It is unusual to hear a name and make an attempt to figure out its significance. Meghalaya, a lovely state wedged in North-East India, is certainly one of the few places that have left us speechless when we'd wonder what it meant. It's an abode of clouds, which is perfectly fitting for the name it bears. Every journeyman should visit this location in Northeast India, which combines beauty with adventure.
The magnificent hill station of Meghalaya is a treasure-trove of Northeast India, well-known for its stunning rivers and waterfalls, winding roads, the cleanest village in Asia, and picturesque views that you'll see across the state. Meghalaya is a breathtaking destination where time seems to stop over crystal-clear river waters, and each time you see a magnificent waterfall cascading down sharply cut cliffs, your heart is sure to skip a beat. A visit to Meghalaya will be one of the most thrilling experiences of your life.
The state offers a plethora of obscure locations and unusual sites, but to fully appreciate them would take nearly a month. However, not everyone has the opportunity to devote so much time outside their hectic routine. We've therefore designed an 8-day travel plan and itinerary for Meghalaya to make it easier for tourists to plan their trip in a short amount of time while not avoiding the state's best locations.
Day 1: Guwahati-Shillong
Day 2: Shillong
Day 3: Shillong-Sohra (Cherrapujee)
Day 4: Cherrapunjee (Sohra)-Tyrna Village-Nongriat Village
Day 5: Nongriat-Sohra-Dawki-Mawlynnong
Day 6: Mawlynnong village-Shillong
Day 7: Rest in Shillong
Day 8: Shillong-Guwahati
You can take a flight/train from any part of India and travel to Guwahati. For Airport, it would be the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, and if by train then you will arrive at Guwahati Railway Station in Paltan Bazaar. There are several options for covering the journey between Guwahati and Shillong. You may reserve a taxi to drop you off at your hotel or Police Bazaar (the main market in Shillong), which would cost around INR 2500- INR 3000 max. You can also book shared sumo or cab from the airport or railway station in Guwahati, which should not be more than INR 300 to INR 400 max. You could even try buses that are available at Beltola's ISBT in Guwahati. The journey would take a little over three hours.
Alternatively, you may fly directly to Shillong. FlyBig has come up with direct flights from Delhi to Shillong. There are direct flights from Kolkata to Shillong, and you can alternatively fly there via one of the major cities.
By rail or air, you may get to Guwahati. It would be great if you could arrive in Guwahati by noon or 1 PM.
Reserve a taxi for the journey to Shillong or get on shared sumo from Guwahati's airport, railway station, or Paltan Bazaar.
Duration of travel from Guwahati to Shillong?
After touring around Shillong, you may visit Police Bazaar, locally known as PB, for dining. Shillong is also recognized for its excellent music taste, as well as for hosting the best rock concerts in India.
Where to stay in Shillong?
Hostel option: Silver Brook
Homestays option: Breeze Vale Homestay | Midhill Cottage | Quinton Enclave
Mid-ranged Hotels/Stay: The Loft Executive Inn | Rockski Boutique Bed and Breakfast
Luxury Hotels/Stay: Hotel Polo Towers | Windermere Resorts (Adjjacent to Umpling Dong Shaneng)
Airbnb option: Visit www.airbnb.co.in to pre-book your stay in Shillong.
Cafes and Restaurants to check in Shillong
After spending the night, wake up to this picturesque hamlet nestled among the green hills and enjoy some breakfast with a view from your accommodation. Alternatively, go out for breakfast at a café. After breakfast, go on a city tour of Shillong, also known as Scotland of the East.
Umiam Lake (Barapani | Damsite)
When you are in Shillong, go to Umiam Lake, which is located 17 kilometres from the city. The serenity of the water and the enormousness of the lake will undoubtedly leave you speechless upon your arrival. You could opt for a motor speed boat ride which cost a little over INR 400 if you book the entire 3-seater speed boat. The boat rides are offered between 9 AM to 5 PM on all days of the week, depending on the weather. An attractive scenery of trees and landscaping is complemented by your boat ride. With a campfire, you can enjoy some nature at night, which could be seen from the beautiful mountains. Explore Lumpongdeng Island on the other side of Umiam Lake if time permits; it's worth seeing!
Shillong's Lake Ward is in the centre of town. This man-made lake was named after Sir William Ward, who started the project that created it. The lake park is set in beautiful greenery, and the lake is formed like a horseshoe. Ward's Lake offers a lovely setting. The wooden bridge in the middle of the lake adds to the beauty of the area. To appreciate the natural splendour of the surroundings, take a stroll through the garden or sit by the lake and just relax, and expel all your stress.
Shillong Peak, which is a popular tourist attraction in the city, stands at a height of 1965 meters. On clear days, you may observe the plains of Bangladesh from this location. The entry point to this peak in Shillong is via the Air Force Base, so you'll have to produce identification proof in order to proceed and enter the area. Between 9 AM and 5 PM, the location may be visited every day of the week.
