Day 1 - 7 Oct 2018
Content: My friends decided to pack our things to explore the North-Eastern part of India. The Northeast has recently grabbed the attention of many vacationists from all over the world. Cherrapunji, one of the main reasons for us to decide on Meghalaya as our vacation spot. A trip to Meghalaya with my friends was finally designed and started at Delhi airport. We boarded a flight to Guwahati from Delhi. Guwahati is the city of Eastern light located on the bank of the river Brahmaputra. It is the capital of Assam and gateway to the north-eastern states. The airport is a single building with one domestic terminal and an international terminal. The only drawback was we couldn't find WiFi at the airport. It was very easy to find transportation to Shillong from the airport itself.
Day 1 - 7 Oct 2018
Content: We reached Shillong, the drive to Shillong which takes 4 hours approximately. The taxi driver was very friendly and knowledgeable about the cities. North East India is filled with unique destinations, one of the best is Meghalaya. Of course, there is no word to explain the beauty of Meghalaya. Meghalaya literally means 'abode of clouds'. Shillong, the capital of the state that is referred to as the ‘Scotland of East’. The roads in and around Guwahati were quite full of traffic during peak hours, but from the board indicating the right turn to Shillong was very scenic and calm. The roads in Meghalaya are smooth to enjoy a pleasant climate. The way was filled with lush green mountains on the backdrop.
Content: The best part of our travel was the stoppage at Umiam Lake. It was also known as Borapani lake. We took a short break to enjoy the beauty of the lake. On the way, we bought some spiced pineapple that was the most significant one. Another highlight was the yummy egg-aloo tikki with spicy tikhi chutney. After the break, we continued our journey towards Shillong. The driver stopped at Police Bazar, the busiest point in Shillong.
Content: On the way to the hotel, we had lunch at a local restaurant. We checked in to Kaizun Bed & Breakfast which is very close to Police Bazar. The reason for choosing it was many of the local tourist destinations will be close. It was a white building amid the street. We booked a super deluxe room which incorporates modern facilities. The room was spacious as well as furnished. The room has a classy look with a well-equipped bathroom. We got one room with a couple of bamboo chairs. After rested there for a while, we headed to explore the local market of the city.
Content: We walked through the streets lead to Police Bazar. It is known to be the hub of street shopping. The streets were busy with vendors as well as travelers. It was an ideal place for leisure seekers. The market was packed with numerous hotels, restaurants, and many handicraft shops were also available. We found many roadside vendors selling ornaments, footwear, and items of clothing. The streets are always looking busy as it was overflowing with people. While walking through the streets, we tried a plate of Tungrymbai which was fermented soya beans. We tried the most famous dish in the city, chicken with bamboo shoots. We finished our dinner and return to the hotel.
Day 2 - 8 Oct 2018
Content: We started our 2nd day with a healthy breakfast. With the help of hotel staff, we hired a car to explore major attractions in the city. The first destination we planned was Shillong peak. The driver dropped us at a point from there we walked for a while to reach the top. The morning will be the ideal time to visit the highest point in and around the city. We could enjoy the spectacular view of East Khasi hills. We saw two viewpoints after taking the entry ticket from the entrance. One viewpoint has two wide galleries while another point has a telescope. Through the telescope, we could check out various landmarks of the city. We could saw many couples taking selfies as mountains as the backdrop. We return to the parking area after admiring the beauty of nature. One side of the parking area has a short pathway, where we could relax for a while by enjoying the view. Whereas the other side of the parking area has beautiful souvenir shops and tea stalls. From there, we started to drive towards Elephant Falls, which is located at a short distance.
Content: It took approximately 30 minutes to reach Elephant Falls located Upper Shillong area. It was the most attractive place in the city. From the parking area, the driver asked us to step down through go down into the forest. A well-maintained pathway and a bridge lead us to the falls. We could hear the splashing sound of the water while walking through the forest. The three-tiered waterfalls start from a small open space surrounded by forest. After watching the first falls, we walked to the opposite side to see the second and third falls. We watched the first and second falls from the bridge, the view was breath-taking. In the last section, we saw water formed a small pond. The view from this spot was beautiful, we saw mountains and complete greenery on both sides. The main thing to do there was Photography! Each and every point from the parking area to the lake was perfect for photography. We saw many families using the spot as their picnic with kids.
Content: We had lunch from Police Bazar, where both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food is easily available. Momos were very common dish along the streets. From street stalls to local eateries, many restaurants in Shillong serve fresh and hot momos with different fillings. We had chicken momos with hot dip. We enjoyed hot and spicy momos.
Content: After, lunch we strolled through the street and entered Hydari Park. Another famous tourist place in the city. Lady Hydari Park is a public park located at the heart of the city. We spend some time enjoy the park. The best spot for a hangout with family and friends. There is a small zoo, home to many birds and reptiles. We saw many animals and birds including deer, Himalayan black bear, Leopard, Hornbill, etc. We could enjoy a leisure walk admiring the greenery while sitting on a bench. After an hour we left for Ward's Lake.
