Meghalaya: The abode of Clouds

Published by Niranjan on Oct'17,2018

1 | 514


Meghalaya: The abode of Clouds

Niranjan
1 | 514 | Oct 17, 2018

My first trip ever solo trip was to ‘The abode of Clouds’ also called Meghalaya by Indians. A state so small but so rich in culture. A state that still preserves its tribal traditions and culture unlike the other developing tribal states of the north eastern parts of India. The state mostly borders Bangladesh on one side and Assam on the other side.

Shillong the capital of this tiny state is a quiet city with a lot of tourists buzzing around it throughout the year. If you are there for a weekend, the local bazaar called the Police Bazaar is a must visit place in the evening. For a city that totally shuts down by 7 pm the bazaar is an exception on rare occasions and I was fortunate to be there on one such weekend. The vendors there serve you different types of delicious, mouth watering homemade momos (a local dish), chowmein and grilled pork and chicken.

There are a lot of places to look around Shillong. For this purpose you can hire a taxi with a package if you are in a group of 5 to 10 people or you can do it on your own except for some places. There are quiet a few interesting places around Shillong like the Elephant fallsSmith’s valleyAir force museumbutterfly museum and a couple of lakes and a zoo and Shillong view point. The viewpoint and Smith’s valley are amazing only if there is no fog or rain on the day of visit.

The Khasi heritage village

 

Smith’s Valley

 

The Khasi heritage village is a must visit place. It has some of the traditional Khasi tribal houses and stands just outside the Sacred Groves of the Khasi tribe. Though outsiders are not permitted to enter the Grove one can go close to the Grove and take a peek. Its a vast area of dark forest stretching for kilometers. A small walk from here would bring you to the start of a beautiful trail called the David Scott Trail.


David Scott Trail: Its a one day trek of about 16 to 17kms. Not a very difficult trek. The view is amazing throughout the entire trek. One comes across quite a number of small streams cutting your path every now and then. Careful though! The trail can be very slippery if it had rained that week. Yes, I did slip quiet a few times. It’s a lot fun when you fall and pull your friends down too. There is one huge steel bridge that’s been there from the British period which stands above the river and gives you a panoramic view of the hills and the river. A little further you will have to cross the stream on foot and this is my favorite part. You’ll have to remove your shoes so that it doesn’t get wet and the rocks are slippery and added to it the water is super cold, at least in the month I went (November). A little bit more and we were at a small pond with crystal clear water and the taste of water at all the places was so good. The pond still stands so close to my heart. Warning: Its going to get real messy if it rains during your trek and in this kind of place you cannot predict when it might rain and when it might not. So, it’s always good to go prepared for the worst.

Cherrapunji: The wettest place on earth, is famous not only for the frequency of rainfall it gets but also for the number of waterfalls, the caves and finally the most spectacular of all “The double decker Living Root Bridges”.

The are a lot of caves in this region. Some are small and some are really big ones. Of them the one I liked the most was the one called Aarva Caves. Its darkness and tunnels were so amusing to me for it was my first experience of going inside the caves. It took about 2 to 3 hours to explore about 60 to 70% of the cave. The rest I wasn’t able to do because of the water stagnated in some lower levels due to recent rains.

Nohkalikai falls

 

There are quite a few famous falls in and around Cherapunjee like the Nohkalikai fallsand the Seven sister falls. Both these places border Bangladesh. You have a flight of about 300 steps going down from the view point of Nohkalilai falls, which will take you to the very bottom of the falls where the water drops down creating a beautiful blue pool. Damn, the view was mesmerizing. And Nohkalikai is also the tallest plunge waterfall in India

Mawlynnong: Claimed to be the cleanest village of India, the village is about an hour’s drive form Cherrapunji. It is actually very clean. It looks more of a tourist spot than a village because of the tourism that has increased in this particular place over the past few years. Still it is great to walk along the cemented path and through the bamboo farms and the huts of the village. There are lots of small souvenir shops and snack shops all along the way. Most snack shops sell cucumber, fresh pineapple and fresh grapefruit. In fact you can spot some pineapple plants on your way to the village along the path outside some houses and you can also see women carving small souvenirs out of wood right in front of you in the shops. Most of the shops along the way offer their products at a very reasonable rate till you reach the village market where the prices are exorbitant, still if you can bargain, you’d get them at reasonable rates.

There are a lot of places to look around Shillong. For this purpose you can hire a taxi with a package if you are in a group of 5 to 10 people or you can do it on your own except for some places. There are quiet a few interesting places around Shillong like the Elephant fallsSmith’s valleyAir force museumbutterfly museum and a couple of lakes and a zoo and Shillong view point. The viewpoint and Smith’s valley are amazing only if there is no fog or rain on the day of visit. 

The people here are so kind except when it comes to photographs. They just don’t like to be photographed nor let you click pictures of their children but feel free to  click anything other than the people around here.

A bamboo farmer with his produce

A bamboo farmer with his produce

 

Apart from all these sites if one can make it to Meghalaya’s Ri Bhoi district in the months of late October or November you’ll be lucky to spot the migrating Amur Falcons. There also happens to be an Amur Falcon Festival in this district every year.

