MEGHALAYA TRAVEL GUIDE
The state of Meghalaya is known for its scenic beauty, tranquillity, lush greenery, and waterfalls, among other things. Mawsynram, one of Meghalaya’s villages, is the wettest place on the planet. Meghalaya literally translates to “abode of clouds.” The term comes from the fact that this location receives a lot of rain for most of the year. Here’s a Meghalaya travel guide to help you plan your trip to this North-East Indian state.
A Basic Meghalaya Travel Guide
Located in the North-Eastern part of India, Meghalaya is a part of the ‘seven sisters’. The state shares its borders with Assam in the North and Bangladesh in the South. The capital of Meghalaya is Shillong. Shillong is one of the most famous tourist places in the northeast. Not many people know this, but Shillong is also known as the Scotland of the East. The place is serene, calm, and away from the busy city life. Many tourists from all around the world visit Shillong and other parts of Meghalaya since the untouched, wild beauty of these mountains makes for great adventures.
How To Reach Meghalaya?
Meghalaya is very well connected and is easily accessible from any part of the country. Let us discuss the best 3 modes that you could use to reach Meghalaya.
Travel to Meghalaya by Train
Reaching Meghalaya by train is pretty straightforward. The nearest rail station to Meghalaya is the Guwahati railway station which is around 180 km away. From the railway station, you could easily find taxis and hire them to reach Meghalaya. Guwahati railway station is well connected with other Indian cities, and there are direct trains from the cities of New Delhi, Amritsar, Jammu and Kashmir, and Bangalore.
Reaching Meghalaya by train is the most budget-friendly option. So if you are a little tight on budget, you should consider visiting Meghalaya. It is also a very comfortable option as you would not have to worry about anything but getting off at the Guwahati railway station.
Travelling to Meghalaya by Air
Reaching Meghalaya via air is also a very good option that many tourists consider. The nearest airport to Meghalaya is the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati. The airport is directly connected to major Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and Calcutta. The airport is also connected internationally to Tura and Bangkok. The airport is around 160 km away from Meghalaya, and you would have to hire a taxi from the airport to reach Meghalaya.
Travelling to Meghalaya by air is the more comfortable and faster option. However, it is also the most expensive of the three options. So if you are a little flexible on your budget, you should definitely choose to travel by air.
Road Trip to Meghalaya
Meghalaya is very well connected to major cities of India by road. The roads are beautiful, and you feel great comfort while driving. Tourists consider monsoons to be the best season for travelling to Meghalaya by road. However, you should be careful in monsoons as roads get very slippery here. If you wish to take an epic road trip in India, this region as a whole can give you unforgettable memories.
Travelling to Meghalaya by road is definitely not the most economical option, nor it is the most comfortable one, but it definitely is the most adventurous, thrilling, and exciting option to reach here.
What are the languages used in Meghalaya?
The official language of Meghalaya is English. However, the most spoken languages in Meghalaya include Khasi, Pnar, and Garo.
What are the things to do in Meghalaya?
The state is known for its beautiful waterfalls, dense forests, lakes, and rivers, and it receives the highest amount of rainfall each year. If you adore rain, Meghalaya is the perfect spot to have hot food and tea while enjoying the wonderful weather. It also provides exciting adventure possibilities for adrenaline fanatics, such as hiking and camping, where you can get close to nature. In Meghalaya, reclining on the ground and looking at the star-studded sky is also a popular thing tourists love doing.
Additionally, for adventure seekers, there are numerous caves such as the Mawsmai Cave near Cherrapunji in the region worth exploring, and many tourists also come here for caving adventures.
What is the best time to take a trip to Meghalaya?
It is generally suggested that you visit Meghalaya at any time during the year except the summer season. However, a good travel enthusiast who has proper knowledge of Meghalaya would tell you that Meghalaya can be visited throughout the year. It is just the kind of trip that you want that decides during which time you should visit Meghalaya because this is where the time of arrival matters. So we have covered various seasons during which you could consider visiting Meghalaya in the following paragraphs.
Summers: Between the months of March to May, Meghalaya experiences the summer season. It is unlike the summers we experience in the rest of the country, where temperatures rise, and the heat is scorching. With cool winds and an overlay of clouds, you should have no discomfort in the pleasant weather of Meghalaya, even in the summers.
There are many things to do in Meghalaya, from admiring the breathtaking landscapes of Mawlynnong valley to seeing the living root bridges and waterfalls of Cherrapunjee. Meghalaya truly does not disappoint! The temperature here does not go above 20 degrees in the day and goes as down to a low of 11 degrees at night.
Winters: The months of October to February are the months that host the winter season in Meghalaya. If you enjoy seeing fog in beautiful landscapes, a vacation to the state during the winter season is strongly recommended. Meghalaya offers it all to satisfy your wanderlust, whether you want to go sightseeing or participate in adventure activities during the winter season.
East Garo, Jowai, Nongpoh, Cherrapunjee, Dawki river and Shillong are some of the most popular destinations to visit during the winter season. You can also consider visiting the Balpakram National Park, the Laitlum Canyon, and the Ialong Park.
Monsoon: From June to September, Meghalaya experiences monsoon. This is the time when the beauty of the place reaches its maximum levels. If you are someone who loves rains and the smell of the earth and the whole new vibe that is created by it, you have to visit Meghalaya during the monsoon!
However, during monsoons, you should be mentally prepared to be forced to spend some of your time indoors, especially when the rainfall is heavy. Travelling here during monsoons may be the most magical of trips but it is also sure that your travel contains risks. You may be forced to stay in for days, during heavy rainfall, or may even be forced to overstay due to landslides and other natural calamities due to the rains.
If these two factors aren’t deal breakers for you, then you can consider a trip to Meghalaya during monsoons. The magic of Meghalaya’s waterfalls such as Nohkalikai falls and Elephant Falls, and the thrill of trekking through dense forests to reach a living root bridge, is simply unreal in the monsoon.
Did you know that Cherrapunjee and Mawsynram, towns in Meghalaya, are the wettest places on the entire planet! And we bet you didn’t know that Maylynnong in Meghalaya is declared to be the cleanest village in Asia. Meghalaya Tourism really should do a better job of highlighting these and other things like street food, sacred forests and accommodation options. After all, the secrets of Meghalaya and indeed the entire North East India as a tourist destination is much more than just the popular highlights such as double-decker living root bridges, suspension bridges, natural caves, spectacular waterfalls.
Also read Trend Around Us’s article on Murudeshwar temple in Karnataka, where you find the world’s second largest statue of Lord Shiva.