White clouds, green hills, gushing waterfalls, delicious food, rain and lots of rain! Yes, that is Meghalaya for us.
Northeast India has always been fascinating because of their natural, ethnic and linguistic diversity. With 220 spoken languages, 200+ tribes and a plethora of flora and fauna, the region has Indian subcontinent's last remaining rainforests.
One fine day over a weekend house party, six friends from college, bound by a common love for travel and food, randomly chose Meghalaya to be the next travel destination.
Meghalaya - the abode of clouds, the land of waterfalls and the land of the highest rainfall in the world. It is majorly inhabited by tribals with the major ones being Khashi, Garo and Jaintia. Meghalaya's geography can be broadly divided into Garo Hills in the west, Khashi Hills in the central and Jaintia Hills in the east.
Time of travel:
The major factor that decides the time of travel to Meghalaya is RAIN.
1. November to February - These 4 months, of winter, receive minimum rainfall in Meghalaya.
If one wants to see the clear water of the river, Dawki or of other natural pools, then the best time is December and January. During rains, one cannot experience the transparent water. The drawback is that many of the waterfalls dry up.
2. March to October - Frequent showers are experienced during this time in June to September receiving maximum rainfall.
The drawback of visiting during the monsoons(June to September) is that due to heavy rains, travel plans can get messed up. But the adventure seeking ones can try their luck in monsoons if they want to see Meghalaya and its innumerable waterfalls in their full glory.
We travelled on the first week of May this year. Though not a typical rainy season, but cyclone Fani made sure we get enough rain on all but the last day of our trip.
Mode of travel:
1. Bangalore to Guwahati: Flight
2. Guwahati Airport to Khanapara: Cab
You can book cabs via Ola/Uber or bargain with the local drivers at the taxi stand outside the airport.
3. Khanapara to Meghalaya and return: Overlanding vehicle. It was a gorgeous red Thar for us :)
We hired it from Camping Co. who is based out of Khanpara, Guwahati. The company is run by a group of young travel enthusiasts who helps with all your queries, itinerary suggestions and keep a tap on you and your safety throughout the journey.
What is Overlanding?
Overlanding is an independent mode of travel where one wants to enjoy the journey more than the destination. There will be a vehicle which will be equipped with tents, sleeping bags and basic set of utensils. One can travel to remote areas without worrying about returning to hotels. One can park the car and pitch the tents wherever one wishes to.
Cost and Duration of the trip:
It was a 5 day trip with 20K INR per person including airfare and food.
Circuit of the trip:
We covered parts of West and east Khashi hills.