Nestled in the hills of north-eastern India, Meghalaya is a stunning state known as the abode of clouds. This picturesque destination is famous for its dense forests, abundant rainfall, and diverse bio-diversity, making it a top choice for travelers seeking the best places to visit in Meghalaya. Meghalaya shares borders with Assam in the northeast and Bangladesh in the south, and is home to the Khasis, Garos, and Jaintias tribes.
Discover the 20 Most Amazing Places in Meghalaya
Prepare to be captivated by the countless attractions that await you in Meghalaya. Step into a world of lush green valleys and enchanting forests in this mountainous state of the Northeast. Here is a list of remarkable places to visit in Meghalaya that you should make a note of for your exploration.
- Balpakram National Park
- Elephant Falls
- Double-decker Living Root Bridge
- Don Bosco Museum
- Kyllang Rock
- Mawlynnong Village
- Nohkalikai Falls
- Mawsmai Cave
- Umiam Lake
- Laitlum Canyon
- Mawphlang Sacred Forest
Cherrapunji holds the title of being one of the wettest places on earth, with an exceptionally high amount of rainfall throughout the year. Tourists flock here to witness the magnificent Dain-Thlen, Kynrem, and Nohkalikai waterfalls, which are renowned as the most popular waterfalls in Cherrapunji. The town is also home to remarkable attractions such as the Living-Root bridges, Mawsmai cave, Seven sisters falls, Eco-park, and a garden of caves. While luxury accommodations are limited in this forested area, you can find resorts and hotels that blend harmoniously with nature, providing a perfect stay for families and friends.
What Makes Cherrapunji Special: Its mesmerizing surroundings and plethora of attractions.Notable Attractions: Double Decker Living Root Bridges, Nohkalikai Waterfalls, Wakaba Falls, Krem MawmluhRecommended Places to Stay: Jiva Resort Cherrapunjee, Saimika Resort, Polo Orchid Resort CherrapunjeeHow to Reach Cherrapunji: 79km from Cherrapunji Umroi Airport, 166km from Guwahati Airport.
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2. Balpakram National Park
When in Meghalaya, a visit to Balpakram National Park is an absolute must. This remarkable park is often hailed as a paradise for travelers. Known as the ‘Realm of Spirits’ by many tourists, it offers a tantalizing glimpse into the diverse and abundant wildlife that calls Balpakram National Park home.
For wildlife enthusiasts and photographers, this is a haven. From Red Pandas and Wild Buffalos to Elephants, Tigers, Deer, Leopards, and even Wild Cows, Marbled Cats, and rare species like Lesser Pandas and Indian Bisons, Balpakram National Park is indeed a treasure trove.
Considered one of the top attractions in Meghalaya, this place has often been compared to the majestic Grand Canyon in the USA. It is undoubtedly one of the finest national parks in Meghalaya, and finding budget-friendly accommodations here is a breeze.
Unique Features: Abundant wildlife and spectacular biodiversity
Location: Garo Hills, Western Meghalaya
Best time to visit: October to March
Entry Fee: Not Applicable
Popularly known as the Scotland of the East, Shillong is a must-visit destination in Meghalaya and a favorite among tourists from all corners of the globe. Away from the chaos of urban life, Shillong boasts lush forested hills, a pleasant climate, and breathtaking natural beauty that truly captivates the senses.
Shillong is home to several renowned tourist spots, including Shillong Peak, Elephant Falls, Lady Hydari Park, Wards Lake, and the Don Bosco Museum. The local tribes of Khyrim, Mylliem, Maharam, Mallaisohmat, Bhowal, and Langrim add to the cultural charm of this vibrant city.
Considered the gateway to Meghalaya, Shillong houses the main airport of the state. There are plenty of activities and attractions to keep visitors engaged and ensure a memorable holiday experience.
Unique Features: Natural beauty, iconic landmarks, and awe-inspiring vistas.
Attractions: Shillong Peak, Don Bosco Museum, Ward’s Lake, Elephant Falls, Sweet Falls, Air Force Museum, All Saints Cathedral.
Recommended Accommodations: Tripura Castle, Pinewood Hotel, Hotel Polo Towers Shillong, The Loft – Executive Inn.
Location: East central Meghalaya
Best time to visit: September to May
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4. Elephant Falls
The enchanting state of Meghalaya, with its sprawling forests, is renowned for its captivating waterfalls. Among them, the magnificent Elephant Falls stands out, with its distinct elephant-shaped rock at the base. This popular waterfall in the North-East region is a must-visit, and experiencing its beauty is one of the top activities in Meghalaya.
