Meghalaya – Abode of Clouds
Meghalaya is a Sanskrit word which literally means “Abode of Clouds”. It is a small state situated in the north-eastern part of the Indian sub-continent. The state is blessed with natural beauty and is a picturesque tourist destination that attracts tourists not only from India but across the world. The green carpeted mountains, natural landscapes, the sound of raindrops, and the wettest place on earth is all you find in Meghalaya. Today Meghalaya is one of the famous biking destinations in India. Meghalaya is one of the seven sister states of the North eastern part of India. It was in the year 1972 that Meghalaya was given the independent statehood, prior to that it was part of Assam.
British rulers fell in love with the beauty of this small place and named it as “The Scotland of East”. One third part of the state is forests and these forests are famous for the biodiversities of birds, plants and mammals. A trip to Meghalaya is a vacation spent close to Mother Nature where you can breathe fresh air, take a look at the dazzling and beautiful waterfalls, admire tall pine trees, hear the babble of the stream flowing nearby, visit Cherapunjee the wettest place on this earth, lush green tea estates, take a look in the tribal life and spend sometime away from the pollution and hectic city life.
Meghalaya is a hilly state located in the north eastern part of sub-Himalayas. The state does not have its own airport. The nearest one is in Guwahati.
By Air: The Guwahati Airport is about 128 km away from Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya. There is a Helicopter service available that commute between Shillong and Guwahati that takes about 30 minutes and another service between Guwahati and Tura that takes about 1 hour.
By Road: NH-40 runs from the middle of the state and is an all season road that connects Meghalaya to Guwahati that in turn is connected to rest of India. Guwahati is the main city from where you can reach Meghalaya.
By Rail: Again, the state doesn’t have any rail service. The nearest railhead is in Guwahati . SO there is no provision of reaching Meghalaya by train. All you can do is reach Guwahati by train which is connected to rest of India.
The climate of Meghalaya is moderate and the state is registered as the wettest state of India. Cherrapunji is the wettest place in Meghalaya. The best time to visit Meghalaya is during March to July. Meghalaya is a place to getaway the scorching heat of summers in the other Indian states.
Meghalaya is one tourist destination which is yet to be discovered and explored. Uptill now it has been an abundant tourist place. May be that is why there are so many virgin, unpolluted, unspoilt and fresh tourist places. The tourism industry in the state is yet to grow and is growing gradually. But there is no shortage of hotels for accommodation.
Places to see in Meghalaya:
The highest point of the state is the Shillong Peak which is located about 10 km away from the city. The point provides a picturesque and panoramic view of the city.
The Shillong Cathedral was built by the British Rulers. The massive Church can accommodate upto 1000 people at a time. The best place to seek peace of Mind.
The Navel of Heaven as referred by the Khasi. According to Khasi Mythology the Sopetbneng is the naval of heaves and an ideal retreat for the people seeking peace of mind.
Amongst the various other falls of the state the Elephanta Falls is the most picturesque and scenic. The Elephanta Falls are located about at 12 km away in the outskirts of Shillong.
This place provides a glimpse in the ancient era, the place is about 65 km away from Shillong and has a 500 year old Durga temple and is one of the must see tourist attractions of Meghalaya.
Lady Hydari Park
The Lake is situated in Shillong and is named after the wife of the first Governor of Assam Sir Akhbari Hydari. Constructed in Japanese style the lake is spread over 4 acres of land. The nearby area of the lake contains a mini zoo which is house to 73 birds and 140 reptiles.
The locale call it Polok Lake. Wards lake is an artificial lake, situated in middle of Shillong, is a famous picnic spot and a place to hangout with friends. The Lake is Horseshoe shaped and has a Melody Fountain which plays pop songs from the 90s.
Barapani and Umiam Lake
Barapani is the most picturesque city in the state of Meghalaya. Barapani literally means “vast lake”. The city of Barapani is house to Umiam Lake, which is believed to be created by tears of a sister. Legends say that two sisters wanted to come down to earth but unfortunately one of them couldn’t reach. So the one who reached earth sat here and cried for the loss of her sister and that in turn lead to the creation of Umiam Lake.
The wettest place of state.
Waterfalls in Meghalaya:
- Imilchang Dare
- Mawsmai Falls
- Dain Thlen Falls
- Noh Kalikai Falls
- Crinoline Falls
- Elephant Falls
- Spread Eagle Falls
Caves in Meghalaya:
- Krem Umshangktat
- Krem Kotsati
- The Cave of Eocene age
- Krem Mawmluh
- Mawsmai Cave