Meghalaya Travel Guide

by May 2, 2018Destination Guides, Meghalaya, Northeast India37 comments

There is no doubt that Meghalaya is one of our favourite places. Situated in the hills of the eastern sub-Himalayas, Meghalaya is one of the most beautiful states of India. In Sanskrit, Meghalaya translates into ‘abode of clouds’ and it is rightfully called so. Claimed to be one of the wettest places on the earth, Meghalaya sees the hide and seek played between the sun and rains. Surrounded by the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Hills, Meghalaya offers simple and unspoiled beauty to its visitors. We love to visit Meghalaya over and over again and want you to visit the state also. So here is our Meghalaya Travel Guide that might help you to plan your next trip to the abode of clouds.

Meghalaya travel Guide

How to Reach Meghalaya?

Guwahati is the nearest airport and railway head. From Guwahati, you can reach Shillong by shared cabs and sumos that are easily available near the Guwahati Airport and Railway station. There are buses available also from ISBT, Beltola in Guwahati.

Helicopter services from Guwahati to Shillong is also available.

Places not to be missed

1) Shillong

Shillong, the capital of the state is a busy, trendy and energetic city with a vibrant population. There is a lot of British influence in the architecture of Shillong. With the beautiful hills around and the number of lakes, Shillong is referred to as the ‘Scotland of East’. Police Bazar is the busiest point in Shillong with a busy marketplace. Shillong has some fine cafes that also offer music. Shillong is the place of music lovers.

Places to see in Shillong:  Plenty of places to visit here – Ward’s Lake, Lady Hydari Park, Shillong Peak, Elephant Falls, Shillong Golf Course, Smit, Laitlum Canyons, Bishop & Beadon falls and Umiam Lake.

Meghalaya travel Guide

2) Cherrapunjee

Cherrapunjee, also known as Sohra is located around 60 km from Shillong. You can visit Cherrapunjee from Shillong and come back in a day. There are conducted tours by the Meghalaya Tourism for Cherrapunji. But we recommend a night stay at the place. Shared cabs to Cherrapunjee are available from Bada Bazar in Shillong. The Yellow Sumos take you to different places in  Meghalaya.

Cherrapunjee was said to be the wettest place on earth before Mawsynram took over. Naturally, the place is amazing during the monsoons. The best thing to do in Cherrapunjee is waterfall hopping.

Places to see in Cherrapunjee: The Nohkalikai Waterfalls is the fourth highest waterfall in the world and makes for a grand sight. The Seven Sister Falls and the Dainthlein Falls are also worth visiting. The Mawsmai caves are another place that you should visit. Amazing stalactites and stalagmite formations are found in the cave.

Meghalaya travel Guide

From Cherrapunjee, you can visit Mawsynram, the wettest place on the earth and the Khasi monoliths.

The Double Decker Root Bridge: The fascinating experience of Cherrapunjee is the visit to the Double Decker Root Bridge in Nongriat village. The route from Tyrna is the easier one to reach Nongriat, but you have to descend as many as 3500 steps to reach the village. Once you are at Nongriat, the trouble will seem nothing compared to the views and hospitality you will receive there. It is advisable to stay for a night at Nongriat if you wish to do the Double Decker Living Root Bridge Trek.

3) Mawlynnong

Mawlynnong is declared to be the cleanest village in Asia. The place is around 80 km from Shillong and a trip to Mawlynnong and Dawki can be done in a day keeping your base at Shillong. Like Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya Tourism conducts tours to Mawlynnong as well. Mawlynnong has a number of homestays as well where you can stay for the night.

The village is extremely clean and well-maintained having bamboo dustbins at places. With greenery all around and colourful flowers and orchids blooming, Mawlynnong simply looks amazing.

Places to see in Mawlynnong: There is another single decker Living root bridge in Riwai village. There is a balancing rock that you can visit. The Skywatch is a tall bamboo structure that allows you to climb atop and have gorgeous views of the Bangladesh plains from there.Mawlynnong Asia's cleanest village

4) Mawphlang

Around 45 km from Shillong, the Mawphlang Sacred Groves is situated in the East Khasi Hills. Once you reach the place, you can see rolling green plains, dense forests amidst the backdrop of blue skies. You can get shared sumo to Mawphlang as well. There are accommodation options at Mawphlang in case you want to stay there for the night. A sacred grove is a small forest area considered sacred by the Khasi tribe. The sacred grove usually has a number of medicinal plants and herbs and exotic plant species.

Places to see in Mawphlang: The sacred grove, Khasi Heritage Village.

Mawphlang is also the starting point of the David Scott Trail.

Budget Travel Guide to Meghalaya

5) Dawki

All the beautiful pictures of reflections of country boats on crystal clear water that you have seen are probably taken at the Umngot River in Dawki. Situated on the border of Bangladesh, Dawki is the last town on the Indian side before Bangladesh border. You can reach Dawki by shared Sumo from Bada Bazaar in Shillong.

