India, Travel blog

Meghalaya | Places to visit in Northeast India

Meghalaya, in North East India has a rich rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes. A true hidden gem.

In this travel blog we a taking you through Meghalaya and it’s place to visit absolutely!

On our Meghalaya itinerary, explore the colorful festivals that bring the locals together and must-visit destinations like Shillong, Cherrapunjee, and Mawlynnong in this enchanting state.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast trekking through lush forests or a culture buff shopping for local handicrafts, Meghalaya offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience.

History and Culture of Meghalaya

Meghalaya, known for its rich history and vibrant culture, is home to various tribes that have preserved their traditions and heritage for generations.

Nestled in the northeastern part of India, Meghalaya has a fascinating historical significance dating back centuries. The region has witnessed several dynasties, such as the Khasi and Jaintia kingdoms, leaving behind a legacy that still resonates in the customs and beliefs of the tribes. These tribes, including the Khasis, Garos, and Jaintias, have unique cultural practices showcased in several festivals.

What are the major festivals celebrated in Meghalaya?

The major festivals celebrated in Meghalaya showcase the cultural vibrancy and traditional heritage of the diverse tribes that call the region home.

In Meghalaya, festivals play a pivotal role in preserving and promoting the unique cultural identity of the various tribes inhabiting the state. One of the most significant festivals is Wangala, also known as the Harvest Festival of the Garos. This vibrant celebration marks the end of the agricultural season and is accompanied by traditional songs, dances, and rituals that pay homage to the Sun God.

Another notable event is the Behdeinkhlam Festival of the Pnar tribe, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. During this festival, communities come together to participate in spirited dance performances and traditional games.

These festivals not only serve as a time for joyous celebrations but also as a means to pass down age-old customs and beliefs from one generation to the next, strengthening the cultural tapestry of Meghalaya.

Singer at Meghalaya Festival tribe

Places to Visit in Meghalaya

Meghalaya offers a diverse range of breathtaking destinations that captivate visitors with their natural beauty and cultural significance. Let’s dive into it!

What is the best time to visit Meghalaya?

Planning the ideal itinerary for Meghalaya involves considering the best time to visit this mesmerizing region, taking into account the weather conditions, cultural events, and seasonal attractions.

Seasonal variations play a significant role in shaping the experience of travelers in Meghalaya.

  • Summer is known for its pleasant weather, making it an excellent time to explore the lush green landscapes and picturesque waterfalls.
  • Monsoon season, although bringing heavy rainfall, enhances the beauty of the region, creating a magical ambiance.
  • Autumn unveils clear skies and comfortable temperatures, ideal for trekking amidst the blooming flora.
  • Winter is the time for festivals like Behdienkhlam and Wangala, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Meghalaya.

Shillong – aka the capital of Meghalaya

Shillong, the charming capital city of Meghalaya, is one of the places to visit as it is renowned for its scenic beauty, pleasant climate, and vibrant cultural scene, making it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a blend of natural splendor and urban allure.

The city offers a plethora of attractions that captivate visitors all year round. One of the top draws is the breathtaking Umiam Lake, popular for boating and picnicking amidst picturesque surroundings.

For history buffs, a visit to the Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures is a journey through the rich heritage of the region. Shillong Peak, the highest point in the state, provides panoramic views of the city and its lush landscapes, especially mesmerizing at sunrise or sunset.

From Shillong, you can take several day trips, such as exploring the living root bridges in Cherrapunji, a short drive from Shillong that is a unique experience that showcases the indigenous engineering brilliance of the Khasi tribals.

Wahken, Mawryngkhang

One of the highlight of the trip to Meghalaya was the Mawryngkhang Trek. Starting from Mawryngkhang village, nestled amidst lush greenery and pristine natural beauty, the trek offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich biodiversity of the region. The trail winds through dense bamboo forests,  and as trekkers ascend, they are rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and distant peaks, providing a sense of serenity and awe-inspiring beauty.

The trek itself is challenging in itself and especially the penultimate vertical bamboo stairs are the most thrilling of all just before reaching the peak of Mawryngkhang U.

The Mawryngkhang Trek promises an unforgettable adventure for all who dare to embark on it.

Trek Mawryngkhang bamboo bridge Meghalaya

Jaintia Hills 

The mystical waters of Shnongpdeng 

Shnongpdeng is an adventure destination with several activities available.  At the border of India and Bangladesh, the Umngot river is one of the main attractions for the water activities that are held there. Float on top of the crystal clear river and listen to the water soothingly flow to Bangladesh. Plan an overnight trip with your friends and let nature sink in into you while you enjoy a pleasant stay at the riverside camping site.

Shnongpdeng is also the home of Larnai Black pottery or Khiew-Ranei as it is known in the local language that uses black clay mixed with serpentine stone. Made with local techniques passed down from generation to generation. 

