Northeast India is home to some of the most stunning sights in the country. Being slightly off the beaten track, they retain their pristine and quaint charm. Meghalaya, meaning the ‘abode of clouds’ has a marvellous topography.
Gorgeous green hills, breath-taking valleys, big waterfalls and thrilling caves dot this state, making it delightful for nature lovers. Meghalaya is also known to be one of the richest biodiversity hotspots in Asia having a high degree of endemism.
Flying Squirrel Holidays helps design your Meghalaya Tour Package for you. We work with what our clients want out of their vacation and all our itineraries are personalised accordingly. For more information on budget trips to Meghalaya, contact us at the details provided.
Located between Assam and Bangladesh, Meghalaya is one of the more accessible states in northeast India. The beautiful hill stations have something to appeal to every taste.
Shillong, the capital city, is a lovely mixture of age-old traditions and modern energy. Dense forests, majestic mountains, lush greenery and clean, fresh air make the city popular with visitors. The brooks and the waterfalls in the district host activities like boating and angling.
The well-marked trails are charming, passing through granite and sandstone cliffs amidst mountains. Shillong Peak is famous for its mesmerising views of the area. The city also has great places for camping.
Cherrapunji is another famous hill station in the state. Known to be one of the wettest places on Earth, this district only has one season- monsoon. The perpetual presence of misty clouds over Cherrapunji justifies the name of the state- the abode of clouds.
With countless roaring waterfalls, mysterious caves and the iconic living root bridges, Cherrapunji is growing popular with thrill-seekers.
The Nohkalikai Falls and the Seven Sister’s Falls are particular attractions- the former being the tallest plunge fall in India, the latter being the 4th highest in Asia. Krem Mawmluh is one of the most visited caves in the state, with five rivers making a pool inside it.
The Double Decker Living Root Bridge is iconic and descriptive of how the people of Meghalaya live their lives without compromising nature. The man-made natural marvel draws tourists from far and wide, and always forms a part of Meghalaya Holiday Packages.
A less explored destination in Meghalaya is Jowai, a mesmerising hill station in the Jaintia Hills. Enclosed by the Myntdu River from three sides, Jowai has some of the most scenic vistas in the state. Thadlassen Lake is a man-made lake which is popular for hosting picnics amongst stunning views. Other attractions are Lalong Park and Sintu Kesar.
However, what sets Jowai apart from other hill stations is how well traditions and cultures have been preserved here. Home to the Pnar Tribe, visitors visit Jowai to witness their lifestyle and vibrant festivals.
Caving is a slightly unconventional activity which involves discovering caves. Usually done in groups, it is the growing favourite of thrill-seekers who like to explore and discover these murky, hidden caverns.
Conservationists and photographers also take particular interest in this activity.
India has countless undiscovered caves, and the sport is just becoming popular here. Meghalaya has some of the longest and deepest caves in the country and has been ranked in the top 10 globally.
The longest cave on mainland Asia is Krem-Kotsati-Umlawan Cave in the Jaintia hills. Another challenging cavern is in the Shnong Rim section, also in the Jaintia hills. Caving here requires wading or swimming through water, making it even more testing. Krem Lymput is a beautiful and fairly easy cave to explore, making it one of the popular ones in the state.
Its galleries are spacious and rich in formations of calcites. However, the most popular cave in Meghalaya is the Mawsmai Cave in Cherrapunji. Long and deep, these caves are formed from limestone through water abrasion. The stunning stalagmites and stalactites can be seen clearly as this cave is well lit. It is also rich in flora and fauna.
Meghalaya is relatively undiscovered and the countless caves are growing in popularity with tourists. They provide a different experience and no visit to Meghalaya is complete without exploring a few of them.
Meghalaya is a fascinating destination for nature lovers not only because of its picturesque hills and stunning waterfalls, but also because of its incredibly diverse fauna and flora. Owing to its uniquely wet climate, the biodiversity is extremely distinct with a high degree of endemism.
One of the foremost attractions in this sphere is Meghalaya’s iconic orchid produce with over 300 varieties of the flower. Mawsmai and Mawmluh have the highest number of orchid species in the state, and during bloom season, the sight is one to behold!
Other rare plant species of Meghalaya include the Pitcher-Plant, Wild Citrus and the Pygmy Lily. The Shillong Peak in the capital is covered with rhododendron plants.
