Meghalaya, Literally means abode of clouds, but here i am having abode of confusion as to how to fit all things in one article. Well it's difficult to even split, as my itinerary is all very jumbled up. So, let me just try.
Taking a cue from my previous article - "Treat to Visual Senses - Kaziranga", we are on Day 3. And my next destination is Shillong (Scotland of east) followed by Cherrapunji (Wettest Place on Earth) in the states of Meghalaya. The following days at a glimpse before moving into details.
After early lunch, proceeded to Shillong. Had a stopover for high tea at Jiva Restaurant (one of the best where you can get good taste food, ambiance, clean washrooms..etc. Please expect huge crowd due to earlier mentioned advantages.), Overnight at Shillong. Day 4 - Post Breakfast Visit to Dawki (Village at Bangladesh Border), Umngot River, Living Root Bridge (single), Mawlynnong (Asia's Cleanest Village), Stay at Cherrapunji Day 5 - Visit Dwan Syiem View Point, Noh Kalikai Falls, Seven Sisters Falls, Mawsmai Caves, Eco Park, Stay at Cherrapunji Day 6 - Wakaba Falls, Elephanta Falls, Air Force Museum, Ward's Lake, Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians Church, Stay at Shillong Day 7 - Don Bosco Museum, Umium Lake, Proceed to Guwahati AirportDay 3
It was a little exhaustive day. Travelling in the hilly region makes you feel tired. So we spent our evening at the Hotel - Heritage Club relaxing. Luckily our room was upgraded to suite, which had a beautiful view of the valley. Another taste of luxury. I am literally spoiled with luxuries in my this trip.
Waiting for Dinner to come.
We started at around 8.30 in the morning with many stopover's in between. Our driver suggested us that we need to leave for Cherrapunji by 3PM to avoid fog. First we went to Dwaki village, the border for India-Bangladesh. Though it is not what to you expect a country border look like (definitely not if you have seen Wagah Border). It was very simple to my expectation. But you always feel proud when you see our Flag waving high.
Dwaki BorderDwaki Border - India SideDwaki Side - Bangladesh Side
Our next point was Umngot River. Many people do boating her. Neither of us were very excited to do boat ride here, so we just spent 5-10mins here. One very interesting thing over here is the bridge built by Britishers, and only one Vehicle is allowed at a time to pass. So its actually not advisable to spent more time here if there are big tourist groups around. Invitation to traffic jams.
Bridge - only one vehicle allowed at a time
The third stopover was Living Root Bridge in Mawlynoong. The bridge was formed with the help of four huge trees. One needs to walk a little to reach this place but worth it.
Living Root BridgeLiving Root Bridge
Our fourth stop was Mawlynoong Village, which is Asia's cleanest village. Extremely proud moment that Asia's cleanest village is in my country and tourist visit here to see the beauty. And the village is indeed very clean. But the way 19Km stretch to reach this village is more beautiful and serene. The journey to reach here is what i enjoyed more. The 19Km road is well maintained but very narrow. One way/side has to stop if the vehicle from the other end has to cross.
The journey is worth itOn the way to Mawlynoong village
Asia's Cleanest Village
Asia's Cleanest Village
As suggested by our driver we left the village by 3PM, for us to avoid traffic and fog.
Our final stopover was to eat something as we didn't had our lunch. There are no options in Dwaki or Mawlynoong (though there is one very average eating point in village but we decided to skip that). The restaurant had amazing good food (but i forgot the name) but long waiting cues at even 4 in the evening. The view of the entire valley was amazing from here.
We reached our resort - Jiva resort by evening and ended our day with early light dinner.
The day started with breakfast at open Restaurant followed by exploring our resort, while, waiting for our driver to arrive.
Our first stop was Dwan Syiem View Point.
view of valley
The next stop was the beautiful Noh Kalikai Falls. Though the falls are beautiful but the story behind is very sad.
fallssad story of nohkalikai falls
The Third stop was Seven Sisters Falls. The falls depicts seven states of North east. The fall looks splendid if traveled during heavy rainfall.
