably linked with the daily life of people. Nature is their friend. The Khasis have coexisted with nature since long and still, they respect nature. Living root bridges are the finest examples of bioengineering by the Khasis. These bridges are made by weaving the aerial roots of rubber trees around the trunk of another tree places across a stream. The roots keep growing out and entwining the trunk. These roots grow and strengthen over time until they can hold the weight of human being.

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The trek to the Living Root Bridge of Nongriat or the Double Decker Living Root Bridge started from the Tyrna villager. There are 3500 steps taking down to the root bridge. And yes, we had to climb up again! A trek to the Double Decker root bridge took a toll on our knees and legs, but the pain was worth what we saw and experienced. Having limited time, we did not stay at Nongriat. But we decided to come back here again and spend a night at Nongriat.

Trek to the Double Decker Living Root Bridge _ Things to do at Cherrapunji

After completing the trek, we returned to our homestay and crashed for the day. Enough adventure for a day and we needed the much-deserved rest.

Travel route: Cherrapunji – Nongriat – Cherrapunji (trek)

You can stay at Nongriat if you wish. There is a Travellers’ Nest and a homestay there.

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Meghalaya Bike Trip Day 6: The cleanest village and the clear waters of Umngot

We knew that we would go to Shnongpdeng this day. The journey was a long one. Mawlynnong is at a distance of 81 km from Cherrapunji and Shnongpdeng another 42 km! But due to last day’s hike, we started a bit late. The road to Mawlynnong was quite good. We kept on travelling and enjoying our surroundings and humming ‘ei poth Jodi na sesh hoye’ (what if this road never ends – this is a very popular Bengali song featuring yesteryears Bengali superstars). Well, the road came to an end at Mawlynnong when we were quite hungry. Mawlynnong is said to be the cleanest village in Asia and this was much before “Swatch Bharat Abhiyaan” started. The villagers have kept their village clean and green and also quite colourful with flowering plants all around. In our excitement, we simply lost track of time. When we started from Mawlynnong, it was already past afternoon.

Mawlynnong is the cleanest village in Asia

The road from Mawlynnong to Dawki was in terrible condition. We have noticed that most of the roads near the borders in the northeast are in pathetic conditions. By the time we were in Dawki, it was already dark. We carried on towards Shnongpdeng.

tents at Shnongpdeng

But this day was not going to be a smooth one. It was a Sunday and there was a Christian programme at Shnongpdeng. People from various parts of Meghalaya had come to attend it and they were now returning. The traffic at one way was stopped and those vehicles were allowed to pass. It was complete chaos. By the time, these parts of the vehicles were allowed to move, there was a huge line of vehicles in front. The roads were narrow and we were moving in snail’s pace (even though we were in two-wheeler). We reached at Shnongpdeng at 7:30 PM. It was quite late according to their standards!

And then we simply could not find any place to stay for the night. Shnongpdeng is a small place and all the tents and homestays seemed to be booked. Finally, we managed to find a phone number and called that person. He provided us with a tent for the night. And this reconfirmed my theory that ‘there’s always a hotel’!

Travel route: Cherrapunji – Mawlynnong – Dawki – Shnongpdeng

Approximate Distance covered: 92 km

Places to stay: There are a few homestays at Shnongpdeng. Riverside camping is also available. Alternatively, you can also stay at Dawki or Mawlynnong. Many homestays are available at these two places as well.

Nearest Petrol Pump: You will find petrol pump at Dawki.

The country boats at Dawki - Dawki is the India-Bengladesh border

Meghalaya Bike Trip Day 7: Blue is not just a colour – awestruck at Krang Suri Falls

Our tent was pitched beside the Umngot River. Last night in the dark we could not understand how beautiful the place was. The morning was bright and clear. There was a nip in the air and the clear waters of Umngot looked breathtaking. We were having a surreal experience. Yesterday’s long ride brought us to this glorious place.

We had a fun time at Shnongpdeng and then started towards our journey back towards Shillong. The road was good today and the weather too was in love with us. At Cherrapunji we encountered rains, but the weather was perfectly clear this day.

Krang Suri Falls on the way towards Shillong in the MEghala Bike trip

Before driving towards Shillong, we took an off route towards the Krang Suri waterfall. It is located around 30 km from Jowai. Hidden amidst greenery, the place is truly incredible. We had to cross a small forest through a slippery trail to reach the waterfalls. When we reached the place, we were simply awed. The colour of the plunge pool into which the cascade falls was of the most gorgeous shade of blue. This colour has always been my favourite!

After spending some time at the incredibly beautiful Krang Suri Falls, we drove back to Shillong. It was another long ride.

Travel route: Shnongpdeng – Jowai – Krang Suri Falls – Shillong

Approximate Distance covered: Shnongpdeng to Krang Shuri Falls is about 30 km. From there, Shillong is another 90 km.

Places to Stay: Shillong has a number of hotels, hostels and homestays catering to every budget.

Nearest Petrol Pump: You will get petrol pumps at Dawki, Amlarem and Jowai.