Meghalaya places to see Umngot river Northeast India

Nartiang Monoliths

The Jaintia districts of Meghalaya have a distinct royal history and Nartiang is one of the best places to see well-preserved remnants from this glorious chapter. The garden of monoliths features a collection of large monoliths that were erected as monuments for the old kings. There is a small winding path that twists through and around the looming monoliths, providing a chance for you to explore and soak in the surreal scenes. You will also get decent views of the town from this heritage site. Some of these stones were erected half a millennia ago and additions were made till the middle of the nineteenth century. The monoliths provide a captivating sight – arguably the largest collection of monoliths in a single place and loaded with so much historical and cultural significance. The standing monoliths or menhirs are dedicated to the male ancestors while the flat ones, the dolmens, are dedicated to the women. 


Nohkalikai Falls

Cherrapunjee aka the the wettest place on Earth is known for its breathtaking waterfalls, living root bridges, and misty landscapes, is a paradisiacal destination in Meghalaya that beckons nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike.

Visitors to Cherrapunjee can embark on exhilarating treks to explore the scenic beauty of its lush surroundings and encounter the awe-inspiring Nohkalikai Falls, plunging dramatically a height of approximately 340 meters from the cliffs.

Cherranpunji Nohkalikai Falls
Photo de abhi grover:

Living Root Bridges

Meghalaya’s Living Root Bridges, intricate natural marvels woven from living tree roots, exemplify the harmonious relationship between humans and nature, offering a glimpse into the sustainable practices of indigenous communities.

With their complex yet organic design, these bridges stand as testaments to the resourcefulness and creativity of the local Khasi and Jaintia tribes who have nurtured and shaped them over generations.

The ingenuity behind these structures lies in the patient guidance of the roots over many years, resulting in robust and functional bridges that can support the passage of people and livestock.

Balpakram National Park

Balpakram National Park, a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers, offers a biodiversity hotspot in Meghalaya, teeming with endemic species, scenic landscapes, and conservation efforts.

Nestled in the heart of the Garo Hills, this park showcases the rich tapestry of nature’s wonders, from elusive clouded leopards to majestic water buffaloes roaming freely. The park’s unique topography of steep cliffs and lush valleys creates a perfect habitat for diverse flora and fauna, making it a paradise for birdwatchers and botanists alike. Conservation initiatives like habitat restoration and community engagement play a pivotal role in protecting the delicate balance of this ecological gem.

Umden-Diwon, Ri-Bhoi District (Eri Silk Village) 

Umden, The Eri Silk Village of Northeast India, is a small village located in Ri-Bhoi district. Take a cultural tour through the community and experience the lush greenery amidst the whistling sounds of the village’s feathered friends. Home to indigenous communities, Umden-Diwon also boasts of a sacred grove that is home to a host of tree varieties, monoliths, and other plant species.

Houses in Umden Eri Silk Village


Mawlynnong Village, often hailed as ‘Asia’s Cleanest Village,’ is a pristine gem in Meghalaya known for its eco-friendly practices, lush greenery, and warm hospitality, offering a tranquil retreat amidst nature’s bounty.

This picturesque village prides itself on its unique sustainable initiatives that have garnered worldwide acclaim. Visitors are captivated by the sight of bamboo dustbins dotting the streets, immaculately clean pathways, and the absence of plastic litter. The community’s dedication to environmental preservation is evident in their organic farming practices and efficient waste management systems.

Beyond its spotless streets, Mawlynnong holds a deep cultural significance, with indigenous Khasi traditions and rituals shaping daily life. Tourists can partake in local festivities, taste traditional cuisine, and engage with friendly villagers who embody the spirit of harmonious living with their surroundings.


Dawki, a picturesque town in Meghalaya, is renowned for its crystal-clear waters of the Dawki River, offering visitors a surreal boating experience amidst breathtaking landscapes and cultural encounters.

The mesmerizing allure of Dawki lies in the shimmering waters of the river, which reflect the lush greenery that surrounds it, creating a postcard-worthy setting. The tranquility of the location makes it a perfect escape for those seeking peace and serenity amidst nature’s wonders. Travelers can engage in various activities, from traditional boat races to exploring the nearby living root bridges, adding a touch of local culture and adventure to their journey.

Meghalaya places to see Dawki


Jowai, a tranquil town in Meghalaya, offers a serene retreat amidst scenic landscapes, cultural heritage, and warm hospitality, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful escape amidst nature’s splendor.

Walking through the streets of Jowai, you’ll be captivated by the blend of tradition and modernity that seamlessly coexist. The vibrant markets buzzing with locals and the aroma of local delicacies will tantalize your senses.

One cannot miss the iconic Tyrshi Falls, where the cascading waters create a mesmerizing spectacle. Embrace the communal spirit at the annual Behdeinkhlam festival, where traditional dances and rituals showcase the rich cultural tapestry of the region. Jowai truly is a hidden treasure waiting to be explored!

