The Khasi Hills are part of the Garo-Khasi range in the Indian state of Meghalaya , and is part of the Patkai range and of the Meghalaya subtropical forests ecoregion. It is perhaps best known for Sohra (Cherrapunjee), geographically famous for being the wettest place on earth and also Shillong, one of the most beautiful hill stations in India. The area consists mostly of hilly regions and includes the Shillong Plateau; it is drained by tributaries of the Brahmaputra and Surma rivers. The region is inhabited mainly by tribal Khasi dwellers, which are traditionally in various chieftainships, states known as the Khasi Hill States. One of its capitals, Cherrapunji, is considered one of the wettest places in the world which receives rainfall throughout the year. The capital city of Shillong which is the most popular tourist attraction is also a part of the Khasi Hills. The hill region is divided into broad parts further into East Khasi and West Khasi out of which the East Khasi Hills District is the most famous and most beautiful too. South West Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya is known for it’s scenic beauty and green vallies. These hills are famous for their tourist friendly environs and are a lovely place to explore.
South West Khasi Hill tours are the picture perfect destination trips in Meghalaya with numerous travel attractions and places to visit.
It was made by damming the Umiam waterway in the mid 1960s. The chief catchment range of the lake and dam is spread more than 220 square km. More popularly known as Barapani, this is the biggest artificial lake in the State. The highest portion of the hill mass that comprises most of Meghalaya. Surrounded by sylvan hills and wrapped in the beauty of an assortment of green Khasi-pines and the azure blue skies is the majestic Umiam lake. The lake situated just 15 km from Shillong on the Guwahati-Shillong National Highway has left a lasting impression on each and every person who has come to this lake. The Water Sports Complex situated in the lake provides a choice of row-boats, paddle-boats, cruise boats, sailing boats, water scooters and speed boats.
Elephant Falls, the Three Steps Waterfalls as it is originally called, is located 12 km from the capital city. This waterfall was originally named Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew, which means a three-step waterfall in local parlance. This beautiful region is famed for its sapphire blue skies, thick pine groves, stunning landscapes and valleys, British style houses along the meandering streets and clouds caressing the hills. its scenic beauty has earned it a huge number of admirers, especially couples and families. Its crystal clear white water and the nearby greenery creates a dreamy world which is worth clicking. The rainy season brings more life to the already energetic waterfalls and you will see the falls in full vigor.
Lady Hydari Park:
Lady Hydari Park is a verdant tract that stretches up to a kilometre in the heart of Shillong. It is named in the memory of Lady Hydari, who was the wife of Assam’s erstwhile Governor. Established and maintained by the Forest Department, this park incorporates a mini zoo, a deer park, and an open area for children to play. The vast stretches of rose-beds make it strikingly beautiful. There is also a museum in a small house located inside the park. The rich biodiversity of Meghalaya has been showcased in this museum, which includes photos of rare species, stuffed leopard, dried skin of python, and skulls of elephant.
A paradise by every definition, Laitlum canyons in the Khasi Hills gives you panoramic views of the hills and valleys. This hilltop is carpeted with lush greenery and covered with dense mist, which together make it a hidden paradise in the hilly state of Meghalaya. This is a must visit destination and should make it to your bucket list when you’re in Meghalaya! You will have breathtaking views of valleys and surrounding hills from here. Trekkers are in for great exercise and even if you are not one, you are going to love every minute of it.
How To Reach:
By Air: The nearest airporrt is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport Guwahati (132 km), which is well connected to all major city of India.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is Guwahati(132 km), which is well connected to all major city of India.
By Road: One can easily get around in the state by hiring a cab at affordable rates or through state run buses which ply to almost all major tourist destinations in the hill ranges.
ImageCopyright by commons.wikimedia.org
Cherrapunji in Meghalaya is one of the wettest places on the planet and the only place in India to receive rain throughout the year, is a subdivisional town in the East Khasi Hills district in the Indian state of Meghalaya. There are spectacular waterfalls in Cherapunjee credited for the beautiful landscape. Cherrapunji, also known as Sohra or Churra, means ‘the land of oranges’. The cliffs of Cherrapunji also offer stunning views of the plains of Bangladesh. Cherrapunji is a stunning holiday destination perched over foaming rivers and misty valleys, amidst the swirling clouds. Away from the flurry and chaos of city life, it is a superb place that will refresh your mind and body.
Cherrapunji is noted for having one of the world’s highest average annual precipitation levels, about 450 inches (11,430 mm). In addition, it had the greatest recorded total single-year rainfall, 1,042 inches (26,467 mm) in August 1860–July 1861, and one of the greatest recorded one-month total rainfalls, 366 inches (9,296 mm) in July 1861. This is a stunning location and the year-round rain earned Cherrapunji coveted entry long ago into the Guinness Book of World Records as the wettest place on earth, the place where the rainfall can be recorded in feet rather than in millimeters.
