9 Treks in Meghalaya For When You Need A Break From The Himalayas
Often overlooked by many tourists, Meghalaya is a gem of a place waiting to be explored – pristine waterfalls, flourishing forests, and majestic sceneries as far as your eyes can see. Owing to its beauty, the British nicknamed it Scotland of the East. Trekking in Meghalaya is the best way to explore the place. Trekking across wonders like Shillong, Mawphlang, Cherrapunjee, among others is a soothing and soulful experience you shouldn't miss. Here's an ultimate guide to treks in Meghalaya, for the adventurer in you.
1. David Scott Trail
Immerse yourself in history in the David Scott trail. This is a 16km long trek named after a historical British administrator who worked in the Khasi hills from 1802 to 1832. The trek starts from Mawphlang and ends at Ladmawphlang. In between this trek in Meghalaya, you'll be enlightened with the Khasi history, their culture and folklore, along with scenic views of sparkling rivers, cascading waterfalls, lush green landscapes, and bridges.
Difficulty Level – The trail starts off as an easy descent, followed by a walk on flat land, and moves on to become moderately difficult due to the ascend in the last hour. Distance – 16km Duration – 4 to 5 hours Attractions – Historical tomb in Mawsahep, fresh and clear Umiam river, and Simpanghang Falls.
2. Umden Village Trek
With its acres of forests dedicated to the cultivation of silk, Umden Village is called the land of silk in the region. This Meghalaya trek is an up-close and personal approach with the village's unique culture. You'll also learn a thing or two about Eri silk, and wander through picturesque tea estates, strawberry fields, among other beautiful countryside locations.
Difficulty level - Easy Distance - The Umden Village Trek is not long in terms of distance but it is time-consuming and educative. Duration - 9-10 hours Attractions - Seeing and learning the process of making silk - step by step, CFT rock garden, mountain biking.
3. The Living Roots Bridge Trek
As the name suggests, the living roots bridges trek involves trekking over bridges made completely out of roots. Meghalaya is filled with such natural yet man-made wonders. These unique bridges were made by the Khasi tribe by ancient rubber trees as it provides more durability than wooden bridges, which are knocked down due to heavy rainfall in the region. Root bridges are spread all over Meghalaya, including Nongriat, which is a splendid trekking location. Starting from the village itself and ending at Rainbow falls, this is a short, yet exhilarating trek in Meghalaya. Don't be scared on the root bridges. They shake a lot but are really sturdy.
Difficulty level - Easy Distance - 8 km Duration - 2-3 hours Attractions - Double-decker living roots bridge and rainbow waterfalls.
4. Mawlongbna Village Trekking
Trekking at Mawlongbna Village is a mix of adventure sports and camping and is usually done with an overnight stay in the village. There's plenty to do - right from observing fossils of extinct carnivores, walking amidst unique flora, canoeing, and zip-lining amidst the thick jungle. This is one of the best treks in Meghalaya for someone who loves nature and adventure equally.
Difficulty level - Moderate Duration - 1.5 day
5. Mawlyngot Trek
Nestled at 4800 feet in the Eastern Khasi hills, Mawlyngot village is located at a short distance (75 km) from Shillong. The village is famously known as a tea hub of the state of Meghalaya. The vast stretches of tea estates are a treat to the eyes. This, added with the tranquillity of Umsong River, is a calming experience. The hike here starts from the village, passes through a rich forest cover amidst a small hill and ends at Umsong river. It is truly a magical experience. You can also tag along another trek in Meghalaya from Umsong river to a nearby town of Pynursla.
Difficulty level - Easy Duration - 2 hours Distance - 6 km Attractions - From soothing tea gardens at Mawlyngot to nearby Smit and Laitlum canyons (famous for Nongkrem festival), you'll never run out of choices on this trek.
6. Smit Trek
Smit Trek is undoubtedly one of the most scenic routes for trekking in Meghalaya. Starting from the State Library and ending at crinoline falls, the long yet rewarding trek takes almost two days to complete. There aren't many tough paths on the route, and hence, this is the perfect trip to plan with your family. Most of the walking will be done on cemented roads with a plethora of bed and breakfast spots in between to take rests.
Difficulty level - Moderate Duration - 1.5 to 2 days Attractions - Wonderful lakes, ponds, and woods.
7. Dawki Trekking
Trek in the border town of Dawki for an unforgettable experience. Dawki is only 2 km away from neighbour Bangladesh and is a major trade hub between the two countries. Notes of Bangladesh's rich culture is clearly seen in the town. This experience of trekking in Meghalaya will teach you more about the locals and regional history. You could also set up a picnic at Umngot river, one of the cleanest rivers in India.
Difficulty level - Easy Duration - Half day Attractions - Dawki market, Umngot river, and India-Bangladesh border.
8. Weiloi to Umngi Trek
Located at a distance of around 50 km from Shillong, Weiloi is a village in Meghalaya famous for its scenic natural beauty which stretches till Umngi, a place famous for its natural hot water springs. With over 18 km of walking and tricky routes on the way, the trek may come off a tad difficult, but it's totally worth it once you reach the water springs. If you don't wish to take up this challenging route, there is another route to fulfil your trek in Meghalaya at its base in Weiloi that goes towards Mawblang.
Difficulty level - Difficult Distance - 18 km Duration - 5 to 6 hours Attractions - Umngi hot water springs – they are secluded and less frequently visited by tourists, keeping the water clean and pure.
9. Krem Mawsmai, Krem Mawmluh and Krem Umshyrpi Caves Trail
Meghalaya hides within its secrets of nature. One of them is the labyrinth of natural caves. The Krem Mawsmai, Krem Mawmluh and Krem Umshyrpi Caves are located 6 km from Cherrapunjee. Spread at a 7 km long stretch, halogen lamps light up these dark and mysterious caves. Some areas still remain unexplored and unmapped inside the caves. You are likely to find beautiful crystal deposits and structures built ages ago inside the cave on your trip while trekking in Meghalaya. It's a trip down to history and the unknown. Krem Mawsmai can be explored by beginners. However, the other two are not for the faint-hearted ones. With closed walls, narrow paths, dim natural light and height of not more than 5ft, these caves are challenging, but that doesn't mean they can't be conquered.
Difficulty level - Very Difficult Distance - 7 km Duration - 5 to 6 hours Attractions - Natural crystal deposits, creepers, waterfalls inside the cave.
If you’re someone who loves exploring nature on foot, trekking in Meghalaya is definitely the activity to indulge in. Are you excited to trek across the “abode of clouds?” Let us know in the comments below!