Elephant Waterfalls is a well-known tourist destination in Shillong. A short distance from the Shillong Peak and about twelve (12) kilometres from the city, Elephant falls lies near several tourist sites. The clear waters flow down in three stages, with the third stage being especially lovely and easily accessible for people visiting the waterfall. A walk down a flight of stairs may take you to the plunge pool where you can enjoy a short boat ride around the pool of the waterfall (paddling boat). One of the largest and most spectacular, Elephant Waterfalls may be seen between 10 AM and 6 PM on all days of the week for an entrance fee of INR 30 per person. Please check for the latest fee at the counter and carry cash on you since cards and other digital payment methods may not be available.
Don Bosco Museum
This Museum in Shillong is a museum of customs and culture. The seven-storey, hexagonal-shaped museum's floors correspond to the seven sister states of the Northeast states. Here, you may expect to learn more about the indigenous people of North East India's multi-cultural traditions. The Museum features 17 galleries that exhibit artifacts and paintings from across the country. Visitors may also sample regional dishes in the food area. Researchers, students, and academics from all over the country come to the museum to use its extensive research resources in their specialized library.
The museum is open from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM on weekdays, with the exception of Sundays and holidays when it is closed. The entrance fee for Indians is INR 100, while students pay INR 50. To visit the museum, foreign nationals must shell out INR 200 in entry fees. Please check for the latest fee at the counter and carry cash on you since cards and other digital payment methods may not be available.
Return to your hotel, enjoy dinner at one of the suggested restaurants or cafés, rest the night and be prepared for the next day's trip to one of the wettest places in the world and a beautiful breath-taking tourist destination- Sohra or Cherrapunjee.
How to get there?
We suggest booking a private cab in advance to enable you to enjoy the journey to this fascinating place. You can head to Police Bazaar and book a cab from the main Taxi stand.
You can also travel to Cherrapunjee by means of a shared sumo/alto. These shared vehicles may be found in Bara Bazaar. Keep in mind that, despite the fact that Sohra and Cherrapunjee are distinct places, they are both near each other.
Duration of travel from Shillong to Sohra (Cherrapunjee)?
Where to stay in Sohra (Cherrapunjee)?
Budget Hotels/Stay: Goshen Homestay | Nisibon Nongrum Homestay
Mid-ranged Hotels/Stay: San Nael La Resort | Aisha Guest House | Abode of Clouds Resort
Luxury Hotel/Stay: The Polo Orchid Resort
The tallest plunge waterfall in India, Nohkalikai Falls, can be seen from a height of 350 meters. A beautiful sight to see is a tall waterfall, which shoots straight off a cliff without stopping. You can follow a signboard that marks the route to the waterfall's mouth and head off on a hike to get there.
Mawsmai Cave is a well-lit cave located 6 km from Cherrapunjee and composed of limestone. The cave is accessible via an entrance point. In fact, there are 2 entrance points. You need to pay up at the ticket counter (approx. INR 100) and through a gate and onto a pathway that leads you to the entrance of the cave. The passage through the cave is undulating and would require manoeuvring around, hence, if you have arthritis or any health problems related to your foot, we'd recommend you skip this one. Upon entering the cave, you’d be able to spot unique limestone formations, and a small stream that passes through it, and eventually, the cave will get narrow and you would need to squeeze yourself out of it.
When you arrive at the exit of the cave (exit 1), you will notice another small signboard with 'Entrance 2' written on it to the second Mawsmai cave. You could choose to cave through it or not- that'd be your choice entirely. The Mawsmai Cave is a popular stop for tourists, so you should not pass it up. This cave does not require the services of a guide to visit.
The Arwah cave is one of Meghalaya's hidden gems. To get to Arwah Caves, you'll need to go off the normal path and cross a muddy field. There is a lovely bridge that takes you to the cave's entrance. As there are no established pathways, this destination is best visited with the assistance of a guide. After you enter the cave, you'll come to a severe downward slope, after which your trek will be both tough and exciting, followed by crawling over jagged rocks and sharp edges. Within the cave, you're likely to discover fossils and limestone structures. Arwah caverns would undoubtedly offer an exciting experience of a lifetime and thus is a must-visit.
After a hectic day of sightseeing in Sohra (Cherrapunjee), return to your hotel or homestay in Sohra (Cherrapunjee) and try to fall asleep early. Day 4 would include a lot of walking and a trip to the most anticipated and discussed destination of your Meghalaya travel plan and itinerary.
How to get there?
Book a private taxi from the Taxi Stand in Cherrapunjee (Sohra) to Tyrna Village, which should cost about INR 500.
The taxi would leave you at the starting point of a steep downward trek to Nongriat.
If you have a lot of luggage or a big back, it is strongly advised that you hire a porter. For one way, a porter will charge you INR 500. It is also advisable to rent a long bamboo stick at the cost of INR 20 per stick, which will be a boon when trekking to and back from Nongriat.
Duration to travel from Sohra (Cherrapunjee) to Tyrna village?
