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Meghalaya Tourism | How to Plan a Trip to Meghalaya

An abode of the clouds, the state of Meghalaya with its picturesque landscapes and panoramic waterfalls offers Scottish scenery in an Indian charm.

  • Waterfall in meghalaya
Meghalaya At a Glance
  • Capital City:Shillong
  • Average Climate:21°C - 32°C
  • Best Time to Visit:All Through Year.
  • Major Airports:Shillong Airport
  • Ideal Durations:4 to 7 Days

Meghalaya Travel Guide

Northeast India is known for its inexplicable beauty, and the state of Meghalaya is no less. Snuggled by the mighty Himalayas, Meghalaya is one of the most popular destinations to visit in India. Meghalaya tourism is an amalgamation of lush greenery, picturesque surroundings, misty air, pristine waterfalls, and more of nature’s glory. A tour to Meghalaya will surely let you experience the same, along with the utter beauty of Mother Nature.

On a sightseeing tour in Meghalaya, you can explore the panoramic landscapes, foggy hills, terraces, slopes, and cascading waterfalls. Some renowned attractions that add to Meghalaya tourism include Living Root Bridges and Nohkalikai Falls.

You can explore these popular tourist places with our well-curated Meghalaya tour packages, which are customizable. These tailor-made holiday packages are the best way to explore this wonderland's breathtaking beauty.

Meghalaya allows wildlife lovers to witness the rich biodiversity at Balpakram National Park and soak in its mind-boggling scenic beauty. Besides this, Meghalaya tourism also offers exciting adventures letting tourists indulge in thrilling activities and making their Meghayala travel memorable.

Apart from this, many fun things to do and places to eat and shop will keep you entertained throughout the tour. So, if you want to know more about Meghalaya, how to reach it, the best time to visit, where to eat and stay, and some useful travel tips.

Here is our comprehensive guide to exploring the nooks and corners of Meghalaya tourism.

Languages Spoken in Meghalaya

The most spoken languages in Meghalaya are Khasi, Pnar, and Garo, with English as the official language.

Where is Meghalaya located?

The state of Meghalaya is located in the northeastern region of India. It shares its borders with the state of Assam to the north and international borders with Bangladesh to the south and southwest.

History of Meghalaya

On January 21, 1972, Meghalaya came into existence after the United Khasi Hills, and Jaintia Hills were carved out of Assam. The tribes - Khasi, Garo, and Jaintia, had their kingdoms until they came under British control in the 19th century, which again incorporated Meghalaya into Assam. 

Soon, when West Bengal was separated in 1905 by Lord Curzon, Meghalaya became a part of the new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam. And again, it was reserved in 1912, and Meghayals merged into the province of Assam.

At the time of Indian Independence, present-day Meghalaya had two districts of Assam. The Assam Reorganization (Meghalaya) Act of 1969 gave an autonomous status to the state. It has a 37-member legislature by the sixth schedule of the constitution.

Lastly, in 1971, the Parliament of India passed the North Eastern Area Act that gave Meghalaya the status of an Autonomous State on 21 January 1921, with its own Legislative Assembly.

Why should you visit Meghalaya?

Meghalaya is a beautiful state called the ‘Abode of Clouds’ and is perfect for tourists looking for a peaceful vacation with their loved ones. The pristine lakes, the towering peaks, the breathtaking beauty, and ample attractions make Meghalaya tourism appealing and your holiday memorable. Therefore, all nature lovers must visit this state.

For travelers who love to explore flora and fauna of a state, Meghalaya will not disappoint you. Apart from this, you can explore Meghyalas’ delectable cuisine, quaint cities, and hill stations, and get a peek into their rich culture and traditions.

This comprehensive Meghalaya tourism guide is designed to help you plan your trip to Meghalaya and explore it like a local. Know things to do, places to visit, local cuisine, wildlife sanctuaries, adventure sports, hill stations, and more.

  • Wildlife: Balpakram national park, Siju wildlife sanctuary, Baghmara reserve forest, Nongkhyllem wildlife sanctuary.
  • Caves: Krem Mawmluh, Krem Dam, Krem Lymput, Mawsmai Cave, Krem Liat Prah.
  • WaterfallsNohkalikai Falls, Khoh Ramhah, Kynrem Falls, Nohsngithiang Falls, Elephant Falls
  • Adventure: Hiking, Golfing, River Canyoning, Trekking, Yachting, Speed boat, Cruising boat.
  • Shopping: Dawki Market, Hat Thymmai, Gokolgre daily market, Lew Sohra Bazaar, Bara Bazar, Laitumkhrah Market, Polo Bazaar, OB Shopping Mall.
  • Local Food: Jadoh, Doh-Khlieh, Pudoh, Tungrymbai, Minil Songa, pork and chicken momos, Pumaloi, Nakham Bitchi, Dohkhlieh.

How to Reach Meghalaya

Meghalaya is well connected with the major states of India. You can easily reach Meghalaya via air, rail, or road.

