Meghalaya, the abode of clouds, offers a myriad of sights, food, activities and festivals to the tourists. Not only for these, but tourists also throng here to explore top tourist attractions in Meghalaya. Out of many, the two gems namely Cherrapunji and Shillong make the state truly a wonderland. The land of simple yet so lively and amusing natives, Meghalaya is a jewel in the crown of Northeast India.
The sublime beauty of places to visit in Meghalaya and the state itself spellbound the visitors. Read on to more about the place which takes you in a different world altogether.
Top Places to Visit in Cherrapunji
Known as Sohra or Churra, Cherrapunji is a paradise for any avid traveler and one of the popular monsoon holiday destinations in India. Perched at a height of 4500 feet, Cherrapunji is shrouded amidst swirling clouds. The pristine town made its way to the Guinness Book of World Records for being the wettest place on the Earth. But with the passage of time, Mawsynram now flaunts that title. Be it monsoon lovers, nature admirers, honeymoon goers, avid travelers or tranquility seekers, the must-visit destination in North East India appears in the bucket list of everybody.
If you’re still thinking about the reasons to visit Cherrapunji, here’s a checklist of scenic places that adorn the area.
Falling from a verdant cliff, Nohkalikai Falls exudes sheer and natural magnificence. The tallest plunge waterfall in the India, is nestled amidst evergreen rainforest of the Khasi Hill. One of the best place to visit in Cherrapunji, the waterfall plunges into a lagoon and presents a sight to behold. A folklore of a woman is associated with the waterfall, giving the fall its name.
- The waterfall plunges 335m downwards.
- A nearby viewpoint presents superb views of the fall.
- The waterfall created by the fall has unusual blue water.
Double Decker Living Root Bridge
One of the most distinctive naturally formed structures, Double Decker Living Root Bridge is the major tourist draw card of Cherrapunji. With the Umshiang River flowing beneath the bridge, this natural wonder is 100-feet long in length. You can’t afford to skip visiting this top tourist attraction in Meghalaya.
- The Double Decker Living Root Bridge in Nongriat Village can be reached after a long and exciting trek.
- The bridge is handmade from the aerial roots of Rubber Fig Trees.
- There are many living root bridges in the valley which are of many shapes and sizes.
There is no better place than Eco Park to marvel at the mesmerizing view of the ‘Green Canyons’ of Cherrapunji. The park is known for offering panoramic views of the Sylhet plains of Bangladesh. A waterfall originating from here, adds to its natural charm. Tourists never fail to visit this top tourist attraction in Cherrapunji.
- The park houses a stream and one has to cross a bridge to get near the edge of the canyon.
- The Government of Meghalaya has designed and maintained the park.
- A huge variety of orchids adorn the Eco Park.
Ka Khoh Ramhah
Also known as Mothorp and Pillar Rock, Ka Khoh Ramhah lure tourists for its shape. It is a rock formation in the form of an upside down basket in the shape of a cone. As per legends, the basket belonged to a big evil giant. Soak-in the beauty of clouds ascending from the plains and making it worth visiting.
- Two smaller similar rocks lie next to Ka Khoh Ramhah
- The views of the plains of Bangladesh on a clear day adorn the place well.
- The Ka Khoh Ramhah a few centuries old but its beauty still casts a spell and has fascinated a number of tourists worldwide.
Another beguiling place to visit in Meghalaya is Thangkharang Park. Treat your eyes to the lovely views of the meandering roads the Kynrem Fall that flows down in three levels. Maintained by the State Forest Department Control, the park can be traversed during monsoon by crossing a small bridge. Children can spend a wonderful time on swings that are available in the park while elders can rest for a while amidst the greenery.
- Various species of plants and trees are found in the park and its greenhouse.
- A picture perfect view of the plains of Bangladesh renders one speechless.
Nokrek National Park
Settled in the heart of Nokrek Biosphere Reserve, Nokrek National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visiting this park is one of the best things to do in Meghalaya. A number of species of animals, birds, amphibians and reptiles dwell at the national park in their natural habitat. The park is also shrouded by pristine canopy of thick, lush green and tall forests cover.
- One can spot red panda, marbled cat, Asian elephant, macaque etc.
- The park is also famed for its wild varieties of citrus fruits.
- The biosphere reserve is predominantly hilly with high amount of iron found in the rocks.
