Meghalaya, one of the seven sister states, is a stunning state known for its lush greenery, cascading waterfalls, and amazing landscapes. Few places embody their name as perfectly as Meghalaya. It literally means "an abode of clouds" and is the rainiest state in India. This enchanting destination has something for everyone, whether you're a nature lover, an adventurer, or simply seeking a peaceful vacation. This article has got you covered with a detailed one-week itinerary that will take you on a journey through this breathtaking paradise on Earth. Get ready to discover Meghalaya like never before!
On day 1, arrive at the Shillong Airport, also known as Umroi Airport. Shillong, being the capital of Meghalaya has many places to visit. Reach your hotel to unwind and then head to the famous Police Bazar. It’s known for shops that sell smuggled winter clothing items from Thailand such as caps, jackets, sweaters, boots, etc. People can purchase beauty kits from Japan, Korea, and China and explore the wonderful collection of bags and shoes.
Those who’re looking for organic farm produce or are fond of cooking can stroll around the local grocery outlets and explore fresh grocery products. You can indulge in the local cuisine and experience the vibrant culture of Meghalaya through its food. Try authentic momos, piping hot jalebis, and Tungrymbai (a local dish made by using fermented soybeans). Also, if you’re a non-vegetarian you cannot miss on Dohneiiong which is a local dish made up of pork cooked with black sesame seeds and soy sauce. After this, you can end the day by resting at your hotel.
Drive just 10 minutes to Don Bosco Museum and start day 2 off right. It’s a well-known museum situated within the Sacred Heart Church premises in Shillong. This place is a three-in-one institution that combines a museum with a research and publication center. You can visit anytime between 09:00 am to 05:30 pm, the museum stays closed on Sundays. The entry ticket is INR 100 for Indians and INR 200 for foreigners. You can also experience a breathtaking view of Shillong City from the Museum's skywalk.
After learning about the history and culture of Meghalaya, take a 45-minute drive to reach the beautiful Shillong Peak. If you’re a nature enthusiast, this place will surely be the highlight of your trip to Shillong. At a height of 1965 m above sea level, Shillong Peak is the highest point of the city. It offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the entire city, the Himalayas, its waterfalls as well as of the Bangladesh plains. A telescope is available for tourists to get a bird's eye view which just costs INR 10.
Enjoy the views from the top and then head to Ward’s Lake, which is located at a distance of just 30 minutes from the peak. The lake has a beautiful wooden bridge and boating has also been facilitated, making it perfect for photography. If you visit Ward’s Lake in mid-November, you can witness the Himalayan Cherry Blossom trees that cover the entire location. It’s definitely something you cannot miss!
Start day 3 with a 1.5-hour drive to Cherrapunji, also called Sohra. This place is known as the world’s wettest town as it receives heavy rainfall very frequently. Soaking in the beauty of Cherrapunji, this town alone has a lot of famous tourist attractions. Reach Cherrapunji, check in your hotel and get ready to explore this town. You can visit the Sohra market and the local fish market to experience the unique culture of the town.
Just by driving for another 15 minutes, you will reach the majestic Nohkalikai Falls. This stunning waterfall is famous not only for its beauty but also for the tragic legend surrounding it. Visit the falls to discover the whole story yourself. After Nohkalikai Falls drive for around 20 minutes to reach your next destination i.e. Mawsmai Caves.
One of the highlights of exploring the Mawsmai Caves is navigating through tight passages and chambers, which can be both thrilling and challenging. It's advisable to wear comfortable clothing and sturdy footwear, as the terrain can be uneven and slippery in places. Spend your night at the hotel in Cherrapunji and rest to be energetic for the next day.
Next is day 4 which has many exciting and new things to explore, starting by driving to reach the Living Root Bridges in the villages of Mawlynnong and Riwai. In Mawlynnong, often hailed as the "Cleanest Village in Asia,", you’ll find old Living Root Bridges but they have complicated hikes. These unique bridges are crafted from the roots of ancient rubber trees, guided and trained over decades by local Khasi villagers.
If you want an easy trek, head to Riwai which is just half an hour away. From there, you’ll just have to walk for 15 minutes and voila, you’ll be surrounded by nature’s marvel. The single-level Living Root Bridge in Riwai is a stunning sight, gracefully arched over a pristine stream, offering an ideal spot for quiet contemplation and nature photography.
In case you want to take your experience to the next level, head to Nongriat to encounter the iconic Double Decker Living Root Bridge. This architectural marvel consists of two levels of intertwining root systems, providing passage over the Umshiang River. Reaching the bridge is definitely not easy and requires a moderate level of physical fitness. The trek has 3 parts, part 1 taking the most time. You’ll have to climb 3,500 stairs and descend 2,400 feet. The one-side trek can take up to 2 hours but the views of unique vegetation, fruits, and jungles will make your journey worth it. Once you reach your destination, you’ll be stunned by the 150+-year-old man-made natural wonder. Trust us, you’ll be exhausted by the time you come back, so either find a place in the village to crash for the night or stay at the same hotel at Cherrapunji.
