The Air Force Museum is a heritage place located in Upper Shillong which narrates the tales of wars fought with Pakistan and China. The place is great to enlighten the visitors with the country’s defense forces – including the Indian Air Force, brave flying warriors and the defense history. The museum is a favorite among the children as well as for the adults who want to know in details about the country’s defense and security forces.
The artifacts and photographs of the Indo-China War and Indo-Pakistan War are on display. Different exhibits like the culture of Shillong, dress of Male & female officers, different missiles, aircraft used in old days are among the major attractions kept inside the museum. The most inspiring thing to note is the images of the air force officers. Any proud Indian would love to visit the place for its exclusive contents and praiseworthy maintenance which is sure to blow off anyone’s mind.
Among the major tourist attractions, are the miniature models of aircrafts to uniforms worn by pilots of the air force and many other related items which would take you to the several wars fought by the Indian Air Force. There are rockets and missiles housed at the entrance as well as in the interior of the museum complex. Interestingly, a number of musical instruments neatly displayed inside the museum are a striking contrast to what the museum mainly deals with, yet the collection offers a unique touch to the main purpose.
People who are interested in the defense system of India must visit this museum to enlighten their knowledge about Indian Air Force. One should also checkout the uniforms worn by the air force pilots, missiles, rockets, miniature models of aircrafts and various other exhibits which are among the major attractions of the museum. The souvenir shop inside the museum complex is a perfect place to take home some tangible memories. The Python’s skin kept in the museum is a must watch too.
The Balpakram National Park is a popular national park located near the Garo Hills in Meghalaya. This pocket of pristine beauty is nestled at about 3000 feet above sea level and lies quite close to the international boundary of Bangladesh. The national park is often compared to the Grand Canyon National Park and is also known as the “abode of perpetual winds” and also as the “land of spirits”. Legends say that the spirits of the dead temporarily dwell here before stepping into the final destination.
Declared as a national park by the Government of India, Balpakram National Park is a protected place that was inaugurated on 27th December 1987 as a national park. It is also enlisted in the tentative UNESCO World Heritage list. Covering an area of 200 sq km, the vast tableland of dense forest, teeming with wildlife, is one of the richest biodiversity spot in the entire country. The huge variety of flora and fauna composition includes some of the rarest and exotic species and few almost extinct ones as well.
The main attraction of the place is the rich flora and fauna. The tropical vegetation of the national park makes it an ideal habitat for various species like elephants, deer, golden cat and the barking deer among the major tourist attractions. Other animals include wild water buffalo, Red panda, elephant and eight species of cats including tiger and marbled cat among the uncommon species found in very few places in India. The avifauna is also quite rich amidst the rivers and lakes in the national park which serve as the perfect home for the birds. The flora is exceptional and unique with pitcher plants and medical plants like Dikke forming much of its vegetation.
It must be noted that the national park has bare minimum facilities for tourists and hence only the committed and serious tourists should travel there. The tourists must take permission to enter the park and to make reservations from Divisional Forest Officer of Tura.Exploring the forest and watching the animals in their close habitat is an experience by itself, especially during the months when they come down near the rivers to drink water.
Dawki River is a famous river in the small border town of West Jaintia Hills. Nestled beautifully between India and Bangladesh, Dawki River is a major tourist attraction along with the city Dawki which is a popular trade center for both the countries. Besides being a major business hub, the city as well as the river is famous for tourism scene. People from all over the country come down to try boating in the clear water of Dawki River.
Blessed with beauty and greenery, the surrounding is reflected in emerald green and aqua blue hues in the crystal clear water making it a spectacular sight. The cool water with picturesque flora all around the river makes it a perfect subject for nature photography. The Jaintiya Hills and Khasi Hills are reflected on the mesmerizing emerald green color of the river.
The main attraction of the place is the crystal clear water that allows the travelers to see through its bottom. The underwater life is quite prominently visible and one can see tiny fishes swimming around at the bottom. The boat ride is another of the tourist attractions which gives the impression of the boat flying over the river and not floating on it. The water is so clear and transparent that the shadow of the boat can be seen at the bottom of the river.
Boating is a must to-do thing while visiting Dawki River. There is one boat riding competition held during the spring months which is quite famous. Nature lovers can have a grand time exploring the beautiful surrounding and the spectacular suspension bridge on the river which makes it a place worth a visit. One must also shop for some delicious oranges which is a local delicacy.
Considered as one of the finest museums of Asia, the Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures (DBCIC) is a major tourist attraction for its exclusive glimpse of the lifestyle of the people of northeast India which reflect multicultural glimpse. The complex comprises of the Don Bosco Museum, library for research on indigenous cultures, a media hall and a conference hall. The museum is run by the Salesian of Don Bosco of the Catholic Church.
