Discover Meghalaya Mawlynnong - Shillong - Nongriat - Cherrapunji 8D/ 7N
Meghalaya (translated in English as ‘the abode of clouds’) is a state in North East India known for receiving the highest of rainfall compared to any other place in the world. The geography of the state consists of plateaus and hills, and an abundance of streams that become alive with tormenting rapids during the monsoons. The state is bound by Assam in north and east and by Bangladesh in the south. Meghalaya is home to three major and very intriguing tribal communities – the Khasis, Garos and Jaintias.
Your journey will start in the hill station of Shillong which is known as the ‘Scotland of the east’ due to its similarity with the Scottish Highlands. Here, rock music fans and connoisseurs are aplenty. You will get to visit many pretty looking lakes and waterfalls around Shillong and indulge in the local flavors. The market area of Shillong has a nice buzz and is a great place to hangout. The British-Raj legacy is still visible in architecture and food habits of the locals. Shillong has a majority of Khasi tribe, who are predominantly Christian. An interesting aspect of Khasis are that they are a matrilineal society – the mother is head of family, and the youngest daughter owns all the property and mothers surname is passed on to children.
From Shillong, you will visit the areas around Mawlynnong, which is considered as the cleanest village of Asia. The village is very beautifully laid out and very neat. The people of the village are the War Khasis and they are very passionate about flowers, as a variety of floras can be seen all around the village. Your stay here will be in the village tree house. Since Mawlynnong lies in the foothills of the South Khasi Hills, the village provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the plains of Bangladesh. During monsoons, one can observe that almost half of Bangladesh remains flooded, bringing much sorrow to the densely populated country. There are many delightful waterfalls around Mawlynnong which you will get to visit, and you’ll be free to swim in some of them.
From Mawlynnong, you will depart to a magical place called Cherrapunjee. The whole area is known to receive the highest rainfall in the whole wide world. During monsoons, the whole landscape becomes mystified by clouds, and countless water streams and waterfalls become alive with gushing rapids. You will also get to visit the caves around Cherrapunjee which are wonders of nature and of life without sunlight. The highlight of this whole tour will be a hike to the living root bridges of Meghalaya, which are manmade structures that are made by connecting and networking the roots of two living fig trees. The whole structure takes more than a century to be complete, and is used by future generations to cross tormenting streams during the monsoon season. It is fascinating to see such a sustainable piece of architecture, which is entirely connected to nature in all aspects of things.
Drive to Mawsynram (2 hours), the rainiest place is the world. Perched atop a ridge on the Khasi Hills, it offers a beautiful view of the surrounding valleys which are green due to abundant rainfall. The word Maw in native Khasi language refers to rocks, this place is also well known for the unique rock formations nearby. Visit the Mawjymbuin cave which has a natural structure that resembles Shivalinga. The cave also has a dome shaped rock with a flat top called the Symper Rock. Dwarksuid is another site to enjoy nature, the rocks formations here are referred by the locals the the devil’s doorway. Return to Shillong by evening.
Blissfully located in the high plateaus of Cherrapunji with grand vistas of the Bangladesh plains and run by an enthusiastic hospitable family, Cherrapunjee Holiday Resort is a nature based guesthouse more than a resort where visitors can stay in fairly modern rooms and comfort.
Homestays are part of the responsible tourism process practiced in Mawlynnong, Asia’s prettiest village. For visitors, it means close interactions with host Khasi families and lifelong bonds with new friends. Rooms are cozy, fairly standard, providing basic comforts suitable for the village life.
Cafe Shillong Bed & Breakfast is a standard boutique property housed in a typical old British India bungalow, offering a charming stay to visitors who come to the ‘Scotland of the east’. Belonging once to the Kharpuri family, the place has colorful character and rooms and facilities are updated to the comforts of modern hospitality. There’s a front-yard garden, a quiet spot for a morning tea or an evening drink.
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