Meghalaya The Natural Paradise

By: TM Abbas & Elakkiya Thavadurai

Last Updated: 14- Dec- 2021

Meghalaya The Natural Paradise

India is a vast country. 3,214 km from North to South and 2,933 km from East to West to be precise. Yet, if you ask people where they want to plan their next vacation within India, more than half would be telling places like Kerala, Shimla, Manali, Kashmir, Jaipur, Delhi, Agra and such. There is nothing wrong about those choices. They are all wonderful. But in a country as diverse as India, there are places still untouched, uncovered and unexplored. Idyllic terrains that can take your breath away the moment you set your eyes on them. One such unexposed landscape is the North-east part of India. Known as the 'Land of seven sisters' before the inclusion of Sikkim, this entire terrain is bejewelled by unspoiled natural beauty. So, here is the story of one of the sister states - the mesmerising Meghalaya! It's high time you put this place on the top of your bucket list. Let's explore deeper to know the best things to do in Meghalaya so; you’ll see why this abode of clouds should be on your top list. 

Walk over the living root bridges:

Double-decker root bridge

Perhaps the fascinating tourist attraction of Meghalaya is the Living Root Bridges. Scattered across the state, these bridges are a human-made wonder that leaves us in awe of its engineering marvel. The most famous bridge among them is the Double Decker Living Root bridge situated in Nongriat village in the East Khasi Hills district and the longest known root bridge in Khasi hills. Surrounded by deep jungle, these tree suspensions indeed amaze us by hanging above the running stream with their intertwined and weaved structure full of thick, strong roots. Another fantastic feature of these bridges is they are self-sustaining. As long as the tree from which the locals have interwoven the roots to form the bridge remains healthy, they continue to grow and strengthen on their own. Serving the locals for ages as a prominent means to cross rivers and streams, these root bridges should be a must-visit in your itinerary. 

Longest root bridge

Hop and wade through the bridges like a pro-Na' vi Avatar from the Pandora universe. Take a step on them and feel the deep human-nature connection vibrating through you. Be wonderstruck in how these local tribes are living in harmony with nature. 

Boating in the Transparent River:

Clear waters of Dawki river

A border town between India and Bangladesh, Dawki border crossing is one among the few via the road between these two countries. But this is not why you have to visit Dawki. The compelling reason to see is the Umngot river, aka the Dawki river. Here is why - get on one of those canoes; sit at the front; hold an oar as if you're paddling; get your DSLR or mobile phone ready. Ask the good soul who is accompanying you to take a picture of you doing one of the most famous Insta travel shots - paddling atop crystal clear water. Yes, that's right. Crystal clear. The water is so clear that it is entirely transparent and unclouded. One can even see the shadow of our boat, reflecting on the riverbed. This canoeing alone can easily captivate the minds of any traveller visiting the place. There is also one more that equally holds our attention - the Dawki bridge. This British era structure is a suspension bridge spanning over the river, offering us a glimpse of the trail from the top. There is so much one can do at this place. Camp at the river shore, take a nice, cool dip in the clear emerald water, go fishing, and enjoy a great picnic at this riverside beauty. 

Go caving at Meghalaya:

Inside Arwah cave

Having 9 out of 10 longest and deepest caves in India, Meghalaya's cave population is mainly scattered on Jaintia, Khasi and Garo hills. Arwah caves and Mawsmai caves in Cherrapunji are popular among tourists. Famous for its limestone formation, fossil sediments and prehistoric carvings on their walls, these caves are a sure way to kindle your adventure spirits as you wade through their well-lit sturdy path. For any cave enthusiasts, the good news is, Meghalaya is full of natural caves scattered here and there. From the longest sandstone cave, Krem Puri to the longest limestone cave Krem Liat Prah; from Mawmluh cave with a pool inside to Mawjymbuin cave with its impressive stalagmites; and this one is for those Batman fanatics - the Siju caves, also known as the Bat cave. Although, we won't be finding Batman or Robin or Alfred or even the Batmobile inside. But we are sure to find stalagmites and stalactites, and some rare bat species in them. 

Inside Mawsmai cave

With every turn you take, every rock you climb, every hazard you cross, it is an experience filled with thrill, excitement and fun. One cannot help but feel like Indiana Jones while exploring the unknowns of the underworld through these caves.