The Don Bosco Museum is a seven-floor building with 17 galleries exhibiting cultural artifacts and paintings of the 8 states of the northeastern region including Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura. The mind-blowing collection of attire, accoutrements, weapons, ornamentation and rare photographs perfectly complement the purpose of the museum. The use of multimedia using the art of technology in the museum is praiseworthy and must check-out. The newly introduced skywalk offers a 360 degree view of the beautiful city of Shillong.
Tourists are the most attracted to the main galleries which gives an insight into the beautiful and diverse cultural richness of the eight northeast states all under one roof. Documents and exhibits of various cultures, arts and crafts of these states are guaranteed to allure the tourists with their exclusivity and diversity which, at one point, converges to similarity in something or the other. The Language Gallery, the Photo Gallery, the Agriculture Gallery and the Musical Instruments Gallery are among the most prominent tourist attractions of the museum.
One must visit the exhibitions organized from time to time. The library, known as Otto Hopfenmueller Library, houses books and resources related to the various aspects of Northeast India which is a must visit for all. Get soaked in the history and heritage with the exclusive exhibits of the museum. Last but not the least, the Skywalk of the amazing museum is a point one should not miss which offers the most spectacular view of Shillong.
Meghalaya’s Double Decker Living Root Bridges are the man-made natural wonders trained by the local inventive members of the Khasi tribe. Located in the deep northeastern India, these bridges are not built, but are grown. The bridge is named JingkiengNongriat Double Decker Living Root Bridge or more commonly the Umshiang Double Decker Living Root Bridge or simply just the Double Decker Root Bridge, where the root bridges are grown out of Indian Rubber Tree. It is 3 km long and hanging at a height of 2400 feet. To ornament the entire enthralling ambience, the Umshiang River flows beneath the bridge.
The root bridges are trained by the Khasi tribe to grow from the roots of ancient rubber trees which provide a stable alternative to wooden bridges. It takes around 15 years for a new root bridge to grow strong enough to bear the weight of people crossing it. The unique thing of these bridges is that they would grow and strengthen even more over time. The tangled webs of roots look ultimate eerie in nature and gives a picture straight out of fantasy world.
The formation of the root bridges is a unique sight and the formation history is even more exclusive. The major tourist attraction is a 200-years old natural bridge that allows only 50 people to cross over it at a time. The variety of flora and fauna surrounding the bridge is mesmerizing a sight. The trekking and hiking down the bridge is gruesome yet extremely adventurous. The natural pool under the bridge is a must checkout for its clean water untouched by pollution and urbanization.
While the very sight of the bridge is sure to sweep off your feet with its amazingly refreshing and exclusive charisma, the entire ambience is out of the world. Take a trek down from the bridge to the natural pool to take a dip into its clean water to cool yourself off. This is a perfect spot to intoxicate your mind, soul and body with its unpolluted environment. You won’t find a trace of dirt in the surrounding which is a rare sight. Don’t miss out the trekking which is indeed not for the faint-hearted.
Elephant Falls in Upper Shillong is one of the most visited tourist destinations which hold the prime attention of the tourists. Situated at the outskirts of the main city of Shillong around 12 km off from the fast city life, Elephant Falls is a three-tier waterfall set in the dingles of the rock. The excellence and beauty of Elephant Falls is increased manifold by the two falls namely the WirPhang Falls and the Wei Iaplam Falls. However, the Elephant Falls rules with its vigor, volume and elegance.
The first fall is huge and hidden between trees. The second tier of the fall is tamed and almost negligible in winter as the water level recedes. The tallest and the most prominent is the third and last fall which is characterized by clear water flowing over dark jutting rocks found in several shapes and sizes. The falls is originally and locally known as “KaKshaid Lai PatengKhohsiew” meaning three steps waterfalls in Khasi language. The current name is given by a British traveler who found a rock too similar to an elephant lying to the left of the third tier of the waterfalls. Sadly, the rock was destroyed in an earthquake in 1897.
The huge waterfall with its water flowing in three different ways in the three stages is a unique sight to behold. Among the three, the last one is the most impressive which can be climbed down to the serene pool formed at the bottom. Though photography is allowed, but swimming or getting deep into the pool is discouraged by the authority and hence, demarked with a rope. The excursion down the main waterfall is an adventurous one which could take around 30-40 minutes and not a very difficult one to try.
