Things to do in Meghalaya for an Escape in the Lap of Nature

Meghalaya is one of the most beautiful state in India. It is literally based in between clouds with several beautiful vantage points, tremendous natural beauty and a rich and verdant wildlife. There are also a number of exciting things to do in Meghalaya that attract a large tourist influx to visit the place. Home to some of the most gorgeous lakes, trekking trails, mysterious caves and beautiful waterfalls, the state has a flourishing tourism industry. You can visit the Umiam lake, explore the Siju Caves, walk across the Double Decker Bridge in Cherrapunji or visit Mawlynnong- the cleanest village in Asia. Check out the list of amazing activities and things to do in Meghalaya given below.

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Here is the list of 27 Things to do in Meghalaya for an Escape in the Lap of Nature

1. Soak in the Serenity of Umiam Lake in Shillong

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Umiam Lake, a mesmerizing man-made reservoir, is located at a distance of 15 kilometers north of Shillong which is the capital of the north-eastern Indian state of Meghalaya. The lake was formed after a dam was constructed to generate hydroelectric power. The serene lake or the reservoir is surrounded by thick coniferous forests. The area of this lake is four times the size of San Marino or Bermuda. It is encircled by lush green East Khasi hills that form one of the best panoramic sights for nature-lovers in the country. The picturesque location and the serene beauty of the lake attract tourists from all over the world. The sunrises are a treat to the eyes and witnessing one if one of the best things to do in Meghalaya.

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2. Walk Across the Double Decker Living Root Bridge in Cherrapunjee

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Hidden deep in the lush, green forests of the wettest place in India: Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya; one can find the magnificent Jingkieng Nongriat Double Decker Living Root Bridge; more commonly known as the Umshiang Double Decker Living Root Bridge or simply just the Double Decker Root Bridge. This area is famous for root bridges made of Indian Rubber Tree, but the Double Decker Bridge is the most famous of all due to its large size. The Umshiang River flows beneath the bridge. Walking across the bridge is one of the top things to do in Meghalaya.

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3. Behold to the Breathtaking Elephant Falls in Shillong

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Named after an Elephant like stone at its foot, the Elephant Falls are amongst the most popular falls in the North-East, situated next to Shillong. It is a tourists' paradise with three layers of the falls accessible to the layman from different vantage points. At Elephant Falls one can get very close to the falls and enjoy its serenity and might. This is also a superb place for spending some time in the midst of nature while capturing the incredible moments for your keepsake. Elephant Falls is a great stopover destination before one head for further journeys into Meghalaya. Be sure to include visiting here in your top list of things to do in Meghalaya.

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4. Watch a Panoramic Bird's Eye View from Shillong Peak

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At the height of 6449 ft and 1965 m above sea level, this is the highest point of Shillong. It offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the entire city, the Himalayas, its waterfalls as well as of the Bangladesh plains. A telescope is available for tourists to get a bird's eye view. Trekking up to this semi-circular peak is highly recommended for the best views but it is often bounded by heavy fog. Trekking up here is one of the top things to do in Meghalaya, especially if you are an adventure enthusiast.

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5. Visit the Pristine Town of Dawki

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A small border town in the Jaintia Hills, Dawki and its famed river Umngot is a must visit if in Meghalaya. Sandwiched between India and Bangladesh, Dawki is a major center of trade between India and Bangladesh. The small city, besides being a trade hub is also famous for its tourism scene, with many people flocking to the city in order experience a boat ride in its famed Umngot River and enjoy the nearby sights and sounds. The city becomes a hotbed of tourist activities especially during the spring months as it hosts the boat riding competition on the Umngot River. The surrounding greenery, the cold water of the river and the beautiful suspension bridge on the River Umngot make Dawki a place worth a visit.

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6. Visit Asia's Cleanest Village in Mawlynnong

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Mawlynnong is a small village in the East Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya, the abode of changing clouds. Mawlynnong is famous for its matrilineal society as well as having been declared Asia's cleanest village which comes under the Pynursla community development block and legislative assembly constituency. Mawlynnong is a village in the East Khasi Hills district in the Indian state of Meghalaya. It is famous for its women-centric society as well as having been declared Asia's cleanest village. Visiting here is one of the prime things to do in Meghalaya.

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7. Walk in the Clouds at Laitlum Canyons in Shillong

Also known as •Sit Valleyê by the locals, Laitlum Canyons means 'end of the world' or 'end of hills'. The exotic tourist spot is perched atop the East Khasi Hill in Shillong and nestled amidst majestic mountain peaks and verdant forests. The mountain top offers sweeping panoramic vistas of the valley below.

