Planning a trip to Meghalaya

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘True paradise’? Well yeah, it does exist, and in India, it’s nowhere else than in Meghalaya. You should consider the below points in your mind while planning a quick 5 day trip to the Abode of clouds.

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The beauty of Meghalaya is beyond words

Planning

Before going to any place, I always google what that place has to serve me, what kind of terrain it has, the weather conditions, transportation facilities, where I would be staying, I did the same before going to the northeast also. After making a rough itinerary of the trip, I start digging about places that I would be going at.

Where to stay?

I don’t like staying in typical hotels when traveling on my own so I often go with hostels or Airbnb or Couchsurfing  or the homestays of locals not just because they are budget friendly but also very lively. I did the same before going to the northeast also.

Stay at bamboo made homestays in the Mawlynnong. You may get rooms in homestays at a price of 1000-1500 INR for per night. It is a small village and people here are very close to nature and don’t like building cemented houses.

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Our tiny Cottage in Mawlynnong

A good number of accommodation options are there at Cherrapunji. Try to negotiate with them. The most famous and luxurious property is The Jeeva resort. We stayed at the JMS Lodge and it was 1500 INR per night.

Shillong is the capital city of Meghalaya, comparatively expensive city. There are a lot of options available to stay including hostels, homestays and very good hotels and resorts. you can stay as per your choice.

How to reach?

The first question about going there is how to reach there? Well, you can choose the below ways:

By Flight: The flight to Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport – Guwahati, is cheaper than to the Shillong airport. Also, there are regular flights to Guwahati from Delhi and Jaipur that runs every day. It is a 2 and a half hour flight. The flight is ornamented with the Himalayas on your left. If you plan accordingly and book the flights in a month advance it would cost you around 8500 INR for a round trip. The distance from Guwahati to Meghalaya is 100 Km.

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The Mighty Himalayas as seen from my window

By train: There are some trains that run weekly or twice in a week for Guwahati but it takes around 40 hours which is almost 2 days to reach there by train as the distance is almost 1950 km. There are no trains running to Meghalaya.

By road: If you are fond of a long road trip then you can choose this way but it would be a long way depending upon where you are embarking your journey. Mostly you would be running into the urban jungles until you arrive at Guwahati after then the highways to Meghalaya would turn all green with palm trees on either side of the highway.

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Palm trees everywhere

There are shared taxis available at a fine price in Meghalaya. We took a car on rent and drove it by our self. The car was really good and the agency was really nice. They are called Razzle Rides, and they are based in Guwahati.

Climate and weather:

The weather in Meghalaya is pleasant throughout the year, while it can go as low as 0°C to 2°C during winters, on the other hand, it lies between 8°C to 20°C during summers. Post summers being the end of May it can rain every day here until October or November, as it is the wettest place on earth which receives the highest amount of rainfall in the world. It could be too humid in peak summers and during the monsoons

Essentials while packing for Meghalaya: 

If you are planning during the Monsoons you would definitely need to keep yourself and your belongings dry by keeping Rain covers, Ponchos, Umbrella, Waterproof camera covers, dry bags, and plastic bags. Do not forget Anti-mosquito cream (such as Odomos) and Sunscreen as you would be inside the jungle so you need to protect yourself with the after effects of a mosquito bite and Extreme sunrays.

Even if you go in summers, keep some warm clothes with you as it gets really cold at nights even in summers. Carry shorts, trek pants, all-terrain trekking shoes with you for trekking in Meghalaya.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1: Reach Mawlynnong

After reaching the Guwahati airport, Mawlynnong is 175 km from Guwahati and it is a 6-hour drive.

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The streets of Mawlynnong

Day 2: Living root bridge – Bangladesh Viewpoint – Dawki

Explore the streets of the cleanest village of Asia, Walk on the Living Root Bridge, Explore the dense forests in Mawlynnong. Go to the Bangladesh viewpoint treehouse. Visit the cleanest Indian River the Umangot River in the village Dawki. You can explore many activities here, including Kayaking, Ziplining, boating.

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A lady crossing the Living root bridge
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In the lap of mother nature deep in the jungle of Mawlynong
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The hanging balcony with a view of Bangladesh on the other side
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The beauty of Umangot river is exceptional

Day 3: Cherrapunji – Double Decker Root Bridge – Rainbow waterfalls

Cherrapunji is 85 km from Dawki which is almost a 3-hour drive. There are so many places in Cherrapunji to explore. Go to the day-long trek of Double-decker Root Bridge and Rainbow waterfalls through the dense forests in Cherrapunji on your first day here.

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The Metal suspension bridge on the way to Double Decker root bridge
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Raw, wild and still breathing, The double Decker root bridge
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The Rainbow falls as seen from the bottom

Day 4: Noh kalikhai waterfalls – Arwah Caves – Dainthlen falls

Visit the tallest waterfalls of India, the Noh kalikhai waterfalls. Get lost in the dark limestone Arwah caves which are more than 30 million years old. Another beautiful spot of the day would be watching the sunset at the Dainthlen falls

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The Noh Kalikhai waterfalls
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The Arwah caves are older than 30 million years
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Sunset at Dainthlen falls

Day 5: Laitlum Canyons – Shillong – Elephant falls

Have a birds-eye view of the canyons of the Meghalaya from Laitlum. Visit the Scotland of the east the Shillong city which is 54 km from Cherrapunji. Walk in local markets. Visit the iconic elephant falls and wintness a beautiful sunset at the pretty  Umium Lake.

Take the early morning flight from Guwahati on the next day and say goodbye to this paradise.

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The Umiam lake as seen in the evening hours

Things to keep in mind:

  • Always carry a water bottle with you.
  • You will not find any shop to get something to eat at the island on Umangot River so carry some foodstuff with you.
  • Do not litter here and there in Meghalaya, as people here are very much particular about cleanliness and also you are not going there to spoil nature. So keep a bag with you where you put your trash and dump it when you see a dustbin.
  • Apply sunscreen and Anti-Mosquito cream on your skin while roaming in the jungles.

If you have any question feel free to ask me in the comment section

Also, Read my experiences in Meghalaya and check out the awestruck photos of Meghalaya in my blog series Meghalaya the true paradise

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