The indigenous Khasi people refer to the magnificent Elephant falls as ‘Ka Kshaid Lai Patang Khohsiew’, which translates to ‘The Three Step Waterfalls’ due to its three distinct and captivating cascades. The first of these falls is nestled amidst dense foliage and boasts a wide span.
The second waterfall descends into delicate streams of water and is less remarkable during winter when the water levels recede. The third and most prominent waterfall is the tallest, with crystal-clear water resembling a sheet of milk cascading onto the rocks in the background. With its awe-inspiring surroundings and picturesque vistas, this waterfall is among the most desirable destinations near Shillong.
Speciality: Surrounded by lush greenery and offering breathtaking views.
Location: 12km from Shillong.
Best time to visit: Monsoon.
Double-decker Living Root Bridge
Located in Cherrapunji, Meghalaya, the double-decker living root bridge is renowned for its bridge constructed entirely of the roots of an Indian rubber tree. This bridge spans an impressive 3 km at a height of 2400 feet. Walking across the bridge while the Umshiang river flows beneath it provides a truly scenic experience. This natural marvel is over 200 years old, but only allows for the accommodation of 50 individuals at a time. It is a must-visit destination during your Meghalaya honeymoon.
The bridge originates in the town of Tyrna and crosses the Umshiang river on its remarkable journey. Reaching the exact location requires a somewhat challenging trek. The descent to the bridge involves navigating approximately 3500-3600 steps in each direction—from the town of Tyrna, situated 20 kilometers away from the main town of Cherrapunjee. This location ranks high among the top attractions to visit in Meghalaya.
Speciality: The oldest natural bridge.
Location: Cherrapunji, Meghalaya.
Best time to visit: Avoid visiting between May to September due to slippery conditions.
Trek time: 4 to 6 hours.
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6. Cultural Exploration at Don Bosco Museum
A multitude of travelers possess a profound interest in unraveling the cultural heritage of the region. Immerse yourself in the captivating journey of Northeast India’s lifestyle at Don Bosco Museum, a seven-story institution located in the city of Shillong.
This remarkable museum boasts 17 galleries that showcase a diverse range of arts, artifacts, traditional attire, weaponry, and handicrafts, exhibition to depict the customs and traditions of the various tribes and inhabitants of Meghalaya. Don Bosco Museum has garnered immense acclaim for its status as one of the premier cultural repositories in Asia.
Distinctive Feature: A true reflection of the state’s cultural history.Location: East Khasi Hills, Shillong, Meghalaya
Admission Fee: Indians: Rs 100 and Foreigners: Rs 200
7. Majestic Kyllang Rock
Approximately 78 km away from Shillong lies the magnificent Kyllang Rock, an awe-inspiring colossal structure composed of red stone, nestled in the West Khasi Hills of Meghalaya. Standing tall at an elevation of 5400 ft and spanning about 1000 ft in width, this gigantic granite monolith holds great significance in Khasi folklore and captivates all with its stunning formation.
Embark on a trek to the summit of Kyllang Rock and relish the breathtaking vistas of the surrounding landscape. Adorned by ancient Red Rhododendrons, this rock is said to possess a unique magnetic field. While the southern face of this colossal dome remains inaccessible, the northern side is adorned with lush rhododendrons and shrubs.
Distinctive Feature: One of the highest peaks in Meghalaya.Location: West Khasi Hills, Shillong, MeghalayaBest time to visit: Anytime, but advisable to avoid during the monsoon season.
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8. Unveiling the Splendor of Mawlynnong Village
Ever wondered where you can find the cleanest village in all of Asia? Look no further than Mawlynnong village. This enchanting destination in Meghalaya offers a plethora of attractions that will make your trip truly unforgettable. From picturesque waterfalls and living root bridges to a pristine environment and breathtaking panoramic views, this town has it all. Moreover, the bamboo houses scattered throughout the village provide a unique accommodation experience, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the local ethos.
Distinctive Feature: Envelopes stunning landscapes and scenic surroundings.Location: East Khasi Hills, ShillongHomestay cost: Rs 1500 to Rs 2000
9. Baghmara: A Paradise for Wildlife Enthusiasts
For those with a fervent love for wildlife, a visit to Baghmara is an absolute must. Located a mere 4 km away from the town of Baghmara, the Baghmara Reserve Forest is a sanctuary teeming with elephants, birds, and langurs. Additionally, adventure seekers can explore the Siju Caves within the forest, which constitute the third-longest cave system in the Indian subcontinent, boasting countless intricate passageways and chambers.
The astonishing arrangement of limestone rocks found within the caverns, known as the ‘Chamber of Princess Di’, is truly sensational. And as if that wasn’t enough, the Siju Bird Sanctuary offers a captivating experience for bird enthusiasts, with the presence of rare species migrating here during the winter season.