Seven sisters - the camera couldn't capture the real view. But the water force is extremely high during high monsoons.
The fourth stop was Mawsmai Caves. I loved these limestone caves. the caves are well lit but very narrow, little difficult for heavier person to cross (similar to original narrow cave of Vaishno devi).
Masmai Caves - end of the 1km stretch
The last attraction was Eco Park. It was extremely beautiful. It reminded me of Hakone, in Japan. One can easily spend couple of hours. Walking on the trail, enjoying the swings was real fun.
walking on the trail
We spent the rest of the evening relaxing at our resort.
After relaxing breakfast we proceeded back to Shillong with stopovers in between before reaching our Hotel.
Our first stop was Wakaba Falls. The view from here was mesmerizing.
wakaba fallsView from Wakaba falls
Our next stop was Elephanta Falls. It has falls located at 3 stages. One can get dressed in traditional wear for photography. And shopping lovers can shop here with Traditional shawls and souvenirs. The shops do bargain.
Third level of Elephanta Falls
Our third stop was Air Force Museum, which was nice to see.
Then we further went to Ward's Lake. It is a good option to do boating.
Our last stop was Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians Church . It is a huge beautiful Church. Due to Christmas, the church was decorated so beautifully.
We rested our day with early dinner.
Post Breakfast, we first went to see Don Bosco Museum. Although i am not a great fan of museums, but this museum has simply amazed me and i loved it. It's a huge seven floor museum and takes minimum 2 hrs even if you just walk without much interest. And if you intend to read and see everything, then it will take atleast half a day. Though it is in Shillong but is very far of the city and other tourist spots. The Museum has in all 20 galleries showcasing rich culture. It includes galleries like - Alcoves, Pre History, Land & people, Agriculture, Musical Instruments, Religion & Culture, ornaments, Weapons..etc. It also has a Skywalk which provides the best view of the Queen City Shillong. I loved 2 Galleries specifically - One Sky walk and other Religion & Culture Gallery. I seriously felt we should be taught education in this way (crisp & clear). It can truly be called as "Center for Advanced Learning".
SkywalkIt was little difficult to capture View. But it was simply beautiful. One could see the entire city.
Our next stop over was Umium Lake for 10-15 mins. One can enjoy boating here with spectacular views. We didn't go down as we had to rush for airport.
Umium Lake - view from top Umium Lake - view from top
Notes cum Tips cum Must See
Must See - Double Decker Living Root Bridge. Keep one day spare and lot of stamina to visit this place. It has 3,500 steps which takes approx 2-3hrs one way. And same time while coming back up. But is worth for adventure seekers. Adventure seeker can also do Zipping. It is on the way from Cherrapunji to Shillong.
Umium Lake is better than rest of the lakes to do boating. It provides best view of surroundings if weather is good. One can visit this on the way from Guwahati to Shillong if time permits (I did other way around). It will take approx 15-20mins to walk down from your parking and another 30-40 mins if one choose to do boating here. So keep atleast an hour in hand.
Try to leave Mawlynnong village by 3PM, so that you can reach Cherrapunji or Shillong by 5.00PM-5.30PM. Because post sunset nothing is visible. It is extremely difficult to drive in hills due to high level of fog. One cannot see even 10 meter ahead.
Best time to visit Meghalaya - Oct-Dec (especially if you have kids), though days are cold but mostly sunny . One can rome around and enjoy the beauty. But if you want to see only rainfall and high degree of waterfall, then Jun-Jul is best. But one needs to sit with rain-coats put on even inside the cars/bus. So be prepared.
Visiting North east - One should be prepared for long distance and hilly travel. Keep medicines accordingly if you have nausea of travelling at a go. We had a rental car for 6 days with driver.
Having a local driver helps you with navigation, helps in avoiding to drive at hilly areas/small roads, getting public transport is a big task. Hence my advice for tension free holiday to have a car with a driver.
TREAT TO VISUAL SENSES - KAZIRANGA (Part 1) -