Content: The last destination of the day was Ward's Lake, the most popular and attractive place. It is also known as Pollock’s Lake, this artificial water body beautified with seasonal flowers. We took an evening walk around this horse-shoe shaped lake on the cobble-stone path. We took many beautiful photos as memorable for our travel diary. There are boating facilities in the lake and are very reasonably priced. A beautiful bridge, cobble-stone pathway, colorful flowers, and lust green lawn added to the beauty of the place.
Day 3 - 9 Oct 2018
Content: We had breakfast from the hotel and started our 3rd day in the city. The food was good and delicious. The choice was less but the dishes were good in taste.
Content: We stopped at the main destination of the day, David Scott’s Trail. It was named after David Scott, the first British administrator. It was a very beautiful trek to explore the natural beauty. The trek stretches from Mawphlang to Ladmawphlang. We started our trek from Mawphlang, ‘grassy stone’, which is one of the many settlements in the Khasi hills. On the way, we met with a beautiful river. It was a half-broken cement bridge over the Umiam River. The green mountains, the valleys, and crystal clear waters in the natural pool made the spot perfect for wildlife photography. We came to a resting place called ‘Ka Kor Ka Shonmai’. We encountered some Khasi native people and spend some time with them. The trek ends on the main road and it is close to Cherrapunjee. There were giant rock formations all around. The trek was simply awesome.
Content: On the way back to the city, we paved a visit to Don Bosco Museum. It was the most famous cultural place in the city. It comes under DBCIC which is located in Mawlai Mawdatbaki. Actually, the museum was situated within the Sacred Heart Church. It is a theme museum that has a warehouse of information on the entire North-Eastern states. The entrance itself was attractive with a unique triangle-shaped gateway. It has seven floors that display various exhibitions- a wide collection of regional handicrafts, artwork, weapons, and photographs. There are a beautiful painting gallery display paintings and fiberglass items. The interior was well-maintained and vast galleries of sculptures and paintings are displayed. It was the perfect and ideal place to learn about the history and culture of the state.
Content: We had dinner from City Hut Family Dhaba, located near to our accommodation. Basically, it was Punjabi cuisine that is known for the buttery flavors. We had Mexican spiced chicken which was grilled perfectly and spicy. Their presentation was awesome and the taste was good. The ambiance was also good and attractive.
Day 4 - 10 Oct 2018
Content: After breakfast, we packed our bags from the hotel and checked out to experience the authentic climate. On the way to our next destination, Cherrapunji we stopped at Laitlum Canyons. It was situated around 30 km from Shillong. It seemed like an exotic secret of untouched Northeastern India - The Laitlum canyons. The drive to Laitlum was very beautiful as well as thrilling. Our driver stopped at a point where we need to pay a small amount to entre Laitlum. A short walk from there, lead us to the cliff edge. The road was very hilly and undeveloped. The top of the hill is a vast area surrounded by beautiful meadows. The name Laitlum itself means - The Edge Of The Hills. It was one of the must-visit places to enjoy the silence and scenery around the city. It took around 4.5 hours to complete the entire trek. We could see some little boys with a bamboo basket selling boiled eggs. Morning hours are the best time to visit the place.
Day 4 - 10 Oct 2018
Content: After lunch from a local restaurant, we drove to Cherrapunji. Cherrapunji is commonly known as “Sohra”, the second wettest place on earth. It was located at the southernmost edge of the Khasi Hills. Throughout the travel, we saw many native people welcomed us in their traditional dress. Both sides of the hills have species of the Indian rubber tree. The drive was very scenic and the climate was pleasant. I am out of words for the magical landscape I witness during this entire road trip. While driving up, we could see the very first layers of clouds in the Khasi hills in Upper Shillong. We could feel the change in climate as we drove up the hill. We stopped at Duwan Sing Syiem Bridge, a perfect stop to view the Mawkdok Dympep Valley. We felt drizzling amidst the clouds, where we had a cup of hot tea from a small roadside tea stall. We could see the descending clouds by the time we reach Cherrapunji.
Content: We checked into the Hotel Polo Orchid, which is located on the edge of the cliff. The rooms are very beautiful and the perfect place to enjoy with friends and family. The service was excellent and the staffs were friendly. The rooms are wooden finished with a balcony overlooking mountains and hills. Deluxe, as well as cottages, are also available with the restaurant. We had dinner at the restaurant and spend some time on the balcony to enjoy the climate.
Day 5 - 11 Oct 2018
Content: After breakfast, we headed to explore the city by renting a car. First, we headed to Mawsynram village ideal destination for nature freaks and backpackers. Mawsynram cave is the most popular destination. It was well-developed with little bridges built over the streams. The pathway was well-developed and clean. We climbed steps to approach the entrance. Mawsmai Cave has a small entrance which was surrounded by gigantic rocks. The opening was very spacious but the later part squeezed as a narrow path. It has natural lighting because of the cracks on its surface so that the path was so clear to walk. The cave was located right in the middle of the lush green forest that adds its natural look. The narrow passages lead us to the most interesting sights. At some point, the narrow passage faded into a natural pool within the cave. The way inside the cave was very slippy, wearing comfortable footwear is essential.
