Welcome to Meghalaya

Tripoto
27th Sep 2015

Living Root Bridge

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Don Bosco Museum 1

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Don Bosco Museum 2

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Don Bosco Museum 3

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Don Bosco Museum 4

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Don Bosco Museum 5

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Don Bosco Museum 6

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Don Bosco Museum 7

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Don Bosco Museum 8

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Don Bosco Museum 9

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Don Bosco Museum 10

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Don Bosco Museum 11

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Don Bosco Museum 12

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

How Khasis Worshipped - Explanation

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

How Khasis Worshipped

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Khasi Story

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Pool near Living Root Bridge

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Tree House - Living Root Bridge 1

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Tree House - Living Root Bridge 2

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Way towards Living Root Bridge

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Mawlynnong Vilage 1

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Mawlynnong Vilage 2

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Mawlynnong Vilage 3

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Mawlynnong Vilage - Rules

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Downstairs towards Nohsngithiang Falls

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Nohsngithiang Falls

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Entrance - Nohwet View point

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Nohwet View point

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Way towards Nohwet View point

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Picturesue - Meghalaya 1

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Picturesue - Meghalaya 2

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Picturesue - Meghalaya 3

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Shillong Peak 1

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Shillong Peak 2

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Entrance towards Tripura Castle

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Tripura Castle

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Sohra (Cherrapunjee) 1

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Sohra (Cherrapunjee) 2

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Sohra (Cherrapunjee) 3

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Plane View (Himalayas)

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Sunset at Shillong

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

Upper Shillong

Photo of Welcome to Meghalaya by Dominic Liang

In my own words

We have visited this place a several times as this is our maternal native place. Majority of our vacations involved visiting relatives but this was the first time, we were able to explore this beautiful place and it did not disappoint us, rather exceeded our expectations. Many a times, we were caught in its awe and just sat admiring the views. Do you remember your childhood when you played with the view master and happily enjoyed the different images with a click? These days, closing my eyes opens up the the Meghalaya Views and all I can do is smile!

Meghalaya translates to ‘The abode of clouds’ in Sanskrit. When you enter the state, your views will be filled with picturesque villages, mountains, pine trees, dense forests, clouds and a travel to each destination would involve circling the mountains. This place has diverse climatic conditions with rains accompanying almost every day and the nights can get freezing.

While entering Shillong, the Capital of Meghalaya, you could see a hoarding display 'Welcome to the Scotland of the East'. This place does look foreign with the scenic views and the recent Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has helped made the streets cleaner.

English is the official language of this state but Khasi is the most common used language. Thanks to our maternal background, we could speak some basics. Maybe you would find these helpful – Khublei (Thank you/ Welcome), Um (Water), Bamza (Food/ Eat Food) Labiang (Enough/ Satisfied), Lathaid (Tired).

Simple yet splendid

The rooster cries between 2 – 3 AM and that’s when the sun rises. Although, this varies for different altitudes in Meghalaya but these people have body clocks tuned to an early start to early finish. So, a typical day would start around 4 – 7 AM and end by 6 – 8 PM. May be the north east requires a different time zone?

Some of my Eco-friendly friends were overjoyed when they heard that people consume what they grow. The staple food includes rice, potatoes and meat i.e. chicken, pork, mutton, fish or beef. This region also bears a variety of fruits such as apples, bananas, pineapples, strawberries, sohphie, sohphlang, pears and apricot. They could be found on the local streets but are seasonal. Majority of the people are self sufficient and hence do not like to waste things. Another reason why this place is clean! 

People are well connected to each other and relish the strong sense of community. Everyone knows what everyone is up to. After a day’s work, people would gather and talk about different topics. Christianity is the dominant religion and Sundays are dedicated to the church. Social Media is not extensive compared to the metros but it is catching up.

This peaceful and affectionate way of living is simple and completely different to the city’s rat race. For once, I could easily see how people managed life more and work less.

Women run the houses

In a male dominated country, it would be surprising to find that Meghalaya follows a matrilineal system. In simple words, this puts women at the epicenter of the society and they are the decision makers. The youngest daughter in the family inherits the property and is responsible for taking care of her aging parents and siblings. After marriage, the man is expected to move into their wife’s house and also him and the children must take his wife's maternal family name.

After some web research, I could see that this system was even followed in some parts of South India as well. Some say that all this changed after the British Invasion.

