Meghalaya

MEGHALAYA

A land of rolling lush green hills, at an average altitude of 1500 meters. Pine forested hills, terraced fields, serene river vales, lovely waterfalls, and incredible range of flora, exotic plants, and a warm and friendly people makes Meghalaya a wonderful holiday destination.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

March to May/Oct to Dec

Overview

Created in 1972, Meghalaya ( The abode of clouds) is the home of the Khasi, Jantia and Garo tribes. Khasi and Jantia tribes are closely related and are thought to have originally emigrated from South-East Asia. The Garo came from Tibet.

 

Warring chiefs ruled the area before the arrival of the British, who established control in 1820 by exploiting inter tribe rivalries.

Meghalaya is a land of rolling lush green hills, at an average altitude of 1500 meters. Pine forested hills, terraced fields, serene river vales, lovely waterfalls, and incredible range of flora, exotic plants, and a warm and friendly people makes Meghalaya a wonderful holiday destination. This “land of the rain clouds” has the wettest place on earth. The climate is pleasant all year around with cold winters in Dec – Jan.

 

The Khasi, Garo, and Jaintia tribes of Meghalaya were animists, who practiced human sacrifice. British missionaries converted them to Christianity; which is now the dominant religion of the three tribes. An interesting feature is that the society is matrilineal, and is believed to have originated from the mythological “mother of the root”. Women therefore dominate the society. Children take the mother’s name. 

Places to visit in Meghalaya

Shillong the capital city of Meghalaya is surrounded by lovely mountain scenery, exotic flora, waterfalls and caves. It is an ideal base for exploring nature and the lifestyles of the tribal people. Interesting sights are: –

“Tir”: Shillong’s unique institution – the archery stakes it the form of tribal archers shooting repeatedly a set amount of arrows, in four-minute bursts, at a cylindrical bamboo target. The gamblers set their stakes, to predicting, the last two digest of the number of arrows that stick to the target – this being a matter of luck.
Waterfalls & gardens: Elephant Falls, set amidst fern covered rocks, Crinoline falls, which holds bonsai and orchids and Lady Hydari Park modeled an Japanese garden, with a forestry museum and a mini zoo on the premises.
Shillong peak, for a good view.
The sacred groove of Mawphlang: a part of Khasi tribal legend has rare orchids, plants and monoliths, untouched through centuries.
“Iewduh”: The quaint market place, where only ladies conduct all business.
Uniam Lake: is a water sports complex.
The Don Bosco Centre is arguably Asia’s largest Museum of Indigenous Cultures. It provides an overvierw of the North East region. The display is a feast of knowledge spread over seven stories with 17 galleries.

Shillong has lovely & lively cafeterias and restaurants.

People of Shillong are very good in music.

Tour Details

NE/02 : 07 days Enchanting Shillong and Cherrapunjee

Visit the Charming “Raj” hill station of shillong with its, fascinating bazaars, gardens, lakes and waterfalls. Venture out to the countryside for breathtaking views, nature at its pristine best, green forests, with exotic flora, gurgling mountain streams, and thundering waterfalls, deep gorges and caves, and the unique living root bridges. Experience staying at atmospheric hotels and a traditional Khasi thatch and bamboo house.

 

Day 01: Arrive Guwahati ( Assam) and drive to Shillong (Meghalaya)

Arrive Guwahati airport or train station. Drive to Shillong. A lovely 100 kms drive in 03 hrs ascending to 1700 m. Overnight hotel / guest house.
Shillong is surrounded by lovely mountain scenery, exotic flora, waterfalls, lakes and caves. It is an ideal base for exploring nature and the lifestyles of the tribal people The indigenous Khasia tribal people are unique in that they follow a matriarchal system of society. In The men marry and come to stay in their wives’ homes. They soon settle down to a life where she goes to work and, she inherits the property. You will catch a glimpse of all this and a lot more -colorful and chunky Khasia hand crafted jewelry, textiles and artifacts.

 

Day 02: Shillong

Visit Idew market – one of the most fascinating markets in the East, managed mostly by Khasi women. Thereafter take a sightseeing tour visiting Ward Lake and Lady Hydri Park, for lovely gardens, lakes and waterfalls. View Archery stakes– a gambling sport where you bet on a number. Take in the panoramic view from Shillong Peak. Overnight at hotel / guest house.

