Welcome to Land of Clouds Meghalaya
Meghalaya is a beautiful state located in North East India. The name is being derived from the Sanskrit, meaning “The Abode of Clouds”. It covers an area of 22,430 sq.kms. This state is bounded to the south by the Bangladeshi divisions of Mymensingh and Sylhet, to the west by the Bangladeshi division of Rangpur, and to the east by India’s Assam state.
Its capital is Shillong and it is known as “Scotland of the East”. Previously Meghalaya was a part of Assam, but on 21st January 1972 the districts namely Khasi, Garo, & Jayantia Hills became a new state named Meghalaya. English is the official language. The other spoken languages spoken are Khasi, Pnar and Garo.
A brief glimpse of Meghalaya Journey
As we all know that Guwahati is the entry point or the starting point of North East. Therefore in order to visit Meghalaya we need to enter Guwahati firstly. After that only we can think for the rest.
If you reach Guwahati by air, then it will be 114kms only from Lokprio Goliath Borolo International Airport. And if you reach Guwahati by train then it will be 95.7kms from Paltanbazar Railway Station.
From Guwahati to Shillong it is easily accessible by a Cab. The journey will continue. As the journey will start from Guwahti so on the way to Shillong we will find Nongpoh.
This is the administrative centre of Ri-Bhoi district in the state of Meghalaya. It is located on NH 40 which is 52 kms from the capital Shillong and 48 kms from Guwahati. Nongpoh is located at 25.9 degree north and 88 degree east. Betal leaf and betal nut trees are seen all along the route from Nongpoh.
Places to see in Nongpoh
Lum Nehru Park
The Lum Nehru Park is a one hour ride from Nongpoh. It is full of scenic beauty. Lush green lawns and gardens, aviaries and wonderful orchids are the reason why this Park has earned itself quite a name in the state.
Thrills Fun Park
Thrills Fun Park is located at the Shillong-Guwahati Road, R-Bhoi District and is 25 km from Shillong. It is 8.7 km away down from the Umiam Lake Resort. Thrills Fun Park is a place pack for a day or two for everyone who seeks fun, adventure and refreshes themselves from the hassle-bustle of daily life. A place for outing, picnic fun and recreation for kid’s youth and elderly people. It’s a place for those who love challenges and for those who just want to relax.
Church of Christ
Nongpoh is mainly inhabited by the followers of Christianity and that makes the Nongpoh Church another name in our attractions list. This is a beautiful piece of architecture, just at a stone’s throw away from the famous Lemawlong Market. We will definitely suggest you to visit this place for its peace and serenity. You will definitely come out a better person.
Lum Sohpetbneng is a mythological significant place located around 40 km from the district headquarters Nongpoh. The place has a beautiful legendary peak which is named as Naval or Heaven. The navel heavenly umbilical peak symbolizes the deep rooted spiritual belief of the Hynniewtrep: the Seven huts people predominating the West Khasi Hills, East Khasi Hills, Ri-Bhoi and Jaintia Hills districts of East Meghalaya who descended to Earth from a golden vine bridge atop the sacred U Lum Sohpetbneng peak, to be crowned rulers of creations of the divine creator- U Blei.
Nongpoh is known for its production of beautiful orchids and if you want to get your hands on them, this is the place to be. The other important shops in the market include the fruit shops which deliver products at a very cheap rate.
After that we will reach Shillong
The Umiam Lake is a reservoir that is located to the northern of Shillong. The construction of a dam here was started in 1965 on the Umiam river. The reservoir is spread over a total area of 220 sq km. This lake is said to be the result of building of a dam that is also popular for being the first ever hydro-electric project in the north-eastern region of India. This was the history behind the lake. Now, if you go to visit this place, you will be awestruck. Simply, awestruck. This piece of water body will not fail to impress you one bit. Flowing in full elegance, this lake cannot be given a miss.
Think to do in Umiam Lake
1. Speed Both Safari .
2. Machine Both safari .
3. Night Camping .
4. Both House night Stay .
Shillong also known as “Scotland of the East”
The places to visit are
Shillong Peak is the highest peak of the province of Himalayas, standing at an altitude of 1,965 metre above the sea level. One of the most visited sites of the hill station, this peak provides a breathtaking view of Shillong city and Himalayan ranges. The star-studded night along with the city lights is a treat to witness. According to historians, Shillong is named after this hill. As per regional mythology, the patron deity ‘Leishyllong’ has her abode at the hill and protects city against all evils from here. During springs, the spiritual pastor of Mylliem offer prayers at the sanctum. An ideal retreat for visitors, the location also features a radar station of the Indian Air Force. Due to security reasons at the air base, travellers have to surrender their cameras while reaching view-point.