Nohsngithiang Falls flaunts of various names like the Mawsmai Falls or the Seven Sisters Waterfalls. The falls inherited its name from the fact that these falls flow in seven parts and look alike. Monsoon give a new life and energy to the falls. The incredible sights and roaring noise of the falls make it one of the best tourist places in Meghalaya.
- Nohsngithiang Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in India.
- The waterfall makes its way down and falls over the top of limestone cliffs of the Khasi Hills only during the monsoon.
- The Missing Waterfall draws a huge footfall.
Best Places to Visit in Shillong
Shillong is one of the scenic hill stations of India. Rolling hills around the town reminds of the European settlers of Scotland and has bestowed the place with the title ‘Scotland of the East’. Although, the hill station can be visited any time of the year but it is an ideal place to beat the heat. Hence September to May is the best time to visit Shillong. The capital city of Meghalaya is dotted with numerous crystal clear lakes, mountain peaks, museums and golf courses etc.
Out of the many places to visit in Shillong, a few of them are mentioned below. Take a look as to know why you should plan a trip to Shillong soon.
Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures
Get ready to explore the tradition and indigenous culture of Northeast India. Counted as one of the important tourist spots in Shillong, the museum houses photo, language, agriculture, musical and art gallery. Adore the scenic beauty of the area from Skywalk or marvel at the artefacts displayed in various sections.
- The museum also has a well-stocked library.
- The seven storeyed edifice possess a unique and attractive architecture.
Once at Laitlum Canyons, one things is for sure that you will fall in love with this place. One of the lesser-known places to visit in Meghalaya, the canyon is perched atop the East Khasi Hills. Seclusion seekers can find the desired respite at this spot. Laitlum translates into the ‘end of hills’ and one can feel the same after reaching here.
- Trekkers, nature lovers and adventurers get attracted towards canyons because of its rocky, long, though verdure trail.
- Admire the bird’s eye view of magnificent view of Shillong.
- People call the beautiful hill slopes of Laitlum as the amphitheater of Meghalaya.
Located in Mawlynnong, Mawlynnong Waterfall is one of the scenic tourist attractions in Meghalaya. With water gushing down from a certain height, the waterfall soothes the soul and mind. Colorful and beautiful orchids embracing the area adds to its sublime beauty.
- During the monsoon, the waterfall flow with inundating water and in full force.
- The fall creates a magical and thrilling ambience.
Umiam Lake is a gem of the Northeast India. Visiting Umiam Lake is one of the best things to do in Shillong and completes the trip Meghalaya. Looking at the lake, one can easily judge why it is no wonder to get fascinated by its charm. Partake in adventure activities like water cycling, kayaking, scooting and boating. Unwind completely and observe the daily lives of the natives who visit here daily for collecting twigs or grass. There is something for everybody at the lake.
- Umiam Lake is often compared with the beautiful and mesmerizing Lakes of Scotland because of its panoramic and picturesque surroundings.
- Covering an area of 221 sq. km, Umiam is a man-made lake.
- There is nothing better than waking up to stunning views of the lake everyday by staying in a little house boat at Lumpongdeng Island.
A splendid family-vacation in Northeast India can be spent at the Ward’s Lake. Nestled amidst the manicured botanical gardens, the artificial lake is an amazing evening getaway. Stroll with your loved ones around this shoe-shaped lake or delight-in the lure of the colorful floral beds. The lake greets honeymooners, family vacationers and holidaymakers alike. Pollock’s Lake is the other name given to this natural wonder.
- The lake has been named after Sir William Ward.
- The lake is believed to be over a 100 years old.
- As per folklores, the prisoner Jismot Chyme dug out the Lake during his spare recreational hours.
Air Force Museum
Scrupulously maintained, Air Force Museum in Shillong, is situated within the campus of the Eastern High Command. The museum showcases actual machines, aircraft models and technology demonstrations used by the IAF Eastern Command. Taking your children to this museum will help them with getting insights about the defense forces of the country. From uniforms worn by the pilots to the miniature model of the aircrafts, the museum showcases it all.
- Rare photographs of the Indo-Pak war and also the Indo-China war are displayed here.
- A number of musical instruments are also showcased at the museum.
- Check out the missiles and rockets that are exhibited.
All Saints Church
All Saints Church is one of the oldest churches of Shillong. Built during the British Raj, the church boasts of a colonial-style architecture. Although numerous devotees throng here daily but it is during the Sunday masses that the church receives highest footfall. The sacred place is one of the serene places to visit in Meghalaya offering a different experience altogether.
