Meghalaya means “abode of clouds” in Sanskrit and it lives up to its name. Located in the northeast region of India, being one of the seven sisters, it is the perfect combination of peace and tranquility.
It offers you an escape to the lush green valleys and lets you get lost in its thick, dense forests. Wrapped in mountains with clouds, heavy with water floating around it, nothing but sheer charm with magical effects.
It has the richest biodiversity and the water flowing down through its landscape full of rugged terrain gives you an adrenaline rush and serenity at the same time.
Meghalaya is known for its majestic waterfalls such as the Nohkalikai Falls located in the East Khasi Hills, the highest plunging waterfall in India. Cherrapunji, one of the wettest towns, attracts tourists not only for its Char Mawsmai Cave, double-decker Living Root Bridge but also for its Dain Than, Kinrem and Wakaba Falls.
The double-decker root bridge is made of Indian rubber tree roots and is one of the scenic spots with water flowing underneath. Meghalaya is rich in rich wildlife, and Balapakram National Park is an example. It is a tourist’s paradise and a “land of the spirit”, it is a paradise on earth for wildlife. Tura Municipal District has the most peaceful environment and is home to various species like wild cat, leopard, wild buffalo etc.
Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, is a Scotland in India with its pleasant climate and forested hills; It provides a much needed respite from city life. Famous tourist spots are Royal Elephant Falls, Lady Hydari Park, Wards Lake and Don Bosco Museum.
Another town worth exploring is Jajai, which is a mix of culture and heritage and is famous for its pristine waterfalls. Nangpoh is a small town with lush greenery and flowing rivers. Williamnagar is undoubtedly another beautiful town with flora, fauna, breathtaking mountains and rivers.
The rainiest town, Mawsinram, is worth a visit for its stratus (low-flying) clouds, misty weather and rejuvenating waterfalls. To take you home, take the country roads to Mawlinong, Asia’s cleanest village adorned with a beautiful waterfall and original bridge.
Latliam Canyon is less famous but the most dreamy place with amazing views and is nothing short of a heavenly abode.
How to reach Meghalaya by air?
Meghalaya’s only airport is located at Umroi, about 35 km from Shillong. From here, tourists catch a bus or taxi to their favorite destinations. Apart from this, another way to reach Meghalaya is to land at Gopinath Bordoloi Airport located in Guwahati and 128 km from Shillong.
From here, people travel to Meghalaya by booking shared cabs, STPS airport shuttles or Tata Sumos. Helicopter service is also available here, which is more affordable and convenient, taking only 20 minutes to reach Shillong. This service is not available on Sundays.
The airport is well connected to international cities like Bangkok and Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai.
How to reach Meghalaya from Delhi? It takes about 2 hours 30 minutes to reach Umroi by air from Delhi and covers a distance of 1491 km. And, from Delhi to Guwahati, it takes 2 hours 15 minutes and covers a total length of 1459 km.
How to reach Meghalaya from Mumbai? The distance from Mumbai to Umroi is 2779 km with mostly layover flights at Kolkata and Guwahati. But when a flight is taken from Mumbai to Guwahati, it covers a distance of 2737 km in 3 hours.
Another way to reach Meghalaya is to take a flight from Kolkata to Umroi, which takes 1 hour 45 minutes for 490 km, and to Guwahati, 1 hour 15 minutes for 519 km.
How to reach Meghalaya by train?
If you are planning to go by train, the nearest railway station is at Guwahati, Assam, which is 105 km from Shillong. This railway junction is well connected to all other major cities of the country. From there, passengers either use buses or cabs to reach Meghalaya.
By taxi, it takes 2 hours 40 minutes. It takes about two days to reach Guwahati by train from Mumbai. By train from Delhi, it covers 1850 km, and the fastest train that reaches Guwahati railway station takes 27 hours 40 minutes. If you decide to take the train from Kolkata, it will cover a distance of 973 km in 17 hours 50 minutes.
How to reach Meghalaya by road?
Road is a mode of transport within the state and the state capital, Shillong, is relatively well connected to other cities. The distance between Guwahati and Shillong is 191 km and takes about 5 hours to reach, and is connected by National Highway (NH) 40.
You can choose to take tourist taxis, Meghalaya Transport Corporation (MTC), which are connected to other cities. Tata Sumo Taxis, or drive yourself. If you decide to self-drive, you will have to start your journey from Guwahati’s Bara Bazar, also known as the Assam Trunk Road.
Continue on the highway until you reach GS Road and enter Kamrup District. Continue to NH 40 and drive for about 65 km until you reach Nongpoh, Meghalaya. You have to continue the journey for another 59 km till you reach Mawlai where you enter the East Khasi Hills.