Distinctive Feature: Home to diverse and exotic wildlife.Located At: South Garo HillsIdeal Time to Visit: October to January
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10. Nohkalikai Waterfalls
Ranked as the 4th highest waterfall in the world, Nohkalikai falls descend a staggering 335 meters from a lush cliff to the ground, showcasing immense and extraordinary beauty. The pride of Meghalaya, these falls are among the most stunning and awe-inspiring in the country.
Tucked away amidst the evergreen rainforest of the Khasi Hill, the falls cascade into a lagoon as blue as the evening sky. It is undoubtedly one of the top destinations to visit in Meghalaya.
11. Mawsmai Cave
Of all the caves in the region, Mawsmai Cave stands out as a delightful attraction. The vegetation inside the cave is abundant and captivating. Though the cave is relatively shorter, spanning only 150 meters, it provides a glimpse into the hidden world beneath the surface. Located just 6 km away from the heart of Cherrapunjee, Mawsmai Cave is an extraordinary wonder in the East Khasi Hills of Meghalaya.
Distinctive Feature: A thrilling adventure.
Timings: 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Entry Fee: Rs 10
12. Umiam Lake
Umiam Lake, a picturesque reservoir created by a dam for hydroelectric power generation, is located 15 kilometers north of Shillong. Surrounded by lush green East Khasi hills, this man-made lake offers a scenic treat for nature lovers. The sunrise at the lake is a sight worth beholding. Visitors can take a leisurely boat ride on the lake, while adventure enthusiasts can indulge in various water sports.
Distinctive Feature: Glittering man-made lake.
Time Required: 1 to 2 hours
Boat Ride Fees: Pedal boat: Rs 20, Yachting: Rs 100
Tura stands out as an exceptional destination in Meghalaya due to its tranquil surroundings. Nestled in the breathtaking Garo Hills, Tura is a haven for both wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Situated just 12 km away from Tura, the Nokrek National Park is a sanctuary for a diverse range of species, including the elusive leopard, the majestic golden cat, the formidable wild buffalo, and the colorful pheasant. Another must-visit attraction in Tura is the mesmerizing Siju Caves.
Distinctive Features: Abode of a myriad of wildlife species.Location: Western Garo HillsRecommended Time to Explore: December-February
Another renowned gem in Meghalaya is the captivating town of Jowai, situated in the Garo Hills. This place is celebrated for its amalgamation of rich heritage and vibrant culture. Immerse yourself in the local lifestyle of the townsfolk and delve into their captivating traditions. What truly sets Jowai apart as one of the most mesmerizing destinations in Meghalaya is its stunning lakes. Indulge in the serenity of Thadlaskein Lake and lose yourself in the contemplation of life amidst the tranquil vistas.
Distinctive Features: Pristine waterfallsLocation: Western Jaintia HillsRecommended Time to Explore: March-May
Nestled amongst the scenic beauty of the eastern Khasi Hills lies Nongpoh, yet another fascinating Meghalaya hotspot. This small town is ideally located in close proximity to the lush Brahmaputra plains, making it an ideal stopover on your way to Shillong. Marvel at the magnificent rushing rivers, verdant greenery, and pleasant weather that envelop this picturesque destination.
Distinctive Features: Picturesque surroundings
Attractions: Lum Nehru Park, Dwar Ksuid, Nongkhyllem wildlife sanctuary, Lum Sohpetbneng
Places to Stay: Ri Kanaan Resort, Ri Kynjai – Serenity By The Lake, Orchid Lake Resort
Location: Ri-Bhoi district, Meghalaya
Recommended Time to Explore: August-November
Exuding sheer beauty, Williamnagar ranks high among the most exquisite attractions in Meghalaya, boasting an abundance of awe-inspiring flora and fauna. This town is embraced by picturesque mountains and meandering rivers, creating a captivating backdrop. It takes its name from the first Chief Minister of Meghalaya and lies peacefully along the banks of the Simsang River. For those seeking to explore the countryside, a visit to Williamnagar is an absolute must.
Area of Expertise: Adorned with a vast array of flourishing plant life and breathtaking mountain landscapes.
Points of Interest: Domre Falls, Tasek Lake, Napak Lake, Naka-Chikong
Accommodation options: Hotel Polo Orchid, Hotel Royel Park, Hotel Rikman Continental
Geographical Location: South Garo Hills
Optimal Time to Visit: October-February
Dawki is a destination that needs no introduction. It stands as one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in Meghalaya. Recognized for its crystal-clear river, Dawki is considered one of the most picturesque locations on the planet. If you have plans to visit Meghalaya in the near future, including Dawki in your itinerary is highly recommended. With its position nestled between India and Bangladesh, it also serves as a significant hub for trade.
