First time I had come to Guwahati, I was pleasantly surprised to see the greenery around. Completely oblivious of geographical placement of Assam, I did what most millennials do. Google it. In this case, Google proved to be less knowledgeable but Google maps helped. The first thing I noticed Guwahati’s vicinity to Shillong which is known as the rock capital of India and my love for hill stations re-ignited. I made a goal to visit Shillong before my work assignment ended in Guwahati. It has been 4 years and I am still here. During these years I have traveled widely across Northeastern states, I have accumulated a great deal of knowledge about Meghalaya and I would like to share my opinion and knowledge on Meghalaya tourism.
Meghalaya weather: Meghalaya is an all year round destination providing relief from sweltering Indian summers to providing an abundance of nature sports/activities during winters to the mighty monsoon. Monsoon, however, is my favorite season with waterfalls at their peak charm and strength. This nature’s gem never disappoints!
I prefer to stay at any place that has natural surroundings and an extraordinary view. Till now I have stayed only once in Shillong, Capital of Meghalaya and the only city in Meghalaya and that too when I visited it the first time. Since then I have been able to discover plenty of homestays/campsites nestled amidst nature’s glory and towns that look like out a movie. There mainly there are 3 types of accommodations that Meghalaya has to offer:
Hotels/resorts - Only to be found in Shillong, Cherrapunjee and around Dawki. These are the places which are a bit commercialized. Can be booked through any major booking portal/aggregator
Homestays - To be found in major locations and some of the offbeat locations. Great way to learn about local culture. Check out these towns here
Overlanding vehicles - These vehicles come with luxury rooftop tent attached on them and gears that make them a preferred choice amongst avid nature-adventure lovers. They are the best to explore offbeat locations, stay outdoors, practice responsible tourism and are convenient along with being cost-efficient. Bookings can be made here or call on +91-6913332761
My top list of 10 places which can be visited in Meghalaya for waterfalls, nature activities, offroading trails, meadows, valleys, overland locations etc. Meghalaya - Watch video here Read more here Sample overlanding itinerary here
When moving around in Meghalaya, the food is basic however in the city there are multiple places to eat ranging from artistic cafes to local food joints. For local joints: Head towards Bara bazaar or Mylliem Restaurant in Shillong: Deja vu, Munchies, City Hut Dhaba (Vegetarian restaurant in Shillong) Cafes: ML05, Cafe Shillong, Dylan’s cafe, Hoitea toitea etc.
Meghalaya as a destination is best suited for travelers, not tourists because the place hasn’t been commercialized yet and it requires a great deal of love and appreciation for nature in its raw form. To learn from the mistakes of hill stations in North India and other parts of India, people working in the tourism sector matter the most. They are the evangelist and promoters of the state. It’s the atlruistic approach taken by these people to preserve the flora and fauna here set the state apart from the rest of India. With the growth in tourism, it becomes paramount to protect the state from ecological downsides.