Places to visit in Meghalaya Or Meghalaya Tourist Places
Meghalaya, the literally meaning is ‘the abode of clouds’ is one of the most beautiful states of India. This virtually fairy land of lush rolling hills reminiscent of the Scottish moors receives plentiful rain. Its innumerable streams meandering through the hilly tracts, cascading waterfalls and placid lakes are a sight to behold. Meghalaya is the land of Khasis, Jaintias and Garo tribas, who have still preserved their unique heritage and culture. The pristine beauty, salubrious climate and unique vegetation of Meghalaya make it a paradise for nature lovers and botanists.
Shillong the capital of Meghalaya is perched at an altitude of 1496 metres and is one of the finest hill resorts of India. This ‘Scotland of the East’ came under the reigns of British, by an agreement in 1863, with Syiem(King) of Mylliem. In 1874, Shillong became the capital of Assam and remained to till the creation of Meghalaya state in 1972.
The horse shoe shaped lake set in the heart of the town with an arched bridge over it has facilities for boating. A walk around the lake is quite pleasant.
It lies near the Ward’s lake and has a rich collection of Indigenous and exotic plants. There is also a mini-aviary with rare and colourful birds.
Lady Hydari Park
It is noted for its nurseries and horticultural wealth. There is also a mini zoo cum deer park. The Crinoline Falls nearby cascade though its jungle path. At the foot of the falls is well maintained swimming pool.
It lies within the premises of the State Central library and has a fine collection of artefacts of Meghalaya and other North Eastern States.
Shillong Golf Course
This excellent 18 hole course finds mention in International Directories of Golf Courses of Repute.
Chillong is studded with numerous churches reminding the colonial heritage of the town. The most beautiful of them is the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christian.
It is the oldest and most important market of Meghalaya and is mainly run by women, providing an insight into the State’s tribal culture.
Bishop & Beadon Falls
The falls at Mawprem (3km), plunge down from the same ridge into a deep valley, providing a spell binding view.
Shillong Peak (10km)
It is the highest peak in the State and affords a fine view of Shillong and its surroundings. There is also a sanctum dedicated to U Shulong at the summit.
Some of the excellent falls around Shillong are Elephant Falls (12km), Spread Eagle Falls (6km) and Sweet Falls (8km).
The sacred forest-grove preserved here since time immemorial is ‘Nature’s Own Museum’ and a must visit site for nature lovers and botanists. The trees within the grove are laden with epiphytic orchids, ferns etc.
Umiam or Barapani Lake & Water Sports Complex (16km)
It has been developed upon the huge reservoir of the Umiam Hydro Electric Project. The Orchid lake Resort on the shores of the lake is run by the Meghalaya Tourism. Facilities for boating are provided here. There is also a floating restaurant. The Lum Nehru park adjacent to the resort has an orchidarium.
Jowai, the second biggest town of Meghalaya is encircled by the Myntdu River and known for a number of limestone caves and cave temples.
It was the summer capital of Jaintia kings and lies 10km form Jowai. The main attractions are the huge stone memorials (monoliths) of the Jaintias.
Thadlaskein Lake (56km)
The historic lake is said to be dug with arrow heads by the subjects of Sajar Nangli, the war leader of the Jaintias. It is a popular picnic place and has boating facilities.
The Wettest Place on the Earth
Cherrapunji, the small hilly village 56km from Shillong is the wettest place on earth and is one of the most visited tourist spots of North Eastern India. It is quite interesting to note that Cherrapunji receives an average rainfall of 40 inches annually, but it suffers form water crisis. The scenic beauty of the region is enhanced by a number of gashing waterfalls. Other attractions are the festivals of Khasi tribal’s, oldest Theological College of the region (established in 1888), limestone caves, oranges and honey.
Mawsynram, the picturesque village on a hill, about 3km from Cherrapunji and 55km from Shillong is said to have broken the Cherrapunji’s record of the wettest place on earth for some time. However, in 2002 Cherrapunji received 12,262 mm of rainfall and regained its lost glory. Although the facts of Mawsyrm receiving more rain have not been corroborated. Te region teems with limestone caves with beautiful stalagmite and stalactite formations.