Before we jump on to the list of our 10 top tourist places of Meghalaya Meghalaya, let’s understand a little bit about this beautiful state of India.
Little bit about Meghalaya
Meghalaya is one of the seven Northeastern states of India. With the state of Assam on its north and east and Bangladesh in the South, Meghalaya is located at about 1885 Kms into the east direction from New Delhi.
Famous for its diversity of flora and fauna, high rainfall and tropical forests, Meghalaya is a place you must visit if you are planning to spend some time with mesmerizing natural beauty of India.
The name Meghalaya is made up of 2 seperate words from Sanskrit language – ‘Megh’, which means clouds, and ‘Alaya’ which means home. So, the literal meaning of Meghalaya is the ‘abode of clouds’.
Shillong: the capital of Meghalaya
The state capital Shillong is known as the gateway of Meghalaya. Shillong got its name from the deity Lei Shyllong, whose idol is worshipped at the Shillong peak. It stands at about 1496 metres above the sea level.
Shillong is one of the nature lovers’ paradise and is a great tourist spot of Meghalaya, with attractive natural beauty and rich cultural traditions attracting tourists to visit across all seasons.
Travel enthusiasts and nature lovers come to Shillong to take leave from their hectic lifestyle and enjoy the surrounded natural places likes waterfalls, mountain peaks, crystal clear lakes, breathtaking beautiful golf courses, museums, churches, Zoos and much more.
It is said that the rolling hills around the town reminded the British of Scotland. Hence, they would also refer to it as the “Scotland of the East”.
The whole state is blessed with lovely climatic conditions throughout the year.
Shillong is not only gifted natural paradise and rich in cultural traditions but is also known for their ethnic food which attracts tourist from all over the world.
It has a very westernized culture and a very young feel to it. Shillong is also famous for their love into music. As many prominent musicians have hailed from the state.
Many events and concerts are organized throughout the year making a special place in the tourists’ hearts.
Here are our top 10 tourist places of Meghalaya you must visit in 2021
1. Nohkalikai Waterfalls
Nohkalikai waterfalls are one of the best places when you visit Shillong in Meghalaya. One cannot miss out to see one of the tallest waterfalls in India. This breathtaking waterfall is a wonder of nature itself. Waterfall have their own wild beauty which manages to captivate even the staunchest of heart.
The mesmerizing beauty of this waterfall with stunning verdant valleys all around will take your heat away, and puts this spot in the list of must visit tourist places of Meghalaya.
Situated in the rugged mountainous terrain, the Nohkalikai keeps you away from the clutches of metropolitan life.
You can visit here with family or make it your that special couple trip. Don’t forget to click a picture here which you will cherish for a lifetime.
This waterfall is also surrounded by terrain, which can increase the beauty of this place.
This waterfall is the tallest plunge waterfall in India and the 4th highest in the whole world. Its height is 1115 feet ( 340 Meters ).
2. Double-Decker living- root bridge
One of its own kind, this amazing bridge is located in the dense tropical forest of Meghalaya, situated at 65 km away from capital city Shillong.
Unbelievably, this bridge is man-made wonder and is also known as a Double- Decker living- root bridges.
Local Khasi tribes have trained themselves to grow the roots of ancient rubber fig trees( Ficus elastica ) which made this bridge in a natural way.
The Double-Decker living-root bridge is also recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.
This living root bridge can be found in the vicinity of one of the beautiful place – Nongriat village of town Cherrapunji in Meghalaya.
Local people made this bridge to survive flash floods. It is an example of brilliant natural engineering.
Over the period, the roots grew strong and voila, a perfect example of ecosystem friendly establishment made without affecting the natural environment.
Nature lovers also enjoys trekking in Nongriat village, one of India’s finest offbeat destinations, with almost 2500 stairs downside surrounded by green thick forest.
To enjoy trekking you should have a reasonable amount of fitness. Aside from this one can also enjoy waterfalls in the way, named ‘Rainbow Waterfall’.
You will see that the crystal clear water, and the hushed environment is slowly attracting you to spend some time here.
3. Elephant falls
Undoubtly, Meghalaya has never ending reservoir of natural beauty and has many hidden treasures.
One such breathtaking tourist spot is Elephant falls of Shillong.
This is definitely a sight that catches the eyeball of every tourist. The name is after an elephant like shaped-stone at its foot.
The Elephant falls are amongst the most popular falls in the North- eastern states. The Britishers named this fall by seeing an elephant shaped rock on one side of the fall.
Before British colonial coming, there was other name of this beautiful fall in the khasi language i.e “Ka Kshaid laiPateng Khohshiew” whose literal translation from the khasi language means the three Step waterfall’.
However, that rock was destroyed in an earthquake back in 1897.
So, this waterfall has three step- sloped waterfalls. In other words, these falls consist of three mesmerizing falls in succession.
The third waterfall really juvenates the tourists and is the most impressive to see. Elephant falls is a great stopover destination before one head for further journeys into other tourist places in Meghalaya. It is located just 12 km away from Shillong city center.
4. Mawlynnong village ( Cleanest Village ): untouched tourist place of Meghalaya
The list of top tourist places of Meghalaya is incomplete without the Mawlynnong Village.
