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!
- 1 Our Meghalaya Bike Trip Itinerary for 7 days
- 1.1 Meghalaya Bike Trip Day 1: Shillong, the beautiful town
- 1.2 Meghalaya Bike Trip Day 2: Mawlyngbna, a place where dinosaurs walked!
- 1.3 Meghalaya Bike Trip Day 3: An impromptu hike through the David Scott Trail
- 1.4 Meghalaya Bike Trip Day 4: Cherrapunji, the land of clouds and perpetual bliss
- 1.5 Meghalaya Bike Trip Day 5: A memorable hike to the Double Decker Living Root Bridge at Nongriat
- 1.6 Meghalaya Bike Trip Day 6: The cleanest village and the clear waters of Umngot
- 1.7 Meghalaya Bike Trip Day 7: Blue is not just a colour – awestruck at Krang Suri Falls
- 2 Where can you rent bike or Scooty at Shillong – bike rentals at Shillong?
- 3 How to Reach Shillong from Guwahati?
- 4 Find your stay at Shillong
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.
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!
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.
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.
– 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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Find your stay at Shillong
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