You can stay at Dawki or move forward to Shnongpdeng, another beautiful hamlet on the banks of Umngot River. There are a number of homestays at Shnongpdeng and camping options are also available at both Dawki and Shnongpdeng.

Things to do at Dawki & Shnongpdeng: A number of water activities like country boat ride, scuba diving, cliff jumping and fishing.

Meghalaya travel Guide

6) Tura

Tura is the second most important city in Meghalaya after Shillong. Located in the Garo hills, Tura offers great eco-tourism options and the wildlife sanctuaries in this area have interesting wildlife. Siju Caves, one of the longest cave systems in India also lies close to Tura.

Overnight Buses to Tura are available from Shillong Polo Ground. Sumos are also available in the morning. Tura is also accessible from Guwahati. Hotels and homestays are available in Tura.

Places to visit in Tura: The entire Garo Hills are full of many interesting places. The Tura peak, Nokrek National Park, Rongbang Dar Waterfall are few of the places near Tura worth visiting. Other interesting places include the majestic Balpakram National Park and gorge, Pelga Falls, Siju Caves and Naphak Lake.

Budget travel guide to Meghalaya

Some other lesser-known places worth visiting

1) Mawlyngot

Mawlyngot is a beautiful village amidst green tea gardens and a serene atmosphere. The tea gardens, tea factories are places of interest here. Read more about our experiences at Mawlyngot.

2) Mawlyngbna

Mawlyngbna is a place for adventure seekers. The Travellers Nest is the only place of accommodation here. Situated amidst the forests, the Travellers nest has only two cottages. Camping can also be arranged here. You can go for trekking, visit the waterfalls and go for kayaking in the lake.

Mawlyngbna, Meghalaya Travel Guide

3) Kongthong

Kongthong is a very interesting place in Meghalaya. Situated between two famous ridges, getting to Kongthong by trekking there from either the Pynursla or the Sohra ridge is an adventure in itself. The unique culture of Kongthong’s inhabitants is they do not call out to each other using their names, they instead sing out names that are given to every individual of the village at childhood.

4) Umden

Umden is situated in the Ri-Bhoi district and is known for its eri silk production. Here you can witness all the steps in the sericulture starting from rearing of silkworms to spinning and reeling of silk to yarn production and dyeing and finally to weaving. The village itself is really beautiful nestled in a serene valley.

5) Nongkhnum Island

The road to Nongkhnum Island is long, but the view that you get here compensates all your trouble. It is the largest river island in Meghalaya and is situated near Nongstoin. The island with clear waters of the river is a serene place with hardly any soul. You can also go camping on the river island. Read about our Nongkhnum Island experiences.

You may also like : Offbeat Palces to visit in Meghalaya.

Nonghknum Islang Meghalaya travel Guide

Know the people of Meghalaya

The people of Meghalaya mainly belong to three tribes – Khasi, Jaintia and the Garos. At present most of the tribes have embraced Christianity, but they have not forgotten their age-old customs. The people of Meghalaya predominantly follow a matrilineal system where lineage and inheritance are passed through women of a family. The state has a liking to music and that can be seen in numerous rock bands.

Wangala Festival Tura Meghalaya North East India

What to Eat in Meghalaya?

Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food is easily available in Meghalaya. Jadoh is the staple food in the Khasi region and is easily available. Food is relatively cheap in Meghalaya.

Khasi cuisines

Local Transport in Meghalaya

Buses and Yellow Taxis are available for travelling to various destinations in the city. Tourist Taxis are available in Shillong for local as well as for long-distance tours. If you want to travel by shared vehicles, then there are Sumos available from Bada Bazar in Shillong.

Police Bazar, Shillong, Meghalaya Travel Guide

What is the Best time to visit Meghalaya?

Meghalaya has a tropical climate. The best time to visit is the winter months from October to March. But if you want to see the waterfalls in their full glory, visit at the end of the rainy season or just after it, i.e between August to the beginning of October.

Here are a few photographs that might give you a serious wanderlust to visit the beautiful Meghalaya.

Elephanta Falls, Shillong

Shillong Peak, Meghalaya Travel Guide

Dawki, Meghalaya Travel Guide

Caving in Meghalaya

Budget Travel Guide to Meghalaya


Meghalaya Travel Guide

Mawlyngot - Meghalaya Cheap Travel Guide

Living Root Bridge, Meghalaya Travel Guide

Liked the post? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Pin it for a later read.

Meghalaya Travel Guide


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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  1. Thanks for the blog about the Meghalaya travel guide.

  2. Hii i love these place want na visit it one day

    • Thank you!

  3. Such a beautiful blog. It’s very informative.

    • Thank You!