Places to visit in Nongriat Village
Double-Decker Living Root Bridge
The trek down will be quite beautiful as well as adventurous. You'll pass many suspension bridges (shaky ones) and root bridges on the forest path. The Double Decker living root bridge would be the highlight of your visit to Meghalaya and is without a doubt one of the primary reasons to have this trip. You can sit by the root bridge and marvel at its natural beauty and its surroundings; it will exceed your expectations in every way.
Waterfall and Water-Pools
There are various options for how you may spend your time at this place. You can hire a tour guide to show you around town, or explore on your own. The Rainbow Waterfall is a beautiful waterfall that is only a short walk from the village. Ask your guide to take you to natural pools in the village. The majority of these pools are unidentifiable and only known by locals. As a result, you won't find any information about these on the internet; this is why Nongriat exists - to discover beautiful locations on your own.
Spend the night in a homestay and converse with the locals around bonfires about life, traditions, culture, and the history of this place. This is also a unique unforgettable experience in itself.
Where to stay in Nongriat Village?
Serene Homestay: +91-9436739655 | +91-9615252655
Nongriat Guest House: +91-8575787340 | +91-9774765508
How to get there?
On this day, you'd have to travel all the way back to Tyrna from Nongriat. The trek may become quite arduous. If you are unable to walk with your luggage, you should definitely hire a porter. It may take anything from three to four hours to get back to Tyrna, depending on your speed and fitness.
Take a taxi from Tyrna to Sohra (Cherrapunjee) or share one with others.
Take a taxi to Dawki and then the same that will drop you off at Mawlynnong. This would cost you anything between INR 2500 and INR 3000.
Because it is difficult to hire a taxi in Mawlynnong for sightseeing or travelling to Dawki, this is the most practical way to include both attractions on your travel plan.
Duration to travel from Sohra (Cherrapunjee) to Dawki?
And, the duration to travel from Dawki to Mawlynnong village?
What to do when you are in Dawki?
The crystal clear emerald-green river waters, views of Bangladesh plains, and boat trips in Dawki, a tiny Indian-Bangladeshi village on the border, are all well-known. When you get to this place, you'll feel as if time has come to a halt. The calmness and intense serenity of the river, the majesty of the hills and valleys in Bangladesh seen from a distance, and the peace of mind would instantly entice you to adore it. Don't pass up a trip on the Umngot River in Dawki. The boat cruise over the Umngot River will be the second-best experience if the Double Decker root bridge trek is your primary attraction.
Spend the night in one of the bamboo cottages in Mawlynnong after spending a few hours in Dawki.
Where to stay in Mawlynnong Village?
Budget Hotels/Stay: Dame Homestay | Mawlynnong Bamboo Cottage | Umpohliew Homestay
Mid-ranged Hotels/Stay: Streamside Cottage | Areca Cottages
This day would be spent visiting Asia's Cleanest Village, a sleepy community replete with soulfulness and kindness.
Mawlynnong is a peaceful haven that you will never regret visiting. On the basis of ecological tourism, tourism has changed in this community. You may view thatched Khasi houses along the road, bamboo dustbins in abundance throughout the village, and every home with beautiful gardens adorned with lovely flowers.
Mawlynnong's Living Root Bridge
Visit the village's single root bridge. If you believe that visiting the Double-Decker living root bridge in Nongriat, and this one, isn't worth your time, you're wrong. All of Meghalaya's living root bridges are distinctive in their own way and well worth your time. To see its natural wonders coupled with ancient traditions and customs, trek to this bridge without amiss.
The Unique Balancing Rock
There is a huge rock that is naturally balanced on a smaller rock in the village's outskirts. This location has become a popular stopping point for tourists. It is claimed that the stone has remained in the same place for centuries, and it has religious significance among the Khasi people. Stop by this area to see the fascinating phenomena.
A view of Bangladesh
Take a walk over to the Bangladesh Viewpoint atop a bamboo bridge to get a panoramic view of Bangladesh's flatlands. Because this is a trek, you must decide whether or not you want to go there.
It's possible that you'll be able to visit these locations before the end of the day, so make sure you have a quick lunch and return to Shillong the same day.
Duration to travel from Mawlynnong Village to Shillong?
Take a day’s rest, walk around the marketplace just to relax, hang around at Cafes, enjoy a hot cup of coffee or delicious local food, and spend overnight in Shillong.
Begin from Shillong after a good hefty breakfast, and leave by 7 AM so you can get to Guwahati by 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM.
Duration to travel from Shillong to Guwahati?
It's better to book your flight after 3 PM. If you don't, it'll be a rush and you won't want to take the chance.
If you have a few more days, Assam's breathtaking sites may be of interest. This will add one or two days to your stay in Guwahati to explore its tourist locations.
With a box full of memories, depart Guwahati.
We hope you enjoyed reading this 8-Day Meghalaya Travel Plan and found it to be a helpful resource for your trip to Meghalaya.
The Abode of Clouds is a beautiful and mystical place. Don't forget to Pin this Meghalaya Travel Plan and Itinerary for your next trip.
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