Top 10 Not To Miss-Out Places in Meghalaya
Blessed by immense scenic beauty, lush views, salubrious weather, cascading waterfalls, serene lakes, ancient caves, mist-clad ambiance, refreshing environs, and various other allures, Meghalaya in northeast is a delightful place. A vacation here with your loved ones surely offers you a refreshing escape from the tiresome life of the cities. If you are planning a holiday here, we update you about top 10 wonderful places in Meghalaya you must visit:
Breathe-in purity at Mawlynnong Village, Shillong
Given the epithet of ‘God’s Own Garden’, Mawlynnong village is known as the cleanest village in India. A holiday in Meghalaya is incomplete without visiting this wonderful place, which was awarded with the title of the Cleanest Village in Asia by Discover India in 2003. Women empowerment is promoted here at a good scale and this tiny hamlet also boasts of 100 percent literacy rate. The idealistic lifestyle of the tribals here is quite inspiring. They not only clean their own houses but also sweep the road and plant trees on a regular basis.
One of the best attractions here is the living roots bridges, offering an exceptional sight. Head to the Sky View vantage point for savoring wonderful views of the green, soothing surroundings. 85 feet in height, this tower is made of bamboo. As the village is located on the Indo-Bangladesh border, the views of the landscape of Bangladesh are worth-viewing. The Church of Epiphany is another must-visit attraction here. A picnic can also be planned at Mawlynnong Waterfall.
Marvel at the wondrous Double Decker Living Root Bridges, Cherrapunjee
Positioned in the thick tropical forest of Meghalaya, the Double Decker Living Root Bridges are a fantastic man-made cum natural wonder. The people of Khasi tribe train the roots of the ancient rubber trees to grow in such a manner so that they form strong bridges over rivers. A wonderful alternative to wooden bridges, these bridges grow strong in 15 years. Stacked on top of each other, these bridges are hardened entanglement of roots.
This is a must-visit attraction of Cherrapunjee, one of the monsoon destinations in India. Some of these bridges are around over five hundred years old. Some of the popular living rood bridges here are Mawsaw Root Bridge, Umkar Root Bridge, Ritymmen Root Bridge, Umshiang Double Decker Root Bridge, and Ummunoi Root Bridges.
Treat your eyes to the wonderful views at Umiam Lake, Shillong
Enveloped by scenic sights and lush green hills, Umiam Lake is also known as the Big Water or Bara Pani. Boat riding and other water activities are offered here at the lake, which is open between 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM. Due to peaceful surroundings, it’s banks are perfect for planning a picnic with your loved ones. Capture the stunning green scenery in your cameras. The East Khasi Hills in the background and the panoramic setting make this site often comparable to the Lakes of Scotland.
Another attraction that one can visit near Umiam Lake is a well-maintained garden Lum Nehru Park. Small islands peeking from lake’s water look quite interesting and can be viewed clearly from Union Christian College Peak. This water body is a part of a dam that was constructed as a first Hydel Power Project in this North-East Indian State. Popular activities at the lake include speed boat ride, cruise boats, paddle boating, riding row boating, sailing boat rides, water cycling, and kayaking.
Marvel at the natural wonder of Mawsmai Cave, Cherrapunjee
Visiting the spell-bounding Mawsmai Cave is one of the best things to do in Cherrapunjee. Around 6 km from the main town, these limestone caves are popular for being the only caves in the state which are lit enough so that people can marvel at the natural stalagmite and stalactite rock formations. Every year, a huge number of tourists visit this place. There is one entry and one exit point of the caves.
Mawsmai Cave is quite long but only 150 m of area is open for the tourists to explore. The other areas are closed. The rock formations are different shapes, forms, and sizes. This natural wonder is a creation of several years of underground water, and natural abrasion. A walk on narrow, cramped paths entangled with each other would be a thrilling experience.
Admire the nature’s bounty at Elephant Falls, Shillong
Located at a distance of just 12 km from the main city, the Elephant falls are just a few minutes’ drive away from the Shillong peak. The locals of Khasi tribe call it ‘Ka Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew’. For their convenience, the British renamed these falls as Elephant waterfalls, naming it after a mammoth elephant-shaped rock formation near the water body. This rock cannot be seen here today as it was destroyed due to an earthquake.
