A road trip to Meghalaya

Photo of A road trip to Meghalaya by Barnadip Banerjee

Meghalaya, Which stands for the Abode of the clouds is eventually one of the most beautiful states among the seven sisters of India (the seven states of Northeast India). The beautiful clouds all over the hilly terrain of Khasi hills create an allure. The chilled night of the beautiful town Shillong is perfect for the Old Monkish vibe with some calm, serene acoustic music.

It will be the best mode of travel as well as to enjoy the beauty of nature to avail a bike and ride to Meghalaya. Irrespective of where you are based, you have to come to Guwahati first. Guwahati is known as the Gateway of Northeast India. You can fly down or avail a train and travel down to Guwahati. Make sure that you have at least one day (night included) in your hand to experience the legacy of this city. Even if you don't know Asameese, it's absolutely okay because Hindi is a well-known language over here.

Day 1

You can visit the Kamakhya temple in Kamrup, this temple has mythological importance which attracts people from all over the country and world even. The Next destination will be peacock island in the middle of the Bramhaputra river. You'll easily get a ferry from the ghat. By evening rent a bike, Preferably Royal Enfield because of the terrain ahead of your travel. By evening you can explore the local market, grab some dinner, and get geared up for the next morning.

Day 2

Get up early in the morning to set the sail for Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, and a cute somber city to make the base for the rest of the travel. You'll have to follow NH6 which is the only designated road to drive to Shillong from Guwahati, which is approximately 100 KMs long and takes almost 3 hours. It's the most scenic yet safe route you'll ever get to experience. This road passes through hilly terrain with steep valleys, dense bluffs, and terraced plantations over the valley cut by the mountain streams making the entire journey a dream-like vibe. In between, you can take a pit stop at Jiva veg restaurant to fuel up yourself and drain up the wastewater from your body (basically a pee break). On the way to Shillong, you'll cross through a few scenic mountain villages. If you wanna visit over, that's on you and your travel partners. Though I would recommend visiting Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary and Umiam Lake. Umiam lake is the scenic eye candy for a traveler surrounded by the hills. You can enjoy the breathtaking view and head up for Shillong. From here Shillong is around 15-17Kms drive on the highway. You'll be welcomed by the military posts and barracks while entering Shillong. I would recommend you to pre-book the hotel though you can book on the spot even. Mall road is the one to visit and have an experience of street food including Chinese cuisine. Hop around a little bit on the roads of the police Bazar and in the evening you'll get the best vibe to search for a cafe. Tbh, it's in the air of Shillong to have this huge urge for a cafe and chill. You have an option to visit Cafe Shillong, ML05 Cafe, and Dylan's Cafe, the top three cafes in Shillong. Among them, Dylan's Cafe is the first tribute cafe of Northeast India which of course gives a tribute to the legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. You can enjoy the vibe of Nightlife at Shillong.

Photo of A road trip to Meghalaya 1/4 by Barnadip Banerjee
Photo of A road trip to Meghalaya 2/4 by Barnadip Banerjee
Photo of A road trip to Meghalaya 3/4 by Barnadip Banerjee

Dylan's CafeML 05 CafeCafe Shillong

Day 3

The next day, get geared up for a few scenic spots of Meghalaya. You'll get to experience the dreamy road trip on the way to Cherrapunji. Note that, Cherrapunji will be the final stop for the day, i.e, you have to spend the night at Cherrapunji. While going up for Cherrapunji you can visit Laitlum grand canyon as well. Vast valley with a breathtaking view of lush green hilly terrain. After spending a few minutes you'll head straight to Cherrapunji. Now, you can straight arrive at Cherrapunji, Keep your luggage there (You can prebook your stay), and then go for the places to visit nearby. Or you can visit the places nearby on the way and then arrive at Cherrapunji. You'll have to head up for the following places.

Double Decker living root bridges: This is the natural bridge made because of the entanglement of roots stuck together in a way that it can bear the weight of people who would be crossing it. There are two such bridges stacked one on the other. You'll have to trek down almost half a kilometer to the root bridges from the main road. Click a few good shots and again hit the road.

Photo of A road trip to Meghalaya 4/4 by Barnadip Banerjee
Day 3

Double Decker Root Bridge

Wei Sawdong falls: Now this is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Meghalaya. It is the 3 tire falls followed by a rough jungle trail of bamboo-made stairs and stones. Few people avoid these falls due to the long trail or due to time management problems but it's a hidden gem a person can't miss though.

