Meghalaya: Stairway to heaven

The emerald green waters look as surreal as a painting.

Published: 04th November 2018 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th November 2018 11:51 AM   |  A+A-

Indian tourists pose beside a sign in the village of Mawlynnong village in the north-eastern state of Meghalaya. (Photo | AFP)

Indian tourists pose beside a sign in the village of Mawlynnong village in the north-eastern state of Meghalaya. (Photo | AFP)

Nature is on an overdrive in Meghalaya. Be it the living root bridges, massive and mysterious caves, breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls, jewel-like pools of waters or the long-winding trails that offer exhilarating glimpses of the colossal mountains, the land of clouds embraces you in its bear hug, offering you the trip of a lifetime. This sliver of land wedged between Assam and Bangladesh is indeed an idyllic spot propped among the clouds. A journey to this tangle of nature is like walking into a fairyland.Meghalaya is a mix of everything: you find the hip, urban crowd at Shillong while you understand the wild beauty of the northeastern state as you venture into the deeper reaches. The journey itself is an adventure. At times, you might just feel you are walking into the clouds. As the golden orb slants, the sky often bursts out into a riot of colours. Here are a handful of gems in this hilly wonderland.

Umngot River in Dawki

The emerald green waters look as surreal as a painting. There is nothing like hopping onto the country boats and taking a ride across the crystal clear waters of the Umngot River. Feast your eyes on the vastness of the river stretching across the horizon; there right across, you get the glimpse of Bangladesh. The Umngot river flows through India and Bangladesh, and marvel at its sparkling waters as you ride through.

Nohkalikai Falls

It’s one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Meghalaya. Thundering down at a height of several hundred feet, the gush of water offers a magnificent sight. The drama unleashed by the giant leap of the waters needs to be seen to be believed.

Living Root Bridge, Riwai

To traverse over the water bodies in the deeper reaches of the forests, the villagers have created unique bridges. Crafted by weaving together the roots of the ficus trees to form earthen pathways, the bridges are the ancient architectural wonders. Several such bridges are under construction even now.

Double Decker Root Bridge, Nongriat

The journey starts from the Tyrna village. From here, there are concrete steps laid out. It takes more than 3,000 steps to reach Nongriat. The trail is steep and rocky, but the view magnificent. Decked up in a rustic charm is the crowning glory, the living double-decker root bridge. Built across the Umshiang river, the best time to experience the charm of the bridge is in the morning.

Rainbow Falls, Nongriat

It is the best-kept secret of Meghalaya. Deep inside the forest is a magnificent waterfall. The shimmering pearls of waters just hurtle down to form a turquoise pool. The trek is long, tricky and arduous.


One of the wettest places in the earth, a trip to Meghalaya is never complete without journeying to the picture-perfect Mawsynram village located in the East Khasi Hills. This is where
you go to enjoy the surreal charm of rain.

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