Meghalaya: A complete travel guide

Meghalaya, the cloud house, is one of North-East India’s most beautiful states offering visitors a range of views, sports, cuisine and festivals. Best known for Cherapunjji, the location that receives one of the world’s highest rainfall, Meghalaya will fascinate you with its hills, valleys, lakes, caves and waterfalls that blend with the majestic clouds to give it a very serene, breathtaking appearance.

Shillong is Meghalaya’s capital, and it is The most urbanized area that you’ll see throughout the state. Shillong has much remaining British colonial presence visible from the plentiful British architecture. Shillong has often been named East Scotland owing to the beautiful lakes around the region and the hills surrounding it. Cherrapunji is renowned for its rainfall, and was once the wettest place on Earth until Mawsynram, less than 100 kilometers from Cherrapunji, took over the label. The Living Double-Decker Root Bridge is a popular attraction in Cherrapunji where visitors can enjoy hiking and trekking activities.

Mawlynnong is an incredibly clean village in Meghalaya where every street corner has a bamboo dustbin to ensure that the waste is disposed of in a natural manner. The Sky Watch, a bamboo tower that provides expansive views of the plains of Bangladesh from the peak, is the focal point of attraction for this community. Meghalaya has a tradition of rich craftsmanship, and here, particularly in the districts of Jaintia and Khasi, wood-carving and creative weaving is popular craft.

10 places to visit in Meghalaya

Shillong, best tourist place to visit in Meghalaya

A pretty town surrounded by pine trees, Shillong is Meghalaya’s capital. It derives its name from Lei Shyllong, a Shillong Peak worshipped idole. Standing as high as 1496 meters, Shillong offers a heat relief across the region. For its picturesque views and customs, this hill station is beloved. The relaxing environment allows it ideal to visit Shillong during all seasons. The intermittent drizzles and the soothing soft breeze contribute to the enjoyment of exploring this hill station. Also known as the’ Eastern Scottish’ this location. One may consider descendants of the tribes of Khyrim, Mylliem, Maharam, Mallaisohmat, Bhowal, and Langrim.

Cherrapunji, must visit place in Meghalaya

Previously the wettest place on Earth, Cherrapunjee in Meghalaya, also known as Sohra, is renowned for its living root bridge with double-deckers. Mawsynram is now the wettest place on earth, but Cherrapunjee still holds the record for a calendar year’s highest recorded rainfall. With a beautiful landscape, the misty valleys and the area’s waterfalls, Cherrapunjee is a must-visit place if you’re looking to explore northeast India.

Mawsynram, most beautiful place in Meghalaya

Recognized as one of the wettest places in the world, Mawsynram’s mesmerizing village is the joy of nature lovers and the ideal spot to behold the rain’s glory. In being the wettest location in India, Mawsynram trounces Cherrapunjee by a slight margin. A heaven for rain lovers, Mawsynram is one of India’s biggest tourist attractions. Mawsynram’s’ Maw’ is a Khasi word that means’ rock.’ It symbolizes the rare, discovered megaliths in the Khasi Hill zone. The village is well known for its huge stalagmite formation, which takes on a’ Shivling’ shape. The Mawsynram is situated in the Meghalaya district of East Khasi Hill, 1400 m above sea level.

Tura, one of the best tourist place in Meghalaya

Located in the hills of West Garo, Tura offers an unexplored city with a spellbinding as well as a serene climate. This relatively large Meghalaya town sits on the West Garo Hills. This city’s main draw is the Nokrek National Park, 12 km from the city where numerous species such as the leopard, golden eagle, wild buffalo, faasant and many more find refuge. One can also visit the Rongbang Dar Falls, while a journey to this region will remain quite incomplete without visiting the Siju caves. The whole place has the basic essence of an unexplored location, with a planet in change.

Jowai, beautiful sight seeking place in Meghalaya

Located in the district of Jaintia Hills, Jowai is renowned for its scenic setting and breathtaking views with a perfect mix of heritage and culture.

Located in the district of Jaintia Hills, Jowai is renowned for its scenic setting and breathtaking views-just like any other state cities. The site is a rich mixture of heritage and cultures that reflects the city folks ‘ lifestyle. Jowai’s principal attraction are the lakes. The hot spots of the famous tourists are the Thadlaskein Lake and Lalong Park, though Syntu Ksiar is also a popular destination on the Myntdu river shores.