Meghalaya is also extremely rich in wildlife. The Nokrek National Park, in the Garo Hills, is home to Hollock Gibbons and wild elephants. With ancient limestone caves and well-kept forest tracks, this park is popular with tourists. Close to Nokrek is the Balpakram National Park, which is a breeding place of leopards, langurs, boars and golden cats.
The rare Red Panda can also be found here. This park is also famous for its geological and archaeological value. Nongkhyllem Sanctuary is one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in the state, with a wide variety of fauna including the Bengal Tiger, Leopard and Black Bear. The Necked Hornbill and the Brown Hornbill are common birds found here.
The state’s wildlife sanctuaries are also home to a variety of birds. Siju Wildlife Bird Sanctuary is one of the best places for bird watching in northeast India. Siberian Ducks, Grey Hornbill, Peacock Pheasant and a host of other common and rare birds can be found here.
Meghalaya’s unique flora and fauna are one of its most interesting facets and its national parks are a considerable tourist draw.
Meghalaya is home to some of the wettest places in the world, and because of the perennial rainfall, the strong river currents create stunning waterfalls. The rivers also sculpt breath-taking gorges, canyons and lakes. They add to the state’s already splendid scenery, and are some of the most popular attractions.
Umiam Lake is one of the most stunning man-made lakes in Meghalaya. Locally known as Bara Pani, the expansive water body is encircled by the majestic Khasi hills. Its picturesque setting has led to it being dubbed the ‘Scotland of the East’. The lake also holds water activities like kayaking, water cycling and boating.
Ward’s Lake, also called Pollock’s Lake, is situated in the heart of Shillong. Surrounded by lush green parks with stunning flower beds, this man-made lake is hugely popular with visitors for spending laid back hours. There is a wooden bridge in the park from where fish can be fed. Enjoy a scenic boat ride amidst the park, or enjoy some scrumptious local snacks at the park cafeteria!
The Nohkalikai Waterfall in Cherrapunji is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state. Being the tallest plunge fall in India, it looks its grandest during Meghalaya’s strong monsoons. The short hike up to the viewpoint is scenic and filled with steps. The legend behind the fall is gory, but the grandeur of the falls is stunning.
Elephant falls is another favourite waterfall of tourists. There are three steps to it- the first is broad and hidden behind trees, the second is thin and almost disappears in the winters.
The part that is the most visible is the third. With white waters rolling down against dark rocks, the fall is impressive. Tourists who visit Shillong definitely stop at these falls.
The lakes and the waterfalls of the state are a treat for nature lovers. The roaring tall falls are grand and humbling, while the lakes are serene and beautiful. The setting makes them stand out starkly against the green forests and the dark rocks, making them even more picturesque.
The Garo, Khasi and Jaintia regions, that make up Meghalaya, boast their own unique cuisines, all influenced by their incredibly rich traditions and cultures. The staple food is rice with spicy meat and fish. Jadoh is a red rice and pork dish of the Khasi people, similar to the Biryani. It is spicy and flavourful, and especially enjoyed during Khasi festivals.
Dohneiiong is another delectable dish from the state. Made of pork cooked in black sesame seed paste, it is decorative to look at and aromatic to taste. Minil Songa is popular among the Garo people. It is a sticky rice preparation, boiled in fresh bamboo, making its texture delicate and flavour nutty.
Pukhlein is a fried sweet dish made with powdered rice and sweetened with jaggery. Make sure to try Kyat, a local fermented rice beer!
Known to be the cleanest village in Asia, Mawylnnong should be on everyone’s list! The community is small, and the village is extremely peaceful. The All Saint’s Church is a unique mixture of European and Meghalayan architectural styles. Do some shopping at the local market! The village is situated close to the border of India and Bangladesh. Visit the Sky Walk, which is a sturdy structure of bamboo and jute ropes, which allows stunning views of the plains of Bangladesh.
Located in the same area as Mawylnnong, Shnongpedeng is a hidden gem. It is a small town on the banks of along the Umngot River, and the beautiful yet underrated Krang Suri Waterfall is located here. Take a boat ride on the Umngot River and admire the gorgeous cliffs on both sides as you float by. The waters are extremely clear and the entire setting is scenic. Head over to the shore side for a delicious local lunch!
It is impossible to visit Meghalaya without visiting Cherrapunji. The abundant rainfall the area receives has left its mark on the topography- the rivers feed the stunning Seven Sister’s Waterfall and sculpt the caves. Take a tour down to the viewpoint of the waterfall, and explore the Mawsmai Cave. Be sure to visit the iconic Double Decker Living Root Bridge, which highlights how a man can live without harming nature.