 


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My first trip ever solo trip was to ‘The abode of Clouds’ also called Meghalaya by Indians. A state so small but so rich in culture. A state that still preserves its tribal traditions and culture unlike the other developing tribal states of the north eastern parts of India. The state mostly borders Bangladesh on one side and Assam on the other side.

Shillong the capital of this tiny state is a quiet city with a lot of tourists buzzing around it throughout the year. If you are there for a weekend, the local bazaar called the Police Bazaar is a must visit place in the evening. For a city that totally shuts down by 7 pm the bazaar is an exception on rare occasions and I was fortunate to be there on one such weekend. The vendors there serve you different types of delicious, mouth watering homemade momos (a local dish), chowmein and grilled pork and chicken.

There are a lot of places to look around Shillong. For this purpose you can hire a taxi with a package if you are in a group of 5 to 10 people or you can do it on your own except for some places. There are quiet a few interesting places around Shillong like the Elephant fallsSmith’s valleyAir force museumbutterfly museum and a couple of lakes and a zoo and Shillong view point. The viewpoint and Smith’s valley are amazing only if there is no fog or rain on the day of visit.

The Khasi heritage village

 

Smith’s Valley

 

The Khasi heritage village is a must visit place. It has some of the traditional Khasi tribal houses and stands just outside the Sacred Groves of the Khasi tribe. Though outsiders are not permitted to enter the Grove one can go close to the Grove and take a peek. Its a vast area of dark forest stretching for kilometers. A small walk from here would bring you to the start of a beautiful trail called the David Scott Trail.


David Scott Trail: Its a one day trek of about 16 to 17kms. Not a very difficult trek. The view is amazing throughout the entire trek. One comes across quite a number of small streams cutting your path every now and then. Careful though! The trail can be very slippery if it had rained that week. Yes, I did slip quiet a few times. It’s a lot fun when you fall and pull your friends down too. There is one huge steel bridge that’s been there from the British period which stands above the river and gives you a panoramic view of the hills and the river. A little further you will have to cross the stream on foot and this is my favorite part. You’ll have to remove your shoes so that it doesn’t get wet and the rocks are slippery and added to it the water is super cold, at least in the month I went (November). A little bit more and we were at a small pond with crystal clear water and the taste of water at all the places was so good. The pond still stands so close to my heart. Warning: Its going to get real messy if it rains during your trek and in this kind of place you cannot predict when it might rain and when it might not. So, it’s always good to go prepared for the worst.

Cherrapunji: The wettest place on earth, is famous not only for the frequency of rainfall it gets but also for the number of waterfalls, the caves and finally the most spectacular of all “The double decker Living Root Bridges”.

The are a lot of caves in this region. Some are small and some are really big ones. Of them the one I liked the most was the one called Aarva Caves. Its darkness and tunnels were so amusing to me for it was my first experience of going inside the caves. It took about 2 to 3 hours to explore about 60 to 70% of the cave. The rest I wasn’t able to do because of the water stagnated in some lower levels due to recent rains.

Nohkalikai falls

 

There are quite a few famous falls in and around Cherapunjee like the Nohkalikai fallsand the Seven sister falls. Both these places border Bangladesh. You have a flight of about 300 steps going down from the view point of Nohkalilai falls, which will take you to the very bottom of the falls where the water drops down creating a beautiful blue pool. Damn, the view was mesmerizing. And Nohkalikai is also the tallest plunge waterfall in India

Mawlynnong: Claimed to be the cleanest village of India, the village is about an hour’s drive form Cherrapunji. It is actually very clean. It looks more of a tourist spot than a village because of the tourism that has increased in this particular place over the past few years. Still it is great to walk along the cemented path and through the bamboo farms and the huts of the village. There are lots of small souvenir shops and snack shops all along the way. Most snack shops sell cucumber, fresh pineapple and fresh grapefruit. In fact you can spot some pineapple plants on your way to the village along the path outside some houses and you can also see women carving small souvenirs out of wood right in front of you in the shops. Most of the shops along the way offer their products at a very reasonable rate till you reach the village market where the prices are exorbitant, still if you can bargain, you’d get them at reasonable rates.

There are a lot of places to look around Shillong. For this purpose you can hire a taxi with a package if you are in a group of 5 to 10 people or you can do it on your own except for some places. There are quiet a few interesting places around Shillong like the Elephant fallsSmith’s valleyAir force museumbutterfly museum and a couple of lakes and a zoo and Shillong view point. The viewpoint and Smith’s valley are amazing only if there is no fog or rain on the day of visit. 

The people here are so kind except when it comes to photographs. They just don’t like to be photographed nor let you click pictures of their children but feel free to  click anything other than the people around here.

A bamboo farmer with his produce

A bamboo farmer with his produce

 

Apart from all these sites if one can make it to Meghalaya’s Ri Bhoi district in the months of late October or November you’ll be lucky to spot the migrating Amur Falcons. There also happens to be an Amur Falcon Festival in this district every year.