Begin your 5th day by driving to Dawki which attracts travelers with its mesmerizing attraction: the crystal-clear waters of the Umngot River. Dawki is located near the Bangladesh border. It offers an enchanting experience that feels like stepping into a surreal world of pristine beauty. The best way to fully appreciate the transparent waters of the Umngot River is by taking a boat ride. It's an experience that's bound to leave you in awe of nature's wonders.
From Dawki, continue your adventure by traveling just a short distance to Shnongpdeng, a beautiful village perched on the banks of the Umngot River. Shnongpdeng is not only a natural paradise but also an adventure seeker's haven. Here, you can indulge in an array of adrenaline-pumping activities. Zip-lining over the Umngot River offers breathtaking aerial views of the pristine waters and surrounding landscapes. The rush of soaring above the crystal-clear river is an experience you won't soon forget.
For those who want to explore the underwater world, snorkeling in the Umngot River is another thrilling option. Dip below the surface to discover the vibrant aquatic life and the unique underwater topography of the riverbed. To fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty and adventure of Shnongpdeng, consider staying overnight in one of the riverside camps. The night sky in this remote location is a canvas of stars, providing a stunning celestial display that is perfect for stargazing.
Embark on day 6 journey by driving around 2 hours to reach Mawphlang. Located in East Khasi Hills, Mawphlang is home to one of the most revered and sacred forests in Meghalaya. These ancient woodlands have been preserved and protected by the indigenous Khasi people for generations, and they offer a unique opportunity to delve into the heart of Khasi culture and spirituality. As you enter the dense canopy of the Mawphlang Sacred Forest, you'll be greeted by towering trees, lush green ferns, and a serene atmosphere that feels untouched by time.
From Mawphlang, take a scenic 2-hour drive to the charming village of Mawlyngbna. It's an adventure hub where you can participate in a range of exhilarating outdoor activities. One of the most popular activities in Mawlyngbna is kayaking. The village is surrounded by tranquil rivers and serene lakes, making it an ideal destination for paddling on the water. For those who prefer to explore on land, Mawlyngbna offers numerous trekking opportunities. It's a chance to connect with nature on a deeper level, with the sights and sounds of the outdoors providing a serene backdrop to your journey.
Stay the night in the same village to soak in the rural charm and hospitality of the Khasi people. You can choose to stay in traditional homestays, where you'll have the chance to savor authentic Khasi cuisine and engage with the local community, further enriching your cultural experience.
Also Read: Meghalaya Travel Guide
Well, it’s day 7, and however hard it might be, it’s time to depart from this beautiful state. The drive from Mawlyngbna to Shillong Airport is around 3 hours, so make sure you plan the day accordingly. Along the way, you can make a stop at the Elephant Falls, one of Shillong's most iconic attractions. These cascading waterfalls are named after a rock formation that resembled an elephant, which unfortunately was destroyed in an earthquake. Nevertheless, the falls remain a stunning sight with multiple tiers of water plunging into a pool below.
Upon your return to Shillong, take some time to explore the vibrant local markets. Here, you can pick up mementos such as intricately woven shawls, bamboo handicrafts, locally produced honey, and aromatic spices. Engaging with the friendly local vendors and artisans adds to the cultural experience. As you bid farewell to Meghalaya, you'll surely carry with you a treasure bunch of memories along the way.
Meghalaya is an incredible destination that should not be overlooked. By planning a week-long itinerary, you can immerse yourself in the region's magnificent natural scenery, vibrant culture, and mouth-watering cuisine. Whether you're a thrill-seeker or a history buff, Meghalaya promises to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. We’re sure that you’ve started to prepare your luggage to embark on this unforgettable adventure!
What Is The Best Time To Visit Meghalaya?
The best time to visit Meghalaya is between April and June.
What Is The Famous Food In Meghalaya?
Some of the famous foods in Meghalaya are Jadoh, Nakham Bitchi, Pumaloi, Tungrymbai, etc.
How Many Days Are Enough In Meghalaya?
A trip of 5-7 days should be enough to visit Meghalaya.
Do Indians Need Permit To Visit Meghalaya?
Meghalaya announced that travelers visiting for longer than 24 hours will be required to furnish a document stating their visit purpose. You will need an Inner Line Permit to visit the state.
What Is The Local Drink Of Meghalaya?
Kyat is a locally made fermented rice beer which is a famous local drink of Meghalaya.
How To Reach Meghalaya By Flight?
By flight, you can arrive at Shillong Airport which is a domestic airport.
How Many Living Root Bridges Are There In Meghalaya?
There are about 100 Living Root Bridges in Meghalaya.