Meghalaya: Making an Abode in Heaven
When we told our friends about our wish to visit Meghalaya, we received many questions and suggestions- “it’s not safe.” “People there eat anything.” “It’s flooded.” “You will be treated as an outsider.” Et cetera.
Now that we are back after spending 6 days in Meghalaya, we would like to say this out loud- it is beautiful and safe. There were many incidents that simply proved how honest, hardworking, caring and selfless the locals are.
This article is an overview of the 6 astounding days that we spent in God’s own country – Meghalaya.
Duration: 6 days
Best time to visit: October – February
1. Guwahati – Shillong – Cherrapunjee
3. Cherrapunjee – Mawlynnong
4. Mawlynnong – Dawki
5. Dawki – Shillong
6. Shillong to Guwahati
Guwahati from Delhi is far away. To be precise, 1,873 km away. And you can either take a flight or hop on a train to get there.
1. Train: There are daily direct trains from Delhi to Guwahati. However, this is not a time-friendly option and we’d suggest you prefer the next one.
2. Flight: Almost every airline provides at least one flight a day from Delhi to Guwahati. If it’s a direct flight, it should not take more than 2.5 hours to get to the destination.
Now that you are in Guwahati, how to get to Shillong and then Cherrapunjee? Simple. Zoomcar! It is annoying to find a cab at the last moment without having a fair idea about the distance and cost. And on top of it all, you are always dependent on the driver. To avoid this, we booked our Zoomcar 2 weeks before our trip (you should too, if you are picky about what you ride (tch! dirty mind!). All you need is the Zoomcar app and your driving license. Anyway, once we landed at the Guwahati airport, we booked a cab to our Zoomcar pick-up point, which was close to the Central Mall. The guys at the pick-up point were ready with our rather quirky Ford Aspire, all polished and oiled.
THINGS TO DO IN MEGHALAYA
DAY 1 | Guwahati – Shillong – Cherrapunjee
If you are visiting Meghalaya during the monsoon season (we would suggest otherwise. First-hand experience, you know), aim for reaching Cherrapunjee before sunset. And when I say sunset, I mean by 5 pm. Yes, in Meghalaya, the sun sets at 5 o’clock.
After getting our Zoomcar, we were on the road to Shillong in no time. Vikas drove and I blasted some music for the road trip. From Guwahati, Shillong is about 99 km and takes almost 3 hours to reach. On our way, we stumbled upon the most beautiful lake called Umiam (83 km from Guwahati), right next to the highway. Honestly, it was pretty hard to miss. There was a tea stall nearby and it seemed like a perfect moment to stop, sit and sip a cup of Assamese tea.
After reaching Shillong, we looked for Cafe ML05, quite known amongst the travelers. It is 10 km from Shillong, on the road to Cherrapunjee. The cafe is behind the pine trees, so it is not possible to spot it from the highway but we saw enough sign boards to not miss it. The cafe’s decor inspired us to stay on the road for the rest of our lives. From the classy posters to the bullet hanging right in the middle of the cafe, it felt like we were in every biker’s paradise. After having a fair share of scrumptious food (especially, the chili cheese toast), we were on the road again.
Now, this part of the road trip was really tricky. We chose monsoon to visit Meghalaya (brave decision, there!) and we knew it would rain, but we had no clue it would rain like the Gods were emptying a 100 years old reservoir. It started raining cats and dogs, there was barely any visibility and we had a 60 km drive ahead of us. We somehow managed to reach Cherrapunjee by 9 pm (the village has a curfew post 10 o’clock, just FYI). It was a dangerous drive and we sincerely recommend you to plan your arrival at Cherrapunjee before the sunset. We checked into Coniferous Resort and called it a day.
Day 2 | Cherrapunjee
Since we were on a tight schedule (yes, 6 days are not enough!) we had to make a choice. We could either go to the Double Decker Living Root Bridge (trek), which takes an entire day or we could visit many other places in Cherrapunjee. We chose the latter. No, that’s a lie. We had to choose the latter. Why? You will read about it in our Cherrapunjee article, releasing next week.