The original Khasi name for the falls was ‘Ka kshaid lai pateng khohsiew’ (three steps water falls), because of the fact that the water falls in three steps. The British named it ‘Elephant Falls’ because of a stone that resembles an elephant near the falls. But the stone was destroyed by an earthquake in 1897. But the name hasn’t changed.
3.Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians
It is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Shillong which covers the Khasi and Jaintia hills of Meghalaya. The Cathedral is the principal place of worship of the over 300,000 strong Catholics of the Shillong Archdiocese which covers the Khasi and Jaiñtia Hills of Meghalaya. It was built by the first Catholic missionaries to these hills, the Salvatorians from Germany. With Christianity being a dominant religion in the city, there are many beautiful churches in Shillong. The cathedral is earthquake resistant and on a clear day one can see the River Brahmaputra and the peaks of the Himalaya Mountains from here.
The Entomological Museum, established in the 1930s, is more popularly known as the Butterfly Museum. It is a private property owned by M/s Wankhar, Riatsamthiah, Shillong. It is the sole museum in India which is dedicated to preserving the species of butterflies and moths. This colourful museum, with 1,600 species of butterflies, insects and moths, is a veritable treat for visitors.
5.Lady Hydari Park
The Lady Hydari Park, a children’s themed park, derives its name from the wife of the first Governor of Assam, Lady Hydari. Established and maintained by the Forest Department, this park incorporates a mini zoo, a deer park, and an open area for children to play. The vast stretches of rose-beds make it strikingly beautiful. The park has been designed in a Japanese style, as there are several elements like rhododendron plants, small ponds and willow trees which remind one of the garden style of Japan. There is also a museum in a small house located inside the park. The rich biodiversity of Meghalaya has been showcased in this museum, which includes photos of rare species, stuffed leopard, dried skin of python, and skulls of elephant.
The Shillong Golf Course located at an altitude of 52000 feet, this is India’s first 18 hole golf course. Owing to its beautiful location, this golf course is sometimes compared to the Glen Eagle Golf Course in the United States.
7.Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Culture
This museum displays a vast and very impressive collection of tribal artifacts along with a gallery on work done by Christian Missionaries in the area.
Eco Destinations in Shillong
Apart from all these there are two Important Eco Destinations. They are as follows
Laitlum Canyons is an upcoming tourist destination at Shillong in Meghalaya. This place is remarkable due to its natural environmental formation. Perched at great heights, it is in fact the edge of a hill which is surrounded by green hills and valleys. The view of grassy plus rocky hills all around and tiny villages far below is really magnificent. Walking down to the valley via an uneven rocky path is rather easy; however the climb uphill is a bit tedious and there is only one shop in the vicinity which offers simple snacks. Laitlum Canyons is not at all crowded and commercialized like other tourist places and is best suited for a secluded and peaceful break from the usual hustle bustle of city life. It is absolutely a paradise for trekkers and nature lovers. It is less explored yet enthralling tourist haunt known for its sublime natural beauty. This hilltop is carpeted with lush greenery and covered with dense mist, which together make it a hidden paradise in the hilly state of Meghalaya.
Mawphlang Sacred Forest
Mawphlang is a village located in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya. It has preserved by traditional religious sanction, since the ancient days. The sacred forest has plants, flowering trees, orchids and butterflies. Infact it can be said as an ideal destinations for nature lovers. This is a Tropical Monsoon Forest.
This sacred forest is placed at a height of 6000 feet and covered by an area of 700 acres
After Shillong the next destination will be Cherrapunji
Cherrapunji is a sub-divisional town located in the East Khasi Hills District of Meghalaya. It is credited as being the wettest place on the earth, but currently Mawsynram holds the record. Cherrapunji still holds the all-time record for the most rainfall in a calendar month and in a year: it received 9,300 mm (366 in) in July 1861 and 26,461 mm (1,041.75 in) between 1 August 1860 and 31 July 1861.
Cherrapunji is the traditional capital of the Nongkhlaw hima (Khasi tribal chieftainship constituting a petty state) known as Sohra or Churra. The name “Cherrapunji” means ‘Land of Oranges’ was first used by tourists from other parts of India. It takes hardly 54 km from Shillong to reach Cherrapunji.
