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11 Best Places to Visit in Meghalaya for an Ethereal Experience

Meghalaya, the ‘abode of clouds’ is considered ‘the gateway of the northeast.’ A beautiful state that comes with unmatched beauty in all forms of nature, Meghalaya is a different world with numerous tourist spots to explore. The state is full of countless waterfalls, caves, pristine lakes and rivers, from north to south and east to west.

And, the best part is its tribes, who follow a matrilineal culture for decades, create examples by living with the harmony of nature and do not use nature for their profit. Their speciality comes with the marvellous Living Root Bridges, utmost cleanliness, singing in a tune to call each other and many more activities.

It truly remains one of the most beautiful states to visit in India with all of its amazing unimaginable ways. If visiting the wettest place on earth, having a walk in the sacred forest and swimming in the cold mountain streams sound interesting to you, then Meghalaya is the place you have to go to this year.

Let’s know about some of the best places to visit in Meghalaya and the details about them.

  • Shillong
  • Cherrapunjee
  • Mawsynram
  • Kongthong
  • Dawki
  • Umiam Lake
  • Mawlynnong
  • Balpakram National Park
  • Williamnagar
  • Nongpoh
  • Jowai

Quick Meghalaya Travel & Tourism Table Info Guide – Summary of Best Tourist Attractions in Meghalaya

Meghalaya Best Sightseeing Places Shillong, Sohra or Cherrapunjee, Mawsynram, Dawki, Mawlynnong
Best Places for Holiday Staying in Meghalaya Shillong, Cherrapunjee, Dawki, Williamnagar
Best Places for Water Sports Activities in Meghalaya Umiam Lake, Dawki, Balpakram, Shillong
Best Places for Village Walk Mawsynram, Kongthong, Mawlynnong
Best Places for Spending Honeymoon Vacation in Meghalaya Shillong, Cherrapunjee, Dawki, Williamnagar, Nongpoh, Jowai
Best Places to See Living Root Bridge Cherrapunjee (Nongriat), Mawlynnong (Nohwet)
Best Places for Adventure Activities Like Camping, Hiking, Trekking and Forest Walk Dawki, Sohra, Mawsynram, Mawlynnong, Balpakram

Popular Meghalaya Holiday Packages

Shillong, Scotland of the East!

Shillong View Meghalaya

The famous hill station of North East India, proudly known as the “Scotland of the East” for its undulating hills and valleys, Shillong is the starting point of every Meghalaya trip, be it a family vacation or a honeymoon tour. The place is named after a deity called U Blei Shillong (the God of the Khasis) and serves as the gateway of Meghalaya, the land of waterfalls, caves, rivers and breathtaking landscapes.

Shillong is located at a distance of 103 kilometres from Guwahati, which is connected to major cities in India via railways and air. Once treated as the headquarters of the undivided Assam till 1972, Shillong has witnessed major tourist footfalls since its establishment. The pleasant weather, pollution-free atmosphere, beautiful landscapes of Khasi Hills, picturesque lakes and full-of-business marketplaces, needless to say, Shillong is the top travel destination in Meghalaya.

Places of Interest in Shillong

  • Elephant’s Lake
  • Lady Hydari Park
  • Shillong Viewpoint
  • Umiam Lake
  • Laitlum Canyons
  • Don Bosco Museum
  • Air Force Museum

Things to Do in Shillong

  • Waterfalls visit
  • Museum visit
  • Food tours
  • Photography
  • Sightseeing
  • Camping
  • Horse Riding
  • Shopping

Cherrapunjee, Abode of Clouds!

Cherrapunjee Meghalaya

A town in the foothills of South Khasi Hills with a beautiful name, Cherrapunjee is one of the top tourist places in Meghalaya, known for its caves along with the fossils, waterfalls and living root bridges. Popular by its other name Sohra, Cherrapunjee is the traditional capital of the Khasi tribal kingdom and it serves as the best place to learn about the tribe.

Cherrapunjee or Sohra comes alive when the monsoon arrives in Meghalaya. However, in the summer, its blue skies create the perfect backdrop with the tropical forests of Khasi Hills. Swimming at the bottom of the plunging waterfalls, having adventurous journeys through the caves to explore fossils and trekking to the living root bridges in Nongriat are some of the top things to do in Meghalaya for tourists.