It is a pure bliss to observe the foaming white water gurgling down the stony steps to settle down in the cool pool at the bottom. Nature lovers would enjoy the greenery on the sides of the waterfalls which adds to the spectacular beauty of the place. It is an adventurous activity to climb down the steep steps of the waterfalls to get the full view of the three levels of the waterfalls.
Lady Hydari Park situated in Shillong is dedicated to the first woman of Assam – the Lady Hydari. She was the wife of Assam’s first British Governor Sir Nicholas Dodd Beatson Bel. The mini museum was established to focus on the diverse flora and fauna of the region. Constructed in a typical Japanse style, it is a mini zoo that houses 140+ reptile species and 73 species of birds, flowers and a spacious garden to name a few of the major attractions. The dried skin of a giant python hanging on the wall is among the most noticeable exhibits.
The round shapes of the hedges with circular design elements, willow trees with their leaves almost sweeping the ground and the numerous small ponds scattered all throughout the garden all have a distinct Japanese influence. The paved walkways of the park make it easier for the visitors to take a round of the total park walking through the manicured lawns. The visitors are exclusively attraction to the huge variety of flora ruled by an impressive collection of rhododendrons and orchids.
If you come to Shillong during winters or spring then spending a lazy afternoon in the Hyadari park lawns is the perfect way to relax. This is inarguably the best place for children in Shillong for its well-maintained ambience and well-chosen inhabitants. The mini zoo inside the park is the actual attraction for its exclusivity in Shillong and its surroundings.
The park might look small in size, but there are so much to do inside it. There is a small lake with pelicans, duck and colorful fish in it and you may amuse yourself by feeding them. There are some swings, slides and a children’s play area inside which can be a pleasant diversion for kids.There are stuffed leopards, elephant skulls and photographs of rare species of wildlife.
Laitlum Canyons are a remarkable natural environmental formation perched atop the East Khasi Hills of Shillong. The meaning of the name literally means “The End of Hills” or “The End of The World”, due to its position which is nestled in the embrace of majestic hills and valleys. The Laitlum Canyons offers the best and the vast, verdant and fascinating panorama of Meghalaya that could be viewed and admired.The location is a 45 min drive from Shillong, and possesses a serene ambience due to its less crowded and less commercial environment. The secluded spot is a tourist’s favorite who is looking for some quiet and peaceful moment to refresh his soul. The fog that envelops, the mist that refreshes and reticent surrounding that cools down the mind and eyes of the travelers offer a vibrant spectrum of hues that stands out especially during sunrise and sunset, making the place even more mesmerizing.
Often called the amphitheatre of Meghalaya, the scenic hill slopes and unending and stretched till one’s vision can reach up to.From earthy browns and verdant greens to blushing reds at dawn and dusk, the spot keeps the travelers glued to the area for several hours. The Laitlum Canyons is a trekker’s paradise with a difficult terrain which is not recommended for the beginners. However, the best views in the world and the freshest breathable air allures everyone to go hiking. The gurgling streams of Laitlum and its quaint wooden bridge force the tourists to stand and stare at the magical landscape surrounding them.
There is nowhere a better place to explore the dreamy clouds that this. One can experience at Laitlum Canyons why Meghalaya is called the abode of the clouds. It is a pure bliss to explore the entire canyon enveloped in an ethereal white shroud, the mist swirls and winds that moves rejuvenating every senses.
The Mawsmai Caves or the Caves of Meghalaya is group of caves located in the Jaintia, Khasi Hills and Garo Hills districts in the Indian state of Meghalaya. Considered amongst the longest caves in the whole world, and one of the ten longest and deepest caves in India, the caves are naturally formed by rugged limestone structures, which is most widely visited by tourists from all over the country and abroad. The Mawsmai Caves are located around 6 km from Cherrapunjee, and are the only caves in Meghalaya that are lit inside to let the tourists experience the natural stalagmites and stalactites formations in awe. The caves are very long, though accessible till only 150 m for the tourists. The limestone formations have taken several forms, shapes and sizes inside the cave offering an imaginative aura of as many life forms as possible. The natural wonder stands out for its magnificence and years of natural abrasion and underground water storage which makes the limestone structures take the different forms.
The major tourist attraction is the different structures formed by limestone which leave the tourists to their own world of imagination. The beautiful maze of caves is indeed a breathtaking experience especially for the travelers who go through the opening till it is allowed, that is for the first 150 m. The availability of proper illumination inside the cave, the organized cave exit plan and the steps constructed in 2000 make it a perfect adventurous gateway offering the glimpse of life in the underground.