Cherrapunji is the only place on the world map that has just one climate in all seasons, that is, monsoons. Cherrapunji receives both the southwest and northeast monsoonal winds, giving it a single monsoon season. Another surprising fact about Cherrapunji is that it rains mostly at night. Day-to-day activity is not really disrupted by the rain.Another surprising fact about Cherrapunji is that it rains mostly at night. Day-to-day activity is not really disrupted by the rain. The summer months from March to May receive moderate rainfall with much pleasing temperature of 14 C to 23 C. Cold temperature prevails in the winter season falling to a minimum of 7 °C. Temperatures average 11.5 °C (52.7 °F) in January and 20.6 °C (69.1 °F) in August, and the annual mean is 17.3 °C (63.1 °F).
Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Cherrapunji :
Double Decker Root Bridge :
This bridge is amongst the premier attractions of Cherrapunji, is located in Tyrna village. It is a two-tier root bridge that is 100 feet in length. This bridge is an excellent example of bio-engineering and its also known to be unique in the world. which have a carrying capacity of around 50 people at a time. The living bridges are made from the roots of the Ficus elastica tree, which produces a series of secondary roots to form bridges. Some of the living root bridges in Cherrapunji are Ummuoi Root Bridge, Umkar Root Bridge and Mawsaw Root Bridge. Some of these bridges are over a hundred feet long and in fact grow stronger with time.
Located about 6 km from Cherrapunji, Mawsmai cave is one of the main tourist attractions in the Cherrapunji, which is credited as the wettest place on Earth. The striking natural cave is flocked by visitors in great numbers. It is one of the best places for history buffs and experience seekers. There is a light system though, may be it fails occasionally. However, it should add more magic to your exploration. These magnificent caves are formed out of limestone and are quite long and deep. However, tourists can only cover 150 m inside it and the remaining caves are off-limit for the visitors. Getting inside the cave you can see constant dripping of water from the roofs of cave and the formation of stalactites and stalagmites. Further, with great observations, you can also note how the roof and the floor of the cave are joined together to form the iconic pillars. The cave has different types of flora and fauna. If you are looking for something different from greenery and mountain peaks on your trip to Cherrapunji, Mawsmai cave is the place to go.
Nohkalikai Falls :
Nohkalikai Falls is naturally the top destination in Cherrapunji, located at a distance of 5 km from Cherrapunjee. Nohkalikai Waterfalls is a very famous and also the fourth highest waterfall in the whole world. The literal meaning of Nohkalikai is ‘jump of Ka Likai’ and the name Nohkalikai is derived from a tragic Khasi legend. Water plunges from a height of 1,100 ft uninterrupted from the highest point to the foot of the falls making it a spectacular site. The force of water has carved a waterhole which remains blue in the winter and turns green in the summer months. There are two other waterfalls that can you must travel from Cherrapunji, namely the Mawsmai Falls and Kynrem Waterfalls. The view of these natural falls is simply breathtaking. The ideal time to visit Nohkalikai is during the monsoon season when the falls are at its most spectacular. A viewing gallery allows the visitor to take in the vista which is, often, at the mercy of the mist that sweeps in frequently.
Thangkharang Park :
Thangkharang Park, located at a distance of 12 km from Cherrapunjee. Overlooking the Kynrem Falls, the park is located on the edge of a cliff. This park is under the vigilance of State Forest Department Control. Inside the park, visitors can see the Khoh Ramhah rock, which in its shape is like an upside down basket. There is a small bridge that helps visitor to reach the other section of the park and offers a stunning view of the plains and the valley. Monsoon is the best time to visit the park and the Khoh Ramhah rock, when the entire valley is covered in lush greenery.
Dainthlen Falls :
Dainthlen Waterfalls is a good picnic spot located at 5 kms from Cherrapunji. Legend goes that the people of the land killed a big snake that lived in the cave nearby. Being a soft waterfall, you may not hear the roaring sounds of water falling but still, the atmosphere is electric. Tourists visiting the waterfall can explore the natural rock carvings of the snake, which represent the symbol of evil, greed and corruption. Tourists from across the world visit here to see this beautiful waterfalls and the nearby natural rock carvings which depict the battle with the Thlen, that stands as a symbol of corruption, greed and evil. It is soft and does not produce any roaring sound when it falls from a height which is not too steep either.
How To Reach :
By Air : The nearest Airport is Guwahati airport (170 km), Which is well connected to all major city of India.
By Rail : The nearest Railway station is Guwahati Railway station (170 km). Which is well connected to the entire country and regular trains carry passengers to and fro.
By Road : The Meghalaya tourism department runs a daily tourist bus service to Cherrapunji which takes the tourists to all the important attractions of the place.
ImageCopyright by commons.wikimedia.org
Mawlynnong village is located in Pynursla Tehsil of East Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya, India. It is famous for its cleanliness and natural attraction. besides the picturesque village, offers many interesting sights such as the Living Root Bridge and another strange natural phenomenon of a boulder balancing on another rather smaller rock. Mawlynnong was awarded the prestigious tag of ‘Cleanest Village in Asia’ in 2003 by Discover India Magazine. The adage “Neighbours envy, owners pride’ is apt for Mawlynnong as it has earned the distinction of being one of the cleanest villages in Asia, a fact that every Mawlynnong villager is proud of and other villagers are envy of. The cleanliness and management of the village is still touted to be a model of development for other villages.