By Flight - The main airport to reach Meghalaya is located in Guwahati, Assam, at a distance of 159 km. It is well-connected to Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and Calcutta. From here, you can hire a cab to reach your destination.

By Train - For traveling to Meghalaya by train, the nearest railway station is also located in Guwahati, Assam. It is about 180 km away and is connected to New Delhi, Amritsar, Jammu and Kashmir, and Bangalore. You can take a bus or hire a cab.

By Road - Meghalaya has a great network of roads and is well-connected to major cities' roads. Buses can be hired to reach Meghalaya from Assam and other nearby places. Else, plan a fun road trip from neighboring states and cities, and witness scenic views on the way to Meghalaya.

How to get around Meghalaya

The most convenient way to move around the state is to take buses to visit the important cities. You can also hire taxis or book car rentals to travel on your own. Meghalaya has a good network of roads, and you can cover the attractions by road transportation. Trekking is also a great option to explore the places in proximity while enjoying the scenic beauty.

Best time to visit Meghalaya

A beautiful hill state, Meghalaya is frequently visited by nature lovers and honeymooners especially to enjoy the weather. It is blessed with a moderate climate throughout the year and every season has its charm, which gives you a reason to plan a trip to Meghalaya. Let us see the weather of every season that will help you plan your Meghalaya travel better.

Summer (April to June) - Meghalaya experiences pleasant weather in summer. The temperatures hover between 12°C and 30°C. Though it may rain at any time, you can stroll the surroundings in the evenings and enjoy quality time with loved ones. The three-day festival of Shad Suk Mynsiem and the Chad Sukra festival is also celebrated every year in April.

Monsoon (July to September) - The state receives heavy showers during the monsoons, with temperatures ranging from 24°C to 33°C. Cherrapunji and Mawsynram in Meghalaya are the two rainiest cities in the world. It is the perfect time to stay put in the hills and enjoy a cup of hot tea and some local snacks. Going out to explore is not recommended.

Autumn (October to November) - After the relentless rain in Monsoon comes Autumn, and this is the time when the trees in Meghalaya are in full bloom. The temperature also starts to dip when winter is just around the corner.

Winter (December to February) - With temperatures fluctuating between 4°C and 16°C, the weather in Meghalaya in winter is comfortably cold. The days are quite warm because of the sun, and the nights get cold with winds blowing across. Carry proper woolen to protect yourself from the cold weather.

Places to Visit in Meghalaya

Meghalaya has many attractions, including mesmerizing waterfalls like Nohkalikai Falls, Elephant Falls, and Mawlynnong Falls. The state also has some of the longest caves, like Mawsmai Caves and Krem Liat Prah, and the wettest places in the world - Cherrapunji and Mawsynram.

Apart from these, while exploring the tourism of Meghalaya, you can also visit attractions like Umiam Lake, Living Root Bridges, Dawki River, Seven Sisters Falls, Mawlynnong Village, and more.

Things to do in Meghalaya

Meghalaya tourism offers many things to enjoy on your tour. The state has enchanting waterfalls, lakes, and rivers and receives the maximum number of rainfall every year. Meghalaya is the best place to enjoy hot snacks and tea in beautiful rainy weather if you love rain.

Meghalaya offers thrilling adventure opportunities for adrenaline junkies like trekking and camping, you can indulge in to get close to nature. Also, laying on the ground and gazing at the star-studded sky is a famous thing to do in Meghalaya.

Dawki is a place here that offers spectacular adventure activities to tourists, including ziplining, flying fox, and scuba diving. Hence, Meghalaya should be on top of every persons’ vacation list.

Where to Stay in Meghalaya

To boost Meghalaya Tourism, the hotels in Meghalaya are set in perfect locations with nature’s backdrop. The most variety of hotels you will find in the state is in Shillong and Ri Bhoi Districts. So, enjoy your stay in Meghalaya with prompt services and great amenities.

What to Eat in Meghalaya

Being a state of northeast India, the cuisine is a major part of Meghalaya tourism and comprises rice, vegetable curries, and fish and meat. People have a typical cooking style, which depends on the availability of food items in the state.

Meghalaya’s cuisine can be categorized into Garo, Khasi, and Jaintia. Shillong, the state's capital, has some great restaurants serving hot-piping dishes. And other top restaurants in Meghalaya are Jiva Grill (Sohra), City Hut Family Dhaba (Shillong), Jiva Veg (Nongpoh), Ka Bri War Resort Fresh Veg Restaurant (Pynursla), and Dylan's Cafe (Shillong).

Nightlife in Meghalaya

Out of all the cities and towns in Meghalaya, Shillong is the most happening party place. Many iconic nightclubs in Shillong are known for their ambiance and of course, pan-Asian food.