Located in the Khasi hills of Meghalaya, as the locals themselves prefer to say “Gods own garden” , has won the acclaim of being the Cleanest village in Asia in 2003.
This picturesque village is located just 90 km away from Capital city Shillong. Community based Eco -Tourism initiatives are also developed by the local villagers .
You can enjoy a picturesque natural beauty around the village and also do a trek to the living root bridge at a neighbouring village Riwai. One should also witness the sight of natural balancing rock, a strange natural phenomenon of a boulder balancing on another rock.
During monsoon season, this village looks very pretty, when there is lush greenery all around, a tiny waterfall can also increase the scenic beauty of the locality.
Every person residing in the village has contributed to keeping the village area clean. Cleanliness is an age-old tradition and a way of life for all villagers.
Mawlynnong village has won accolade for being the cleanest village in Asia in 2003 as well as the cleanest village in India in 2005. One can also enjoy the breathtaking view of Bangladesh plains as it is located on the Indo-Bangladesh border.
You must witness the tidiness and the serenity of this place, highly recommended to people who visit Meghalaya.
5. Mawsynram Village
A perfect destination for rejuvenation, enjoying the natural beauties at its highest level, Mawsynram village is another feather in the cap in the list of tourist places of Meghalaya.
Recognized as the wettest place in the world, the mesmerizing village of Mawsynram. A true nature lovers paradise and a perfect destination for relaxing from hectic life.
The word ‘Maw’ in Mawsynram is a Khasi word meaning stone. It symbolizes the unique Megaliths unearthed in the Khasi hill area.
The village is well known for its huge formation of a Stalamite that takes the shape of the Hindu God- Lord Shiva. Due to these reasons, a tourist automatically gets attracted to visit this destination.
There is also a unique phenomenon in the village you can see if you stay one night in the village. The rains are so strong that the villagers need to use thick grass that will soundproof their house from the thunderous rain.
Mawsynram is about 60 km from the capital city Shillong and is at an altitude height of 1400 m above sea level.
6. Seven sisters fall
Also known as Nohsngithiang Falls or Mawsmai Falls, these falls are located at a mere distance of 4 km from cherrapunji and 58 km from Shillong.
Gushing down from a height of 315 m (1,033 ft) over this waterfall features amongst one of the tallest waterfalls in India
The scintillating waterfall creates a spectacular viewpoint. The beauty of the waterfalls is indescribable during sunset. When the ray of the sun falls on it creating a perennial rainbow.
The best time to visit this beautiful spot is during the monsoon season as the streams are flooded with water which gives a spectacular view for the tourist.
Nohsngithiang falls is separated by seven segmented waterfalls which exemplify the seven sister states of northeast India. You can also see the magnificent view of the falls from the viewpoint situated at Mawsmai village.
7. Dawki – Umngot River : the number 1 tourist place of Meghalaya
Situated in West Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya and 81 km away from Shillong, Dawki is undoubtedly one of the best tourist places of Meghalaya. It is also a border town along with India – Bangladesh.
The water of the ‘Umngot river’ in Dawki is so clear that the boats look floating on it and stones in the river bed can easily be seen. Another tourist attraction thing is the suspension bridge which lies in the same Dawki river.
This bridge was constructed in 1932 by the British. This bridge attracted the tourist as it lies around the greenery.
About a kilometer from the bridge comes the Dawki border crossing. It is Dawki on the Indian side and Tamabil on the Bangladesh side. The Dawki town is a hot spot for trade between the two nations. The best time to visit the Umngot river is during the winter season.
8. Siju Cave
This cave is also known as Bat cave or Dobakkal cave. It is a limestone cave formation inside and it is famous for impressive Stalagmites and Stalactites.
The Siju Cave is the longest cave in the Indian sub-continent, nearly 4km long cave but nearly all of it is filled with water and inaccessible.
It is one of the finest cave in the world with crystal clear water which a tourist can easily attract to it. Aside from this Majestic Cave, A tourist can also explore nearby attractions like the Siju Bird sanctuary.
Siju cave is located a 254 km distance from the capital city Shillong.
9. Mawkdok Dympep Valley
It’s a wonderful vantage viewpoint located on Shillong – Cherrapunji road. For tourists, it is one of the prominent places to visit in Cherrapunji.
This scenic beauty of this valley attracts tourists and gives a surreal experience of nature. Untouched by modern commercialization this valley gives a mesmerizing experience of calmness
10. Dainthlen Waterfall
Just 11 km from Cherrapunji, it is one of the gorgeous waterfalls located in cherrapunji , Meghalaya. It is one of the popular tourist spot and frequently visited sites in cherrapunji.
Gushing from the height of about 90 m. Dainthlen waterfall attracts the large number of tourists every year. The waterfall derives its name from Thlen or a snake of gigantic size which dwelt in a cave.
According to the legend, some brave men caught the animal and destroyed its hood with a huge stone near this fall.
With this waterfall, our list of top 10 tourist places of Meghalaya comes to an end. Please let us know your thoughts on this. Have you ever visited Meghalaya? Which place is your favorite among these.?