Area of Expertise: Stunning river with transparent waters.Geographical Location: West Jaintia Hills district, MeghalayaOptimal Time to Visit: November
18. Laitlum Canyon
Situated in the scenic East Khasi Hills, Laitlum Canyon serves as an enchanting haven. Enveloped by low-hanging clouds, expansive green landscapes, and breathtaking vistas, this utopia belongs in the league of the most awe-inspiring tourist hotspots in Meghalaya. If you are a nature enthusiast seeking solace and rejuvenation amidst Mother Nature’s embrace, this is the ideal place for you. Adventurous souls can also delight in the 3000-step staircase, which promises an exhilarating escapade.
Area of Expertise: Spectacular surroundings.
Geographical Location: East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya 793015
Optimal Time to Visit: April to June
Out of all the tourist destinations in Meghalaya, Mawsynram claims the title of the rainiest landscape. Nestled amidst verdant hills, this village experiences an extraordinary amount of rainfall throughout the year. The village boasts captivating landscapes, misty weather, low-hanging clouds, and revitalizing waterfalls. With an average annual rainfall of approximately 11,872 millimeters, Mawsynram solidifies its position as one of the most unique tourist spots in Meghalaya.
Area of Expertise: Pristine waterfalls
Geographical Location: East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya
Optimal Time to Visit: April to June
20. Mawphlang Sacred Forest
An expanse of tropical rainforest situated in the heart of Nongrum, Meghalaya, the Sacred Forest of Mawphlang is home to a vibrant collection of flora and fauna. Within this forest, towering trees, believed to be a millennium old, create a captivating ambiance. The verdant greenery of this forest showcases the natural splendor of Meghalaya. Adding to its allure, the forest is also held sacred by the local community, imbued with mythological significance. Unquestionably, this forest is an extraordinary retreat for nature enthusiasts and stands as one of the most prominent attractions among all the tourist spots in Meghalaya.
Key Features: Abundant greenery
Location: Nongrum, Meghalaya 793121
Recommended Time to Visit: April to June
Meghalaya is the ultimate destination for mountain lovers seeking inner tranquility. If you crave peace amidst snowy peaks, consider embarking on a vacation to Meghalaya. You won’t be disappointed.
Frequently Asked Questions About Meghalaya’s Noteworthy Places to Visit
Is it safe to travel to Meghalaya during the COVID era?
To ensure safety, it is essential to adhere to all governmental guidelines, such as maintaining social distance, wearing masks in public spaces, and practicing proper hand hygiene.
What is Meghalaya famous for?
Meghalaya is renowned for its mesmerizing beauty. Numerous tourist attractions in the region captivate travelers from around the globe. Nohkalikai Falls, Umiam Lake, Cherrapunji, Root Bridges, Laitlum Canyon, Dawki, Mawsynram, Shillong, and more are popular destinations to explore while visiting Meghalaya.
Which villages in Meghalaya must tourists visit?
Meghalaya’s villages boast impeccable beauty. Mawlynnong Village, Laitlum Canyon, Double Decker Living Root Bridge in Nongriat Village, Jowai village, Tura, and Mawlai are among the finest villages to explore in and around Meghalaya.
How many airports are there in Meghalaya?
The primary and lone airport in Meghalaya is Shillong Airport. This airport is well-connected to major Indian cities and operates flights throughout the year.
How far is Meghalaya from Guwahati?
Meghalaya is located 85 km away from Guwahati. The road distance is 99.7 km, and one can travel by bus, taxi, or cab to reach the destination. The route between Meghalaya and Guwahati offers scenic vistas.
What is the renowned cuisine of Meghalaya?
Jadoh, Dohkhlieh, Nakham Bitchi, Pumaloi, Bamboo Shoots, and Momo are popular culinary delights to savor in Meghalaya. Rice accompanied by spicy meat and fish preparations are traditional specialties. The locals rear goats, pigs, fowl, ducks, and cows.
Which are the best family-friendly places to visit in Meghalaya?
The top places to visit in Meghalaya with the whole family include: 1. Shillong 2. Balpakram National Park 3. Elephant Falls 4. Don Bosco Museum 5. Mawphlang Sacred Forest
Which are the ideal honeymoon destinations in Meghalaya?
For a romantic getaway, Meghalaya offers exquisite destinations perfect for a blissful honeymoon experience. The must-visit places for couples in the state include: 1. Cherrapunji 2. Mawlynnong Village 3. Nohkalikai Falls 4. Umiam Lake 5. Williamnagar
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