Cloud9 is one of the best nightclubs in Meghalaya you must visit if you are a hardcore party animal. DJs and musicians from all over the world come here to perform regularly. Platinum and Mikado Lounge are other places for buzzing nightlife and the best drinks and music.

How to save money on a Meghalaya trip?

  • Travel to Meghalaya during monsoon as it is not the peak season.
  • Book your flights in advance and take an early or late flight.
  • Use shared or public transport like a bus.
  • Book affordable stays like guesthouses or hostels.
  • Eat at locally owned small restaurants.
  • Go on off-the-beaten-track to save some money.
  • Go on a backpacking tour.
  • Avoid unnecessary shopping.
  • Visit places that are free of cost like temples, museums, etc.

Meghalaya Travel Tips

  • Prepare yourself for frequent rains and excessive ones any time of the day.
  • Given that Meghalaya is a northeastern state, check for any permits you might want to take.
  • If you get stuck somewhere, ask the locals for help, they are very friendly.
  • Remember to book hotels and flights in advance, especially during the winter season.
  • If any significant document gets stolen or lost, immediately inform local police. Your documents can be misused.
  • Do not overpack if you are on a backpacking trip.
  • Respect the local culture.
  • English is spoken widely but in smaller regions, you will find people speaking the local language. So, try to learn a few local phrases for better communication.
  • Go with a registered tour guide if needed. Local tour guides can charge you extra for inauthentic information.

Cities of Meghalaya

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Frequently Asked Questions about Meghalaya Tourism

Q: What is the capital of Meghalaya?

Ans: Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya.

Q: Where is Meghalaya located?

Ans: Meghalaya is a state located in the northeast of India. It shares borders with Assam (north) and international borders with Bangladesh (south) and southwest.

Q: Is Meghalaya safe for tourism?

Ans: Yes, Meghalaya is completely safe for families and female solo travelers. In fact, it is one of the safest places to visit in India.

Q: Why is Meghalaya famous?

Ans: Meghalaya is famous for its serene environment, pristine beauty, lush greenery, misty clouds, waterfalls, limestone caves, dense forests, and of course, the wonderful living root bridges.

Q: What are the best places in Meghalaya tourism?

Ans: Here is a list of top Meghalaya attractions you can add to your itinerary -

  • Shillong - Umiam Lake, Mawphlang Sacred Forest, Don Bosco Center For Indigenous Cultures, Laitlum Canyons, etc.
  • Cherrapunji - Double Decker Living Root Bridges, Nohkalikai Waterfalls, Kynrem Falls, Mawsmai Cave, etc.
  • Mawlynnong - Roots Bridges, Jingmaham Living Root Bridge, Mawlynnong Village, Mawlynnong Waterfall, etc.
  • Dawki - Umngot River, Wah Umngot, Jaflong Zero Point, Dawki River, etc.
Q: What is the rich culture and tradition of Meghalaya?

Ans: Meghalaya culture has a mix of Hinduism and Pantheism. Many of them are devoted to the stones and others worship mother nature. These people also believe that offering sacrifices will appease spirits.

Q: Is the Covid test mandatory to travel to Meghalaya?

Ans: No. If you are fully vaccinated, there is no need to take a COVID test. Otherwise, the RT-PCR test is mandatory at entry points to enter the state of Meghalaya.

Q: What is the famous food of Meghalaya?

Ans: Rice, spicy meat, and fish are the staples of Meghalaya food. Other than these, rear goats, pigs, fowl, ducks, and cows’ meat are also relished in the state. Jadoh, tung rymbai, pickled bamboo shoots, Ki Kpu, etc, are some of the famous foods of Khasis and Jaintia while bamboo shoots are consumed by the Garos.

Q: What is the famous festival of Meghalaya?

Ans: Wangala Festival is the main festival of Meghalaya. It is celebrated in the honor of the Sun God of fertility. Some other famous Meghalaya festivals are Shad Suk Mynsiem, Nongkrem Festival, Behdienkhlam Festival, and Shad Sukra.

Q: What is the most spoken language in Meghalaya?

Ans: Khasi is the most spoken Meghalaya language.

Q: What is the main dance of Meghalaya?

Ans: The main dance of Meghalaya is Behdiengkhlam of Jaintias. It is held in July in Jowai, Jaintia Hills.

Q: What is the traditional dress of Meghalaya?

Ans: Meghalaya traditional dress depends on which tribe you are from. The Garo tribe wears a small piece of clothing around the waist. The women wear a blouse with handmade lungi called Dakmanda. In the Khasi tribe, Jainsen is worn with a blouse, and a shawl compliments the dress. The women wear Jainkup and accessories of gold and silver. In the Jaintia tribe, a chequered cloth is worn called Kyrshah. They wear velvet blouses and ankle-length sarong. Women wear ornaments and a unique gold pendant called Kynjri Ksia.

Q: What is the main folk dance of Meghalaya?

Ans: Laho is the main folk dance of Meghalaya. The ethnic communities of the state gather and celebrate their culture.