Explore the unspoilt waterfalls:

Krang Suri Falls

Cascading down with great torrential speed from the shoulders of those majestic giants, waterfalls are always an enthralling beauty to anyone's sight. Meghalaya with its pristine beauty of rivers, lakes, mountains and villages is also full of vibrant waterfalls pouring at many places. From their long list of enchanting waterfalls, here we give you the must-visit falls that are sure to keep you spell-bound by their beauty. The first in our list is Krang Suri falls located in Jowai. The most scenic waterfalls you will ever find in India. With its stunning viewpoint, chiselled footpath, sunlight sparkling on top of the azure water at this little falls' base is a picture-perfect beauty to behold. 

Rainbow falls

Next on the list is the Rainbow falls. Nestled deep inside forests of Nongriat, this small blue lagoon could be a hard catch for many as it requires trekking our way to reach this beauty. A dip in these bluest of blue waters will make you seriously contemplate a thought of forgoing your life back home and start new here. 

Wei Sawdong falls

Located in Cherrapunji, Wei Sawdong is the next natural Wonderfalls of Meghalaya.  It is a unique three-level waterfall with clear aquamarine water forming a pool at the base of each fall. Roaming around the state, you realize the land is full of tantalising waterfalls gushing in its glory. Any town or village in this state is sure to have an enchanting waterfall in proximity. So, getting hypnotised by this alluring flowing beauty is just going to be a matter of a few hours or sometimes even lesser in your itinerary. 

Scariest Bamboo Trek:

Bamboo bridge along Mawryngkneng Trek

Are you daring enough to take an adventure that can leave you short of breath from an adrenaline rush? Then, take the Mawryngkneng Trek. Dubbed as the scariest trek of Meghalaya, the trekking route takes you through roaring rivers, bumpy trails and rugged mountain slopes. One has to walk on rickety bamboo bridges constructed through the way. With every step you take, you're inching close to a blissful view of deep valleys and majestic mountains of the place. The trek starts at Wahkhen village in East Khasi Hills of Meghalaya. Rent a taxi or scooter to reach this village as there is no public transport available. Also, plan your trek early because staying overnight at the town is not an option. Or free yourselves from worrying about the commute and book a tour from companies that offer Mawryngkneng Trekking in their services. Explore these narrow bamboo bridge routes to Mawryngkhang and the story behind. Boast to your friends and family about your feat of finishing one of the scariest treks of India. 

Stroll around the cleanest village: 

A road in Mawlynnong village

Famed for its cleanliness, Mawlynnong village rose to popularity as the cleanest village in Asia and India in 2003 & 2005 respectively. As the famous proverb 'Cleanliness is next to godliness' says that those who are pure and wholesome are close to God. Perhaps, because of this notion, Mawlynnong village is also known as 'God's garden' with its clean, lush greenery that gives a vibrant feast for our eyes. It is a fact, and we cannot deny it when we see it for ourselves. Located 90 km from Shillong in the East Khasi Hills district, this little hamlet is the perfect idyllic setting to escape from the bustles of life and let your mind wander free. Trek to the living root bridge in the neighbouring Riwai village. Climb the treetop viewpoint made of bamboo to have a panoramic view of this village and plains of the neighbouring country, Bangladesh. Wonder at the intriguing balancing rock where a large boulder is sitting unfazed on a much smaller one without losing its balance since aeons. You also get to experience the life of a local while still having all the comforts of home in one of their beautiful homestay options. The people in this community take pride in their eco-friendly living. They protect their environment with much vigour and promote ecotourism to offer a glimpse of their clean lifestyle. Explore this village in all its entirety and experience what it's like to be an ecotourist. Believe us, it sticks with you, and you will never change your way you tour after this. 

Swim in the natural pools:

Apart from these scenic spots, there are also other places to be explored in Meghalaya. Visit the Balpakram national park one day, traverse the David Scott trail on another. Follow all the Churches of Shillong or catch up on some local shopping at Police Bazar. Don’t miss the taste of local cuisine while you’re here. And, the main thing to do is - jump into one of those natural pools scattered across the state for a refreshing swim of your life. 

Quick Facts to plan your trip:

  1. Required Duration: 7 -10 Days
  2. All Inclusive Spend: Rs.15,000 & Above + Flight Fare
  3. Best Months: September – December
  4. Preferred Travel Style: Backpacking & Road trip
  5. Nearest Airport: Guwahati


Unique Stay ideas for a memorable experience: 

  1. Stay with locals at Homestays in the remote villages
  2. Checkin at Loghuts near the Double Decker bridge
  3. Put up a Tent stay by the riverside at Shnongpdeng


Finally, every place on this earth has a soul that speaks for itself if you listen closely. Come and listen to the soul of Meghalaya!! Your enchanting escapade awaits at this abode of clouds!! 

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