One can explore the cave by traveling through the passage to have a look around the stalagmite and stalactite formations. It certainly is a thrilling experience and a unique one too. The flora and fauna within the cave is bound to catch your attention craving for more. It is better to carry a flashlight with you, though there are enough lights inside.
This is all about the wettest place on earth – Mawsynram, the bearer of the Guinness World Record. This village in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya receives the highest rainfall in the world with an average of 11,872 millimetres (467.4 in). The name of the village is derived from the Khasi word Maw, meaning stone.
The mesmerizing village is located at an altitude of 1400 m above sea-level. Surrounded by hills and floating clouds overhead, the alignment of the village makes it responsible for the heavy rainfall that it receives throughout the year. The rainfall is so strong that the villagers use a thick layer of grass over their roof to make their houses sound-proof. The village of Mawsynram is exceptionally beautiful because of its sliding slopes, lush green mountains, blooming orchids, gushing waterfalls and ofcourse, the immensely rich rain that makes the village stand out.
While watching the heavy rainfall through the year remains one of the major tourist attractions, the fascinating living bridges spanning the rain-soaked valleys make it a tourist hotspot. The beautiful natural surrounding clad in green carpet is a beauty to behold. The local huts and houses clad in thick layer of grass is also something to see and click pictures of.
The visitors are suggested to carry umbrellas and raincoats while visiting Mawsynram to avoid getting drenched. However, if you want to get soaked in rain water, let Mawsynram be your most preferred place. Exploring the flora featuring a subtropical highland climate is by itself an exotic experience for the tourists. Being quite close to the Bangladesh border, one can also see the neighboring country from at a distance.
The Nohkalikai Falls is the tallest plunge waterfall in India located near Cherrapunji, Meghalayaabout 1.5 Km from the Sohra-Shella road and further 3 km down the Nohkalikai road. Falling from a height of 1115 feet, the waterfall is fed by the rainwater which cascades down to a gorge forming a spectacular pool in turquoise green. The fall is considered as the pride of Meghalaya and gushes in its best form during the rainy seasons when the rainwater gets collected on the summit of a small plateau, and keeps on decreasing substantially during the drier months.
The Nohkalikai Falls is best viewed from the Nohkalikai viewpoint, which is located 4.2 km from Cherrapunji town.The waterfall is the fifth highest and one of the tallest plunging waterfalls in the country which is an ideal escape for the nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. The name of the waterfalls means ‘Jump of KaLikai’ in Khasi language, which carries a tragic story of a widowed woman of the same name who had jumped off the cliff after her daughter was killed.
The Nohkalikai Falls is one of the most photogenic waterfalls in India where the water remains uninterrupted from the highest point to the foot making it a popular tourist attraction. The single drop falls from the boundary of the cliff makes it look like a white thread with a backdrop of green woods. Though the area is often covered with fog and mist making it a difficult view, the summer and monsoons are the most preferred times to visit the waterfalls. The most beautiful view and adventurous spot is, however, at the base of the waterfall which can be reached by the steps built by the Meghalaya Tourism Department to allow tourists down to various other viewing points.
The waterfall is a must visit spot for the adventure lovers. While the nature lovers and photography freaks can have a gala time exploring the nature with eyes and cameras respectively, the options like trekking, camping, bird-watching, swimming and angling are certain to pump up the adrenaline in the blood of the adventurous ones.
The Nohsngithiang Falls or the Seven Sisters Falls is a seven segmented waterfalls which are located in the East Khasi Hills 1km from Mawsmai Village. Among the tallest falls in India and the fourth heighest waterfall in India, the height of the main falls is 315 m (1035 feet) and covers a total width of 70 m. The uniqueness of the falls lies in the fact that the enormous force of the gushing water is a combined creation of the seven separate streams flowing down in full speed and vigor.
The Nohsngithiang Falls is a mesmerizing sight to behold surrounded by thick green rainforests and white cloud floating on the peak of the mountains making the entire surrounding a spellbinding view. The waterfall is often hidden behind misty clouds, but when it is visible under the shining sun, one can witness different hues appearing in the water which makes a water rainbow drawn over it.
It is a sight to behold and preserve when the mighty waterfall gush down from 1035 feet and the sunlight creates a prismatic effect on it giving it a spectacular angle. The water literally glows and glitters under the sun rays, and the water keeps changing in color from sunrise to sunset. One has to be lucky to catch a rainbow in sight – one of the major benevolence of the nature. Tourists are spellbound by the waterfalls as well as the green and white backdrop which gives the entire region a different look altogether.
