Meghalaya is famed for being known as the wettest place on the planet. It’s always raining here, and as a result, it’s full of dense tropical forests, waterfalls and streams. Meghalaya is also quite a mountainous area, and much of the state is still occupied by tribal communities like Khasi, Garo, and Jaintia.
If you’re an avid nature lover and want to explore nature in its rawest form, Meghalaya is the place for you. Here are the top highlights of the state.
1. Living Root Bridges
Undoubtedly the first thing that you should visit. The living root bridges found deep inside many tropical forests are an excellent example of natural engineering and sheer intelligence of the local tribes.
These are actually bridges made out of the roots of rubber trees, and they’re fascinating, almost magical, to watch. Want to know more about them? Check out The Majestic Root Bridges of Meghalaya.
2. Mawlynnong Village
Praised as the cleanest village in Asia, this one deserves to be on this list.
Blessed with abundant scenic beauty and a cool temperature, Meghalaya is a paradise. Add proper cleanliness to that, and there doesn’t exist a better village than this in the whole of Asia.
It is common knowledge that the villagers of Meghalaya are very friendly and humble. You will have no problem in getting an accommodation here. You can stay at guest houses or if you’re lucky enough, in a local’s house. There are bamboo baskets everywhere for you to throw garbage in. Plus, the entire village is surrounded by forests, colourful flowers, streams and living root bridges!
Also, the tribal communities have joined hands to promote eco-tourism here. This has proven to be immensely successful. They have created bamboo balconies on tree-tops from where you can get a clear and fantastic view of the entire village.
Here is a list of The Most Charming Villages in India that you cannot miss.
3. Nohkalikai Falls
This is the tallest plunging waterfall in India. Falling from a large height of 1100 m, Nohkalikai Falls is spectacular.
It is a known fact that the North-Eastern states have a pleasant climate throughout the year with monsoon showers prevalent annually. Meghalaya literally translates to the abode of clouds. The sheer beauty of this state will amaze you, and this waterfall acts as icing on the cake.
The Nohkalikai Falls is surrounded by dense vegetation. Below the waterfalls, a small pond is formed that has an unusual green colour. The story behind the name of this waterfall is gruesome and tragic and one that you should know. To read the story behind its name and other such amazing waterfalls, check out the 5 Incredibly Beautiful Waterfalls to Visit in India.
4. Mawsmai Caves
Being the untouched and naturally pristine state that Meghalaya is, there are an infinitely large number of caves present here. But unfortunately, most of these are very dark, deep and dangerous to explore and therefore, have been closed to the public.
But if there’s one cave that you can explore, then it’s the Mawsmai Caves. This cave receives natural lighting because of the cracks on its surface, and thus the path becomes clear to proceed and explore. But even then, the cave has been termed as “eerie” by most travellers because of the dingy feeling prevalent there. You can also see some incredible stalagmite formations in this cave.
With all that being said, there are many more caves open to the public that are more beautiful but harder to explore. If you’re up for it, check out the Most Visited Caves in Meghalaya.
Also, read about Top 5 Historical Caves in India That You Must Visit.
5. Laitlum Canyon
If trekking is your niche, you cannot get a better place than Laitlum Canyon in the entire North-East India.
Situated in the East Khasi Hills of Shillong, it is a daunting and adventurous trek all the way up to the top of the hill that is known as Laitlum Canyon. It takes about four to five hours to reach the top, but at the end, it’s more than worth it. The view from there is described as intoxicating.
You will need some equipment and assistance of the local people for the adventure. The trekking path is surrounded by bamboo trees and dense vegetation. Once you reach to the top viewpoint, you’ll get a breathtaking sight of Shillong which is beautified by bamboo trees, lush, green and round hills and lots of orchids.
Make sure to take your camera with you just in case you feel like capturing the moment. If you go up there in the morning, the view may be foggy and misty. So it’s much preferable to go in the afternoons.
6. Don Bosco Museum
This museum is located in Shillong, and it has to be the best museum in all of North-East India. The museum has seven floors displaying the rich, vibrant and absolutely superb lifestyle of the indigenous people of the North-East.
There is a large display of ancient tools used for various activities and plenty of large pictures showcasing their unique culture.
The entry fee for an Indian citizen is Rs. 60 while that for a foreigner is Rs. 150. Come here if you are interested in the history of this part of the country.