Meghalaya, wherein the clouds dwell, separates the Assam valley from Bangladesh plains. It was known as the “Scotland of the East” in the British era and it has stood true to its name ever since. It is the wettest and one of the most beautiful parts of India. With waterfalls, pine grooves, and gardens abound, the state is synonymous with natural splendor at its best. This complete guide to Meghalaya will help you with places to visit in the state , culture, and traditions of the state.
Places to See
Meghalaya has several picturesque destinations to explore. Be ready to start on the virtual tour with us and get spellbound by the blessing nature has bestowed on this North-Eastern state.
The capital city of Shillong invariably comes to mind when someone mentions Meghalaya. If you are here, the must-visit places are Wankhar Entomology Museum, Ward’s Lake, Anglican Church, and Don Bosco Museum of Indigenous Cultures. It’s the perfect resort to spend a vacation at any time of the year.
The next on the list is Cherrapunjee. Remember your geography lessons? Yes, it used to be the place with the maximum rainfall in India. However, Mawsynram has taken over that credit in the present times. Nohkalikai Falls, Dainthlen Falls, and Kynrem Falls are the main attractions in and around Cherrapunjee. Don’t miss out on Mawsmai Cave while here.
Let’s now move to Garo and Jaintia Hills. The greenery over here is enough to leave you mesmerized. If you are an adventure lover, go exploring the Garo Hills and prepare yourself for something exciting in-store. Local guides from the tiny settlement of Tura can come to your help.
We shall now go to Nongpoh. Umiam Lake is the most coveted place of Nongpoh. Wildlife lovers would find heaven at Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary, Lum Sohpetbneng, and Lum Nehru Park. You can also visit the geologic formations of Dwar Ksuid.
Mawlynnong is our next destination. Living Root Bridge, Mawlynnong Village, and Mawlynnong Waterfall are the places of tourist interest over here.
Meghalaya has three main tribes, namely Khasis (Mon-Khmer origin), Garos (Tibeto-Burman origin), and Jaintias (South East Asia) and each tribe follows unique cultures and traditions. Hajong (Indo-Aryan) is another tribe found here in a minority that follows Hindu rites and customs.
However, the matrilineal system is universally followed by them all, which implies that family linage is taken from the maternal side. The youngest daughter is the heir to all the property. For parents who have no daughter, the daughter-in-law inherits the property.
The local people of Meghalaya are very hospitable, amicable, and jolly by nature. The Khasis hold the belief God, U Blei Nongthaw, is supreme. They consider life to be the greatest gift from God. The Jaintias and Khasis follow the same religion but the former is more inclined towards Hinduism. The Garos consider Rabuga as the supreme creator of the world.
Khasis keep dance at the center of their culture. Their main festivals include Ka Shad Suk, Mynsiem, Ka Pom-Blang Nongkrem, Ka-Shad Shyngwiang-Thangiap, Ka-Shad-Kynjoh Khaskain, Ka Bam Khana Shnong, Umsan Nongkharai, and Shad Beh Sier.
Jaintias celebrate Behdienkhlam, Laho Dance, and Sowing Ritual Ceremony.
Garos celebrate Den Bilsia, Wangala, Rongchu gala, Mi Amua, Mangona, Grengdik Baa, Jamang Sia, etc.
Next in our complete guide of Meghalaya, we mention the different dishes that you can try.
Rice is the staple food of people over here. Some of the must-try dishes while at Meghalaya include Jadoh that’s red rice cooked with chicken or fish, Doh-Khlieh prepared from minced pork, onions, and chilies, Nakham Bitchi that’s a popular soup prepared from a dry fish Nakham and Pumaloi, a kind of powdered rice prepared in a unique pot Khiew Ranei.
Try out Doh-Neiiong that’s pork curry dish and Tungrymbai made from fermented soya beans, boiled and chopped pork, black sesame, ginger, onion, and spices. Don’t forget to try momos over here.
The bazaars of Shillong are the best to buy fancy souvenirs. You can buy mounted butterflies, handwoven shawls, orange honey, black mushrooms, Khasi dresses for women, pineapple, orange and other fruit products.
- Bara Bazar (lewduh)
Located in East Khasi Hills District, Shillong, Bara Bazar is one of the most ancient and largest traditional markets of North East India.
- Khyndailad (Police Bazar)
If you are looking for fancy stuff to buy and eat, Khyndailad Bazar is the perfect place for you. Meghalaya Handlooms and Handicrafts, Purbashree Emporium, and Assam Emporium are some other shopping outlets thereat.
You should definitely buy Scottish dress materials, shawls, Khasi scrub, and handicraft items if you happen to be at Meghalaya. Meghalaya Handicrafts, Khadi Gramodyog, and Purbashree Emporium are the best places for your handicraft shopping at Shillong.
Make sure you are reading this complete guide of Meghalaya while shopping in Meghalaya you will miss out on less things.
How to Reach
Meghalaya has no railway lines. The nearest railway station to Shillong is at Guwahati, 104 km away. Meghalaya Transport Corporation offers bus services to and from Guwahati to major cities of the state.
Best Time to Visit
June to September is the best time to visit Meghalaya if you love cascading waterfalls during monsoon season.
April to June is the perfect time for people who love pleasant weather more while October to February is an ideal time if you wish to experience “Meghalaya” in the true sense as you will find dense fog on the mountains and roads.
You can choose according to the kind of weather you like the most.
We hope this complete guide of Meghalaya must have helped you with good Information. So are you ready to plan a backpacking trip to Meghalaya? we would love to assist you if you wish to travel to this splendid state of Eastern India.
Also if you looking for Independent Packages for Meghalaya, you can check this link for few sample Itineraries.
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