  • Baghmara, flora and fauna at its best in Meghalaya

Located in the Meghalaya region, Baghmara is not only rich in flora and fauna, but is surrounded by lakes, rivers, hills and every important element of nature. Flanked by the hills of South Garo and fed by the River Simsang, this minute town is host to thousands of tourists each year. Each wildlife enthusiast will visit this place because the Baghmara Reserve Park, populated with elephants, birds and langurs, is just 4 km from the town of Baghmara. There are Siju Caves for the labyrinth lovers, the third longest cave network in the Indian subcontinent comprising of endless labyrinths and chambers.

  • Elephant falls, best tourist place in Meghalaya

The Elephant Falls, named after an Elephant like stone at its foot, are among the most famous falls in the North-East, situated next to Shillong. It is a sanctuary for travelers, with three levels of falls visible from different viewpoints to the layman. The British called this plunge because of the appearance on one side of the slide of an elephant-shaped block. Nevertheless, the stone disintegrated owing to an earthquake in 1897, and was washed away. Elephant Waterfalls is a great place to spend some time in the middle of nature while recording the amazing moments for your keepsake.

  • Nohakaikai, beautiful waterfalls in Meghalaya

Nohkalikai, the fourth highest waterfall in the world, drops some 335 meters from a verdant cliff to the ground giving the portrayal of immense natural magnificence. The Meghalaya state’s pride, the falls are one of the country’s most majestic and grand waterfalls. Tucked in the evergreen Khasi Hill rainforest and streaming with all its beauty and might, the falls dive into a lagoon that is as blue as the afternoon sky.

  • Mawsmai caves, beautiful natural caves in Meghalaya

Meghalaya is home to some fantastic and mysterious cave systems and Mawsmai Cave is by far the lot’s most famous. Located only 6 km from the core of Cherrapunjee Mawsmai Cave, in the East Khasi Hills of Meghalaya is a stunning labyrinth of caves. The well-lit caves are a vision to see when the gleaming lights collide with the granite to produce endless colors of light and shapes.

  1. Mawlynnong, God’s valley in Meghalaya

Mawlynnong is a small village in the East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya, some 90 km from Shillong and is also known as the God’s own Valley. In 2003, Discovery India named it the cleanest village in Asia, rendering it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Indian state. Mawlynnong Village is an ecotourism group-based project in which the whole community has made concerted efforts to make and preserve the village’s cleanliness.

Best time to visit Meghalaya

The best time to visit Meghalaya is often called the cloud residence between October and June. Most of the state’s tourist destinations experience temperatures that barely reach 30 ° C, making it a perfect refuge between March and June which is the country’s summer season. It is also a favorite among tourists coming from high or moderate temperature zones during autumn and winter, i.e. from October to November and from December to February. Considered the country’s wettest state, Meghalaya during peak monsoons is not often recommended to tourists. The state is getting an average 250 cm of rainfall. The season starts in May, and lasts until the end of September

Means of commutation in the city

In Shillong you can use buses for commuting. The city has two forms of buses-Shillong City Bus and the Bazar Bus. City bus is for locals and tourists, while Bazar bus is for villagers coming to Shillong. The buses are sluggish but economical.  You could take the unmetered black and yellow taxis too. Clearly they are a much quicker mode of transportation, and they also operate on a cooperative basis. There are also frequent taxis open, and they are a good option if you want to rent a car for the whole day. Check your hotel for a fair rate of daily rentals.

Best restaurants to eat in Meghalaya

When we talk about Indian cuisine we often fail to consider North-East Indian dishes. The North-East culminating dishes are deeply rooted in their regional traditions and culture, and are a crucial part of their warm, varied food that is distinctly part of Indian cuisine. Let’s embark on a culinary tour of such a north-eastern state-Meghalaya whose cuisine would leave your taste buds craving for more. Meghalaya cuisine, for non-vegetarians, is something you simply can not afford to skip.

Let’s take a look on top restaurants in Meghalaya

  1. City hut family dhaba

This Dhaba has a covered roof and is designed to give the interior a typical rural feel. This remains open from 11 am until 9.30pm. They prepare food from India, China and Australia. The climate is nice, and the workers are well educated. We are more focused on the quality of the food along with the volume served.. All the delicacies are mouth watering, and their price worth it.

Must try: thai noodles

Address: Earle Holiday Home Oakland Road, Shillong 793001, India

Contact: 9815698456

  • Dejavu

Dejavu’ is the best place for all lovers of Chinese food. You will spend quality time with your friends and relatives, enjoying the delicious meal. We also deliver sweets with a lip-smack. Food is worth the money which was spent. The mood is nice, and the staff are friendly. One can seek Manchurian Fish and Fish Fingers that are among the finest delicacies here.