The capital of Meghalaya is known as the “Scotland of the East”. The rolling green hills and scenic meandering drives, the many waterfalls and lakes, breathtaking views and rich cultural heritage all come together to make visits to Shillong delightful. Visit the Elephant Falls or spend a lazy day boating on the Ward’s Lake. The different communities living in harmony in Shillong all have unique cultures and one must try and soak them up while here. Shillong is where one can enjoy all the various dishes that make up the Meghalayan cuisine- be sure to try the Jadoh, a dish made with red rice and meat and the Doh-Neiiong, a rich creamy pork curry. Purchase some local artefacts at Shillong’s markets.
Visit the many waterfalls of Meghalaya
Watch the sunset on a boating trip on the lakes
Hike up to Shillong View Point and marvel at the astonishing views
Explore the caves
Shop traditional clothes and accessories at Police Bazar, Shillong
One of the few of its kind, the Siju Bird Sanctuary is close to the Simsang River. A paradise for avid bird watchers, Siju should not be missed. A wide range of bird species including the Siberian Duck, Grey Hornbill and Peacock Pheasant can be found here. It even acts as a breeding ground for other common and rare birds.
Tura, a hill station in the West Garo Hill, is known for its strong Garo heritage and splendid views of the rolling hills. The Nokrek National Park is the main attraction of the area, where rare animals such as leopards, golden cat, wild buffalo, pheasant reside. The Tura Peak has great hiking trails, and the observatory on it affords panoramic views of the surrounding hills. The Rongbang Dal Falls are another favourite in this area.
Very close to Cherrapunji, Mawsmai is the most popular cave with tourists. The underground network of caves has stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations, and the terrain is uneven, making it challenging and thrilling trek. There are prehistoric fossils on some of the walls which are clearly marked with artificial lights.
Flying Squirrel Holidays makes Meghalaya Package Itineraries as per your requirements. For more information on budget trip to Meghalaya, contact us.
The following are sample Meghalaya Tour itinerary:
Mesmerising Meghalaya: 5 Days, 4 Nights
Meghalaya Highlights: 3 Nights 4 Days
Weekend in Meghalaya: 3 Nights, 2 Days
Mesmerising Meghalaya [Please note that the following is a sample itinerary. We personalise our Meghalaya Tour Packages as per your interests]
Day 1Arrive in Guwhati and be escorted to Shillong by car. Make a stop for lunch at Umiam Lake surrounded by Sylvan Hills. Check into your hotel and spend the rest of the evening in leisure.
Day 2After breakfast, leave for Mawlynnong. Breathe in the fresh air at the cleanest village in Asia, and gaze at the Bangladeshi pains from the Sky Walk. In the afternoon, head to Dawki through scenic drives. At Dawki, visit the crystal clear Umngot River and marvel at the sunset while boating on its waters. Head back to Shillong for dinner.
Day 3Day 3 is for exploring Cherrapunji. Following an enjoyable drive to the district, visit the Seven Sisters Waterfall and walk down to its viewpoint. After lunch explore the Mawsmai Caves. Head back to Shillong for dinner.
Day 4The second last day of your vacation in Meghalaya will be spent in Shillong. Trek up to the rhododendron covered Shillong Peak for mesmerising views of the city. Elephant Falls and Ward's Lake are on the agenda today too. By late afternoon, depart for Guwhati and spend the night there.
Day 5After breakfast, start for the airport.
Please email me a copy of the sample itinerary
Cost of a trip depends on places you plan to visit, the duration of the stay, the class of travel and accommodation and the inclusions you seek. We have years of experience in conducting the tours. Let us at Flying Squirrel Holidays get the best deal for you.
What is the best time to visit Meghalaya?
The months from March to June are the best time to visit Meghalaya.
How many airports are there in Meghalaya?
The main airport that connects with Shillong is the Shillong Airport or the Umroi Airport. It is situated around 32 km from Shillong in Meghalaya.
What is the famous food of Meghalaya?
The famous foods include rice with spicy meat and fish preparations.
Meghalaya is a paradise for nature lovers and thrill-seekers. Whether you want to spend time leisurely taking in its stunning, unmatched sights, or whether you want to explore its mysterious caves and roaring waterfalls, Flying Squirrel Holidays helps craft your Meghalaya Tour Packages to your liking. Itineraries for budget trips to Meghalaya are growing in popularity. Visit Meghalaya, the abode of clouds, for an unforgettable vacation.
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