Meghalaya is definitely an all-around destination. The place is like a nirvana for the nature addicts, the ultimate paradise for the thrill seekers. Hills, waterfalls, root bridges, clear water pools, you find everything there. In our previous post, we had given a comprehensive guide to travelling in Meghalaya. In this post, we are writing about offbeat Meghalaya. Yes, there are lots of offbeat places in Meghalaya that are full of surprises. So while you are planning a trip to Meghalaya, do put these places on your itinerary.
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List of Offbeat Places in Meghalaya
We had seriously not heard about this place before we visited there on the suggestion of our friend (And we really thank him for this!). The place is amidst some lovely tea gardens and a quiet village. Mawlyngot has an interesting story too. The village was earlier just a nondescript place, but after tea plantations started, the future of Mawlyngot changed for the better.
At Mawlyngot, you can go for day treks and go for a walk in the tea gardens. And don’t forget to listen to the stories of the village. Read more about Mawlyngot here.
How to reach Mawlyngot: From Shillong, the place is around 45 km and you can hire a car to reach Mawlyngot. You can also get shared sumos and bus from Lewduh, Shillong to Mawlyngot.
Kongthong is really a very interesting place. It is a small village situated away from the world in the lap of nature in the remote Khasi hills. Kongthong is also known as the whistling village, where tunes are used instead of names. This oral tradition is carried on from generations to generations. Whenever a child is born in the Kongthong village, the mother composes a lullaby that becomes the identity of that person for the entire life. The tune is unique to each child. The lullaby has no words; it is only a kind of hum that only the villagers are able to comprehend! Isn’t it so fascinating?
At Kongthong, you just need to relax and enjoy nature and then try to learn the tunes of the villagers. May be, you can compose one tune for yourself too!
How to reach Kongthong: From Shillong, the place is around 55 km. You can hire a car from Shillong to reach here. To reach Kongthong, you have to trek from the last point on the motorable road.
Mawlyngbna is the adventure hub of Meghalaya. This place has fossils dated 200 million years ago! There are a number of short hikes here that will take you to beautiful waterfalls or the fossil park where you can have a look at the fossils. This place was said to be under the seabed. There is also a farm of pitcher plants from where you can actually drink nectar from the plant. And if all these do not excite you much, then head towards the Um-kha-koi reservoir. You can do kayaking, angling and cliff jumping here.
Be your adventurous self at Mawlyngbna. And after a thrilling day of adventure, you will love to stay in cottages or tents inside the jungle. And before I forget, the food is really awesome here. Though you will not get any shops for food or snacks, the food provided by the Traveller’s Nest tastes delicious.
How to reach Mawlyngbna: You can hire a car from Shillong to reach here. As for local vehicles, there are no direct local vehicles from Shillong. You can come to Mawphlang and then have to hire a car to Mawlyngbna.
The silk weavers village of Meghalaya is situated in Ri-Bhoi district of Khasi Hills. A beautiful village surrounded by the Khasi hills, the journey to Umden is a long one, but through beautiful valleys and fields. Umden is known for its eri-silk production. You can see the process of sericulture here and also buy some beautiful scarf of eri-silk. Eri or Endi is a type of silk that is a product of silkworm that feeds mainly on a type of castor leaves. During the extraction process of silk, the weavers do not kill the silkworms as is done in normal sericulture process. According to the villagers, this is the ‘ahimsa’ tradition of sericulture
Apart from gaining an insight into sericulture, you can take a walk around the village.
How to reach Umden: From Shillong, you will get shared jeeps to Nongpoh. From Nongpoh, you have to hire an auto to Umden. You can also hire a car for yourself.
Mawphanlur is like a dreamland. The village surrounded by crystal clear pools is definitely worth visiting. The water bodies here provide ample opportunities for water sports. You can also go for a trek to the nearby Mawthadraisan peak from where you will get panoramic views of the plains of Assam.
How to reach Mawphanlur: From Shillong, the place is around 95 km. You can hire a car from Shillong to reach here. Alternatively, you can take shared cabs from Shillong to Nongstoin and get down at Markasa village. From Markasa, you have to take a private vehicle to reach Mawphanlur. You will need a four-wheel vehicle to reach the village.
This is the largest river island in Meghalaya and the second largest in India. And before you think whether this place is like Majuli, let me tell you it is not so. Nongkhnum Island is located quite away from civilization and the last stretch of roads are pathetic in condition. But once you reach the place, you will not regret your decision to come here. The river island was formed by the bifurcation of Meghalaya’s longest river Kynshi into Phanliang and Namliang River. You will get blue rivers, a beautiful sandy beach, waterfalls and complete seclusion.
The visit to Ningkhnum Island can be clubbed with Mawphanlur as they are in the same direction. Read more about our adventure in Nongkhnum Island here.
How to reach Nongkhnum Island: Nongkhnum is around 110 km from Shillong. Take a shared jeep to Nongstoin and from there; you have to take a car to Nongkhnum. The stretch from Nongstoin to Nongkhnum is in pretty bad condition.
They say that Ialong is better than words. Ialong is a quiet, unassuming village in the East Jaintia hills having around 400 households who love celebrations. The Ialong Nature Park is the place where tranquility is profound. The place is situated atop a hill and offers an amazing view of the Pynthorwah Valley. You can go for small treks and hikes here. Camping can also be arranged by the Myntdu River nearby.
How to reach Ialong: Ialong is around 8 km from Jowai, the headquarters of west Jaintia hills. It is better to hire a car to reach Ialong.
The first picture in this post is of Shnongpdeng. Situated in the Jaintia Hills, this sleepy village is a perfect place to indulge in water activities. You can do scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking and cliff jumping here. And if you do not want to take part in these activities, you can simply take a ride in the country boat on the clear waters of Umngot.
How to reach Shnongpdeng: From Shillong, Shnongpdeng is around 90 km. There are local vehicles from Shillong, but they are very less in number.
A few more pictures for you:
We love to explore these offbeat places and will keep on looking for more. You can keep these places in your itinerary when you visit Meghalaya. If there are other places which we have missed, please do let us know. We would definitely love to include them on this list. And do let us know whether you would love to know about more such offbeat places!
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