 

Day 03: Shillong- Smit, Nogkhnrih– Mawlynnnong

 

Countyside drive to get a peep into rural Meghalaya. Visit Smit – the traditional seat of power of the Kingdom of Khyrim. Continue to Nogkhnrih village, which is dedicated to preserving workshops in the art of making traditional bows and arrows Finally visit the village of Mawlynnnong- a unique community managed habitat. Take a walk around the village. You will be hosted at their community run guest house in a traditional Khasi tribal house, linked to a tree top sit out. Overnight at Community Guest House.

Day 04: Mawlynnong- Cherapunjee

 

Take an easy walk to visit the unique living root bridge.
The Indian Rubber plant flourishes alongside fast flowing rivers and streams. Perched on rocks the tree sends it roots reaching out for the soil. The exposed roots grow strong and reach out long distances from the mother tree trunk. The Khasis of yore adapted these qualities to construct root bridges. The method adopted was to direct the living roots through hollow tree trunks of Areca Nut tree in the desired direction, to cross the stream. Taking root on the far bank enabled the formation of the living root bridge. Spans are as long as 70 feet and the bridge can take the load of 20-50 personse.
Afternoon scenic drive to Cherapunjee in 03 hrs. Cherapunjee (also called Sohra) was at one time, the wettest place on earth (the tittle is now held by Mawsynram, just 12 Kms away as the crow flies). -104 cms rainfall was recorded here in a 24-hour spell in 1876. Explore Cherapunjee. It has breathtaking views, nature at its pristine best, green forests, gurgling mountain streams, and thundering waterfalls, deep gorges and caves. Oranges and honey are the local produce,. It is also the cultural cradle of the Khasis. Overnight at hotel.

Day 05: Cherapunjee:

Explore waterfalls, caves and eco park, or take a day trek to Double decker living root bridge

Spend the day exploring Cherrapunjee waterfalls, caves Monoliths, and Eco Park.
Alternativly, take a 14 Kms Day trek to the famous double decker Living root bridge at Nongriat. Be prepared to cross a couple of hair raising wire bridges. Enroute you will see Khasi villages, impressive scenery, and picture post card nature pools. Overnight at your hotel.

Day 06: Cherapunjee – Shillong

Drive back to Shillong in 2.00 hrs. Visit the sacred Grove of Mawphlang Village, and walk through the forest, See a varaity of plants and flower species that are found in this virgin forest. At shillong visit the Don Bosco Centre. Arguably, it is Asia’s largest Museum of Indigenous Cultures. Get an overview of the North East India. The display is a of knowledge spread over seven stories with 17 galleries. It also provides a chance to enjoy some of the popular dances of the North East. Overnight at your hotel.

Day 07 : Shillong- Kaziranga

Drive 337 kms (6-7 hrs) to The World Heritage Kaziranga National Park. The Park has more than 70% of the world’s one-horned rhino population, 70% of the world population of the Eastern Swamp Deer and 75% of the world’s wild Asiatic water buffalo. It has a significant population of the Asian Elephant.

Close encounters with the Great Indian one horned Rhino, and wild Indian Elephants Swamp Deer, Asiatic Water buffalo, and a host of animals are assured. The Park also has more than 450 species of birds, 18 of them are globally threatened species. The Bengal Florican is the main attraction.

Day 08: Kaziranga

Early morning Elephant safari for one horned Rhino and other animals. Thereafter take two wildlife safaris by jeep. Overnight at hotel / lodge.

Day 09: Kaziranga- Guwahati

Drive to Guwahati 240 kms in 4.30 hrs, in time to board your flight / train.

 
Cherrapunjee is located 56 kms from Shillong, it was at one time, the wettest place on earth (the tittle is now held by Mawsynram, just 12 Kms away as the crow flies). 104 cms rainfall was recorded here in a 24-hour spell in 1876. The local market is famous for its honey and tribal jewelry. The Nahkalilkai and the Mesmai water falls and caves are worth exploring. Trekking excursion to Living root bridges and nature pools can be an add-on to a visit to Cherrapunjee.
 
Tour Details

NE/02 : 07 days Enchanting Shillong and Cherrapunjee

Visit the Charming “Raj” hill station of shillong with its, fascinating bazaars, gardens, lakes and waterfalls. Venture out to the countryside for breathtaking views, nature at its pristine best, green forests, with exotic flora, gurgling mountain streams, and thundering waterfalls, deep gorges and caves, and the unique living root bridges. Experience staying at atmospheric hotels and a traditional Khasi thatch and bamboo house.