  4. Great versed used about this Beautiful North-Eastern state. Me being a North-Eastern would like to thank you for this detail description which you have provided for the tourist interested to visit this region.
    I also, would like to extend my helping hand to the upcoming traveler if they need any assistance to explore this divine beauty of mother nature. Will always be grateful .. Thank you 🙂

  5. Could you please let me know whether entry to any waterfalls will be blocked due to rain? I’m planning to visit August 15th… Well it be pouring whole day or in bits and pieces… because I’m into photography and thinking whether I will get chance to take out my camera if rain god’s allow me

    • Hi Harsha, the most waterfalls do not remain blocked during the rains. It is going to rain in bits and pieces. and that is the beauty of Meghalaya in monsoons.

  6. Thanks for sharing this information with us. This information is really interesting and good . keep sharing this type of information with us.

  7. Shillong is one of the most exciting travel destinations in India.

    I wish to visit that awesome place.

    Thanks for your amazing travel post and photos are mind-blowing.

  8. Can you inform about camping in nongkhum island? Should we arrange it or the facility is available there? And your stories are really to the point and provides everything what one needs to go to meghalaya

    • Thank you Supriya! If you want to camp at Nongkhnum Island, you have to arrange it beforehand. The island is totally barren and you need to arrange everything before if you want to stay there for the night.

  9. This is the first time I’ve heard of Meghalaya. Your photos make me want to go. Along with the beautiful scenery, it looks like there’s a rich food culture, which is always high on my list.

    • Thanks Nancie! Meghalaya is truly magical with nature, culture, food and everything nice. You would definitely love the place.

  10. Wow, this is a side of India I’ve not see before! It looks magical, a place I really want to visit (I’ve only been to Delhi, Agra and Jaipur so far). Maybe one day… 😉 x

    • Thanks Becca! This side of India is often ignored by her own people. But northeast India is a wonderful place.

  11. Everytime I see a post from North East , I feel that very less people has written in such details like you guys have done it . Great summary , wouldn’t call this as detailed as the readers should go to all your other north east post to know each places you have written before.

    • Thanks Debjani!This post was meant to be such. Planning to write a detailed guide soon.

  12. We would definitely be on board to see the water falls. They are always so nice to see and leave us in awe. It is incredible that so many of these cities are ranked among the highest in average rainfall. I don’t know if I could live somewhere that rained that much. The whole area does look beautiful though.

  13. Wow what a beautiful region in India! Meghalaya is so beautiful, I’m particularly inspired by your photos too. I’ve read about Shillong and would like to see it for myself one day! A very interesting region and people too by the looks of it.

    • Thank you for the kind words. Whenever you come to this part of the world, just give a shoutout to us. 🙂

  14. I heard about Shillong so much growing up but never visited. Meghalaya really looks really amazing! That waterfall looks stunning!

  15. Agni and Amrita, Meghalaya is on my list and this would be such a great itinerary to follow! Thanks.

    And that photo under Cherapunjee is breathtaking!

    • Thank you, Deepika! Please do visit Meghalaya. You will love it.

  16. Just from your pictures, I can see why It’s one of your favorite places, and yes they are giving me a serious case of wonderlust – especially that waterfall – it looks incredible. I’ve not yet ventured out to this part of the world but it seems like I should. I can imagine I would fall in love with Meghalaya and the locals.

    • Thank you Amit for the kind words. You will surely fall in love with Meghalaya and its people!

  17. It’s good to see bloggers providing an honest opinion about places. Instead of things do to, places that are not to be missed and lesser known places. I do value it a lot, that is why we read travel bloggers.

    • That is true Alexander! Thank you so much. I am also a great fan of your Finland posts! 🙂

  18. Meghalaya looks like a fantastic place to go! India is a place I have not explored at all, but if/when we do, this state seems like someplace to spend a lot of quality time. And your pictures are lovely!

    • Thanks Kristie! Please do visit India and explore this part of the world!

  19. There’s a whole world out there in the east of India which remains unexplored by me and it is such a pity! I can’t believe I have been around the country, from the North to the West to the South but never made it to Meghalaya. I have, of course, heard a lot about Shillong and Cherrapunji but Mawlynnong also looks like a great place to go, especially the living root bridge! Also, the river in Dawki looks so beautiful, I’d love to take a boat ride across it.

    • Thanks Medha! It is true that north-east India is often overlooked by travellers and tourists. Things are gradually changing now and we are really happy to be a part of this change, however small it may be.

  20. The food seems amazing, when I saw the food part I forget the rest haha. Looks really delicious and I would like to try it. I hope you had an amazing time there! Is it expensive to organize all that by your own?

    • Yes, the food is amazing there and really cheap! We had a great time there and Meghalaya is not that expensive. It is definitely a budget friendly place.


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