Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds

Tripoto
18th Sep 2019
Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

We chose Meghalaya for a road trip in September because it’s known to be beautiful in monsoons with waterfalls in full swing and mesmerizing greenery around. Boy, we were wrong. Meghalaya is much more than that. Funky custom Maruti Cars, occult stories, well-dressed women, roosters, juiciest Pineapples, Rock & Roll, and everyone knows how to play guitar, Meghalaya surprised us in every way possible. Variegated landscapes and paved roads, it was ‘straight out of heaven’ experience driving in and around Meghalaya.

Having said that, I urge you to travel mindfully to any place you go. At the most resplendent and not so explored places in Meghalaya, I found plastic in the form of water bottles, Chips bags, and other trash items. It’s high time for us to responsibly otherwise we’ll be trapped in a smoggy atmosphere with zero sky visibility and will miss the opportunity to experience this Earth in its most natural essence.

HOW TO REACH

Ideally, you can fly to Guwahati and then take shared cabs to any tourist destination. Shared cabs are the main public transport in Meghalaya and they are pretty cheap too. (INR 80-200) However, if you are driving by yourself (Car or Bike), you get to know underrated beautiful places and bask in the authentic beauty of Meghalaya. We pre-booked Zoom Car and drove around.

Day 1

Guhawati to Umiam Lake, Shillong

Umiam Boathouse

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

View for the day

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Umiam Boathouse

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

View from our house

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

View

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

It was my husband’s birthday and also our first day of the trip to Meghalaya. I booked Umiam Boat House on Umiam Lake, around 17 km before Shillong. To reach there you have to take a ferry from Umiam Lake boat Point. There are time constraints. The last ferry runs at 4:30 pm and first ferry at 9:30 am.

We drove to Umiam Lake and took the Ferry to the boathouse. Umiam Boat House is covered by water from three sides and a small hill on one side. The caretaker and his family live on this small hill and on the other side they also have few tents for stay.

Beautiful interiors and neatly maintained, this Boathouse is a delight to stay in. With all the basic amenities and on-call basic food available, one can spend a quiet day watching the small ripples while slowing getting cradled in the boathouse. It’s you and the lake. We sat on the porch, watched the sunset and played music. You can catch a glimpse of the lights dispersing from the clouds and magically spreading all across the lake, the dance of clouds while listening to the calming nature’s music.

Pre-booking is a must. Recommended if you love off-beat places around nature.

Day 2

Shillong to Sohra

In Meghalaya Sun rises around 5 am and with rays coming in through your window cracks and curtain shades, there is no choice but to wake up and get going. To make the most of the short days, we headed for breakfast to the famous Dylan’s Café, Shillong. We were greeted with Bob Dylan’s ‘Blowing in the Wind’ playing in the background and warm staff setting the café. After Rock and Roll vibes and good food, we headed to Smit Village, 12 km from Shillong. A small village nestled near the city was indeed a fresh surprise. Known for traditional Khasi House build without using a single metal nail, Smit village has mesmerizing landscapes around. We spent some time watching beautiful skies and admiring nature here. We then drove to Laitlum View Point. Ideally known for captivating sunrises; by the time we reached there, it was almost half of the day. As it was a Weekend, Laitlum View Point was crowded but we did stay there for a while for the view of Laitlum canyon, cascading mountains and slowly drifting clouds.

We reached Sohra by evening. Cherrapunji is preferred to be locally known as Sohra and this place has been the highlight of our trip. We kept coming back to Sohra even when we didn’t plan and every second was worth spending here. We headed to Orange Roots, one of the main restaurants in Sohra. A Unit by Meghalaya Tourism, it is run by local women and serves delicious home-cooked meals. Ghee Masala Dosa and Chole Bhature are a must-try here. We stayed at Sai Mika Resort, bit off-road Sohra but with amazing view day and night. They also have a Dorm, a huge antique architecture hall with fireplace and six beds. Fortunately, they didn’t have any guests for the dorm so we got the entire hall to ourselves. Ended our day here with live country music and listening to stories about unheard Meghalaya from locals