Photo of Double Decker Roots Bridge, Nongriat, Meghalaya, India by Barnadip Banerjee

Wei Sawdong falls

Nohkalikai Falls: This is one of the tallest waterfalls in Northeast India. Again access to the base of this fall is followed by a beautiful trek but that's completely optional. All you can do is click a few instagrammable photos and stories and then back to the roads again.

Seven sisters Fall: This is another beautiful waterfall in Meghalaya. You can again click a few instagramable pictures and then hit the roads to go straight ahead to Mawsmai cave.

Mawsmai cave: There is a network of underground caves which is full of beautiful and sometimes scary stalactites and stalagmites. There is a short trail through the forest to reach the main entrance of the cave. This hike takes you through some stunning views of the valley that is full of waterfalls during monsoons. There are a few food joints where you can have lunch and proceed to Mawsynram.

Mawsynram: Mawsynram receives the highest rainfall in the world. You can expect the monsoon and gloomy weather with a little drizzle here. The fog and the cloud cover the entire region and better to carry a raincoat or umbrella while traveling to this place.

Eco Park: This place is at the center of Cherrapunji with a pleasant scenic attribute and weather. You can stroll in the park and click a few good photos and spend a good time here alone or the partner you're traveling with. I would suggest visiting this place at the end because after the hustle-bustle you need a place to sit peacefully.

By the end of the day, you can arrive at Cherrapunji for the night's stay. By the evening you can expect chilly weather in this town so pack your clothes accordingly.

Day 4

Get up early in the morning and get geared up to hit the road for Dawki. In the entire trip on this road, you gonna pass through a scenic highway and experience a truly dreamy vibe. On the way, you'll pass through Mawkdok valley and Mawlynnong village.

Mawkdok valley: En route Cherrapunji-Shillong highway you'll pass through the Mawkdok Dympep Valley, which is one of the most beautiful stretches of the valley in this region. You can experience zip lining across the valley. You can spend some time here and then hit the roads for Mawlynnong Village.

Mawlynnong Village: This is one of the most beautiful villages in entire North-east India. Mawlynnong village is termed as "the cleanest village in Asia' and you'll get mesmerized by the cleanliness and waste management system by the tribe. You can have your lunch here and then head straight to Dawki.

Dawki: Dawki is located at the border of Bangladesh and has the cleanest water from the Umngot river. The glass-like water is the center of attraction in this place. You can do fishing and kayaking on the Dawki river and spend a very good time in this place. There are a couple of homestays you can look out for, else you can head to Shnongpdeng which is approximately 10kms away, and opt for camping.

Day 5

After breakfast, get geared up and hit the road for Shillong via Krang-Suri Waterfalls, Phe Phe falls, Tyrshi falls, and Elephant Falls. The entire stretch is about 125 km which is pretty much coverable easily before the sunset.

Krangsuri Waterfalls: This is one of the most Instagramable places in Meghalaya. The water of this huge waterfall plugs down to a slight turquoise-colored natural pool. There is a cave on the back of the fall which is even more popular. To get access to the pool, you need to walk down a bit from the main road. Spend some time there and after a bunch of good photos get back to the roads for Phe Phe Falls.

Phe Phe Falls: It is a beautiful yet under-rated waterfall in Meghalaya. You need to walk down for almost 10 minutes to get to the foot of this huge waterfall. Trust me, it is absolutely worth the trek. After spending some time, hit the road for Tyrshi falls in the outskirts of Jowai.

Tyrshi falls: It is another wonderful yet under-rated waterfall in the state of Meghalaya. You need to walk downhill to reach the fall. After clicking a few photos, hit the road to Elephant falls.

Elephant Falls: It is a two-tier waterfall situated on the outskirts of Shillong city. You have to walk for 10 minutes to get into the viewpoint. It is one of the most common tourist places in Shillong.After visiting the Elephant falls, head back to Shillong city and stay there at night. You can explore the local market a bit and experience a few cafes I have already mentioned.

Day 6

Get geared up for heading back to Guwahati. After breakfast, you can visit St. Mary Cathedral and Wards lake. The Guwahati-Shillong road is one of the scenic roads in India I have already mentioned before.Take lunch breaks and pee breaks as per convenience. By late afternoon you gonna arrive at Guwahati. Explore the local market a bit and take a rest.

Next morning you can opt for the flight or train to your nearest location.

Trust me, Meghalaya has so much to offer to a traveler. Wish you a safe trip ahead!

You can rent a bike from here : https://www.royalbrothers.com/guwahati/bike-rentals

car rentals : https://www.zoomcar.com/guwahati

Book hotel/homestay at Cherrapunji: https://www.agoda.com https://www.airbnb.co.in/ and many more.