It was the time to return to Shillong and we were back by evening after 7 days of adventure madness. We had a wonderful time on the road, stopping wherever we wanted to, going wherever we desired. This is what a real adventure was to us. This was a trip that would always remain close to our hearts. The next plan is a bike trip in Ladakh!

Pitcher Plant in Meghalaya

Where can you rent bike or Scooty at Shillong – bike rentals at Shillong?

There are a number of bike and scooty rentals in Shillong. You can ask your hotel owner. There are also a number of online sites that provide bike and scooty rentals. We got our scooty from a rental near Police Bazar.

The rent was INR 500 per day with a security deposit of INR 2000. They also provided us 2 helmets. They also kept one of our ID Cards with them for security purposes. The fuel was of course ours.

You can also rent a bike from Guwahati. Distance from Guwahati to Shillong is about 100 km.

Rivers of Meghalaya _ Meghalaya Bike trip

How to Reach Shillong from Guwahati?

There are a number of ways you can reach Shillong from Guwahati. Shared sumos and cabs are available from Guwahati Railway Station and Khanapara Bus Stand. Shared sumos will cost INR 200. If you want a more comfortable ride, you can also avail the shared cars to Shillong. Swift, Swift Dzire, Tata Indica etc are available these days. They will take INR 350- 400 for Shillong. You can also hire your own car.

Buses are available from Guwahati ISBT, but they leave at a fixed time – at 6:00 AM and 5 PM. The road to Shillong is quite in good condition and it will take around 3 – 4 hours to reach Shillong from Guwahati.

If you are renting your bike from Guwahati, just turn on your GPS and start driving. The road is pretty straightforward.

But for the rest of the places in Meghalaya, it will not be wise to trust your GPS blindly. Ask the locals for directions. It will help you reach the places in time.

Our Meghalaya Bike Trip Itinerary

Find your stay at Shillong



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Agni & Amrita

Agni & Amrita

Travel Experts

We are Agni and Amrita, the story-telling team behind Tale of 2 Backpackers and partners in crime in travel and (mis)adventures of life. We have been travelling together for more than a decade looking for immersive experiences while enjoying the little beauties of life. We are intrigued by heritage, culture, festivals and people and that is reflected in our travel. And yes, we love the Himalayas too.

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59 Comments

  1. Hi Agni and Amrita. I am planning my Meghalaya trip in coming October. Your blog will be great guide during that time.
    Can you please suggest what would be the better option. Hire a Scooty in Guwahati or Hire it in Shilong?
    Thanks in advance and wish you Good Luck for your upcoming Trips.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Deven!
      You can get bikes for rent in both Shillong and Guwahati. In Guwahati, you will have more choice in respect to the type of bike.

      Reply
  2. Looks like heaven!!! great pictures! I can’t even imagine how much prettier this must be in person. This article was very well written with lots of great tips too!

    Reply
    • Thanks Sana. It was really a great and beautiful trip.

      Reply
  3. Meghalaya is high on my wishlist and also I love bike trip and therefore your post has many beautiful ideas which I am saving it for my future trip to Meghalaya. Shillong I know is a very beautiful city but I never knew about Mawlyngbna. It is interesting that Mawlyngbna is related to some dinosaurs history. Thanks for sharing a detailed itinerary.

    Reply
    • Thank you Yukti! Mawlygnbna is an interesting place. Actually, there are some rock formations there and the locals say that the place used to the market place for animals (some say dinosaurs!) While the rock formations might actually point towards prehistoric animal footprints, but most of the stories are actually Khasi folklores.

      Reply
  4. Wow this looks like a beautiful scenic route.
    I’m not much for hiking or riding, but the photos you’ve posted have tempted me!

    Reply
    • Thank you Shraddha!

      Reply
  5. It must have been an exciting trip to Meghalaya…Always wanted to see the Dawki river and take a photograph of the crystal clear water

    Reply
    • Yes, that picture of the floating boat! Even we did not get it this time. Thanks Tanayesh!

      Reply
  6. Seriously!! Meghalya on scooty.. love reading your travel adventures.. such a detailed post.

    Reply
    • Thank you Sapna!

      Reply
  7. This is such an adventurous trip! I’ve never done anything like this before on my travels. It looks like you went through some beautiful scenery.

    Reply
    • Yes, the scenery was really beautiful. It made the bike trip wonderful.

      Reply
  8. There is a lot of variety in your itinerary which I appreciate. I love that you have some historical stops as well as beautiful vistas to enjoy at sunset or sunrise. I would love to bask in those waterfalls for an afternoon. I would love to travel around Meghalaya on a motorbike, you’ve definitely inspired me!

    Reply
    • Thank you Martha. The trip was really beautiful.

      Reply
  9. Wow this looks like an awesome bike trip. All of your hikes looked like so much fun. I especially love the waterfalls – they’re so pretty!

    Reply
    • Thank you Michelle.

      Reply
  10. I was born in India but did not get a chance to see all of it whilst I was there but posts like these want me to go back and explore places like Meghalaya. I must give the credit of exploring n a scooty as this takes some steel to do on the roads in India. The visuals are just stunning and I must say I would love to try the small roadside eateries when on the road travelling . One of my favourite will be the Krang Suri falls without a doubt and one that is picture perfect. Thanks for sharing what Meghalaya has to offer to the world.