Speaking about Cherrapunjee cannot be concluded if we don’t talk about the living root bridges in Nongriat. You have to trek for around 90 mins and climb down and up more than 3,000 steps to reach the double-decker root bridge, the man-made marvel of the Khasi region. But the astonishment of watching this tangible heritage site is worth the difficulties you will face while trekking. After a complete tour around the bridge and learning all the information on how it’s made, do not forget to take a dip in the cool mountain streams below the bridge.

Places of Interest Cherrapunjee

  • Noh Sngithiang Waterfalls
  • Noh Ka Likai Waterfalls
  • Wei Sawdong Falls
  • Nongriat
  • Mawsmai Cave
  • Dainthlen Waterfalls
  • Arwah Caves

Things to Do in Cherrapunjee

  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Ziplining
  • Waterfall Tours
  • Photography
  • Sightseeing
  • Cave Visits

Mawsynram, The Wettest Region!

Mawsynram - Mawjymbuin Cave Meghalaya

Mawsynram is a place that we all read about in our Geography book in school life. Reportedly it is the wettest place in the world holding a Guinness Book of World Records for receiving the highest annual rainfall. One of the popular points of tourist interest, Mawsynram attracts nature enthusiasts and spelunkers all across the globe for its plenty of waterfalls and ancient caves.

Mawsynram is located around 61 kilometres from Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya. It is home to the longest sandstone cave in the world, Krem Puri, which provides a thrilling experience through its steep valley slopes. Another must-see attraction in Mawsynram is the Split Rock, which was divided into two pieces due to the devastating Assam earthquake in 1897. Apart from these places, the fresh nature trails through the villages while listening to the birds singing in the morning, swimming in the beautiful lakes and exploring the fossil sites are other travel experiences you must have in Mawsynram.

Places of Interest in Mawsynram

  • Mawjymbuin Cave
  • Lum Symper Peak and Cave
  • Khreng Khreng Waterfall
  • Phlangwanbroi
  • Mawlyngbna
  • Phlangmawsyrpat
  • Umkhakoi Lake
  • Split Rock
  • Krem Puri

Top Things to Do in Mawsynram

  • Explore caves
  • Ziplining
  • Staying in a Treehouse
  • Kayaking
  • Village Walk
  • Forest Walk
  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Hiking

Kongthong, The Singing Village!

Kongthong Village Meghalaya

A unique village, one of the top places to visit in Meghalaya in recent times, Kongthong village is located in the East Khasi Hills District. You have to cover a distance of around 60 kilometres from Shillong to reach the village, which is also known as the ‘whistling village’ in the world.

Nominated as one of the “Best Tourism Villages” as an entry to the list of UNWTO (The World Tourism Organisation) in 2021, the speciality of this village is people use whistling to convey messages to each other here. Even the villagers call each other with a unique tune, which is their other names.

When a child is born, the mother sings a tune for the child and it becomes his name. This tune is named Jingrwai Lawbei, mother’s love song. Every resident has two names in Kongthong, a regular name and a song name. The song name has two types, a long form or a short form, which is a nickname and is used at home. A tour around this unique village and talking to the people here, learning about the history of naming like this is undoubtedly one of the best things to do on a Meghalaya Trip.

Places of Interest in Kongthong

  • The Singing Village
  • Mylliem
  • Mawjrong

Top Things to Do in Kongthong

  • Village Walk
  • Learning History
  • Eating Local Food
  • Sightseeing
  • Staying in a Khasi Home

Dawki, The Pristine Region of Meghalaya!

Dawki Lake

Dawki, the border town of Meghalaya attracts a lot of water sports enthusiasts throughout the year. It is listed as one of the best places to see in Meghalaya for its location, Umngot River and the nearby villages Shnongpdeng and Darrang. The crystal-clear water of the Umngot River is the top tourist attraction among these all.

Dawki is located in West Jaintia Hills District, around 82 kilometres from Shillong. It is the best spot to witness the blend of topography and culture of India and Bangladesh. The night view of the neighbouring country (the plains of Northern Bangladesh) with lights over the dark river is one of the amazing sights you should not miss watching.

Another must-do activity for tourists is boating on the Umngot River. The crystal-clear water and the peaceful ambiance of the surroundings will give you a soothing experience. December is the perfect time for boating on the river as the water becomes cleaner and you can see the bottom of the river while boating. You can also prefer Dawki as your honeymoon destination if you and your loved one want to explore camping and different water sports activities. Shnongpdeng and Darrang are the two places where you will get to do these activities.