Content: We visited Eco Park, which is also known as Mawsmai Nongthymmai Eco-park. It was located within a walk able distance from our last destination. The park provided various adventurous activities such as boating, swimming, and other activities. We entered and walked to the end of the park, where we could see boundary-wall. From the point we could see magnificent views on other side with huge mountains merging into each other with Bangladesh on other side of the hills. We walked through the pathway to view crystal clear water stream in its boundary. The view from the park was breathtaking. The other side was the beautiful plains of Bangladesh. We took many photos being mountains backdrop.
Content: Then we found a small local restaurant. We tried jadoh that is the most famous and popular Khasi dish. It is simply type of kichadi with meat or chicken. It was good but I felt so raw taste of the meat.
Content: Then we moved to Seven Sister Falls another major tourist attraction. It was located at the southern end of Mawsmai Village which is also known as Mawsmai Falls. From the road itself, we could see the magnificent view of the falls. It gained its name as seven streams that flow down through the plateaus. These seven segments symbolize the seven sister states in the northeast, namely Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram, and Meghalaya. The water from the falls gushes through green vegetation and falls on the limestone that made a roaring sound. This falling water from a height made this place an interesting tourist spot. We could see beautiful sights of mountains and plateaus.
Content: Then after a short tea break, we moved to one of the craziest sights of the valley. Nohkalikai, one of the tallest leap waterfalls with a magnificent sight. It attracted most of the tourists with its outlook. From the entrance, we stepped down the stairs going down towards the bottom. After enjoying some time gazing at the majestic waterfalls, we went for a short hike to the base of the waterfalls. We could see rocks in various designs and sizes shaped by the running water. We visited the falls in the late evening so that we couldn't able to spend much time there. We left the falls after spending some time there.
Content: We went to Orange Roots Restaurant for dinner located in Cherrapunjee Holiday Resort. It was said to be the first Pure Vegetarian Restaurant at Cherrapunjee. The food was tasty and reasonable in price. They serve both South Indian and North Indian dishes. We had one of the common dishes in the town, Sohra Pulao. It was a type of rice cooked with lot of veggies and nuts.
Day 6 - 12 Oct 2018
Content: We set the entire day for a challenging trek. We witnessed many root bridges scattered throughout Meghalaya. Double-decker living root bridge is 30 meters long bridge that stands 2400 feet high and is the longest known Living Root Bridge. Tyrna village is considered as a base village for reaching Double-decker living root village. Sumo taxis are one of the widely used vehicles for transportation in the region. We reached the village. We ride to the top through narrow roads with thick forest all around. We met many travelers and local people at the starting point, Tyrna village. There is a motor able road until Tyrna village. There are a few cafes at the top to enjoy a nice cup of tea or some breakfast. We crossed two tiny villages where these small shops were set up by villagers. The driver stopped at the starting point and the driver gave surprising information about the trek. He said that unlike other treks, this will be in the reverse fashion. That is, unlike starting the return to the same point will be more difficult.
Content: The breathtaking hike started through the dense forest started. The path was well-developed and maintained, enveloped with clouds. After a short walk up on another flight of stairs, we arrived at Nongriat village. Passing through the beautiful villages was the highlight of the entire trek. We get down through steep stairs. We came across an amazing long iron rope bridge that runs over a crystal clear blue river. Initially, we felt scared while a walk through the bridge but later the beauty of nature healed our pain. Excitement conquered our fear! We could divide the whole trek into three parts. The first one was easy through cemented steps. The second part was the most challenging one as the steps are really small and the descent is almost vertical. This part was most dangerous as a single mistake could make our trip down. The final part was very unique that started from a fork road. A short seven minutes walk led us to a root bridge which was the offshoots of a single tree. On the way, we encountered an interesting thing, a small cement box-like structure used by villagers to procure honey from bees. We spend hours and hours in small waterfalls near the root bridge.
Content: We used some valuable time by having noodles and snacks that we carried with us. The trek path leading to Rainbow Falls took us to an amazing and secluded natural swimming pool. It was a beautiful waterfall located near Nongriat village. The trek to the Rainbow Falls started from Nongriat Double Decker Bridge and it took 1 to 2 hours to complete the trek. The trek was a memorable one through the green forest amid organic fragrance. We came across a bridge which was made of bamboo and the other two iron. The stair to the falls was very rocky and earthen. We heard roaring sound through the way, but the roaring of water finally took the form of a thick, rough, pearl-white strip. We finished day wonderful and memorable day in our travel diary.
Content: Polo Orchid Resort has open-air dining where we enjoyed our dinner. Sky grill is a restaurant in the resort. They offered live music with delicious dishes. They gave both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages options for the guests. We had a signature dish paneer jodhpuri tikka, they served crispy paneer along with boiled vegetables.
Day 7 - 13 Oct 2018
Content: Our seven day Meghalaya trip ended today. We took a taxi from Cherrapunjee to Guwahati. We took a flight to our home town from Guwahati airport. The trip was wonderful and memorable. We gather loads and loads of memories with my friends. Meghalaya, in northeast India, was the ideal destination for travelers. We covered the most famous attractions in the cities. The most beautiful states in India with countless waterfalls, calm lakes, humble native people and their unique culture.