Dylan’s Cafe

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Smit Village

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Traditional Khasi House

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Landscape around Smit Village

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Dylan’s Cafe

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Wall art at Dylan’s cafe

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Laitlum View Point

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain
Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain
Day 3

Exploring Sohra

As usual, woke up early and after having breakfast in the resort, we made our way to Wei SongDong Waterfalls. A three-step Waterfall in nature, this is the most picturesque place you’ll see in the entire Meghalaya. You’ll have to trek through uneven stairs, bamboo trail, and dangerous narrow bamboo bridges but trust me, it will be worth a visit. Swimming inside the middle of cascades is not recommended even if you are a professional because they are quite deep. However, you’ll find the shallow ends to swim in and absorb the beauty of this place.

Next, we drove to Seven Sister waterfalls but it’s more of a touristy place. We didn’t spend much time here and headed to Mawsmai Caves. It is one of the distinguished places in Sohra full of stalactites and stalagmites. With narrow space and dimly lighted, make sure you visit them when it’s not crowded. Overall, a unique experience.

Mot Palong Park

If are like us, just want to sit and admire the beauty of a place, Mot Palong Park is your destination. Also, know as Bangladesh View Point, you can experience breathtaking Sunsets on a clear day here. It is highly underrated but must recommend for a view of Bangladesh Plains and Sohra Valley together.

Sunsets in Sohra

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Wei Songdong Waterfalls

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Bamboo trails

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Wei Songdong Waterfalls

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Mot Palong Park

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

View

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain
Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Mawsmai Caves

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Bamboo trails

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Bamboo Trails

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Exploring Sohra

As usual, woke up early and after having breakfast in the resort, we made our way to Wei SongDong Waterfalls. A three-step Waterfall in nature, this is the most picturesque place you’ll see in the entire Meghalaya. You’ll have to trek through uneven stairs, bamboo trail, and dangerous narrow bamboo bridges but trust me, it will be worth a visit. Swimming inside the middle of cascades is not recommended even if you are a professional because they are quite deep. However, you’ll find the shallow ends to swim in and absorb the beauty of this place.

Next, we drove to Seven Sister waterfalls but it’s more of a touristy place. We didn’t spend much time here and headed to Mawsmai Caves. It is one of the distinguished places in Sohra full of stalactites and stalagmites. With narrow space and dimly lighted, make sure you visit them when it’s not crowded. Overall, a unique experience.

Mot Palong Park

If are like us, just want to sit and admire the beauty of a place, Mot Palong Park is your destination. Also, know as Bangladesh View Point, you can experience breathtaking Sunsets on a clear day here. It is highly underrated but must recommend for a view of Bangladesh Plains and Sohra Valley together.

Day 4

Trek to Double root bridge

Drive to Nongriat takes an hour from Sohra and then trek of two hours to reach the double root bridge. This trek is not for weak hearts, 3500 steps one side and steep. Getting down was still manageable compared to trekking back but while coming back, I could hear my heartbeat in the throat. In September, just after the monsoons, it was really humid which made the hiking really bad. We took a dip in the pool on the way to curb the scorching heat and savor the place. Double Root Bridge and other living bridges in Nongriat are manmade wonders. The roots of Banyan trees are twisted and woven together and given directions to form a pathway. There are many guest houses in Nongriat and usually, travelers prefer to stay for a day or two exploring the hidden places around. However looking at the weather, we decided to trek back the same day. Our legs were shaking and knees were wobbly but somehow we made it. You can hire a porter to carry your luggage up for a little ease.