Photography is one of the to-dos which a visitor must carry on to preserve the memories of the beautiful scene. Nature lovers are awestruck with the uniqueness of the region which is majestic in its true sense. Don’t forget to carry your binoculars to enjoy the beauty in a closer view. Trekking is a must in and around the region of the Nohsngithiang Falls.
One of the highest points of Meghalaya, Shillong View Point is one of the most popular tourist attractions located at an altitude of 6,446 feet. The spot is exclusively popular for its magnificent sweeping 360-degree panoramic view of Shillong. The Himalayan Ranges are captured the best from here and people flock down to capture the mesmerizing view of the surrounding from this point.
There is the provision of telescope from local tour providers which can be used to get a closer glimpse of the lush green mountains covered in forests of rich vegetation and fauna. The radar station of the Indian Air Force is also viewable from here and you need to seek permission from the Air Force Station to access the peak. Legends say that the patron deity ‘Leishyllong’ had her abode on this hill and still remains here to guard the city against all the odds and evils. Interestingly, the city of Shillong derives its name from the goddess.
The enthralling beauty of the surrounding which captures mountains, lush green flora and the colorful city below in a perfect panoramic view is something that accounts for the huge footfall in the region. Enjoy the romantic view and weather of the region as the mountain top overlooks with esplanades and observation towers offering sweeping vistas of the entire city.
One must carry their own binoculars or telescopes to catch the perfect view from the closest possible. Though telescope facilities are available at reasonable rates from the localites, it is better to carry your own apparatus to avoid the rush. During the monsoons, Shillong View Point is a paradise with glistering green flora perfectly balancing the ambience and offering the most serene view possible. There are several food stalls selling delicacies and seasonal favorites like pineapple and boiled corn in abundance. Enjoy the local weather, view and food to the fullest to make the most of it.
Umiam Lake or Barapani Lake is a reservoir located in the hills around 15 km north of Shillong. Created in 1960s for damming the Umiam River, it is spread over 220 sq km as the principle catchment area of the lake including the dam. It was built by the Assam State Electricity Board with the main purpose of storing water for hydroelectric power generation.
The Barapani Lake and its surroundings are a treat to the eyes of the tourists and is often the most preferred spot for picnic. Sprawled over a huge area, the lake is a treat for nature lovers. With the enthralling views of the beautiful location snuggled in the hilly backdrop, the lake is a perfect choice for tourists who want to get cozy with nature amidst cool ambience. The surrounding of the lake is clad in emerald green of the hills at the backdrop as well as in electric blue of the sky that reflects perfectly in the clear water.
Tourists are allured with the surroundings of green meadows and vibrantly colorful flowerbeds that make the lake one of the most beautiful spots of Meghalaya. The well-maintained ambience and the cleanliness are assured by the state tourism department to develop and improve it to match the taste of global travelers. Different water sports and activities like kayaking, water cycling, scooting and boating are few of the major tourist attractions of the Umiam Lake.
Get ready to be spoilt for choice at this tourist destination – there are options of kayaking, sailing, boating, water cycling and scooting to name a few. Not to miss the horseshoe-shaped construction right in the middle of the town. Also counted as one of the most preferred picnic spots, the lake is great for family get-togethers. Last but not the least is the mesmerizing experience of one-night stay in the boathouse of Umiam with all basic amenities including food available for a comfortable stay.
Coming straight out of the fairy tales is the Umngot River – the cleanest river of India. The emerald river flows along the small border town of Dawki in Meghalaya, and is one of the major tourist attractions. The river draws attention for being so clean that one can actually see till its bottom from the center of it.
It is a two hour drive from Shillong to Dawki. The river flows in the natural divide between Jhantia and Khasi hills. The crystal clear water with a boat sailing over it gives an impression that the boat is floating and not sailing. One cannot figure out the water surface, especially in a picture. Not just being the cleanest, but the river along with its surrounding is also a stunning one. The rich vegetation clad in lush green flora is a beauty and visual treat pleasing your mind and soul. It is a beautiful experience to watch the emerald green water shining under the sun and a number of colorful boats lined across the banks perfectly complementing the entire ambience.
The exceptional beauty of the river is the major tourist attraction. One has to be there in person to believe how clear the river water is. It is not everywhere that you experience your boat floating in space while the actual river is flowing beneath. Capturing the hues of green and blue in the surrounding is another spectacular sight that grabs the eyeballs of one and all.
Boating is a must in the Umngot River to experience the clean water. It is a paradise for the photographers as well as for the nature lovers. The river water gives an essence of fairyland with its transparent, emerald stream while traveling in a snake boat. The entire surrounding is certain to make you emotionally overwhelmed with its ethereal beauty.