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Tourist Places To Visit In Meghalaya
The Northeast of India is picturesque and Meghalaya or the abode of the clouds is a cut from the rest. Earlier a part of Assam, Meghalaya apart from being tagged as the wettest place on earth also has an abundance of natural attractions and must-see tourist places. Just to throw a little light on the extremely hospitable people from this region, the majority tribes are Khasis (the largest group), Garos, and Pinars. Together with their tradition and life they make Meghalaya a place you will yearn to visit.
Living Root Bridges
Deep in the dense tropical forest, shrouded in cloud and rain for much of the year lies Meghalaya’s most famous attraction. These manmade natural wonders called living root bridges are made by the Khasi tribe using roots of ancient rubber trees, native to the northeast region. Visit Cherrapunji and Mawlynnong to spot these around.
Mawlynnong has been voted as the "Cleanest Village in Asia". It is beautiful and clean and when you visit this place you couldn’t agree more. Also known as “God's Own Garden", this model village is a noble example of community-based ecotourism. Also, be enthralled by the remarkable 80 feet high Sky View platform which has been made of bamboo and offers a panoramic view of Bangladesh (the border is just a few kilometres away). Situated at a distance of 3-hour drive south of Shillong in the East Khasi Hills, you can experience Mawlynnong. You can either stay in a homestay or a treehouse and have some fun time in the wild.
An hour’s drive from Mawlynnong, in the West Jaintia Hills lies the border town of Dawki where the pristine emerald waters of Umngot River passes through quietly. You can go on a picturesque boat ride along the river. You can stop over at Bophill Falls on your way. The beauty of water will mesmerize you. This is surely one of the best travel hotspots in Meghalaya and you should not miss it at any cost.
Mawphlang Sacred Forest
Forty-five minutes southwest of Shillong in the East Khasi Hills lies the sacred forest of Mawphlang, home to a sacred plant grove of the Khasi tribe. These medicinal plants have amazing healing qualities. Tribe members burn the bodies of their dead as a mark of ritual here. The Khasi Heritage Village next to the sacred forest has many different styles of mock tribal huts. If you want to experience nature up close, try the David Scott trail from Maphlang to Lad Mawphlang part of an old horse trail dating back to the British era.
Only about an hour from Shillong, Laitlum Canyon has some spectacular gorges. Hike down a steep stairway to the village of Rasong where only 350 or so inhabitants live. You will be amazed to see that a rustic cable pulley transports food and other essential goods up and down the valley.
Meghalaya has innumerable caves, in fact, more than 1,000 of them! The most famous is Mawsmai, near Cherrapunji (2 hours from Shillong) though there are other challenging ones like Siju, Mawmluh, Mawsynram, and LiatPrah (the longest cave in India) that one can explore with appropriate caving equipment. Check with The Meghalaya Adventurers' Association that conducts week-long caving expeditions from Shillong.
Erected by the region's tribes as a symbol of remembrance, the mysterious monoliths of Meghalaya can be found spread across the Khasi and Jantia hills. The most concentrated of these monuments can be found in the vicinity of Nartiang village in the Jaintia Hills, about 2 hours east of Shillong. Earlier the summer capital of Jaintia rulers, it is a lesser-known tourist destination today but you don’t want to take the beaten track. This might be the perfect place for you to escape from crowds.