Meghalaya: A glimpse of the Khasi hills

Meghalaya: A glimpse of the Khasi hills

I just returned from my 12 day trip to Meghalaya and decided to write this blog while the memories remain fresh, and excitement, undiminished. I covered parts of Khasi hills, and Shillong at a leisurely pace because I don’t like to rush. My spirit animal must be a sloth.
Without further delay, I will dive into the wonderful experiences I had in Meghalaya.
Meghalaya, literally translates to abode of clouds, however, it is sunny and pleasant in the month of November. Meghalaya still hasn’t picked up on tourism as some of the other parts, and remains an untouched jewel for nature lovers to explore. The people are welcoming and there is plenty of affordable street food and fruits to choose from. It offers a number of trekking options for the nature loving slow paced tourists as well as gorgeous vistas for the admirers of nature on a quick break. No matter how you choose to visit a place, I hope that you would be conscious of your activities on the fragile ecosystem.
1) Shillong: Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya and the major hub to all the places you want to visit in Meghalaya. The city centre of Shillong is very busy and traffic jams can sometimes last for hours. I explored the city mostly on foot and had a great time. Since there is plenty to explore in Shillong, I will write another post dedicated to Shillong.
Shillong
If you are a budget traveller and do not have much time on your hands, you can book the tours for the following for an amount ranging between Rs. 350 and Rs.500 from Meghalaya Tourism Office in Police Bazar:
a) local sightseeing
b) Cherrapunjee or Sohra as it is called in the local language
c) Dawki, visit to float on pristine waters of Umngot and for a glimpse of Bangladesh
d) Mawlynnong, cleanest village
e) Mawsynram, the place with highest recorded rainfall in the world
I found quite a few places of interest in Shillong as well and did a few treks there. To read more about Shillong, follow the link below:

2) Cherrapunji or Sohra:
Cherrapunji or Sohra, as it is called in the local language, for long enjoyed the title of the place with highest annual precipitation in the world before it was dethroned by Mawsynram.
Cherrapunji
It still has some beautiful waterfalls, one of them being the Noh Ka Likai falls, which literally translate to the leap oh Ka likai, derived from a disturbingly tragic folklore.
Noh Ka Likai
The falls are 1115 feet high and apparently make a loud noise during monsoons. However, during the dry season, you have the option to trek to the top of the falls.To read more about the story of Noh Ka Likai and the trek, please follow the link below:
 
Mawsmai caves are also a good option to visit while you are there.
Stalactites and Stalagmites at Mawsmai caves
Stalactites and Stalagmites at Mawsmai caves
At the exit
I have heard that Wei Sawdong falls, less than half an hour away from Cherrapunji are beautiful falls in 3 steps and are hardly frequented by visitors. I could not visit the waterfalls this time but I definitely will on my next trip.
The seven sisters waterfalls are said to represent the seven North Eastern states of India but they don’t have much volume during the dry season.You can choose eco-park to spend some relaxing time, it offers some beautiful views.
3) Mawphlang: Mawphlang is less than an hour away from Shillong and you can easily find shared cabs from Bada Bazar for Rs. 50. This tiny village is known for the Sacred Grove forest trek and David Scott Trail, a 16 km trek through the mountains that ends about 12 km from Cherrapunji. The Sacred Grove trek can only be done with a local Khasi guide.
To read more about the Sacred Grove Forest and Khasi culture, follow the link below:
Sacred Grove Forest
The price for the guide as in November 2018 are:
The Sacred Grove Forest half trek: Rs. 300
The Sacred Grove Forest full trek: Rs. 500
David Scott trail: Rs. 1500
David Scott trail: I am not sure if you need a  guide for the David Scott trail or if you can do it on your own. The trail is well marked and easy and scenic. The guide will make you a traditional Khasi head wear from fern leaves, but I think Rs. 1500 is a bit overpriced for one person.
Views along the david Scott trail
Views along the david Scott trail
All those ferns
The bridge built by David Scott
Along the trek, you would come across a stone bridge, built by David Scott, about which it is said that no adherent has been used to hold the stones together. If you remove a single key stone, the whole bridge would come undone.
4) Nongriat: This tiny village in the East Khasi Hills district is home to the famous double decker living root bridge.
Double Decker Living Root Bridge
The three step Rainbow waterfalls are 45 minutes trek away from the double decker. The trek is scenic throughout. To read more about this trek, please follow the link below:
Rainbow Falls
5) Mawlynnong: This village has the reputation of being the cleanest village in Asia, the status it got back in 2003(I don’t know if it still holds, let me know in the comment section). Anyway, from what I have heard it is a very clean village and a bit expensive if you want to stay overnight. To read about the costs of transportation, food and accomodation, follow the link below:
coming up shortly
 
Pro tip: The natives of this village do not host on a Sunday so if you intend to stay there, make sure to plan your trip accordingly, so that you can go there another day. If they do have to host on a Sunday, in absence of any other option, they do not charge.
I could not visit this village on this trip so I can’t give much information about the same.
6) Dawki: Dawki is a small border town that has the crystal clear lake Umngot flowing through it and you can get a glimpse of Bangladesh. You can go on a boat ride and from what I have heard and seen in pictures, if you look at another boat it almost seems like it is floating in air. I could not visit this place either. You can also camp along the river in other smaller places-Shnongpdeng and Darrang.
7) Mawsynram: Reportedly, the wettest place on earth, Mawsynram has quite a few caves, the most famous being the Mawjymbuin, with Stalactites and Stalagmites. I did not visit Mawsynram either.
8) Jowai: Apparently the Krangsuri falls in Jowai are the most scenic in this area and attract a heavy crowd of torists because they are worth seeing. You can get a shared cab from Shillong to go to the falls via Jowai. I would certainly visit them next time.
I would definitely be visiting Meghalaya soon since there is so much to explore. I hope you visit this beautiful state as well while being mindful of the beautiful nature and kind and friendly people.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Sandeep Sarma

    Interesting read this specially the part about the David Scott trail where you mention about the stone bridge and the mysterious tale associated with it. Eagerly awaiting your next post on Meghalaya.

  2. Richa Jain

    Hi Sandeep, thanks a lot! I am glad you liked the post, I am working on other posts on Meghalaya and would soon be uploading them on my blog.

  3. Lisa

    I've not heard of this place. Must be in India! I love places that are untouched by tourism. Definitely on my travel bucket list now.

  4. prakashdiwakar

    Nice blog. Its really motivating me now to plan a north east tour soon which i am postponing since long time.

  5. Linda Malys Yore

    Never been to India. I like this part of it tho bc it is not overly crowded like I think in my mind India is. Like the pics too.

  6. Richa Jain

    I am sorry I did not mention that it's one of the 8 north eastern states, all beautiful and still not as affected by tourism. You should definitely visit whenever you visit this part of the world next.

  7. Richa Jain

    Thank you! You should definitely plan a tour soon.

  8. Richa Jain

    Hi Linda! There are parts of India which are still unexplored. North Eastern part of India is still quite unexplored and offers lot of hiking opportunities for nature lovers. I hope you visit sometime.

  9. Arunima Dey

    Very interesting read Richa and some great suggestions. Will be sure to follow your guide when I visit Meghalaya.

    1. richajain

      Thanks for checking out my blog Arunima 🙂 I am glad that you found the content useful and, have fun on your visit to Meghalaya!

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