Places of Interest in Dawki

  • Mawlynnong
  • Sky View Point
  • Shnongpdeng
  • Umngot River
  • Jaflong Zero Point
  • Burhill Waterfall

Top Things to Do in Dawki

  • Boating
  • Food Tour
  • Village Walk
  • Hiking
  • Photography
  • Sightseeing

Umiam Lake, The Hub For Water Sport Activities!

Umiam Lake Meghalaya

One of the must-visit places while having a Meghalaya sightseeing tour, Umiam Lake is the hub for water sports activities. It is located on the Guwahati-Shillong route and you can easily visit this place while reaching Shillong from Guwahati on the very first day of your trip.

The lake, one of the top places to visit near Shillong is a part of Umiam Dam, which was created in the early sixties for a hydel power project. You can also see the Umiam Stage I powerhouse with four nine-megawatt turbine generators in the north of the lake.

The lake is surrounded by lush green hills on all sides and bordered by striking bridges. You can experience several water adventure activities like scooting, water cycling, boating and kayaking on Umiam Lake. There is also a government-owned resort where you can enjoy swimming along with the scenic landscapes of the lake and grab snacks at the restaurant while watching the amazing views.

Places of Interest in Umiam Lake

  • Ward’s Lake
  • All Saints Church
  • Lumpongdeng Island
  • Elephant Falls
  • Sweet Falls

Top Things to Do in Umiam Lake

  • Boating
  • Kayaking
  • Water Cycling
  • Scooting
  • Photography
  • Trekking
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Sightseeing

Mawlynnong, Asia’s Cleanest Village!

Mawlynnong Village Meghalaya

The cleanest village in Asia, Mawlynnong has earned a reputation all over the world in recent times. It is located at a distance of about 79 kilometres from Shillong and is another best place to witness the well-preserved traditions of the Khasi people.

While touring around Mawlynnong, you will be surprised to see how every resident of the village from a kid to the elderly has been maintaining the cleanliness of the village. You will find an eco-friendly dustbin in every corner of the village and you will love to explore every space of the place amidst a pure form of nature.

Another most famous tourist attraction is found in Mawlynnong – the Living Root Bridge of Nohwet. It is one of the breathtaking examples of Khasi traditional architecture. The bridge connects villages in the steep mountains and valleys and travels to the towns for trade. The Living Root Bridge has been made in harmony with nature and it will grow stronger as the tree and its roots grow older.

After the Living Root Bridge, one of the best places to explore is the Church of the Epiphany. Evidence of European architecture tucked in a tropical paradise will surely offer you some unforgettable memories of the Meghalaya Trip.

Places of Interest in Mawlynnong

  • Single Root Bridge
  • Double Root Bridge
  • Sacred Forest
  • Bangladesh Border
  • Church of the Epiphany
  • Byrdaw Falls

Things to Do in Mawlynnong

  • Hiking
  • Waterfall visits
  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Forest Walk
  • Photography
  • Sightseeing
  • Village Walk

Balpakram National Park, Home to The Rarest Animals!

Balpakram National Park Meghalaya

Located in the foothills of Garo Hills, Balpakram is home to endangered animals and plant life of Meghalaya. One of Meghalaya’s top wildlife & nature tourist places, Balpakram is famously known as ‘the land of perpetual winds’ and it serves as an important part of Garo Hills Conservation Area.

The forests, lands, massive cliffs and the powerful rivers of Balpakram are the sources of many stories in Garo folklore. The purest form of nature, the plants attract botanists all across the world for years. The national park is a place where you will spot animals like red panda, Asian golden cat, Indian elephant, wild water buffalo (endangered species) and many more. In addition to these, you will also get to see some stunning waterfalls falling from the massive cliffs and the main canyon of the national park while visiting Balpakram.

Places of Interest in Balpakram

  • Siju-Dobakhol Cave
  • Simsang River
  • Nokrek Biosphere Reserve
  • Tura Peak
  • Chandigre Village

Top Things to Do in Balpakram

  • Wildlife Spotting
  • Hiking
  • Cave Visits
  • Photography
  • Swimming

Williamnagar, The Place to See Garo Tribe and Tradition!

Williamnagar -Memo Lake Meghalaya

Named after the founding Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Williamnagar was previously known as Simsanggre. The headquarters of East Garo Hills District, Williamnagar comes with a historical importance as it is the place where the Garo people fought against the British intrusion during 1837 for the last time. On the outskirts of Williamnagar, the legendary Garo leader Pa Togan Nengminja Sangma was killed by the British on December 12, 1837.

