Meghalaya Tourism

4.2 /5
Hills & Valleys | Rivers & Lakes 
$ 86 onwards View Packages



Ideal duration: 3 - 7 days

Best Time: All year long Read More

Major Airports: Shillong, Guwahati in Assam

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"The abode of clouds"

Meghalaya, India

Meghalaya, the abode of clouds, is one of the most beautiful states in 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 when combined with the beautiful clouds, give it a very serene, beautiful look.

Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya, and it is the most urbanised area 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. 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 Living Double-decker Root 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 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 famous crafts here, especially in the Jaintia and Khasi districts.

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

  • The weather in Meghalaya is great all year round
  • Great music and great food
  • The natural attractions like lakes, hills, waterfalls are mesmerising

What's Not So Great?

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.

For Whom?

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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FAQs on Meghalaya

What is the traditional dance and music of Meghalaya?

The Garos of Meghalaya celebrate life in full spirit. The local folklore has special songs which are sung on auspicious occasions making use of instruments like pipes, drums, flutes and cymbals. The local dance forms include various dances like Lahoo Dance, Doregata and Pomelo Dance. The Doregata Dance is a teasing dance form in which women attempt to knock off their male counterparts' turbans with their heads. If they succeed, it's followed by celebrating the victory with cheer and laughter.

What are the major festivals celebrated in Meghalaya?

Meghalaya celebrates Wangala in the month of November every year. Often referred to as the dance of a hundred drums, the festival marks the end of the period of labour in the hope of yielding a good harvest. Men, women and children from all age groups dress up for the festival and rejoice by dancing on the beats of long cylindrical drums. Dedicated to Satyong, the local god of fertility, Wangala is celebrated across Meghalaya for a duration of one week. The Autumnal Festival, Strawberry Festival and the Ranikor Festival are a few other festivals celebrated in Meghalaya. 

What are the popular art forms of Meghalaya?

The Garo and Khasi communities in Meghalaya are known for their weaving skills. Apart from weaving Dakmanda- the fabric of their costumes, they are famous for making Tlieng, a special kind of cane mat. This mat is said to survive the test of time for as long as 20-30 years. Other than this, handwoven cane basket and chairs are unique to take from here. The Khasi tribe is also known for extracting iron ore and manufacturing domestic tools as well as weapons used in warfare.

What is the traditional dress of Meghalaya?

Amidst the kind of westernisation that has spread all across the world, the state of Meghalaya seems to stand unaffected by this trend. The ethnic and traditional style of the clothes worn here are what defines the exquisiteness of the state. People here are proud of their costumes which is why they are not afraid of showcasing them to the world. Men usually wear a loin outfit coupled with a turban, headgear and jacket. Women of Garo villages wear a blouse and a Lungi-kind of cloth known as Dakmanda, which is a hand-woven cotton fabric. Muga silk from Assam and a clothing strip made of woollen cloth are also quite popular among women.

Read more about the Dresses of Meghalaya

How are the local people of Meghalaya?

The people of Meghalaya are hardworking, cheerful and friendly and three prominent tribes inhabit the land namely Garo (Tibetan who live in western Meghalaya), Khasi (live in the central part) and Jayantia (live in the eastern part of Meghalaya). A unique thing about their society is that they follow the matrilineal system which means that the inheritance goes to the women of the house and the men are married into women's families as a result of which the children bear the surnames of their mothers. Maximum people follow Christianity whereas the people also practice Hinduism and Buddhism. Music, drumbeats and dances are the essential part of the life of Meghalayan people as they are very passionate about their music, dance and culture. Be ready to be spellbound by their art of weaving and carving as they are amazing at it!

What is the history of Meghalaya?

Little is known about the history of Meghalaya other than Khasi kingdom which is known to have taken up a rift between the British government when it wanted to construct a rail line through this area to connect Bengal with Assam. A treaty was signed between the two parties only to be repudiated in 1829 by the local leader following the string of resistance by the public. However, later, the local rulers submitted to the British kingdom following the confrontation.

The tribes of Meghalaya continued living their lifestyle in seclusion until its leaders assented to join Independent India. In the early years, Meghalaya was under the United Provinces of Assam for administrative efficiency and management, but as demands for statehood arose, Meghalaya was awarded full statehood on January 21st, 1972.

What is the landscape of Meghalaya?

One amongst the seven sisters of the North East, Meghalaya translates into the land of clouds. True to its name, the state is known to receive heavy rainfalls. Spread across an area of 22,429 square kilometres, Meghalaya is bordered by Assam to the north and east, and Bangladesh towards the southern and eastern side. Regarding topography, Meghalaya is mostly plateau with steep slopes facing southwards. While the state has many lakes and waterfalls, 30% of its land is covered by forest.

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