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Travelling in Meghalaya: what to expect
Finally! you've decided to step into the Abode of Clouds: Meghalaya; with an abundance of tree houses pristine rivers and villages, mighty mountains with panoramic views, culture and biodiversity, you are in for a journey of a lifetime.
Meghalaya is one of the safest places to travel in India which makes it ideal for female travellers.The common language is spoken here are Khasi, Garo and English. The capital being Shillong; it has an area of 22,429 square kilometres. Now, you may wonder how long should I plan an ideal trip to Meghalaya?
around 5 to 7 days is good however, if you can stretch up to 15 days you can travel around with ease and cover all the places comfortably.
Since Meghalaya is a hill station, theres a bucket load of adventure in store,from kayaking, caving, mountain biking, trekking, river canyoning, water rappelling to name a few.
•Best time to visit:
The best time to visit this slice of heaven on earth is from October to June when the climate is gratifying.
•Now get this, you may think to have a good time at Meghalaya one must drain their pockets? surprisingly no! You do not have to shell out an exponential amount to have a great time here.
Meghalaya is easily accessible and is easy to navigate, the best way to reach Meghalaya is via Guwahati. Its approximately 100 kms away from Shillong. Guwahati is well connected with all other cities in India.
By air- Meghalayas only Airport is in Umroi roughly 35 kilometres from Shillong. Alternatively, you can reach here by the Gopinath Bordoloi airport in Guwahati which is 128 km from Shillong, from the airport you can hire a cab to your destination. Additionally there are helicopter services available and it is an affordable means to reach the state, it takes about 20 minutes to reach Shillong from Guwahati which is quite convenient. (Note- this service is not operational on Sundays)
•By rail- there is no train station in Meghalaya and subsequently no railway lines as well. Again the closest is the Guwahati train station.
•By car- NH 40 is the highway that connects Shillong to Guwahati, it is not only easy to navigate but also well maintained.
•By bus- bus is a very economical way but not the most comfortable commute to Meghalaya, based on convenience you can choose deluxe or regular tourist buses.
•Once you arrive in the city like Shillong, you can travel in local buses. There are two kinds Shillong city bus and the baazar bus, the former being for tourist while the latter being for the locals, the plus side is, this is very cheap but comparatively slow and not supremely comfortable to get around.
•By taxi- there unmetered taxis that can take you sightseeing. It's best to reconfirm the estimate rates with the hotel employees. You can even rent a taxi for an entire day and visit all the places in your itinerary. There are shared taxis available too, the cost of which is quite low not more than 15 rupees.
Now that you've settled in and your fresh and ready to explore the beauty, let's go through the top places for your visit:
1.Cherrapunji-called as the wettest place on Earth this is the place that receives the highest rainfall in India. The major attractions here are the living root bridge, mawsmai cave some mesmerizing waterfalls, Eco Park and the garden of caves.
2.Shillong is also called the Scotland of the east, it is a must visit in every travellers list with a breath of fresh air. Here you will find forested hills, a pleasant climate and a scenic beauty which leave you spellbound.
3.Balpakram National Park- locals fondly call this "land of spirits", rich and fauna you'll find wild cows, marbled cats, deers, tigers, elephants, red pandas,wild buffalos.
4.Living root Bridge- made out of an Indian rubber tree this bridge is 3 kilometres long and 2,400 feet tall a natural living 200 old phenomenon.
5.Umium lake- is a picturesque lake enclosed by the lush green east Khasi slopes.A man made lake, 15 kms north of Shillong.
Not to miss elephant falls, Mawlynnong village, Nohkalikai falls, Tura, Kyllang rock, Don Bosco Museum to name a few places to make the most of your vacation.
•Cuisine- I'm sure all the walking and roaming has made your tummy rumble, but don't worry, Meghalaya's got you covered.
The most authentic touch of Meghalaya as food is found in local tracks and street food some must try's are: Jodoh, momos, babmoo shoots, nakham bitchi, dohklieh, pumaloi.
Mingling with the locals experiencing the culture and way of life, tasting the appetizing delicacies, becoming one with nature Meghalaya is one big breath of fresh air!