Visit Meghalaya – All You Need to Know

Meghalaya is an Indian state located in the northeast of the country. Its name means “the abode of the clouds.” It is famous for being one of the wettest places on earth. It is characterized by its abundant waterfalls and lush nature.

A typical view in Meghalaya

Best time to visit Meghalaya

If you want to experience the waterfalls in all their splendour, the best time to visit Meghalaya is after the monsoon season, i.e., September-October.

A visit during the monsoon (June to August) will obviously be very wet and hot. However, if you’re well equipped and willing to put up with the rain, a visit during this period would allow you to witness Nature’s power in all its glory.

The shoulder season from March to May is a good compromise between clear skies and comfortable temperatures.

Dainthen waterfall during the dry season

How to reach by public transport

Most popular sights are located around the village of Cherrapunji (also known as Sohra in the local language). I would recommend choosing Cherrapunji as a base to explore the region.

The main entry point to Meghalaya is from Assam’s capital city, Guwahati. From there, you need first to reach Shillong. There are buses but the timetable is not very convenient (either very early or very late). I chose to catch a Sumo, a shared jeep or taxi. They leave as soon as they are full (read jammed packed), usually every 30 minutes. If you can, only bring a small bag as it will be easier to travel. A seat in a shared taxi costs 300 Rs (March 2024), and it takes 3 to 4 hours to reach Shillong. The road is relatively good but very windy, and the drivers are not very smooth, so don’t expect a comfortable ride.

The Sumo stand is located near Guwahati railway station in Paltan Bazar.

Alternatively, you can also get a Sumo to Shillong in Khanapara. 

Shillong is a small but very congested city, I wouldn’t recommend staying there. You’ll have to get another Sumo to go from Shillong to Cherrapunji. The Sumo stand in Shillong is located in Bara bazar, on the first floor of a building.

Don’t arrive there too late, the last transport to Cherrapunji leaves around 5 pm. I ended up in a shared taxi to Cherrapunji, which cost 200 Rs. The price of a seat in a Sumo is 150 Rs (March 2024). It takes about 2 hours to reach Cherrapunji. 

Where to stay in Cherrapunji 

Be warned that there aren’t many budget accommodation options in Cherrapunji. I stayed in D Cloud guesthouse, which is a bit away from the centre of the village but it’s also very quiet. A bed in a basic dormitory costs 400 Rs in March 2024 (call in advance to make sure there are beds available).

What to do near Cherrapunji

The main attractions around Cherrapunji are waterfalls and the famous double-decker living root bridge.

As its name suggests, the double-decker living root bridge is made of the root of living trees. This natural wonders was initiated by some local people who developed the art of root weaving using a bamboo structure. It takes about 30 years to grow a full living root bridge. You first need to reach the village of Tyrna (you can hire a scooty or hitchhike from Cherrapunji). From there, follow the 3500+ steps down to a small village full of cafes and guesthouses. Be warned that it is quite a touristic place. From there, you can walk to many living root bridges, the most famous being the double-decker one. Access to the bridge costs 50 Rs (plus extra charge for a camera). Please note that the bridge is closed on Sunday! You can also swim in the river, so bring your swim gear if you want a dip in crystal clear water.

The famous double-decker living root bridge

From the bridge, you can continue hiking for about 2 km to reach the Rainbow waterfall. This part of the trail is much less touristy, but you’ll be fully immersed in the lush jungle. About halfway between the double-decker bridge and Rainbow Fall, you’ll reach the Blue Lagoon, a beautiful natural swimming pool with its own waterfall. You can swim there but you have to hire a life jacket for 100 Rs.

Rainbow waterfall

From the double-decker living root bridge, you can also walk up to the famous Nohkalikai waterfalls and then back to Cherrapunji. It’s a long and steep walk, but it’s worth it if you’re in good shape. I’d recommend downloading an offline map beforehand ( or because it’s easy to get lost without it.

Nohkalikai waterfalls during dry season

The Nohkalikai waterfalls are perhaps the most famous sight in Meghalaya. If you can, go there at sunset for the best lighting.

Dainthlen Falls and Wei Sawdong Falls are also spectacular waterfalls, but access to tourists is currently closed due to ongoing tensions between villagers.

Prut waterfall

Other waterfalls worth mentioning are : Prut waterfalls (50 Rs entrance fee), Janailar falls and Lyngskiar fall, and Golden Caves (50 Rs entrance fee). These three waterfalls are close to each other and can be covered on the same day. You can rent a scooty in Cherrapunji to reach these waterfalls.

Lyngskiar fall

Finally, you can visit Mawsmai caves and the Seven Sisters waterfall within walking distance from Cherrapunji.

Further away from Cherrapunji

  • Mawryngkhang trek : a frightening walk on the side of a cliff. The path is made of bamboo attached together. Only for those who aren’t afraid of heights!
  • Dawki : a village known for its crystal clear river water.
  • Mawlynnong : known for being the cleanest village in India.
  • Mawsynram : famous for being the wettest place on earth.


Meghalaya is a stunning place that looks and feels very different from the rest of India. With its numerous waterfalls and its famous living root bridges, it’s a great place to get some pure air and witness Nature’s marvels. Go there during or shortly after the monsoon season in order to experience the waterfalls in their full flow. Be aware that a trip to Meghalaya is costlier than the rest of India, but don’t let this discourage you from exploring this stunning region!

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