Visiting this 2-tiered rugged waterfall is a must. Located amid lush green surroundings, these falls form a small lake at their feet. As the 2 successive waterfalls rush down from rocky steps, they create an interesting foaming effect. A visit to this fall is refreshing.
Colorful vistas at the Lady Hydari Park, Shillong
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Shillong, Lady Hydari Park is equally admired by the locals also. Spread in an area of one kilometer, this well-maintained garden complex also has a mini zoo with 73 avifauna and 140 reptile species along with mammals like deer, Himalaya black bear, leopard etc. This Japanese-style park is named after Lady Hydari, the wife of an erstwhile Governor of Assam.
Spend some peaceful moments with your loved ones here as you enjoy a leisure walk. Marvel at the huge variety of flowering plants including orchids as you sit on the bench. There is also a kid’s playing zone with swings, and a museum, displaying the rich biodiversity of the state. There also are a number of small ponds here.
Find out an old legend at the Nohkalikai Falls, Cherrapunjee
Nohkalikai Waterfalls, one of the most famous waterfalls in Meghalaya, is just 5 km away from Cherrapunjee. With a height of 1100 feet, it is fourth highest waterfall in the world. Drive on an elevated land towards the cliff, hike for a short distance till the viewpoint, to have a stupendous view of the waterfalls, falling down several hundred feet to form an ultramarine pool. The best time to visit these falls is the monsoon season. Take the steps to arrive at a number of viewing point.
Noh Ka Likai means ‘the leap of Likai’ and the waterfall has a sad legend behind it, which stated that a young woman- Ka Likai had a daughter from her earlier marriage, remarried. Her new husband did not like the step daughter and decided to kill her out of jealousy. When the lady went to work, he killed the little girl and cooked her flesh, which he served to Ka Likai once she was back from work. She was surprised by his gesture but later she found the finger of her daughter in the betel nut basket. Out of remorse and sorrow, she rushed out of the home and jumped from the cliff. This is how the waterfall was named Nohkalikai.
Get awed by stunning views from the Shillong View Point
Positioned at a height of 1965 m, Shillong View Point is placed at the highest peak in the Himalayas in Meghalaya. Arrive at the vantage point to savor breathtaking views of the Shillong city. The snow-covered Himalayas look ethereal from such a great height. This viewpoint is open to public but is a military area. Telescopes are also available on rent so that locals as well as tourists can treat their eyes to the stunning views of the forested lush mountains. The radar station of the Indian Air Force is also visible from here.
Take note that cameras are not allowed at the Shillong viewpoint. According to the local beliefs, the hill on which this view point has been made was the abode of the patron deity of the region Leishyllong. She was the protector of the city from all kinds of evils. It is said that the city was named Shillong, after her name.
Must-visit Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures, Shillong
One of the most popular places to visit in Meghalaya, Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures (DBCIC) offers a lesson in anthropology and history. This is a privately-run museum and is in a wonderful condition, imparting knowledge on various aspects of northeast. There is a well-stocked library also, filled with books on interesting topics about the region. The star attraction here is the Skywalk from where one gets stunning views of the city.
Open from Monday to Saturday, between 09:00 AM to 05:30 PM in summers and 09:00 AM to 04:30 PM in winters, this museum is a 3-in-1 institution as it also has a research and publication center. This place promotes and preserves the rick culture and heritage of Northeast India. This seven-storied building also has 17 galleries where various cultural paintings and artefacts have been displayed. There complex also has a conference hall and a media hall.
Explore the Mystical Mawjymbuin Cave, Shillong
If you plan your tour to Meghalaya, do not miss out visiting Mawjymbuin Cave, highly enigmatic, adventurous and fascinating. This natural cave allures photographers, pilgrims, nature enthusiasts and geologists from all across the globe, in decent numbers. The natural rock formations inside the cave, appear to be quite intriguing. In its eastern part, there is a cave. Visitors are required to cross a number cracks while exploring it. The main attraction amid Hindus is a huge stalagmite, in the shape of Shivaling. It continuously, naturally gets bathed in water from a stalactite that looks like the udder of a cow.
Just 56 km away from Shillong, Mawjymbuin Cave can be accessed by renting a cab or by going on-board a local bus. You can also embark on an exciting walk from Mawsynram village to arrive here. Avoid visiting it during the monsoon.
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