After the tiring journey, we headed again to Mot Palong Park for Sunset and back at Sai Mika Resort for the most amazing live country music by their in-house band.

trek to Nongriat

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Double Root Bridge

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Double Root Bridge

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Trek to Nongriat

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain
Day 5

Sohra to Dawki

When you drive from Sohra to Dawki, you’ll find a restaurant, Appertifs Food & Bar on your way. Don’t forget to stop by for a quick bite or lunch. They only serve Chinese and drinks but it was delicious and super cheap. This place gives ‘Cabin in the woods” feel and you can spend as much time here you want with amazing sky view. As you go down the valley weather becomes humid and hot around monsoons, so be prepared for it. Umglot River is the main attraction of Dawki and people usually enjoy boating in the clear river. Due to Rainwater, the river wasn’t clear as seen in pictures so we headed to Darrang and then Shnogpdeng for our stay. Darrang is an unexplored place on the bank of Umglot river near Dawki with few guesthouses. We chose Shnogpdeng for a night stay as Darrang didn’t have a single traveler around. We got a tent for a night, right at the edge of the sparkling river and magnificent sky view. Well, it wasn’t a smooth night because it became really hot in the tent at night and then it rained. We were scared all the time and kept waking to check if we are floating with our tent. There are few guesthouses too and they charge as per the season.

The best part about Shnogpdeng is you can take life jackets and swim in the river or just float watching the exquisite surroundings and clouds.

Appertifs

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Umglot River

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Tent at Shnogpdeng

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain
Day 6

Krangshuri Waterfalls

After one last dip in Umglot River, we headed to Krangshuri Waterfalls. Easy downhill hike of 2 km, you’ll reach the Waterfalls. Here also you’ll get the life jackets and can swim in and around the waterfalls. It is a peaceful place to spend a day. You can also stay here with few basic homestays around. After being content with our time around waterfalls, we headed back to Shillong to experience Meghalaya’s city life.

In Shillong, we stayed at Rockski Bed and Breakfast. Minimally decorated, this place totally gave the vibe of a boutique hotel. Terrace room is recommended here for the sky view and extra space. Shillong has three main markets, Bada Bazaar, Police Bazaar, and Laitmukrah Market. Rockski B & B is 2 mins from Laitmukrah Market and has easy access to other places in Shillong. Police Bazaar has a huge street shopping lane and cafes. We went to almost every café on a must-visit list. The Evening Club is recommended for live music & food and Smoky Falls Tribes Café for delicious coffee and desserts.

Krangshuri Waterfalls

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Krangshuri Waterfalls

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Krangshuri Waterfalls

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Krangshuri Waterfalls

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

View from Rockski B&B

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Shillong Market

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

City Life

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain
Day 7

Shillong to Sohra again

We headed for breakfast to ML 05 Café. You can’t miss their billboards all along Meghalaya. Located in upper Shillong, this café has very hippy vibes.

We missed Sohra after having our share of city life so we drove back there. On the way, we met two travelers searching for accommodation so we took them along to Sai Mika Resort. I highly recommend staying here for a distinctive experience in Sohra. Since we truly loved their in-house band, we begged them to play for us. Usually, they only play on weekends or on any special occasion. This was a relaxed day meeting like-minded travelers and stay in Sohra.

Interiors at ML05 cafe

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Sunsets at Sai Mika

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain
Day 8

Back to Shillong

Having our flight the next day, we wanted to shop souvenirs for our friends and family. We drove back to Shillong. Since Rockski was completely booked, we stayed at The Dew B&B, near Laitmukrah Market. It was a newly built property with clean interiors and warm staff. A pleasant stay. Strolling around the Police Bazaar, we bought thrift clothes and pineapples. Don’t forget to buy pineapples if you have space. Pineapples in Meghalaya are the best ones you’ll ever eat. We spent our evening hopping around cafes and enjoying live music at The Evening club.

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain
Day 9

As it was our last day in Meghalaya, we went to Wild Nector Speciality Outlet for lunch and soaked up as much beauty we could in between the lush garden. A must visit. Finally, drove back to Guwahati for our flight.

Nehru Park

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain
Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Wild Nector Specifically Center

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Breakfast with a view

Photo of Mystic Meghalaya: A road trip between clouds by Meghna Jain

Meghalaya is one of the mystic places I’ll keep coming back to. Known for festivals, sights, and food, this place will give you a different experience in other seasons. I hope you’ll find our trip useful.

If you have any questions, write to me at mytravelescapades@outlook.com

Be the first one to comment