Mawlynnong has a total population of 414 peoples. There are about 77 houses in Mawlynnong village. Pynursla is nearest town to Mawlynnong. The road leading towards Mawlynnong was serene. It passed through one of the most beautiful landscapes of Meghalaya. There are forests, gorges, cliffs, valleys, waterfalls etc. Bamboo garbage bins adorn every nook and corner of the village highlight the consciousness of cleanliness among the villagers. Cleanliness is an age old tradition and a way of life for all villagers. The moment you enter Mawlynnong, a huge billboard welcomes you with the caption ‘Welcome to Mawlynnong – God’s Own Garden’ and at the same time you also get to read a list of do’s and don’ts on how to keep the village clean. These do’s and don’ts are for everyone: the locals as well as the visitors. Betel nut is the main crop grown in the region along with arecanut, black pepper, bay leaf, pine apple and pamalo. Pork is widely used in the cooking therefore some villagers are engaged in pig farming.
In this quaint village, plastic is banned in order to preserve the ecological cleanliness, the streets are swept regularly by passionate volunteers and bamboo dustbins are strategically placed to avoid littering. While littering is the norm in most metropolitan cities, it is strictly looked down upon in this village. It is perhaps this mentality that keeps the hamlet so delightfully pure and verdant. Moreover, the paths and roadways are lined with delightful flowers, that impart aesthetic qualities to the town. Each and every individual residing here, including the old and the children, all are responsible to keep the village clean. It is a joint effort by everyone and maybe that is the reason it has become a heritage site today.
How To Reach :
Mawlynnong is located 90 km from Shillong, 92 kms from Cherrapunjee along the India-Bangladesh border, can be reached by road The nearest airport is Shillong in Meghalaya. India Beacons Sojourn arranges transport for its guests from Guwahati, Shillong as well as Cherrapunjee.
ImageCopyright by commons.wikimedia.org
A small border town in the Jaintia Hills, Dawki and its famed river Umngot is a must visit if in Meghalaya. Dawki-Tamabil is one of the few road border crossings between India and Bangladesh. The small city, besides being a trade hub is also famous for its tourism scene, with many people flocking to the city in order experience a boat ride in its famed Umngot River and enjoy the nearby sights and sounds. Travelling to the North-East is something that always generates lots of oohs and aahs from whoever you tell about your journey there, or your plans. A day’s excursion from Mawlynnong, Dawki lies but 2 Kms from Bangladesh. Despite the fact that the area is located in a place that has been for years demanding development, one is amazed by the quality of the roads, and the road to Dawki perhaps epitomizes the idyllic hill drive. This had more to do with the area’s strategic importance as well as the limestone and coal mines. Some 500 trucks cross the border every day in peak season.
Dawki river with greenish-blueish water so clear that one can see the bottom of the river even from as high as the bridge over the river. It flows very close to the customs checkpost at Dawki with Jaintia Hills District on one side and East Khasi Hills District on the other. As it enters the plains of Bangladesh it loses its beautiful color and becomes heavily strewnwith rocks and small boulders. It is the gateway to Bangladesh. Located at the end of the Guwahati-Shillong-Dawki Raod, Dawki is a small town well knownfor its sweet, juicy orange markets.
The umngot river is popular not only for its scenic beauty but also for the annual boat race which is conducted here in the month of March – April at Umsyiem. Due to the temperate climate, this place is the house of different kinds of flora and fauna, seeing this large emerald-green serpent threading its way through the hills, with fishermen’s boats dotting its surface, right into the plains of Bangladesh, is a sight whose majesty echoes long after you leave it. The tourists visiting Dawki should not forget to taste the sweets and oranges of Dawki, as it is quite famous for the same. The surrounding greenery, the cold water of the river and the beautiful suspension bridge on the River Umngot make Dawki a place worth a visit.
Dawki does not have any airport; the closest airport is the Guwahati airport. Nearest rail head is at Guwahati from where one can either hire a cab or catch public or private buses either direct till Dawki or till Shillong. Buses are also available for the 70 kilometres (43 mi) journey from Shillong. On the other side the Tamabil bus station, 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) away, has regular bus service to Sylhet 55 kilometres (34 mi) away.
The place becomes heavenly in December with a pleasant temperature ranging from 12 to 20 degrees. Shillong is the only hill station in the country which is accessible from all sides. The water of Unmgot river in Dwaki is so clear that a boat floating on it, seems like it’s flying in mid-air. The river is not the only place here. Entertain yourself at some really amazing festivals organized here in December—Tysim Festival, Baghmara, Pinjera Festival, Williamnagar and Tura Winter Festival, Tura. Try out the delightful Meghalayan delicacies such as Jadoh, Dohneiihong, Makham-Bitchi and Jhur Sideh.
Image copyright by thequint.com, eccetrav.com, mridul-nandy.blogspot.in