Top 10 Things To Do In Meghalaya

Top 10 Things To Do In Meghalaya

Aswini Ramesh | December 19, 2019 |

Known as the abode of clouds, Meghalaya is a hilly state in the north-eastern part of India famous for its constant rainfall, this place was recently reported to be the wettest place on earth. The state is one of the Seven Sister States of northeastern India and is also known for its mountains and rich geography.

The climate of the state varies with the altitude and is one of the unique destinations that can be visited all around the year. The majority of the population is made up of tribal people – Khasis, Pnars and Garos- who majorly earn their living by means of cultivation. Here are the top 10 things to do when you visit Meghalaya when on a holiday!


  By Air: Guwahati (100 km from Shillong) is the nearest airport connecting Meghalaya to the outside. From Shillong, there are state transport buses from Police Bazaar stand, about every half an hour to Guwahati and Silchar. But hiring a taxi is the best way to get around the state.

  By Train: The nearest railway station is Guwahati and that is very well connected to the rest of the country.


Mawlynnong Village


weekend getaways


The Mawlynnong village is situated close to one of Meghalaya’s most famous attraction – Living Root Bridge and was also named as the “Cleanest Village in Asia” by a travel magazine. Mawlynnong is a 3-hour drive south of Shillong in the East Khasi Hills, it is also referred to as ‘God’s own garden’ and is a community-based eco-tourism initiative. The locals have constructed a Sky View Platform from bamboo on the top of the highest tree in the forest which is about 80 feet up. It offers an excellent view of the village and an extensive view across to Bangladesh. Travellers claim that Mawlynnong Village is one of the best scenic beauty that they have witnessed.


Living Root Bridge


weekend getaways


Located in the village of Riwai, is one of the breathtaking man-made natural wonder of the world – The Living Root Bridge. The forefathers of Khasi tribe were the original architects of this bridge, the tribal people grew rubber or banyan trees on the banks of the river and the aerial roots of these trees were merged with the betel nut tree trunks which formed a horizontal path. With the passage of time, these roots grew resulting in natural bridges.


Laitlum Canyon


The Laitlum Canyon is an hour south of Shillong. This place should be in the bucket list of every hardcore trekker. Going up this terrain is quite a task but with the proper local guidance, right tools and a little bit of willpower it should be a 4-5 hour trek offering an astonishing view of Meghalaya from a bird’s eye. The population is very less, approximately only about 350 people live in the remote village and hence extra care should be taken for personal safety.


Double Decker Living Root Bridge (Nongrait Village, Cherapunjee)


weekend getaways


Double Decker bridges are parallel bridges. The Umshiang Double Decker Living Root which is said to be about 180 years old located in Nongrait village is very popular but the trek to the place is very tedious, tourists should come down about 2000 slippery and moss-covered stairs to see the bridge. There are 3 other bridges found near the villages of Padu and Nongbareh.

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Shillong Lewduh Bara Bazaar

Considered to be one of the largest traditional-styled markets in northeast India, this market will be bustling. Located in the heart of Shillong the market is extremely crowded unless you visit early in the morning, we can find local Khasi people selling fresh produce and also if you are a foodie, it is one of the best places to find yummy local street food.


Umiam Lake


weekend getaways


Umiam Lake also known as “Bara Pani” or The Big Water is located in Nongpoh is a vast and scenic reservoir that attracts a large number of tourists year-round. The lake is a part of a dam, constructed as a first Hydel power project in the state, it also is the chief source of water supply to the city of Shillong. 

Due to its picturesque, panoramic setting, the Umiam Lake is often compared to the beautiful Lakes of Scotland. While it is one of the prominent venue for water sports but activities here are quite expensive.  


Mawsmai Cave


weekend getaways


Mawsmai Cave in Meghalaya dark, cramped, narrow where paths wrap around each other and have quite a reputation amongst tourists. Sounds thrilling? But for the convenience of tourists because of popularity is maintained as a show cave which is clean, well-lit and accessible. There are a multitude of caves in Meghalaya that are a bit more challenging to visit and are better suited for caving expeditions with the help of right guide and caving equipment.


Mawphlang Sacred Forest


weekend getaways


One of the most exceptional features of the Khasi Hills is the sacred forests, which have been preserved by traditional religious sanction, since ancient times. The Mawphlang Sacred Forest is about 25 km from Shillong, it is also known as Law Kyntang. The forest has an impressive biodiversity, it houses medicinal plants, including those that can apparently cure cancer and tuberculosis, Rudhrakh trees, Orchids, Ferns, mushrooms etc.,  As per local tribal beliefs, the diety labasa inhibits the forest which takes the form of a tiger or leopard to protect its community. The tribal members also perform animal sacrifices and burn the bodies of the dead inside it. In short, it is an ideal destination for nature lovers.


Elephant Falls


weekend getaways


Elephant Falls was once known as Ka Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew (Three Steps Waterfalls) by the local Khasi people. True to its name, the waterfall itself is made up of three very clear steps. The first step is very broad and is hidden among the trees. The second step is quite domesticated and in the winters (and drier months) it looks inconsequential. The third step is the tallest and most spectacular with crystal clear water falling over sharp rocks of myriad shapes. 

Unfortunately, the structure of the black rocks resembling an elephant was destroyed because of the earthquake in the year 1897, but the falls still retains its name. The scenic beauty of the falls makes it one of the popular destinations for tourists in Meghalaya.


Don Bosco Centre For Indigenous Culture


weekend getaways


Don Bosco Centre For Indigenous Culture is a privately- run Museum which provides information on all elements of history and culture in the northeast. The design of the building is hexagonal in shape with seven storeys and is also referred to as the architectural pride of Shillong. The museum is conveniently located in Mawlai and is pretty close to Police Bazaar. A library is housed within the Museum has an extensive collection of resources for research on the state and its six sisters. If you are planning to visit DBCIC it is recommended to have at least 3-4 hours minimum at hand as you would not be able to rush through everything in a short span. The DBCIC is a must-visit if you are in the state.



About the author

Aswini Ramesh