Things to Do in Meghalaya, Northeast India

Meghalaya offers a plethora of exciting activities for visitors to immerse themselves in, ranging from adventurous trekking and thrilling caving expeditions to serene boating experiences and birdwatching escapades.

One of the most captivating activities in Meghalaya is exploring the living root bridges in Cherrapunji, intricate natural formations created by the local Khasi tribes over centuries. These bridges not only serve as functional pathways but also stand as a testament to the harmonious bond between nature and human ingenuity.


Trekking in Meghalaya offers enthusiasts a chance to explore the region’s lush jungles, misty hills, and hidden trails, providing an immersive experience amidst nature’s bounty and cultural heritage.

One of Meghalaya’s most renowned trekking destinations is the living root bridges, which showcase nature’s architectural marvels.

The difficulty levels in Meghalaya’s trekking routes vary, offering options for both beginners and seasoned trekkers.

When embarking on a trek in Meghalaya, it is essential to have sturdy hiking boots, quick-dry clothing, and a reliable backpack to navigate through the diverse landscape.”

Meghalaya Things to do trekking


Caving in Meghalaya unveils a mysterious underground world of limestone caves, secret passages, and ancient formations, offering adventurers a thrilling journey into the depths of the Earth’s wonders.

Exploring these caves is like stepping into a realm untouched by time, where stalactites and stalagmites create a mesmerizing landscape.

The intricate network of passages and chambers leads explorers through a maze of fascinating geology, showcasing the forces of nature at work.

Descending into the darkness surrounded by the echoes of dripping water and the soft rustle of bat wings, one can’t help but be awestruck by the raw beauty hidden beneath the surface.


Boating experiences in Meghalaya offer a serene escape amidst the tranquil waters of rivers and lakes, allowing visitors to soak in the natural beauty and cultural essence of the region from a unique vantage point.

The region is dotted with stunning water bodies like the Umiam Lake, Dawki River, and Krang Suri Falls, making it a haven for boating enthusiasts. Visitors can opt for paddleboats, rowboats, or even traditional wooden boats to explore these picturesque locations. With lush greenery lining the shores, the boating experience in Meghalaya is not just about cruising but also about immersing in the tranquil surroundings. As you glide through the crystal-clear waters, you’ll encounter breathtaking views of the rolling hills and dense forests that define Meghalaya’s landscape.

Tourist in Meghalaya on a boat

Bird Watching

Bird watching enthusiasts flock to Meghalaya’s diverse landscapes to observe a myriad of avian species in their natural habitats, from rare endemic birds to migratory flocks that grace the skies with their vibrant presence.

One of the most unmissable birding hotspots in Meghalaya is the Nokrek National Park, recognized for its rich biodiversity including the Hoolock Gibbon and the state bird, the Hill Myna. The park offers a perfect blend of lush forests and tranquil valleys, making it a prime destination for birdwatching adventures.

Shopping for Local Handicrafts

Exploring Meghalaya’s vibrant markets and artisan communities presents an opportunity for visitors to discover and purchase exquisite local handicrafts, traditional artifacts, and unique souvenirs that reflect the region’s rich cultural heritage.

Visitors can wander through bustling marketplaces where skilled artisans showcase their intricate creations, from woven textiles to hand-carved wooden sculptures. These handicrafts not only serve as mementos of one’s journey but also provide a glimpse into the cultural narratives and traditions deeply rooted in the local communities.

Each piece narrates a story, whether it’s the vibrant colors of a traditional Khasi shawl or the delicate patterns on a Garo bamboo craft. The significance of supporting these artisans goes beyond the act of purchasing; it is a way to preserve and celebrate the time-honored craft techniques passed down through generations.

Shopping for Local Handicrafts in Meghalaya India

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top places to visit in Meghalaya?

Some of the top places to visit in Meghalaya include Shillong, Cherrapunji, Mawlynnong, Dawki, and Nohkalikai Falls.

Is Meghalaya considered a part of North India?

Yes, Meghalaya is located in the northeastern part of India and is often considered a part of North India.

What is the best time to visit Meghalaya for sightseeing?

The best time to visit Meghalaya for sightseeing is between October and March, when the weather is pleasant and rainfall is minimal.

What is the main attraction of Cherrapunji in Meghalaya?

The main attraction of Cherrapunji is its stunning waterfalls, including the famous Nohkalikai Falls, as well as its living root bridges.

How can I reach Meghalaya from other parts of India?

Meghalaya can be reached by air, rail, and road. The nearest airport is in Guwahati, Assam, and there are many trains and buses connecting Meghalaya to other major cities in India.

Is it safe for solo female travelers to visit Meghalaya?

Yes, Meghalaya is generally considered safe for solo female travelers. However, it is always recommended to take necessary precautions and be aware of your surroundings.