Day 01: Arrive Guwahati ( Assam) and drive to Shillong (Meghalaya)

Arrive Guwahati airport or train station. Drive to Shillong. A lovely 100 kms drive in 03 hrs ascending to 1700 m. Overnight hotel / guest house.
Shillong is surrounded by lovely mountain scenery, exotic flora, waterfalls, lakes and caves. It is an ideal base for exploring nature and the lifestyles of the tribal people The indigenous Khasia tribal people are unique in that they follow a matriarchal system of society. In The men marry and come to stay in their wives’ homes. They soon settle down to a life where she goes to work and, she inherits the property. You will catch a glimpse of all this and a lot more -colorful and chunky Khasia hand crafted jewelry, textiles and artifacts.

Day 02: Shillong

Visit Idew market – one of the most fascinating markets in the East, managed mostly by Khasi women. Thereafter take a sightseeing tour visiting Ward Lake and Lady Hydri Park, for lovely gardens, lakes and waterfalls. View Archery stakes– a gambling sport where you bet on a number. Take in the panoramic view from Shillong Peak. Overnight at hotel / guest house.

Day 03: Shillong- Smit, Nogkhnrih– Mawlynnnong

Countyside drive to get a peep into rural Meghalaya. Visit Smit – the traditional seat of power of the Kingdom of Khyrim. Continue to Nogkhnrih village, which is dedicated to preserving workshops in the art of making traditional bows and arrows Finally visit the village of Mawlynnnong- a unique community managed habitat. Take a walk around the village. You will be hosted at their community run guest house in a traditional Khasi tribal house, linked to a tree top sit out. Overnight at Community Guest House.

Day 04: Mawlynnong- Cherapunjee

 

Take an easy walk to visit the unique living root bridge.
The Indian Rubber plant flourishes alongside fast flowing rivers and streams. Perched on rocks the tree sends it roots reaching out for the soil. The exposed roots grow strong and reach out long distances from the mother tree trunk. The Khasis of yore adapted these qualities to construct root bridges. The method adopted was to direct the living roots through hollow tree trunks of Areca Nut tree in the desired direction, to cross the stream. Taking root on the far bank enabled the formation of the living root bridge. Spans are as long as 70 feet and the bridge can take the load of 20-50 personse.
Afternoon scenic drive to Cherapunjee in 03 hrs. Cherapunjee (also called Sohra) was at one time, the wettest place on earth (the tittle is now held by Mawsynram, just 12 Kms away as the crow flies). -104 cms rainfall was recorded here in a 24-hour spell in 1876. Explore Cherapunjee. It has breathtaking views, nature at its pristine best, green forests, gurgling mountain streams, and thundering waterfalls, deep gorges and caves. Oranges and honey are the local produce,. It is also the cultural cradle of the Khasis. Overnight at hotel.

Day 05: Cherapunjee:

Explore waterfalls, caves and eco park, or take a day trek to Double decker living root bridge

Spend the day exploring Cherrapunjee waterfalls, caves Monoliths, and Eco Park.
Alternativly, take a 14 Kms Day trek to the famous double decker Living root bridge at Nongriat. Be prepared to cross a couple of hair raising wire bridges. Enroute you will see Khasi villages, impressive scenery, and picture post card nature pools. Overnight at your hotel.

Day 06: Cherapunjee – Shillong

Drive back to Shillong in 2.00 hrs. Visit the sacred Grove of Mawphlang Village, and walk through the forest, See a varaity of plants and flower species that are found in this virgin forest. At shillong visit the Don Bosco Centre. Arguably, it is Asia’s largest Museum of Indigenous Cultures. Get an overview of the North East India. The display is a of knowledge spread over seven stories with 17 galleries. It also provides a chance to enjoy some of the popular dances of the North East. Overnight at your hotel.

Day 07 :

Shillong- Guwahati
Drive to Guwahati. 100 kms in 03 hrs, to board your flight/ train out of Guwahati.

Visit to the countryside includes Smit – the traditional seat of power of the Kingdom of Khyrim, the village of Nogkhnrih dedicated to preserving workshops in the art of making traditional bows and arrows, and Mawlynnnong- is a model village with a community home stay in a traditional tribal house. The close by living root suspension bridge, over an idyllic stream is indeed a unique sight.

Shillong is reached via Guwahati by a 3 hrs hill journey A helicopter service also operates between Guwahati and Shillong.

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