This could be a different, long discussing topic but this state should be credited to sticking to their age old traditions. I guess women do make better decision makers in some part of the world! :)

Let's talk places

Apart from the places mentioned in the itinerary, we stayed in Umtrew and there were some more places we would have liked to visit -

  • Double Decker Living Root Bridge (Beware, the trek to this place is tedious and duration will be around 3 – 5 hours. While discussing with a guy who had visited this place stated that he was exhausted and hence did the return journey after a night)
  • Elephant Falls
  • Mawphlang Sacred Forest (The Khasi Mythology is interesting and this place may provide some more details)
  • Mawsmai Cave
  • Ward’s Lake
  • Air Force Museum (The mornings are a good time to visit as you could see the air planes, jets or helicopters do their drills)

I like visiting places that are calm and serene, which brings you close to mother nature. Because, these places inspire you how easily, complex things can be achieved.

What things are actually valuable in life? Rather be stressed about those documents at your desk, they show us how to unwind and transport yourself into deep meditation with nature. You feel nice when you are calm, don't you?

So, what are you waiting for.. Pack your bags and explore Meghalaya. Not only that, explore the other six sisters as well!

Below links may be a helping hand -

Meghalaya | Discover Meghalaya | Don Bosco Museum 

P.S. My sister thinks I don't take good photographs, so pardon me!

Pleasant place to spend some time and have a bird’s eye view of the city Shillong.
Photo of Shillong Peak, East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Shillong Peak, East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
This place captures sentiments of all the different cultures of the indigenous people of the north east. An informative place with beautiful photographs and artifacts showcasing the different histories. I could write a whole lot on this place itself but would let some pictures above do the talking. If interested, a day's dedication would be required.
Photo of Don Bosco Museum, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Don Bosco Museum, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Don Bosco Museum, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Don Bosco Museum, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Don Bosco Museum, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Don Bosco Museum, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Don Bosco Museum, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Don Bosco Museum, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Don Bosco Museum, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Don Bosco Museum, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Don Bosco Museum, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Don Bosco Museum, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Don Bosco Museum, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Don Bosco Museum, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Don Bosco Museum, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
There are two of this kind – the one mentioned is a single Decker root bridge. Nature’s unique gift is accompanied with a small water pool near by. After a long travel, people enjoy a quick wash and surprisingly, the place is clean and maintained well.
Photo of Living Root Bridge, Riwai Village, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Living Root Bridge, Riwai Village, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Living Root Bridge, Riwai Village, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Living Root Bridge, Riwai Village, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Living Root Bridge, Riwai Village, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Not sure whether the name is correct but this would be a half an hour uphill trek from the Single Decker Living Root Bridge. To the extreme east is an echo point, a little further would be the Bangladesh border and rest would be the dense forests of Meghalaya. Its usually not crowded, hence, you can have more time for yourself and may be dii sha (tea) can give you company.
Photo of Nohwet Viewpoint (Near Living Root Bridge) by Dominic Liang
Photo of Nohwet Viewpoint (Near Living Root Bridge) by Dominic Liang
Photo of Nohwet Viewpoint (Near Living Root Bridge) by Dominic Liang
Visit to this village could be termed as ‘Another day in Paradise’. Not referring to its lyrics but because this place is so simple and yet majestic. Who would have thought that you could make the best out of a few things and still stay clean? This society emphasizes the high importance of cleanliness and has laid out certain rules for tourists. Follow them!
Photo of Mawlynnong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Mawlynnong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Mawlynnong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Mawlynnong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
We were supposed to be put up here but later decided to stay with our relatives. This is dedicated to the Royal highness of Tripura Castle in Tripura and the place ensures complete comfort.
Photo of Tripura Castle Road, Risa Colony, Malki, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of Tripura Castle Road, Risa Colony, Malki, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Place where you can find all the local food. Bhutia market is famous for the exports of clothes, spices and other things.
This is not a tourist place but I had to mention this because of its beautiful landscape. We had visited one of our relatives and witnessed its beauty.
Photo of Upper Shillong, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
In order to reach these falls, you would definitely enjoy the travel because you'd be passing through Sohra (Cherrapunjee). A hand, out of the car would draw a few dewdrops and the journey is peace loving! Once you reach the place, you can enjoy the view only if the fog is not dense. There's a stair case downhill and the walk time back and fro would take around 2 hours.
Photo of NohSngiThiang View, Nohsngithiang View, Sohra, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
Photo of NohSngiThiang View, Nohsngithiang View, Sohra, Meghalaya, India by Dominic Liang
2 Comment(s)
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Hello Dominic.. thank you for writing such an extensive and detailed itinerary for Meghalaya. We have booked our tickets to visit Meghalaya in August. It would be of great help if you could let us know that it is all right to come here in monsoons, with such heavy downpour and floods in Assam. PS we don't want to cancel our tickets and truth be told, we have ten days plan to explore Assam, Meghalaya and other north east states.
Fri 07 08 16, 23:43 · Reply · Report
Is it advisable to travel meghalaya during the monsoon season?
Tue 05 17 16, 05:48 · Reply · Report