Meghalaya tourism, which has become a vital part of the economy of Meghalaya, has evolved enormously during the recent years. With the initiatives taken by the Central Government of India, as well as the endeavor of the State Government of Meghalaya, tourism in Meghalaya has taken a new dimension.
Among the important destinations of tourism at Meghalaya are:
- Shillong - Shillong is the capital city of Meghalaya and offers a picturesque setting, with the presence of the enchanting valleys, rolling hills, beautiful parks, etc. Some of the famous destinations in Shillong that form an inevitable part of tourism in Meghalaya are:
- Lady Hydari Park
- Shillong Peak
- Museum of Entomology
- Golf Links
- Ward's Lake, etc.
- Mawsynram - Mawsynram is known for the giant stalagmite formation, which is shaped like a Shivlinga and is commonly known as 'Mawjymbuin'. Mawsynram, situated about 56 kilometers from Shillong, boasts of a wonderful climate. Tourists from across the world come to this place in order the enjoy the vibrant ambiance of Mawsynram.
- Cheerapunjee - Cheerapunjee, originally called 'Sohra' by the Khasi, is located about 1300 meters above the sea-level. Located about 56 kilometers from Shillong, Cheerapunjee is known to get the maximum amount of rainfall in the world. Nohsngithiang Falls in Cheerapunjee forms the center of tourist attraction in Meghalaya; tourists come from many places to witness the exotic beauty of the waterfalls in Cheerapunjee.
- Monotiths in Khasi Hills
- Nokrek Biosphere and Siju Caves
- Balpakram National Park, etc.
Getting to Meghalaya seems to be the main concern of the tourists coming to Meghalaya from across the world. The various means of transport that are available for going to Meghalaya are roadways, railways and the airways.
Getting at Meghalaya was not always an easy task. Initially reaching Meghalaya was a tedious task as the availability of the transport facilities were not adequate; but, in recent years, the problem of conveyance has been solved. The endeavor of the State Government of Meghalaya, as well as the cooperation of the common people, has led to the upliftment of the transport facilities in Meghalaya.
Airways is the easiest means of transport: it gets your work done in no time. The nearest airport of Meghalaya is Guwahati. Further, helicopter service also constitute the air transport of Meghalaya. Helicopter service in Meghalaya operates between Guwahati, Tura and Shillong. It is noteworthy, that some of the helicopters also land at ALG in the upper part of Shillong.
Getting around in Meghalaya implies touring throughout the city in buses and taxis, in order to get the feel of the exotic beauty of Meghalaya. Getting around at Meghalaya involves the transport facilities present within Meghalaya.
Talking about traveling around Meghalaya, it can be said that Meghalaya presents a large fleet of buses. Moreover, the yellow and black taxis in Meghalaya also serve this purpose of carrying the tourists from one part of the state to the other. The provision of shared taxis and mini buses are also available from some of the destinations of Meghalaya.
The State Transport Corporation and the Shillong City Bus Syndicate are helping the travelers in this respect. These two bus services cover the routes in Meghalaya, which a regular departure of buses at fixed schedule.
Krem Mawmluh is one of the major attractions in Meghalaya. The cave is located near Cherrapunjee. Five rivers make their way through Krem Mawmluh. The height of Krem Mawmluh cave is 4503 meters.
Mawsynram Cave is well known for the huge formation made up of stalagmite. It looks similar to a 'Shivalinga'. The other name for this cave is Mawjymbuin. An upward trek to the peak of the rock offers one, the magnificent views of valleys, hills, the rivers of Bangladesh and the plain. This view makes the cave popular.
The Mawsmai cave is also called Krem Phyllut. This cave is not far away from the Nohsngithiang Falls. The Mawsmai Cave entrance stands in the Mawsmai village near Cherrapunjee. The cave is not far away from the Mawsmai village. The entry point of the cave is vertical and quite narrow. The cave of Mawsmai, one of the prime Meghalaya attractions, is famous for its huge halls and galleys, which connect the different halls of the cave. The halls are similar to amphitheaters.
Siju cave in one of the important attractions of Meghalaya. It stands on the bank of River Simsang, below Siju village and near Naphak Lake. Located 30 kms towards the north of the place Baghmara, this cave is formed of limestone. The Siju Cave Simsang stalactites resemble the Blue Grotto caves, which form the chief attraction of the Isle of Capri. Among all Indian caves, it is considered the third longest. The cave is also called Dobakkol, whose literal meaning is the bats' cave.
- Trekking: The rugged terrain and the rare flora and fauna makes trekking in Meghalaya an outstanding experience. The availability of guides and the colorfulness of the locals add to the sensation of the trekkers. To top them all, the absence of snow puts Meghalaya in the top of the trekkers' priority list.
- Caving: Meghalaya proudly possess some of the deepest caves in South Asia. Therefore, it has become the target of geologists to historians, adventurers to common tourists. Caves like Siju, Syndai, Mawsynram, Mawsmai are mainly made of stalagmites and stalactites, and have boosted up the tourism industry of the state. For years now caving in Meghalaya has become an important activity among the tourists as well as the locals.
- Boating: Boating in Meghalaya is enjoyed in two ways - for leisure and as an exciting water sport. Spots like the Nehru Park and Orchid Lake Resort has become a boating paradise. The boating activity ranges from water-scooters to row-boats, cruise-boats to paddle-boats.
- Biking: The metaled roads with scenic landscape is the seat of exciting motorcycle safari in Meghalaya. The best time for biking in Meghalaya if from September to May.
- Para Gliding: The Himalayan ranges of Meghalaya provide excellent mountain flying conditions, barring the rainy seasons.
Meghalaya museums display the two most endearing aspects of this picturesque North-Eastern state of India in the lap of the Eastern Himalayas, the wonderful wildlife and the exquisite tribal cultures. The Khasis and the Garos are the two most prominent tribal groups of Meghalaya. They have their indigenous cultures which have come down unchanged from time immemorial. The museums of Meghalaya show-case various objects of artistic and ritualistic importance to the lives of these two tribal communities. At the same time, there are Meghalaya museums that are of great importance to the enthusiasts of natural science and history. The exotic plants and some wonderful wildlife are also on display in the these Meghalaya museums.
Meghalaya Museums of Ethnic Interest Many Meghalaya museums specialize in the presentation of various objects which are integral to the tribal life of the Garos and the Khasis. These museums in Meghalaya are of equal importance to visitors and scholars alike. They present objects of daily use of the tribal life, which mixes utility with creative flights of imaginations like tobacco boxes and baskets. They also present jewelries, totems, masks and other such ritualistic objects of central significance to the tribal life. The shawls and the garments exquisitely woven are other attractions of these museums. The museums at Meghalaya with a more ethnic orientation are
- State Museum of Meghalaya
- Tribal Research Institute