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8. Explore the Wondrous Siju Caves at Tura

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These are the 3rd largest caves in the Indian Subcontinent. Also known as 'the cave of bats', these caves have several chambers forming unexplored mazes. The limestone caves have an inward water network and are India's third longest cave network. Locally known as Dobakkol caves, the caves have layers of rocks, pillars and sheets formed due to erosion and abrasion of nature.

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9. Natural Retreat at Garo Hills

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Situated close to the Indo-Bangladesh Border, the Garo hills are part of the Patkai hill range, which extends across the Indo-Myanmar border. The Garo Hills, spanning across 8000 sq metres of area, offer magnificent viewpoints, densely populated with subtropical forests and rare endemic species of animals and birds. The Nokrek peak is the highest peak of this hill range, but the Arabella hills and the Tura peak also offer some breathtaking scenery. The hills are also decked with splendid waterfalls, enriching the environmental coherence of the place.

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10. Relax by the Wondrous Nohsngithiang Falls in Shillong

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Plunging from a height of 315 meters, Nohsngithiang Falls are another wonder that Cherrapunjee has to offer to its visitors. Also known as the Seven-sisters falls, Nohsngithiang is an absolutely amazing sight to behold and not to be missed if you find yourself in the area. Like Nohkalikai Falls, Nohsngithiang falls are a pride of Meghalayan tourism and make for a wonderful place to visit when in Cherrapunjee. Surrounded by thick covering of rainforests with clouds hovering around its peak, Nohsngithiang Falls are quite a spellbinding view.

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11. Take a Dip in the Hot Springs in Jakrem

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Jakrem is a small village in Meghalaya known for its hot sulphur springs which are believed to have medicinal properties. The area has been now developed as a Health Resort and is visited by tourists who take a dip in the spring. The resort also has bathrooms where you can take a hot shower. The water from the springs is brought through pipelines into the taps.

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12. Enjoy the Rainy Showers at Mawsynram

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Currently the wettest place on earth (tough competition with Cherrapunjee), Mawsynram receives 12m of rain annually. The generosity of mother nature can be easily seen and experienced with the fresh air, blue skies waterfalls and lush greenery. It is a haven for nature lovers and photographers. The offbeat destination is a perfect place to spend some time in peace amidst bounteous nature. It has also been used in several movie shootings.

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13. Explore the Dense Forests of Khasi Hills in Shillong

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Named after the Khasi tribe of Meghalaya, the Khasi hills are part of the larger Patkai hill range, a series of hills found across the Indo-Myanmar border in the northeast region of India. With deep lush valleys and conical peaks, these hills are famous for housing the Sohra or Cherrapunjee scarp, one of the regions with highest annual rainfall in the world, and the prevalent use of living root bridges seen in this region. The Nongkhum island, the second largest river island of Asia, is also located within this spectacular area. Complemented with the abundance of diverse wildlife seen throughout the area, this region is world-famous for being a prime ecological hotspot.

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14. Try Adventure Sports at Diengiei Peak in Shillong

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Situated on the western side of Shillong, is 6200 ft in altitude, this peak is just 200 ft shorter than the tallest peak in Shillong, Shillong Peak. For a height of about 1000 ft, the gradient of this peak is very steep and precipitous which makes for excellent mountain climbing. Other adventurous sports like rock climbing and rapelling can be done here. Trying out these activities is one of the top things to do in Meghalaya, especially if you are an adventure enthusiast.

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15. Wildlife Safari in Nokrek National Park in Cherrapunjee

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This is a famous park of the state. Located nearly 45km from Tura, it is boasts of a wide variety of flora and fauna. From wild elephants to beautiful orchids, this park has it all. The Leopard cat and Hallock too can be spotted in this park. One of the topmost things to do in Meghalaya is experiencing a wildlife safari at the Nokrek National Park.

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16. Bird Watching in Siju Bird Sanctuary in Baghmara

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Visiting the Simsang River, Siju Caves and not making an effort to check out the Siju Bird Sanctuary would be disgrace. This sanctuary situated just four km from the Siju caves is host to a very exquisite specie of birds - the Siberian duck. The lesser or Grey Hornbill is also seen around Siju. And if this wasn't enough to lure the bird lovers, there is another specie that is exclusively found here-the Peacock Pheasant.

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17. Enjoy a Boat Ride at Jarain Pitcher Plant Lake in Jowai

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Surrounded by the fascinating carnivorous pitcher plants, boat rides in this lake are a great experience. The plants, spread over 50,000 sq. m proves to be a unique sight for all. A fountain shaped like a pitcher plant has been installed in the middle of the lake. This pretty lake sits placidly amid gravelled footpaths, arch bridges, pitcher plant garden and green house-interpretation centre. This is a popular place to visit for the locals and tourists alike.