- The original church was constructed on Kacheri road and it completely destroyed in 1897 in an earthquake.
- The colonial style church showcases wooden structure.
- The new church was completed in 1902.
A three-tiered waterfall named as Bishop Falls has a height of 135m. Considered as the twin of the Beadon Falls, the Bishop Falls has a continuous flow stream making it more attractive than the former one. The fall merges with the Umiam River and is surrounded by dense forests and huge rocky formations. Don’t forget to click amazing pictures of the beautiful cascade.
- Admire some amazing vistas of both the waterfalls from Mawlai.
- Beadon Falls is little bit disjointed but Bishop Falls looks like a white ribbon, plunging down the emerald green hill.
- It is the 22nd highest waterfall in India.
Cathedral Catholic Church
Spotted amidst expansive lush lawns, Cathedral Catholic Church showcases beautiful architecture. Huge stained windows and tall graceful arches enhance the grand aura of the church. The glass window that exhibits so many hues as the sun shines were brought from France in 1947 and are made up of Grenoble. Since the church lies midway between Laitumkhrah and Dhankheti, is it also known as Laitumkhrah Church. Another name given to this popular tourist spot in Shillong is Mary Help of Christian Cathedral.
- Cathedral Catholic Church is constructed on the same site where the first church of Shillong was erected.
- The first construction was destroyed in fire in the year 1936.
- Several artworks depicting scenes from the lives of Saints and the Holy Bible are showcased within the church.
Nothing catches attention as fast as a butterfly does! Fluttering colorful wings, butterflies present a visual retreat. Render your kids in a state of awe by taking them to the Butterfly Museum. One of the most famous tourist attractions in Meghalaya, the place is also known as the Entomological Museum. The museum houses spiders, butterflies, beetles and moths.
- The motive behind inaugurating the museum was to conserve rare species of moths and butterflies.
- The privately owned museum is a treat for the first time visitors to Shillong.
- Various programs are conducted by the museum to conserve and preserve various species of moths and butterflies.
David Scott Trail
The David Scott Trail is a 16-km trek built by David Scott, a British administrator. The historic trail stretches from Mawphlang to Ladmawphlang. Admire the lovely terrain of Eastern Khasi Hills en route. Astounding views of crystal clear streams, cascading waterfalls, scenic valleys and typical Khasi villages get etched on the hearts and minds of the onlookers forever.
- You will lose track of time being too mesmerized with nature.
- A hung bridge en route takes the thrill of crossing the river to a next level.
- The trail is part of the horse-cart trail which was built between Cherrapunji and Bangladesh and caused a war between the Khasi people.
India Orchidarium and Botanical Garden
Indian Orchidarium and Botanical Garden is one of the must visit places in Shillong, placed next to the Ward Lake. Nature lovers can revel in the ampleness of exotic and indigenous plants. Besides the botanical garden, there is an orchid house that exhibits rare collection of Orchids. A mini aviary houses colorful and rare species of birds.
- A myth is strongly believed here to preserve the flora and fauna of the area.
- As per the myth, all plantations are considered sacred and disturbing them calls for a misfortune.
Spread Eagle Falls
The Spread Eagle Falls is renowned to be the widest waterfall of Shillong. Natives and visitors consider it to be a favorite picnic spot. The waterfall cascades down through steep hills and creates a pool of water. An interesting thing to note about the Sati Falls or the Spread Falls or the Urkaliar is that it is wider on the top.
- This waterfall got it’s named due to its shape which looked like an eagle with its wings wide open.
- The ambiance of the waterfall is tranquil, pristine and verdant.
Complete your trip to Shillong by cherishing bird’s eye view of the entire place from Shillong Peak. One of the best tourist attractions in Meghalaya, the peak lies 1965m above sea level. Shillong inherited its name from this peak itself. Do spare some time to trek to this peak and wonder how Shillong looks like from such a height.
- Visitors can avail the facility of a telescope that is available to get a bird’s eye view.
- Folklores say that the patron deity ‘Leishyllong’ resides at the hills and protects the city from all evils.
- Every spring, a ritual is organized at the U Shulong site which is considered sacred.
The count of popular tourist places to visit in Meghalaya is much more than you can think. Simply plan a trip by booking any of the Meghalaya tour packages and see how many of them you can explore.