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Top 6 Tourist Destinations in Meghalaya (India)
Geographical Facts of Meghalaya
Area: 22,429 Sq. Km.
Districts (7): East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills, Ri Bhoi District, East Garo Hills, West Garo Hills and South Garo Hills
Population: 29, 64,007
Racial Origin of the People : Austric, Tibeto-Burman
Number of Villages: 5629
Forest Area: 8510 Sq, Km.
Language: Khasi, Pnar, Garo & English
Density: 132 per Sqr.Km
Literacy: 75.48 %
Meghalaya: The abode of the clouds
Meghalaya is the 22nd largest and 23rd most populous state of India. Meghalaya, which literally means “the abode of the clouds”, is a hilly state of India. It is the home of three ethnic communities, viz. the Khasis, the Jaintias and the Garos.
With a total forest cover of about 70 per cent of the geographical area, 80 per cent of its inhabitants primarily depend on agriculture for their livelihood.
Meghalaya is dotted with a number of lovely tourist spots where nature unveils herself in all glory. Meghalaya is a ‘dream come true’ for tourist. It is a happy land of magnificent beauty, undulating hills, rolling grasslands, cascading waterfalls, snaking rivers, terraced slopes and thrilling wild life.
Have you been to Shillong, Meghalaya?
Destination 1-Shillong (Capital of Meghalaya) : the Scotland of the East
Shillong, the capital of the state, has been nickname as ‘the Scotland of the East’ because of its elevation. At a height of 1496 meter above sea level, Shillong is in the centre of a high plateau. Shillong Peak is the highest peak in Megalaya. The name “Shillong” is derived from “U-Shyllong” which is a powerful local deity.
Shillong has a number of spots. One can find in the heart of the state capital Ward’s Lake, Lady hydari Park, Pologround, Mini zoo etc. Shillong Peak is overlooking the city. There is also Golf Course, which is one of the best in India. Elephant Falls is situated at the outskirts of the main city of Shillong at about 12 km away from the city.
Total Area: 6436 Sq. kms.
Altitude: 1496 metres
Rainfall : 241.5cm.
Language: Khasi, English and Hindi
Clothing summer (April to October): Light Tropical.
Winter (November to March): Woollen.
Best Season to visit: October to April
How to reach Shillong?
There is no railway in Meghalaya. A national highway (N.H. 40) runs through the state from Guwahati (Assam) in the north to Karimganj (Assam) in the south.
Taxis are available at Guwahati Airport for Shillong. The journey of 128 km takes about 4 hours due to hilly terrain.
There is a small airport at Umroi, about 35 km from Shillong. At present, Air India operates with ATR42 type of aircraft on this route. To and fro buses / taxis are available from Shillong to Umroi .
Tourist Information Centre
1. Director of Tourism Nokrek Building
Lower Lachumiere, Shillong - 793 001
Phone: +91-0364 – 2226054
2. MTDC Ltd. Orchid Hotel Polo Road,
Shillong - 793 001
Phone:+91-0364 - 2224933
3. Tourist Information Centre
Ulubari G.S. Road, Guwahati- 781001, Assam
Phone: +91-0361 - 2527276
4. MTDC Ltd. Meghalaya House
9, Russel Street, Calcutta- 700071
Phone: +91-033 - 22172009,22172802
5. Tourist Office Meghalaya House
9, Aurangzeb Road, New Delhi- 110011
Phone: +91-011 - 23015139, 23015605.
Destination 6: Umiam Lake
Umiam Lake is also known as Barapani. It is situated on the way to Shillong city (very close to the city just before reaching it).
The lake was formed as part of building a dam, which was started construction in 1965. The dam is the first Hydel power project in the North-east region of India.
Umiam Lake is popular destination of water sport and adventure facilities such as kayaking, water cycling, scooting and boating.
Destination 5: Kyllang Rock
Kyllang Rock is at Mairang, West Khasi Hills which is 78 km from Shillong. It is a massive dome shape made of single rock of granite and its diameter measures 1,000 feet.
It is believed that the rock possesses a sort of magnetic field and so no one will fall from the slope.
The southern side of Kyllang Rock is encumbered with enormous detached blocks of rock. Its northern side is clothed with dense forests, containing age-old red Rhododendron trees and oaks besides bushy, white Rhododendron trees.
Destination 4: Monoliths of Nartiang
Monoliths of Nartiangin West Jaintia Hillsof Meghalaya are one of the tallest monoliths in the world. The cluster of monoliths erected to mark the reign of the erstwhile Jaintia King is at Nartiang, a village about 22 km from Jowai and is about 60 km from Shillong.
Monoliths of Nartiang
Destination 3 - Mawsynram: one of wettest place on earth
Mawsynram is a village in Meghalaya which is 65 kilometers from Shillong. It is reportedly the wettest place on Earth.
There is a cave named “Mawjymbuin” in Mawsynram. Inside the cave there is a pair of notable speleothems - breast-shaped stalactite over a massive stalagmite which is shaped by nature into a Shivalinga.
There is also “Symper Rock”, loaf-shaped rocky dome with a nearly flat top among the hillocks.
Mawsynram is located about 16 km west of Cherrapunji.
Destination 2: Cherrapunji
Cherrapunji is one of the most popular tourist locations in north-east of India.
Cherrapunji (historical name: Sohra) is of Meghalaya is the second wettest place on Earth. Note worthy sites in Cherrapunji are Limestone Cave, Waterfalls – Nohsngithiang Falls, Dainthlen Falls and Nohkailikai Falls.
Nohsngithiang falls at Mawsmai. It is on the way to Cherrapunji.