After asking at the reception, we realised that most of the places that we wanted to visit were nearby. We left the resort to visit Nohkalikai Waterfalls, Arwah Caves, Garden of Caves, Mawsmai Falls and the Living Root Bridge. For lunch, we stopped by a local dhaba to have some rice. If you are a non-vegetarian, you are in for a treat in Cherrapunjee. From local fish to chicken, you will get the best of everything served with rice. And if you are a vegetarian, please prepare yourself to feed on noodles for 6 days.
Day 3 | Cherrapunjee – Mawlynnong
We had to leave for Mawlynnong, which is the cleanest village in Asia, but we also wanted to see the Seven Sister Falls before leaving. Fortunately, it was just 2 km from our resort. The road to Mawlynnong was mostly smooth and the lord of rains took a break. Even though it’s just 80 km from Cherrapunjee, it took us 3 hours to reach because of the clouds.
To be honest, Mawlynnong is quite a touristy place. The entire village is a collection of homestays and has its own rules to live by. When we reached, we figured we had enough time to visit Mawlynnong’s breathtakingly beautiful Living Root Bridge, so we did. After having an early dinner at a local restaurant, we called it a day.
Day 4 | Mawlynnong – Dawki
In the morning, we left early for Dawki, which is a small village near the India-Bangladesh Border. What makes it special, is the river Umngot that flows right next to it. Umngot is supposed to be the cleanest river in India except for Monsoon, for the obvious reason. We planned to visit Krang Shuri Waterfalls the same day but the weather didn’t allow us.
Day 5 | Dawki – Shillong
The road to Shillong from Dawki was the most spectacular. The clouds finally cleared and we could see the sky. We stopped quite a lot during our road trip to Shillong, just to cherish the view, one last time before leaving for Delhi.
After reaching Shillong, we checked into our Hotel- Landmark Hills, Victoria. After taking a break for an hour, we were back on the road to explore the beautiful city. There were quite a few places that came highly recommended like, Dylan’s Cafe and Police Bazaar. After exploring the local market and indulging in the local street food, we were back in our hotel room, sulking and packing, for we had to leave the next day.
Day 6 | Shillong – Guwahati
If you guys follow us on Instagram or if you have read our previous articles, you guys must know how much we hate the last day of our trips. We have to pack, our bags get fuller than the day we arrived (we shop a lot when we travel), there are always a few places that we miss due to the schedule and the worst of it all- going back to Delhi! It was hard for us to leave because we had never witnessed the monsoon the way we did in Meghalaya.
Monsoon Road trip in Meghalaya
Enjoy our crazy monsoon road trip from Guwahati to Dawki via Shillong, Cherrapunjee and Mawlynnong. From driving with no visibility to getting drenched every day, our road trip was nothing short of an adventure. I hope you guys enjoy this video as much as enjoyed experiencing it all. And if you like it, give it a thumbs-up, drop a comment below and share it with your friends. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our brand new YouTube channel. We will keep uploading awesome travel videos.
Budget (for one)
Flight for Delhi ⇄ Guwahati: Rs. 9000
Zoomcar: Rs. 95/hour
Coniferous Resort (Cherrapunjee): Rs. 2500/night
Homestay (Mawlynnong): Rs. 2000/night
Hotel Landmark Victoria (Shillong): Rs. 3400/night
Food: Rs. 800/day
Coniferous Resort (Cherrapunjee): +91 85757 93713
Homestay (Mawlynnong): http://mawlynnong.ontrip.in/p/accommodation.html
Hotel Landmark Hills, Victoria (Shillong): http://thelandmarkhotels.in/landmark_shillong/
We never felt so alive, as we felt during this trip. We were overwhelmed by the people, we were obliged by nature and we were stirred by its beauty!