    Reply
    • Thank you Amar. I know travelling by a scooty sounds tough, but thankfully the roads in Meghalaya were smooth barring a few.

      Reply
  11. This sure seems like a great place perfect for a vacation this summer. Especially loved the serene lakes and the amazing waterfalls. . Can’t get much better than that.

    Reply
    • Thank you Sreekar!

      Reply
  12. Oh my gosh! At first, I thought you were talking about a 7-day bicycling trip. And I thought, “That would be overwhelming, especially up and down all those hills!” Then I realized you were talking about motorcycles. Your photos are incredible, and the places you got to explore were so amazing. I’m especially in love with the Seven Sisters Falls!

    Reply
    • Thank you Tami. The waterfalls are amazing in Meghalaya.

      Reply
  13. Reading about my land, Northeast always brighten my face. This is a detailed itinerary of your Meghalaya trip. I have been to Meghalaya a few times, but still haven’t covered a lot of places. You make me plan a trip for my next visit visit for sure. Cherrapunji is one majestic destination. I loved that place. The best time to visit is Monsoon. It looks magical

    Reply
    • Thank you Parnashree. We are in love with northeast and this is just a way to show our love for the beautiful place.

      Reply
  14. What a great adventure! You saw so many things that you would have missed in a car. Those two waters were very different but each gorgeous. The climb to the Double Decker Root Bridge was worth the experience!

    Reply
    • Thanks Annick. Yes, we actually could see so many things because we travelled by the scooty.

      Reply
  15. Thanks for sharing this amazing post about Meghalaya. This place looks really beautifully. And I can’t believe this place is not in our to do list I am adding right away this place to our bucket list and I am loving all the pictures clicked by you.

    Reply
    • Thank you Sundeep. You must keep Meghalaya in your to-do list.

      Reply
  16. Biking through this less-explored part of India sounds like one amazing adventure! I didn’t spend much time in Meghalaya and this post and your picture sure inspire me to change that in the near future.

    Reply
    • Thank you Daniel. Please do visit Meghalaya.

      Reply
  17. After reading this I just fall for Meghalaya. So much to see and so much to enjoy. Loved the pictures and the roads… I guess if I am going solo I need to check the public transport option.

    Reply
    • Thanks Pamela! Why solo? Take me with you. I am always game for Meghalaya. 😉

      Reply
  18. Very informative and fun post, makes you want to bike through Meghalaya right away! Krang Suri falls looks so beautiful, never read about it in other posts on Meghalaya somehow. Must have been an amazing adventure biking in Meghalaya, and that pic of you both at the end of the post is so cute!

    Reply
    • Thank you, Namita. Krang Suri is usually not visited by travellers and tourists because of its location. But the place is simply amazing.

      Reply
  19. Thanks for the amazing post ,I have never been on a bike trip ,though after reading your post .I kidda of want to try.

    Reply
    • Thank you Pallavi. Please do visit Meghalaya.

      Reply
  20. This sounds like the perfect trip! There’s nothing better than hitting the road and just going. You sure saw some amazing Waterfalls!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Kelly. Meghalaya has some beautiful waterfalls.

      Reply
  21. Have bookmarked your post already for our trip to meghalaya.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much. Glad that this helped.

      Reply
  22. That’s an amazing trip and explained so much in detail too

    Reply
    • Thank you Sanjay.

      Reply
  23. Ok, now I know where Meghalaya is. I had not heard of it prior to reading your post. So great that you explored by bike.

    Reply
    • Thank you Brian! Yes, Meghalaya is a wonderful place to be explored.

      Reply
  24. What a fantastic adventure! I have never considered touring a place by bike but that falls lools amazing.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much. Yes, it was an epic adventure.

      Reply
  25. What an adventure! This is a great itinerary for people hoping to explore Meghalaya by bike. Kayaking in Mawlyngbna looks really nice.

    Reply
    • Yes, it was an epic adventure. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip!

      Reply
  26. What a great idea for an adventure! It looks like a beautiful place. And your map is a great idea.

    Reply
    • Thank you Jim. Hope the map helps all those who want to visit Meghalaya.

      Reply
  27. Wow Meghalaya looks absolutely stunning here! I must confess my ignorance because I never knew there was such a variety of things to do and see here.

    Reply
    • Thank you Noor. Glad that you liked the place.

      Reply
      • Travel destination such like meghalaya is very valuable according to me it’s really amazing place I was there and I don’t want to comeback. Thank you for new information.

        Reply
  28. Meghalaya looks really beautiful in pictures..and with such a detailed post around it you have managed to make me wanting to visit this place soon.

    Reply
    • Thank you Ritu. Please do visit Meghalaya. It is a paradise.

      Reply
  29. The landscapes in Meghalaya look amazing! There’s nothing better than a waterfall (or two!) to reward you after a long trek. I’ve never seen anything like the living root bridge. I’d love to be to see that in person.

    Reply
    • Thanks Julien! Waterfalls and root bridges are the best things in Meghalaya.

      Reply

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