I was pleasantly surprised to see so much greenery when I came to Guwahati for the first time. Completely oblivious of the geographical placement of Assam, Google maps helped and first thing I noticed was Guwahati’s vicinity to Shillong - a beautiful hill station in Meghalaya which is also known as the rock capital of India. During these past years I have traveled widely across Northeastern states, and accumulated a good deal of knowledge about Meghalaya and other states.
It will be an understatement when I say that Meghalaya has the best country roads in India with the most beautiful scenery and picturesque towns. The temperature in Meghalaya ranges from 15-25 degree celsius in Summers/ Monsoons and 1-12 degrees in winters. Meghalaya is an all year round destination providing relief from sweltering Indian summers and there are plenty of nature sports/activities during winters to the mighty monsoon such as kayaking, snorkelling, caving, waterfalls hopping, fishing, rappelling, etc. Monsoon, however, is my favorite season with waterfalls at their peak charm and strength. It’s quite an amazing sight!
There are many places to stay across Meghalaya. Shillong offers many homestays and hotels however I do recommend camping to explore the countryside of Meghalaya. It is the best way to explore places like Cherrapunjee, Dawki, Mawsynram, Nongkhnum island, East Khasi hills and the campsites are just breathtakingly beautiful. Highly recommend at least 2 days of camping at any of these locations. 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
Camping on wheels/Overlanding vehicles - These vehicles come with a 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 at campsites, practice responsible tourism and are convenient along with being cost-efficient.
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 and read more here . Camping Co. has also curated various sample circuits for first glance which are modified according to the travellers needs post booking a trip. Do check those out here Places to eat in Shillong: 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. People working in the tourism sector are learning from the mistakes of overcrowding of hill stations in other parts of India. They are the evangelists and promoters of the state. The altruistic approach taken by these people to preserve the flora and fauna here sets the state apart from the rest of India. With the growth in tourism new ventures are working on finding innovative solutions to protect the state from ecological downsides.