Abode of Clouds “Meghalaya”
Meghalaya, which means “abode of clouds,” is a naturalist’s paradise. Tourists from all over the world have been drawn to a hill station that boasts a breathtakingly gorgeous sky. It is perfectly positioned in the Himalayas to India’s northeast.
The former state of Assam is located between 20.1° N and 26.5° N latitude and 85.49 °E and 92.52 °E longitudes, covering 22, 429 square kilometers. It shares a border with Assam to the north and east, and a border with Bangladesh to the south and east. Meghalaya has a plethora of tourist attractions, including enormous hills, valleys, numerous lakes, mesmerizing waterfalls, pitch-dark caves, and sacred forests. Panorama views, foggy hills, terraced slopes, rushing waterfalls, and serpentine rivers will all captivate you.
The people of the area, who are primarily from the Khasi, Pnar, and Garo tribes, are extremely friendly. Overseas visitors should not be concerned because English is the state’s official language. Friends and families can unwind in the midst of nature in cities like Shillong, while adventurers can take on the challenge of trekking through Meghalaya’s rugged terrain.
Shillong is Meghalaya’s state capital and the state’s most densely populated area. As evident by the richness of British architecture, Shillong retains a lot of British colonial influence. Because of the gorgeous lakes that surround it and the hills that encircle it, Shillong has been termed the Scotland of the East. Cherrapunji is notorious for its rains, and it was formerly the wettest place on Earth until Mawsynram, which is only a few hundred kilometers away, surpassed it. The Living Double-decker Root Bridge in Cherrapunji is a prominent tourist attraction where visitors can engage in trekking and hiking activities.
If you want to see Asia’s cleanest village, make a point of visiting Mawlynnong. Mawlynnong, Meghalaya, is a spotless village on the Indian-Bangladesh border, featuring a bamboo dustbin on every street corner for environmentally friendly garbage disposal. The village’s primary attraction is the Sky Watch, a bamboo structure providing sweeping views over the Bangladeshi plains from the top. Wood carving and innovative weaving have a long history in handicraft in Meghalaya, particularly in the Jaintia and Khasi districts.
Except for the Khasi monarchy, which is supposed to have caused a rift with the British administration when it attempted to build a railroad route connecting Bengal and Assam through this region, little is known about Meghalaya’s past. Following a barrage of public protests, the two groups reached an agreement, only for the local leader to reject it in 1829. Following the battle, the local rulers were forced to submit to the British kingdom.
Meghalaya, one of the seven sisters of the North East, means “land of clouds.” The state is known for its heavy rains, and it lives up to its moniker. Meghalaya is 22,429 square kilometers in size, bordering Assam on the north and east, and Bangladesh on the south and east. The topography of Meghalaya is mostly plateau, with steep south-facing slopes. While the state has various lakes and waterfalls, forest covers 30 percent of the land.
Top places to visit in Meghalaya
Shillong, Meghalaya’s capital, is a beautiful city surrounded by pine trees. It takes its name from Shillong Peak’s Lei Shyllong, a local deity. The weather, scenic landscapes, and customs of this hill station, which lies at 1496 meters, are well-known. This area is often known as the ‘Scotland of the East.’ There are descendants of Khyrim, Mylliem, Maharam, Mallaisohmat, Bhowal, and Langrim.
A variety of waterfalls may be seen in Shillong, Meghalaya’s capital. Shillong is recognized for its breathtakingly gorgeous golf courses, cafes, and museums, as well as its unique mountain peaks, crystal clear lakes, and breathtakingly stunning golf courses, cafes, and museums. In addition to its natural beauty, Shillong is the gateway to Meghalaya, a state known for its severe rains, tunnels, the world’s tallest waterfalls, breathtaking scenery, and unique people and culture. Because of its wonderful people and culture, Shillong has gotten a lot of attention. Shillong, on the other hand, has a more westernized culture and a youthful vibe. Shillong is also recognized as India’s music capital, as it is home to several well-known musicians.
- Time required to visit the site- 2 to 4 days
- Best time to visit the site- September to May
Elephant Falls, near Shillong, is one of the most popular falls in the North-East, named for an elephant-like stone at its base. The falls are divided into three tiers, each of which may be viewed from a different vantage point, making it a tourist attraction. Elephant Falls was given its name by the British because of an elephant-shaped boulder on one side of the waterfall. However, after an earthquake in 1897, the stone disintegrated and was carried away. Elephant Waterfalls is a fantastic area to spend some time in nature while taking great photographs as a keepsake.