Must try: fish curry and thai rice

Address: Police Point, Laitumkhrah, Shillong 793003, India

Contact:9986532147

  • Café Shillong

Cafe Shillong’ won’t disappoint if you want to hang out with friends or have a family get together and have a meal party. They serve starters, desserts, main course, and beverages. The Cafe provides a cool panoramic view of the lush green woods. Food is delicious, and the staff are well educated. The interiors are well thought out.

Must try: chicken curry

Address: L.P. Building Niit Building Main Road | Laitumkhrah

Contact: 965865231

  • Bamboo hut café

This Shillong Café serves both Chinese and Indian cuisine. They offer food that is both delicious and cost effective. At around Rs.500-600 two citizens can have a satisfying meal here. Mughlai food, American Chop Suey and Chicken Momos are just a few of their delicacies. The staff members are on heals quickly and ensure that they serve their customers best.

Must try: American choupsey

Address: G.S Road, near kacheri, Shillong, India

Contact: 7887456321

  • Qzine

Qzine’ has Indian, Chinese and Asian cuisines to sell. The quality of the food is compelling and the service is pleasant. The restaurant is situated in the middle of the main market, making it a popular spot for all shopaholics. They have an extensive menu that includes everything from dishes from North Indian to South Indian. One must seek the toothsome dishes such as Chicken Lollypop, Chicken Momos, Paneer Tikka and Blue Lagoon.

Must try: paneer tikka, chicken loolipop

Address: Thana Road, Shillong 793003, India

Contact:788456398

Traditional food one must try in Meghalaya

As we speak of Indian food, we still fail to account for the North-eastern Indian dishes. The North-East dishes are deeply rooted in the traditions and culture of the seven nations, and are a significant part of the rich, complex, varied Indian cuisine. Meghalaya has three Mongolian tribes and many distinct dishes such as: Narikol or Khapse to treat yourself or savory dishes such as Khar, Zan or Gyathuk to satisfy your taste buds–there’s something for all here.

  1. Jadoh

Jadoh is a very popular dish in the Meghalaya khasi community. Thanks to its rich and special color, it is highly appetizing.  Jadoh is essentially red rice, cooked with generous quantities of pork meat. It is cooked with chicken or fish sometimes as well. A mixture of green chilies, onions, ginger, turmeric, black pepper and bay leaves is made, then pieces of pork are added and fried off, adding and cooking off the red rice.

  • Doh-khleih

A sweet, healthy dinner at the same time–Doh Khlieh is a tasty salad crafted from hazelnut bacon, onions and chilies. If you’re in the mood for some fusion food, some locations are incorporating beans, onions, carrots and lemons to dish up Doh-Khlieh with a Mexican brush. It is also occasionally cooked as a pig brain curry and eaten with bread–this version is not for the faint-hearted. One of the intense dishes to explore the wild side of Meghalayan cuisine for those daring enough.

  • Nakmam bitchie

Nakhmam Bitchi, a palate cleanser, is a popular soup that was eaten before meals and served to guests. Nakham is a specific kind of sun-dried, or fire-dried, dry shrimp. Then the fish is fried and cooked in broth, creating a deep, delicious soup. It is then seasoned to make it crispy and tangy, perfect for the Meghalayan heat, with lots of chillies and pepper. Lust on a cuppa?

  • Pumaloi

Rice is Meghalaya’s staple food and is eaten in many different forms and varieties, as well as accompanying other curry dishes. Pumaloi is one of those popular Meghalayan rice dishes.  Pumaloi essentially means the dried, steamed rice. The rice is cooked using a unique pot called Khiew Ranei. It is cooked with just the right amount of water at medium heat and balancing the amount of heat and water is a really tough task. Pumaloi rice is commonly served during festivals and public celebrations, and is a unique part of Meghalaya culture.

  • Doh neiiong

Doh-neiiong is one of Meghalaya’s richest, yummiest and drool-worthy dishes, a pork curry dish that screams indulgence. Fried pork eaten finely with green chillies, ginger, red onions, local spices and black sesame with a warm, creamy gravy flavouring. Black sesame is this dish’s hero that gives it its unique flavour. If you love pork, this is a dish that you must not miss if you’re in Meghalaya.

There’s no doubt that Meghalaya is one of our favourites. Set in the eastern sub-Himalayan hills, Meghalaya is one of India’s most beautiful states. Meghalaya translates into’ ice living’ in Sanskrit, and is rightly called so. Meghalaya, claimed to be one of the wettest places on earth, sees the hide and seeks played between the sun and the rains. Surrounded by the Hills of Khasi, Jaintia, and Garo, Meghalaya offers its tourists plain and unspoiled beauty. We love to visit Meghalaya again and again and want to see you in the state as well