Besides being a historical place, it is an important hub for education, culture and economy of the state. It is a planned town where modernity meets nature. You can explore several tourist attractions spots like Memo Lake, Mrik Wari and waterfalls like Me Dare while visiting this idyllic city of Meghalaya.

Places of Interest in Williamnagar

  • Simsang Warima Bridge
  • Memo Lake
  • Gambal Picnic Spot
  • Mrik Wari
  • Sisobira
  • Rongon
  • Me Dare

Top Things to Do in Williamnagar

  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Sightseeing
  • Photography
  • Forest Walk
  • Village Tours

Nongpoh, A Petitte Town in East Khasi Hills!

Nongpoh - Sunset View

A paradise for nature lovers, Nongpoh is another nearby place to visit from Shillong. The petite town is the ideal stopover to get refreshed while going to Shillong from Guwahati. It is also a perfect place to enjoy a quiet and undisturbed vacation if you want to stay away from the chaos of a city.

Nongpoh is located on the northern side of East Khasi Hills. It is close to the breathtaking Brahmaputra plains and offers marvellous scenic views of the surrounding. Nongpoh, being the administrative headquarters of the Ri-Bhoi District, can be easily accessed from Shillong and other major cities of Meghalaya and Assam. Some of the nearby attractions like Umiam Lake, Lum Nehru Park, Lum Sohpetbneng and the roadside markets, make this place one of the best places to See in Meghalaya.

Places of Interest in Nongpoh

  • Phrut Dak Lake
  • Rongmesek View Point
  • Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Markets
  • Dwar Ksuid
  • Lum Sohpetbneng

Top Things to Do in Nongpoh

  • Boating
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Spotting
  • Shopping
  • Exploring Locals
  • Sightseeing
  • Photography

Jowai, An Idyllic Town in Jaintia Hills!

Jowai - Thadlaskein Lake Meghalaya

A quaint place to spend a calming vacation, Jowai is located in the West Jaintia Hills District, 64 kilometres away from Shillong. It lies on National Highway 44 that connects Meghalaya with Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and some parts of Manipur. Jowai is bordered by the River Myntdu on three sides and is home to some breathtaking valleys, waterfalls, lakes and architecture.

Jowai is also home to Pnars, a sub-tribe group of the Khasi tribe. One of the biggest festivals of them, Behdienkhlam, is held here in the month of July that attracts visitors all over the country. Apart from the festival, other Meghalaya tourist places you can explore in Jowai are Nartiang Monoliths, Tyrshi Falls, Jowai Presbyterian Church and Thadlaskein Lake.

Places of Interest in Jowai

  • Nartiang Monoliths
  • Thadlaskein Lake
  • Tyrshi Falls
  • Krang Suri Falls
  • Stone Bridge
  • Umlawan Cave
  • Jarain Pitcher Plant Lake

Top Things to Do in Jowai

  • Hiking
  • Exploring History
  • Waterfalls Tour
  • Village Tour
  • Cave Visits
  • Boating

Here’s the details of 11 best places to visit in Meghalaya. You can see we have also listed the top tourist attractions you must visit while exploring these best places in Meghalaya. If you have any doubt or want to know any more details about these, you can contact us any time. You can also browse our best Meghalaya Tourism packages if you are planning a trip to this amazing place this year.

Comment below where would you want to visit first in Meghalaya.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top visiting places in Meghalaya in Winter?

Some of the top places to visit in Meghalaya in winter are:

  • Cherrapunji
  • Mawlynnong
  • Shillong
  • Living Root Bridge
  • Nongpoh
  • Umiam Lake
  • Tura

Which is the best time to visit Meghalaya for holidays?

The best time to visit Meghalaya for holidays is winter, from November to February. The weather remains pleasant with no interruption of rainfall and you can explore the best visiting places in an enchanted way.

How many days are required to explore the best of Meghalaya tourism?

A minimum of five to six days are enough to explore the best of Meghalaya.

Which are the top places to visit in Meghalaya for honeymoon couples?

The top places in Meghalaya you should visit on your honeymoon trip are:

  • Shillong
  • Cherrapunji
  • Mawsynram
  • Dawki
  • Jowai
  • Tura

Published: 25 Aug, 2022

About the author

Nandini Bhattacharya

From the ‘City of Joy,’ Kolkata, Nandini Bhattacharya is a Travel Writer by profession and traveller by passion. She loves to explore places around the world, new cultures, different cuisines and all new things that one can learn outside the home. She also loves to document her journey so that people can be inspired and travel more. Nandini is a nature lover and talks about sustainable tourism. She wants to make this world a good place where people can live healthy and happily.