A Complete Travel Guide to Meghalaya – Scotland of the East

You have to see it to believe it. Words fail me this time when I sit down to write about the beauty of Meghalaya. Weather takes a turn all around the world, but in this little corner of India, God must have decided otherwise. It’s always raining here throughout the year. That is why green radiates everywhere you turn your head to get a panoramic view of the entire landscape.

Meghalaya literally mean “Abode of Clouds” and the name is not an exaggeration, for Mawsynram, a village in Meghalaya, holds the record of maximum rainfall in the entire

Meghalaya-6Rain on glass

I had an opportunity to visit this piece of heaven this month and I came back with a sense of satisfaction that I would like to share with you all.

It was a very short trip – I stayed there for 2 days. While everyone I knew were suffering in the tremendous heat wave sweeping over Kolkata, my hometown, I was lying in my hotel room tucked under a blanket in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya.

Meghalaya-8Meghalaya-2

The state of Meghalaya is surrounded by three mountain ranges i.e. Garo, Khasi & Jayantiya, all names derived from the dominating tribes of the region.

The Khasi culture is most popular in the region and their ceremonious attires leave a mark on their modern fashion as well.

If you wish to buy some of their traditional clothes, just take a walk through the Dedar Market near the City Center Point. Here you will find everything you may need. Not only traditional but you will get all the latest fashion-wear from here.

Shillong Dedar Market

Pro tips: Don’t forget to bargain the best deal

You might enjoy wearing the traditional Khasi dresses and clicking pictures at most of the parks and tourist spots just to make your experience a little more memorable.

Shillong Ward's Lake-2

There are some beautifully decorated parks around the city to spend an evening at your leisure. However be vigilant of the hour as there is not much nightlife here. Shops close at around 10pm and you may find it difficult to buy anything after that. If you are in the city you must have your dinner before 10pm as no restaurant will entertain you after that.

To have a wonderful experience let me share with you some basic informations.

How to reach:

Shillong is connected to the nearest railway station Guwahati Junction by national highway. AC buses leave from ASTC (Assam State Transport Corporation) bus stand near Paltan Bazar, Guwahati at 7am and 8am. The fare is ₹135 per person. It takes around 3 to 4 hours to reach MTC (Meghalaya Transport Corporation) bus stand near the City Centre Point in Shillong.

Meghalaya-4

Other small private vehicles like Tata Sumo charge ₹170 per person to Shillong from Guwahati.

Nearest airports are in Guwahati which is an international airport and connected with all the major airports in India.

Another airport is in Shillong which is a domestic one and only Air India runs flight to and from there. Only four flights run from this airport 6days a week (friday closed).

Helicopter service is also available from Shillong airport to Guwahati and Tura for which you will have to contact Meghalaya Transport Corporation ofiice at Shillong (2nd floor of MTC bus stand)

Where to stay:

There are numerous homestays all around Meghalaya and Shillong that provide you a warm and comfortable experience. You will find many alternatives on AirBnBMakeMyTrip, HolidayIQ and other holiday websites. Hotels can be booked by similar websites as well.

Don’t be disappointed by the area of the rooms. They tend to be smaller than average hotel rooms. It’s a cultural factor. If you travel around the state you will find all the houses to be small and cozy. Nevertheless the rooms provide natural insulation from cold due to compact space.

You may find the hotels overpriced if you are a traveller than a tourist and wish to book a room only to spend the nights.

Good news is that we have found some cheaper alternatives to make it easy on your pocket.

Earle Holiday Home is 10 minutes’ walk from the Center Point and has beautiful british styled wooden rooms. Double bed rooms start from ₹800 per night only. You can get bigger rooms at affordable price as well. Contact: 098633 02149

Elgin Hotel is right above the MTC building where you will find similar rates as the above place but the rooms might be a bit smaller with basic amenities. Contact: 0364 2504502 / 090890 63138

Where to eat: 

Just take a walk around the city and you’ll find restaurants serving all kinds of Indian cuisine. You can even grab a cup of coffee from Cafe Coffee Day or a delicious cup of Chai from a tea stall vendor.

How to get around: 

Sightseeing is a major activity at any tourist place but to have it in a cheap affordable cost is tough luck.

Don’t worry! We and the Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation got you covered. Check out these sightseeing packages.

1. Cherapunjee. By bus ₹350 per person

On the way you’ll see

A. Mawdok Valley Viewpoint

B. Maw-Smai Stalactite Stalagmite Cave

C. Eco Park (Missing Falls)

D. Mop Trop Rock (Khoh Ramhah) View of Bangladesh

E. Thang Kha Rang Park (Botanical Garden) [Wednesday closed]

F. Ramkrishna Mission Museum

G. Noh Ka Li Kai Water Falls [Lunch Break Here]

H. Noh Sngi Thiang (Seven Sister Falls)

 

2. Shillong (Barapani) By bus ₹300 per person

On the way…

A. Ward’s Lake (Tuesday closed)

Shillong Ward's Lake

B. Lady Hydari Park (Monday closed)

C. Cathedral Church Lait Um Khrah

D. State Museum (Saturday, Sunday and public holidays closed)

E. Golf course (Gleneagle of the East)

F. Elephant Water Falls

G. Shillong Peak Viewpoint

H. Umiam Lake

Shillong Barapani

**No lunch break for this trip

3. Mawsynram (Wettest place on Earth)
By bus ₹400 per person

On the way…

A. Mawjymbum Cave

B. Ritmawksir Viewpoint

C. Khreng Khreng Viewpoint

D. Jakrem Hot Spring

** Packed lunch recommended. No proper restaurants available


4. Mawlynnong (Asia’s CLEANEST VILLAGE)
By bus ₹500 per person

For more on this sightseeing tour, click here. {coming soon} 

On the way…

A. Cannyon Rngain Valley Viewpoint

B. Balancing Rock

C. Riwai Living Root Bridge kSingle Root Bridge)

D. Sky Viewpoint of Bangladesh

E. Dawki Border (India – Bangladesh Border)

F. Dawki Crystal Clear River

**Lunch break will be at Mawlynnong Village

5. Nartiang.
By Bolero/Sumo/Car reserved

On the way…

A. Religious Monolith Park

B. Durga Mandir (13th Century Summer Palace)

C. Thadlaskein Lake and Resort
Meghalaya Tourist Information Center has an office just opposite to the MTC building and you have to book one of these packages the previous day to get on the bus. The seats are limited to 31 people per bus per trip so grab the tickets as early as possible. The buses leave at 8 o’clock in the morning from the office gate.

For further queries call 0364-2226220

You can also book private cars from there at very affordable prices. The local taxis charge more and skip many destinations. They will assign a designated guide on every bus to make the journey pleasant.

We have reviewed the bus experience in another blog. Read: {coming soon}

So hope this covers all your queries. If you have more, feel free to comment below and we will get back to you soon.

While you are in Shillong we wish you A Bit Of A Better Life! 

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Payal says:

    Thanx for the information. I hv just shifted to guwahati but still not visited these places. I am planning to visit these places in the month of august… your information would help me alot i guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy to help Payal. While you’re in Guwahati, don’t forget to check out our blog post about Kamakhya Temple and Balaji Temple.

      Like

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