1. Mawlynnong Village (Shillong)
The Mawlynnong Village in Meghalaya has been consecutively voted as Asia's cleanest village and is one of places the to visit in Meghalaya. It is hard to spot even a single piece of straw or dusty roads here. The roads seem to be freshly laid and the village stands out distinctively for housing some of the rarest natural wonders of north east, like the Mawlynnong waterfall, which is a sight to behold, pushing its way through lush vegetation and descending into clear waters below. The live root bridge here (Not to be confused with the Double Decker Bridge in Cherapunjee) is the major attraction for all the visitors while the boulders here supported by nothing but pint sized stones, are a mystery for archaeological travelers who come here. Travellers to this part of Meghalaya vouch for Mawlynnong Village as being one of their most serene and humbling choices for a retreat.
2. Laitlum Canyon (Shillong)
If you are a true trekker, then the Laitlum Canyon should make it to your bucket list of trekking expeditions in the north east. The terrain is a bit difficult to maneuver but with the right tools and a firm grasp of the local guidelines, it is a trek worth taking. Easily completed in the span of about 4-5 hours, the panoramic view of Meghalaya from the top if breathtaking. A multitude of hues, from browns to various reds at sunrise and sunset and earthy tones during the day with an incomprehensibly unending stretch of space on all four sides is astounding. On your way back down, be sure to ask for directions to the Lwai falls to overcome the weariness of this trek in Meghalaya.
3. Double Decker Living Root Bridge (Nongriat Village, Cherapunjee)
The Double Decker Living Root Bridge, in the heart of the rainiest place in India, Cherapunjee, Meghalaya is known worldwide as one of the most unique naturally formed structures, that stands strongly since its inception and is frequented by travelers from around the world. But like it's said, all good things come after a tumultous journey, the trek to the bridge located in Nongriat Village, Cherapunjee is not for the faint hearted. After about 2000 slippery steps down the moss covered stairs, where even athletes need to carry a cane to avoid an injury, the bridge comes into one's line of sight. Nevertheless, this makes it one of the places to visit in Meghalaya which you can't afford to miss!
4. Ialong Park (Jowai)
The Ialong Park, about 10 kms from Jowai, is a hidden gem, often left out from plans made to the state of Meghalaya, and something you shouldn't miss. If you're planning to visit Meghalaya for a longer period, the Ialong Park is where you need to be to unwind and relax from the overwhelming views and treks during your trip. The view of the Myndtu river and valley is lush green and a tonic for tired eyes. The state government has taken initiatives to make the Park more environmentally relevant. Leisurely activities like fishing and walks are a great way to relax and take in the natural landscape of Meghalaya.
5. Balpakram National Park (Tura)
The Balpakram National Park in Tura, Meghalaya is among the several places to visit in Meghalaya for all levels of nature enthusiasts. The Park has more than just flora and fauna to offer. The landscape mainly consists of canyons and gorges and overlooking the panoramic view of Tanguar Haor in Bangladesh. Locals in Meghalaya believe that the naturally occurring rock structures are a home to the departed ancestral souls, and are welcome to the queries of the travelers about the supernatural phenomenon. The wildlife variety found in this sanctuary in Meghalaya, consists of a spectrum of species, including about 8 varieties of feline predators, and the internationally intriguing red pandas, and the limited number of the Indian bison. Wildlife enthusiasts also consider the Park to be a crucial observation point for birds of various species.
6. Don Bosco Centre for Indigeneous Culture (Mawlai, Shillong)
If you spell out travelling as a lesson in history and anthropology, then the DBCIC in Meghalaya is the one place you shouldn't miss for the world. The Museum, although privately run, is in an excellent condition and proves to be a comprehensive source on the history and life in the north east. The library housed in the museum is a boon for those looking to research, or even brush up their knowledge of the state and its 6 sisters. And as is the aesthetic blessing that every north eastern destination has, the DBCIC does not dissapoint in that department either with the skywalk (not meant for those with vertigo or for the faint hearted), which offers a magnificent view of Shillong.
7. Umiam Lake (Ri Bhoi District, Nongpoh)
If you plan to visit Umiam Lake in the winter time, from October to February, you'll be dumbfounded by its beauty. If you plan to visit it in the summer months of May to July, you won't believe it's the same lake. Located in Nongpoh, Meghalaya The Umiam Lake is basically made from the reservoir built due to the dam here. The lake is the chief source of water supply to the city of Shillong. During the winter months, the lake fills up with water that gives it an unbelievably picturesque beauty. Most travelers to Meghalaya even like to compare it to the beauty of the Scottish water bodies. During the summer months, the water level lowers and islands actually begin to pop up on the surface of the lake. While the water sports here are expensive, but a group water boat rowing into the evening horizon is some money well spent.
8. All Saints Church (Shillong)
A magnificent setting of poinsettias dot the entrance of the church when in season and the sheer stretch of land in the premises is worth a walk or two in the evening. The woodwork and the altar have been done up very tastefully, without being over exuberant or too frail either. The Anglican church is tucked away very accessibly in the heart of the capital city of Meghalaya and definitely one of the places to visit in Meghalaya if architecture and nature excite you equally.
9. Mawsmai Cave (Shella Road, Cherapunjee)
Mawsmai Cave in Meghalaya has a bit of a reputation among travelers. The place is eerily dark and has cramped and narrow paths entwined with each other, and to add some more thrill into the idea of a cave pitch black in broad daylight, there is just one entry and exit point. Funnily enough, it might sound daunting to take your shoes off while entering the cave, but it's one advice you can follow with closed eyes. Or choose to carry and change of clothes and footwear. This Cave in Meghalaya is what many explorers would call a eerie experience from the face of it, but well worth the tour anyway. The glorious stalagmite and stalactite formations, along with the thrill of adventure is what gives the Mawsmai a big thumbs up.
10. Mawthadraishan Peak (Nongstoin)
If you thought it is impossible to witness four landmarks from one point, you got to take a trip to Mawthadraishan Peak in Meghalaya. The north opens up views to the himalayas, and Bangladesh to the south, while the Khasi hills lie to the east, and the Garo hills on the west. And well, for the rest of the places to which your compass points, there is an unending expanse of vegetation and the cleanest air you can breathe in. Maybe just flip your arms open and let Meghalaya breathe some life into you, here?
11. Elephant Falls (Shillong)
The Elephant Falls are a unique feature of Shillong, since the waterfall itself is made up of three very lucid steps. The first one, hidden among the trees, the second one, tamed and controlled flowing from a certain height, and the third, the fastest and biggest one, culminating into the stream below. Unfortunately, the structure of the black rocks resembling an elephant was destroyed during an earthquake in Meghalaya, but the falls are equally majestic still, with the lucid contrast of the frothy falls against the dark rocks. The evening view of Elephant falls in Meghalaya is the one that wins hearts over, combined with the softly fading light and the high contrast falls, the crowd is worth braving for the sheer gold glow of the water. The sheer natural beauty and serenity of these falls makes it one of the places to visit in Meghalaya.
12. Siju Cave (Tura)
The Siju Cave located in Meghalaya, since the beginning of twentieth century, remains one of the chief source of observing natural phenomenon among cave researchers. It is the first limelighted natural cave in India, is also known as the bat cave, owing to the abundance of these nocturnal mammals here. Also noteworthy, is the limestone formations named after the princes, and the imposing stalagmites and stalactites which constitute the longest existing cave in India, and is a source of major water bodies of the region. Excavators and tourists awe alike at the naturally occurring physical phenomenons of this cave in Meghalaya.