This festive season travel to Meghalaya

October holidays, festival season, holidays in india, Meghalaya, North East, Brahmaputra, travel, family holidays, monsoons, cherrapunji, shillong, Guwahati,Mountains, vacation
This festive season travel to Meghalaya

I traveled to Shillong and other parts of Meghalaya sometime back. Honestly, we were planning Bhutan. Soaring flight prices and connectivity made us change our plan. We settled for North East.

The first glimpse of mountains covered in lush green, roadside coconut sellers luring us to try fresh water – the North East enchanted us. The sky-high buildings dwindled into farm houses, cascading roofs and bamboo shafts. The fervour in the air was by and large complacent, relaxed and introverted. We seemed to enjoy the stark difference from our city life.

High on our agenda was to see the mighty & furious Brahmaputra.We transcended the grumpy traffic to reach our destination. As you trek out, keep in mind the small city, tiny roads and the onslaught of increasing cars.

Two thoughts struck me when I saw the Brahmaputra. One, the magnanimity. Miles of water, rising and falling in harmony. Waves condescending the fishermen’s boats. The second aspect was the state of affairs around the river banks. There was filth, dirt, garbage and rotten vegetables at frequent halts. I wish the cleanliness was better.

Shillong was the next stop. A mini Europe in India. Chilly weather, flowing rivers, dense greenery, clouds that touch us warmly – this small abode had all the right ingredients. The people of Shillong with the dimpled smiles, streaked faces, tiny conversant eyes, helpful hands, won our hearts.

We visited the many tourist spots there and then undertook the 2-hour drive to Cherrapunji – the place which was once rated with the highest rainfall in the world.

It is straight out of a movie set. The caves at Cherrapunji with knee length water are a thrilling experience. The local Khaasi food is a must try. Eager non-vegetarians must try the Mutton curries, the momos, the red chilly and prawn pickles.

North Easterners are musically inclined. Enter a roadside café to hear live guitarists streaming your favorite numbers. Hurdle up with a hot soup or a chilled beer and the evening is set.

Meghalaya sets you back in time. Treks near the Umium Lake bring forth the explorer in you. Every morning can be a new path. Close it with sumptuous breakfast and you are satiated with satisfaction.

A suggested Itinerary

Land in Guwahati. All major cities of India are connected by flight and trains. Book in advance to get cheaper deals.

Guwahati-Shillong – a 2-hour drive with winding roads and beautiful countryside.

The must visits

  • Umiam Lake –  The Ri Kynjai Resort on the lake is a tribal style resort with sprawling cottages and eventful trekking tracks. A must stay.
  • Elephant Falls
  • All Saints Church
  • Roots Bridge, Mawlynnong (which is also the cleanest village in the world)
  • Umngot river, Dawki – the natural water lake with a river bottom clearly visible.
  • The Tripura Castle which is now a heritage hotel.
  • Café Shillong is a must visit for the zesty mood of the musical city.

Time span

To get the best of the state, plan a 5-day trip. Spend a day in Guwahati and then head to Shillong. Most locations around Shillong are day trips.

Good weather

Summers – April, May and early June. Monsoons set in post that. October is an ideal time.

Don’t forget the roadside Maggi stalls and the corn on the cob. Meghalaya has a lot to offer. Relax in the midst of an unattended schedule, misty clouds and the lazy pace of the locals.


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