Tuesday, 11 April 2017

8 things you should definitely do in Meghalaya

8 things you should definitely do in Meghalaya!

Meghalaya, the northeastern town of India, which literally means “the abode of clouds”, makes an enthralling experience for anyone and everyone. From cave hopping to the n number of waterfalls here – there would never be an hour of the day when you will be bored!

Here are 8 things you should definitely do in Meghalaya!

1.    Spend a day in Shillong

Meghalaya without a day at Shillong is unimaginable and impossible. The Khasi town and the capital of the state is filled with tourists and the locals. Spend a day here and explore the Police Market to buy the best Korean and Hong Kong imports, go to Shillong peak to relish the view (also, do not forget to dress up in the traditional Khasi outfits!) and try out the local cuisine!

View from Shillong Peak

2.    Go cave hopping

It is a well-known fact that Meghalaya is extremely popular for the caves. You will find here several explored and even more unexplored cave systems. Meghalaya also houses some of Asia’s longest caves in Asia. During my trip to Meghalaya, I visited the impressive Siju cave in Garo Hills, which is speculated to be more than 3 km long. The entrance was flooded with water and we had to wade through the knee-deep brook in pitch darkness towards the end of the long chamber. The sound of water flowing in the darkness was super scary, but it also added to the adrenaline rush in a weird way. Apart from these, you should also visit Krem Mawkhyrdop, and the biggest sandstone cave in the entire Indian sub-continent – Krem Dam.


3.    A day to the falls

Meghalaya, a place where there is an ever presence of rain, rain, and more rain, has to have countless and infinite waterfalls. There are the falls, which fall from a magnificent height, to ones that have a broad feature. There is a popular belief among Buddhists that waterfalls are the doorways to other realms. Following the same trail of thought, it is safe to say that Meghalaya is home to infinite realms, which can best be understood and found when you go hopping from one waterfall to the other. There are the famous Elephanta and Noukhalikha falls (this is, in fact, the 3rd highest waterfall in India) to be explored. Apart from that, you will find many others while you set off exploring!

Elephanta Falls

4.    Visit the cleanest village of Asia

Mawlynnong, situated around 100km from Shillong is a magical paradise. It has been granted the prestigious award for being the cleanest village in Asia in 2003. One glimpse of the village, and you will know why! Just go around the village and interact with the locals and if you are lucky, you can also be invited to stay with them for a night. The best way of exploring a place is on foot – and that is what I will suggest you. You can see the Bangladesh border from here too!


5.    The wettest place on Earth and it's wonders!

You can never be prepared for what Cherrapunjee brings to you besides the rain: The living root bridges. No amount of reading or picture surfing has the ability to replace the exquisite sight that awaits you. The living roots bridge is the finest examples of bio-engineering – it takes 10 years of the Ficus Elastica (Rubber) trees to grow roots and a hundred odd years for them to grow into a strong bridge. Earlier, bamboo bridges were constructed which would either rot or get destroyed in the monsoons, but these living root bridges only get stronger every year! It makes a breathtaking sight and a surreal experience. My advice? Just sit on the roots, and spend some quality time on the bridge. It is a lifetime experience!

6.    Enjoy the erratic weather

Meghalaya is as unpredictable as a child. One moment it is all sunny and cool and the next moment it starts raining cats and dogs (& the entire zoo!) Dress comfortably and always carry an umbrella with you. Otherwise, the haywire weather can get on your nerves. However, regardless the situation, a general suggestion is to just enjoy the whims and fancies of the rain god while you are there. Go dance in the rain, trek through it or sip tea and enjoy the view – your call. Just make the most of it!

7.    Enjoy the journey

How many times have we heard of the proverb “It is the journey, and not the destination that matters”? You will realize the truth in these words once you drive through clouds in Meghalaya. Yes, you read correct and I am not even exaggerating! It is an ethereal experience – to see a blob of cloud just ahead and jumping right into it. It is not called “The Abode of Clouds” for nothing, eh! I often found myself wishing for the journey to never end. It was an experience in itself. Here are some of the snapshots:

The other very interesting places to visit would be the Umiam lake and the Dawki lake. Dawki lake has the clearest water you will ever see. Sadly, because of the paucity of time, I had been unable to cover those places (which, again, gives me the legit excuse to visit the place again!)
Cutting the long story short: for those who listen, the mountains always call – and there is no turning back. Cheers!

If my story has excited you enough to take a trip to the mountains, check out this holiday package of 4 nights, covering the best of Shillong & Guwahati!

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