Meghalaya, the abode of clouds, is one of the most beautiful states in the North-East India offering a variety of sights, activities, food and festivals to the tourists. Well known for Cherapunjji, the place which receives one of the maximum rainfall in the world, Meghalaya can mesmerise you with its hills, valleys, lakes, caves and waterfalls which give it a beautiful look when covered with beautiful clouds.
Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya, and it’s the most urbanization you will see in the entire state. Shillong has a lot of leftover British colonial influence that is evident from the plentiful British architecture. Owing to the magnificent lakes all around the town, and the hills surrounding it, Shillong has often been called the Scotland of the East. The Umiam Lake (also known as the Barapani Lake), is one of the primary reasons why Shillong is compared to Scotland, as the lake with rocky hills in the backdrop is reminiscent of Scotland’s Loch Lake. Umiam Lake offers various water sports activities for tourists. Other important tourist attractions in Shillong include Elephant Falls, Shillong Peak and Lady Hydari Park.
Cherrapunji is famous for its rainfall, and it used to be the wettest place on Earth before the title was taken over by Mawsynram, which is less than 100 kilometres away from Cherrapunji. The city abounds in waterfalls, the most important ones Nohkalikai and Seven Sister Falls. The living root double-decker bridge is a famous attraction in Cherrapunji, where trekking and hiking activities are offered for tourists.
If you want to take a look at Asia’s cleanest village, don’t forget to visit Mawlynnong. Lying on the border separating India from Bangladesh, Mawlynnong is an amazingly clean village in Meghalaya where each and every street corner has a bamboo dustbin to ensure nature-friendly disposal of trash. The focal point of attraction of this village is the Sky Watch, which is a bamboo structure that offers sweeping views of the Bangladeshi plains from the top.
Meghalaya has a history of rich craftsmanship, and wood-carving and artistic weaving are important crafts here, especially in the Jaintia and Khasi districts. You can shop for cane and bamboo handicrafts, wood carvings, jewellery as well as dolls, clay toys, and tiny musical instruments from the little souvenir shops in and around the state.
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Having been cut off from mainland India for years due to ethnic differences, the natural beauty of Meghalaya and the rawness of local culture has remained intact from the shackles of excessive commercialization.
The state is considered a sensitive zone for ethnic and political tension. While the tourism industry is starting to gain momentum in the northeast, travellers can face issues in communication and food choices because of the difference in lifestyle and eating habits.
Meghalaya has something to offer to everyone. While couples can plan a romantic getaway in the city, families can head to Meghalaya for a chilled-out break in nature's lap.
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