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18. Trek at David Scott Trail in Shillong

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Most popular trekking routes of Meghalaya, this path was originally laid by David Scott, a British officer as early as in the 1800s. It is still used to commute between Assam and Bangladesh. A 16km stretch covers horse tracks, waterfalls and the beautiful terrain of the East Khasi Hills. This 4 hour trek is best enjoyed in a group. October and November are the best months for this trek.

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19. Visit the Monolithic Village of Mawphlang

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Mawphlang is a beautiful village situated 25 kilometres away from Shillong, the capital city of north-east Indian state of Meghalaya. The village lies in the district of East Khasi Hills and is famous for its sacred groves. Tourists come here to experience the true essence of Meghalaya. The village is named Mawphlang as it is one of the several monoliths in the Khasi Hills. The monolith has been preserved to introduce tourists to the Khasi Tribes and their lifestyle in nature's lap.

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20. Hike to the Gigantic Kyllang Rock in Shillong

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Some 78 km away from Shillong, a unique giant rock made out of red granite, Kyllang Rock is a giant dome placed in the West Khasi Hills of Meghalaya. The Rock which is 5400 ft above sea level and has a width of around 1000 ft is a mammoth block of granite which is part of the Khasi folklore and seems beautiful in its shape. A hike to the top of the dome allows you to treasure the marvelous landscape of the surrounding area.

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21. Savour the Local Cuisine

Meghalya's cuisine is liberal, surprising and tinted with influences of the tribal cultures and styles the area. Rice with spicy meat and fish preparations is the staple food of people in Meghalaya. Ferment rice beer usually accompanies religious rites and major ceremonies and celebrations. Dohshaiin, Tungtab, Red rice, Jadoh, Dohneiihong, Makham-Bitchi and Kappa are the delicacies that are almost constant in a traditional and authentic Meghalayan cuisine, so are the vegetarian options, Jhur Sideh, Daineiiong, and Muli Khleh.

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22. Cave Exploration in Mawjymbuin

Mawjymbuin Cave is situated in Mawjymbuin village in Cherrapunji and is thronged by naturalists, geologists, photographers, pilgrims and tourists alike. It has a thin stream flowing towards the eastern end of the cave. A rock shaped structure arising from the earth, shaped like a shivalinga is the primary attraction of the cave and is highly revered by Hindus.

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23. Shop for Souvenirs at Police Bazar in Shillong

Police Bazar is the most tourist friendly market of Shillong. In addition to an array of restaurants, hotels and big brand stores, the bazaar also has a flea market section which is pocket friendly and draws maximum number of tourists owing to its traditional handicrafts stores, exquisite Meghalaya merchandise, regional apparels, junk jewellery and the like.

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24. Marvel at the Architecture of All Saints Church in Shillong

All Saints Church is constructed on the Kacheri Road in Shillong. One among the oldest churches in the city, this was built during the British Raj and boasts of colonial style architectural finesse. The church was a whole wooden structure and is busiest during the routine Sunday masses. The church is tucked away in the heart of the city and is one of the best places to visit in Shillong.

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25. Trek up to the Gorgeous Lum Sohpetbneng

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Lum Sohpetbneng is a mythological significant place located around 40 km from the district headquarters Nongpoh. The place has a beautiful legendary peak which is named as Naval or Heaven. The navel heavenly umbilical peak symbolizes the deep rooted spiritual belief of the Hynniewtrep: the Seven huts people predominating the West Khasi Hills, East Khasi Hills, Ri-Bhoi and Jaintia Hills districts of East Meghalaya who descended to Earth from a golden vine bridge atop the sacred U Lum Sohpetbneng peak, to be crowned rulers of creations of the divine creator- U Blei.

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26. Wildlife Spotting at Baghmara Reserve Forest

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The Baghmara Reserve Forest is one of the most famous natural attractions of this place. There is an abundance of elephants, birds and langurs. In fact there is a provision for elephant rides in this place. You will see the very common sight of these elephants in herds travelling to the Balapakram National Park. Their discipline and organizational skills will very well astound you. Of course this place is also a bird watchers paradise. The other thing you will learn in this place is the culture and tradition of the Garo tribes. This is one of those places that you feel like never leaving.

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27. Explore the Rich Wildlife of Balpakram National Park

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Located near the Garo Hills in Meghalaya in India about 3,000 feet above the sea level, the Balpakram National Park is a famous national park which is well known for its pristine beauty. The word Balpakram means the 'land of perpetual winds', and the national park is blessed with charming grace and breathtaking scenes. These species include the rare Lesser Panda, the Indian Bison and the Stag like Serow. A variety of very rare medicinal herbs, which are locally known as 'dikges', also grow abundantly in Balpakram.

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This post was published by Aqsa Aleem

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