The stunning Elephant Falls are known locally as ‘Ka Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew,’ which translates to ‘The Three Step Waterfalls,’ because they comprise three mesmerizing falls in succession. The first of the three waterfalls are very wide and tucked between the dense trees. Due to declining water levels, the second waterfall reduces to thin strands of water and is nearly non-existent in the winter. The biggest and most visible waterfall, with crystal water running like a sheet of milk on the dark rocks in the background, is the third and most visible. The third waterfall, out of the three, is thought to be the most impressive by visitors.
- Timings to visit the site- 10: 00 am to 06:00 pm
- Closed on Sunday
- Time required to visit the site- Less than one hour
Umiam Lake, a fascinating man-made reservoir, is 15 kilometers north of Shillong, the city of Meghalaya in north-eastern India. The lake was constructed as a result of the construction of a dam to generate hydroelectric power. The picturesque Umiam Lake is surrounded by lush green East Khasi hills, which provide one of the best panoramic views in the country for nature enthusiasts. The sunrise over the lake is breathtaking and should not be missed. The Umiam Lake is bordered by a park that is popular for picnics and is frequented by locals looking for a break from their hectic lifestyle.
- Timings to visit the site- Lake is open all the time.
- Time required to visit the site- 1 to 2 hours
Double Decker Living Root Bridge
The magnificent Jingkieng Nongriat Double Decker Living Root Bridge, also known as the Umshiang Double Decker Living Root Bridge or simply the Double Decker Root Bridge, is tucked away in the lush, green forests of India’s wettest state, Meghalaya. The Indian Rubber Tree root bridges are well-known in this area, but the Double Decker Bridge is the most well-known due to its size. It’s 3 kilometers long and rises to a height of 2400 feet! A one-of-a-kind attraction that ingeniously mixes nature and engineering. The Umshiang River runs beneath the bridge, and it is built across it.
Time required to visit the site- 4 to 6 hours
Best time to visit the site- Throughout the year
The entrancing town of Mawsynram, located 61 kilometers south of Shillong and known as the world’s wettest spot, is a nature lover’s joy and the ideal weekend getaway. Mawsynram wins the title of the wettest place in India by a razor-thin margin over Cherrapunji.
The term ‘Maw’ in Mawsynram means’ stone’ in Khasi. It represents the one-of-a-kind megaliths discovered in the Khasi Hill area. The town is well-known for its massive stalagmite formation, which resembles a ‘Shivling.’ Mawsynram is 1400 meters above sea level and is located in the East Khasi Hill area of Meghalaya.
- Time required to visit the site- 1 day
- Best time to visit the site- September to November
Best Hotels at Meghalaya
- Cassiopeia Guest House
- The Loft-Executive Inn
- Meghalaya Vacation Home
- Pinewood Hotel
- Maple Pine Farm
Frequently Asked Question
The state of Meghalaya remembers Wangala every November. The "dance of a hundred drummers," as it is often called, commemorates the completion of a period of hard labour in the hopes of a plentiful harvest. Men, women, and children of all ages dress up and dance to the beat of long cylindrical drums. Throughout Meghalaya, Wangala, a one-week celebration devoted to Satyong, the traditional god of fertility, is celebrated. Other Meghalaya events include the Autumnal Festival, Strawberry Festival, and Ranikor Festival.
The weaving skills of Meghalaya's Garo and Khasi cultures are well-known. They are recognised for weaving Tlieng, a distinctive sort of cane mat, as well as Dakmanda, the fabric that their clothing are made of. This mat is designed to last 20-30 years. Handwoven cane baskets and chairs, on the other hand, are one-of-a-kind objects to take home. The Khasi tribe is also noted for its iron ore mining and manufacturing of domestic goods and military weapons.
Meghalaya's Garos enjoy life to the fullest. On auspicious occasions, special songs from the local culture are sung with instruments such as pipes, drums, flutes, and cymbals. Local dancing forms include Lahoo Dance, Doregata, and Pomelo Dance, to name a few. The Doregata Dance is a taunting dance form in which females strive to knock off their male rivals' turbans with their heads. If they succeed, they will be hailed with pleasure and laughter as they rejoice.
Have a great visit to “Abode of Clouds.”
Image Source: Google