Words can’t do any justice to how stunning this North East Indian state is. If nature interests you, if new experiences are what you are looking for, if you are ready to be dazzled by starry nights, magnificent waterfalls and beautiful treks, then you should visit Meghalaya. Here are some of the places you must cover.
Double Decker Living Root Bridge
You must have seen the pictures of this bridge. The Living Root Bridges are one of the most fascinating and extraordinary natural sights in the country. The members of the Khasi tribe are trained to grow them from the roots of the rubber trees and hence creating a man-made natural wonder which is not found anywhere else in the world.
While there are many single root bridges in the area, this is the only one that has two levels. The bridge is hidden deep in the lush, green forests of Cherrapunjee and one has to trek from the village of Tyrna to reach here. It is a beautiful trek, and in your quest to reach there, you will pass through small pretty villages, narrow streams, and a jungle. You will also cross a couple of metal rope bridges. Below the rope bridge is a small lagoon like pool of water, and a waterfall. This pool is one of the bluest greenest pools you will ever see anywhere! A sign of a flourishing eco system is the presence of butterflies. On the living roots trek, you will see an insane number of butterflies, flying everywhere around you.
The trek, initially, involves walking down a series of a whopping 3500-3600 steps each way. There are trees on either side of a narrow stream and the barks of the trees are suspended in the air, and have over hundreds of years intertwined into each other to form a natural bridge of sorts. So strongly are they intertwined into each other, that they can easily support the weight of even thirty people all at once! Spend a couple of hours here, and at the natural pool. Click pictures, swim in the water, absorb the beauty and tranquility of the place!
This is one of the most beautiful waterfalls you will ever see. Still not crowded, part of its beauty lies in the fact that it’s not visible from the road, and one needs to know their way. About 10-15 kms away from Cherrapunjee town, you have to get down from the car at a spot not well marked, where the trail begins. From here you have to follow the wooden trail. Halfway, there is a fork and if you go left, you get to a view point from where you see the whole waterfall. It is a three tiered waterfall, and when you see it for the first time, you will gasp with joy.
Walk right from the fork and down the bamboo steps trail, and you can’t help but marvel at how the Khasi people would have built that bamboo stairway, each plank exactly where you would need to hold it.
In 15 minutes, you will reach the waterfall, and it’s a gorgeous, gorgeous sight to behold. The fact that it’s surrounded on three sides will cliffs makes it appear magical and absolutely private.
Meghalaya has some of the world’s most magnificent caving networks and the best place to go for caving. Arwah Lumshynna Cave is located in Sohra. Surrounded by the thick forest of Law Shynna in Meghalaya, the caves are an absolute treat for adventure and archaeology junkies. They are mainly known for their limestone formations and the fossils which are believed to be millions of year old. For most people, caving is a novel and very interesting activity and almost everyone loves it.
It takes 15 minutes of pleasant walk to reach the entrance of the cave. And from there it is an immediate descent to the underground world. There are many narrow passages and chambers as well as a stream that flows inside the cave. Check out the fossils, and stalagmite and stalactite formations which are believed to be millions of years old and are naturally carved. It will be quite an experience as some of these are low at places, and you’ll have to crouch, slither, walk, adventure your way through these caves. Channel your inner Indiana Jones!
Click here to read about Siju Caves of Meghalaya!
Laitlum translates to ‘end of hills’ and as the name says, the hills literally end right here leaving a jaw dropping view over the edge. Often called the Amphitheatre of Meghalaya, the canyon offers a unique glimpse of the beauty of Shillong from a bird’s eye perspective that you will enjoy.
On most days, you will see the clouds blanketing the entire area with mist swirling and moving with the wind. Meghalaya means “Abode of Clouds” and at Laitlum Canyon, you will know why. When the view is clear, you will have a fantastic panorama view of a beautiful valley with never ending lush green forests and vibrant meadows. Despite its drop dead gorgeous views, it is a serene calm place, with very less people around.
David Scott Trail
The David Scott Trail, named after the British administrator David Scott is one of the oldest trekking routes in Meghalaya. The trail is a stretch of 16 km and can be covered in 4 hours. Beginning from the quaint Mawphlang village, the trail takes a winding route across the hills and valleys while ascending and descending at times.
The scenery that you come across is simply stunning. You will be passing flowing waterfalls, crystal clear streams, small Khasi villages, scenic valleys, lush forests and expansive meadows. You will also get a lovely view of the Umiam River and the rolling hills of Meghalaya. It feels as if you are in a wonderland.
Krang Suri Falls
Meghalaya has innumerable waterfalls. You might be anywhere in the state and there will be a waterfall at a stone’s throw away distance. But there are not many falls as enchanting as Krang Suri Falls. Nestled in the serenity of Jaintia hills, Krang Suri is cut off from the tourist circuit. You will have to walk for 20 minutes through a quaint stone pathway to reach the falls. And as you keep getting closer, the burbling sound of the falls gets louder. The shimmering blue water and lush green picturesque surrounding welcomes you. The beauty is indescribable.
The beautiful plunge pool is very hard to resist. Swim around in the magical water. You can swim up to the rock behind the falls from where you can enjoy the amazing views. On reaching the top of the waterfall, you can see small colourful boats docked alongside the bank of the river. Go boating amidst the dazzling greenery and breath-taking views of this place.
Meghalaya has a lot of folklores but this one’s one of the weirdest and the most amusing story that I have heard. Once upon a time, there was a stone. Not any stone, this was Mawryngkhang, the King of Stones. U Mawryngkhang fell in love with a beautiful stone from another kingdom. But wait, there’s a twist (as if this story is not crazy already). Enter Mawpator, another stone who had also fallen in love with the same girl. To fight for their love, both of them had to literally fight each other during which Mawpator broke Mawryngkhang’s left arm. In turn, the king of stones hit Mawpator with such immense force that Mawpator’s head fell off in the deep gorge below. Mawryngkhang won his love interest Kthiang who stands behind him even today.
You will have to trek to reach Mawryngkhang. The trek starts with a very narrow bamboo bridge over a broomstick farm and you will encounter many such bamboo bridges on the way. Therefore it is also known as the Bamboo Trail. The bridges are basically to help you cross over to the other side of the River Wahrew. When you are standing on top of the bridge at looking below, you can see the river jumping and roaring. This sight is frighteningly beautiful. You will also cross a series of natural pools and past the ridge of the mountain before reaching Mawryngkhang. From here you can see deep valleys and high green mountains at a farther distance. You can also see the “Head” of Mawpator in the deep gorge. This is a breathtaking trek and a must do when in Meghalaya.
Click here to check out Maple Pine Farms, a small family-run Bed and Breakfast guest house in Meghalaya!
Click here to know about Khasi Cuisine in detail!
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