The places to see in Cherrapunji
It is naturally the top destination in Cherrapunji. The breathtaking waterfalls is the tallest plunge waterfall in the country falling from a height of 1115 feet and it is the fourth highest in the world. The plains of Bangladesh are visible from here. The waterfalls has a legend attached to it, which is gory and it is best left without mention.
2. Mawsmai Cave
This cave is situated 11 kms away from Cherrapunji. Though the cave is very long, only a distance of 150 meteres is open for the tourists.
3. Double Decker Living Root Bridge
This bridge is located in Tyrna Village. It is made up of Indian rubber tree , also known as Ficus Elastica. This is one of the another important tourist attraction point.
4. Seven Sisters Falls
Seven Sisters Falls is the fourth highest waterfalls in India. It is also known as Nohsngithiang Falls, they form a seven segmented waterfall, which plunges over the top of limestone cliffs of the Khasi Hills. The falls only flow during the rainy season. The vibrant colour during the sun set is really very amazing.
5. Mawkdok Dympep Valley/ Duwan Sing Syiem Bridge
This place is one of the another important tourist attraction place. The forest department has made a viewpoint at this valley from where tourist can enjoy and appreciate the natural beauty of the valley.
This beautiful park has been designed by the Meghalaya Government to facilitate the tourists to enjoy the green canyons of Shora as well as the waterfalls that lie around it. The view of the echo park is really very majestic. On the other side of the Echo Park there is a view point to see the plains of Bangladesh. The Echo Park also showcases a wide variety of orchids & the Agri-Horticultural Society of Shillong.
7 .Ka Khoh Ramhah
Also known as Pillar Rock or Mothorp is another tourist attraction point. The very shape of the rock keeps one spellbound as it is an impressive rock formation in the shape of a gaint cone. The clouds ascending from the plains and passing through the rocks add beauty and aura to the place. There is a view point located just near the the rock which gives a very nice view. A lesser known façade of the rock behind can be seen while travelling through the roads of Cherrapunjee.
8. Krem Mawmluh Cave
This is one of the another prominent tourist attraction. This cave is considered as fourth longest cave at a height of 10 ft. above sea level. In addition, there is a pool inside the cave, which is formed as a result of five different rivers finding their way inside the cave.
Dain –Thlen Falls is one of the most famous fall in Cherrapunjee. Many tourist flock the falls because it has an important legend associated with it. The waterfall derives its name from a Thlen (khasi word for python). As per the legend , the peoples decided to rid themselves of evil, captured the Thlen and killed it at the wide flat rock overlooking the waterfall. Adjacent to the very spot where the Thlen was slaughterted lies the Dain- Thlen waterfalls. Natural rock carvings draw the visitors attention to see the image of the Thlen, the symbol of greed, corruption & evil.
10. Sai-Mika Park
This is a very beautiful valley. A nature resort is located there which offers the accommodations in traditional Khasi Huts. A stream flows through the park with small waterfalls & ponds. Recreational facilities include basketball court, a volleyball court, a skating ring, a badminton court, a playground with swings and slides & kids swimming pool.
11. Thangkharang Park
Thangkharang Park is located just besides the Khoh Ramhah rock and it offers a 180 degree views of the Bangladesh Plains below. The view point also presents a nice view of Kynrem Falls, which cascades in three levels at a distance. A small bridge helps one to cross over to the other section of the park in terms of heavy rains or the monsoons, when the stream below overflows with water.
12. Kynrem Falls
Kynrem Falls is one of the highest waterfall of Meghalaya that cascades in three levels from the top of a hill. Flushed with water after rain, this fall offers a spectular sight especially when viewed from below with the water gushing down at full speed on to the rocks forming a mist and spray on the tourists.
13. Wah Kaba Falls
This is one of the most fantastic waterfall. One can view the clear sky above the hills.
After Visit Charrapunjee you may go to Major another two tourist destination below
Another important centre of tourist attraction is Mawlynnong. The most cleanest village of Asia. This village is located along the India Bangladesh border. Living Root Bridge is the most important tourist spot. It is also known as Double Decker Root bridge.
Another important tourist destination is Dawki. Dawki is a town located in Jaintia Hills District of Meghalaya. It is one of the few road border crossing between India & Bangladesh. The journey to Dawki is abundant with nature. While travelling you will find green tracks of forest through the roads. The plains of Bangladesh is visible very clearly. The most important tourist attraction point in Dawki is – Dawki Lake.
This lake is really a very magnificiant water body , mostly famous for its crystal clear water. The water is such crystal clear that the bottom part of the lake can be seen. Boat rides are available. Once you enjoy the boat ride than only you can feel the real beauty and also the very crystal clear water.