DESTINATION - Meghalaya

Meghalaya is an embodiment of eternal bliss and tranquility wrapped in utter beauty. The “Abode of Clouds” acquires its charm from the picturesque locales, bountiful nature, fresh and sedating surroundings and yes the adventure sports. The exposition of exuberant emerald hills and glens often bathing in frequent drizzles will resuscitate your spirits. Trip to Meghalaya India promises a rendezvous with the exclusive flora and fauna, the amicable tribal folks and their cultural heritage. Meghalaya tourism includes all tourist attractions of adventure, for sightseeing, for resurrection or simply to relax and enjoy.

How to Reach Meghalaya India
By Air: The state has no airport. Guwahati is the nearest aiprport from Shillong (128Kms). But a helicopter services is operated by Guwahati and Tura for Shillong.

By Rail: The state has no railway station. Guwahati is the closest railway station.

By Road: The state has a good Road Network which encompasses the state conveniently. NH 40 connects the state with Guwahati and other cities of the country.

Entry Formalities: Foreign tourists need a valid visa which can be further extended and Indian tourists need not obtain any permit for entry.

Famous Attractions and Places Of Interest In Meghalaya
Shillong Meghalaya Travel includes many destinations that attract herd of travelers. Shillong, Cherapunjee, Mawsynram, Jakrem, Nartiang, Tura, Jowai, etc.

Shillong: The Capital City Of Meghalaya India, Shillong is a complete holiday destination. Its sightseeing tour takes you to the famous Charming Valleys, Huge Mountains, Lovely Lush Parks. Some Of The Famous Destinations Like Lady Hydari Park, Shillong Peak, Museum Of Entomology, Golf Links, Waterfalls, And Ward'S Lake In Shillong Form An Inevitable Part Of Meghalaya Tourism.

Cherapunjee: Travel to Cherapunjee to known about the place that gets the Maximum Amount Of Rainfall In The World It Is Famous For Nohsngithiang Falls In Meghalaya. The Beauty Of Exquisite Waterfalls Entices People From All Over The World.

Mawsynram: Situated About 56 Km. Away From Shillong, It Is Known For The Huge Stalagmite Creation Shaped Like A Shivlinga And Known As 'Mawjymbuin'. Mawsynram Has Awesome Climate And So Allures The Tourist For Its Serene Ambiance.

Jakrem: A Holiday tour on famous For The Hot Water Springs, It Has Nawphlang And Ranigodam As Favorite Spots For Picnic And Angling.

Jowai: The Gateway To Nartiang, A Delightful Village Further North That Has A Interesting Collection Of Druid Stones, Is An Amusement Park. Traverse Through The Region And Explore A Monument Dedicated To The First Freedom Fighter Hanged By Britishers.

Flora And Fauna and Wildlife of Meghalaya
Meghalaya India receives plentiful of rainfall and so is very rich in exotic flora and fauna. The forests of the state are a refuge for many animals and birds. The most rich biodiversity site of Meghalaya is the Balaphakram National Park among other sanctuaries of the state- The Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary, The Siju Sanctuary and The Bhagmara Sanctuary.

The Plant Kingdom
You will easily locate forests that are preserved and protected by the communities for religious or cultural beliefs. These woods are a home to many exotic and rare species of animals and plants, Parasites and Epiphytes, Succulent plants and Shrubs. The woods also have varieties of fruits, vegetables, spices and , medicinal plants (like Ipecac, Rauvolfia serpentina, Cinchona, Abromine, Chaulmoogra Oil, Croton Oil, Eucalyptus, Castor Oil, Chiretta, Solanum khasianum, Casearia vareca, Zanthoxylum armatum, Hedyotis scandens, Paederia foetida, Salix alba, Anacardium occidentale, Cinnamomum, Taxus baccata.) The state is also proud of its wealthy treasure of about 325 species of orchids. Trees of Sal (Shorea robusta), Teak (Tectona grandis), Lac and Gum are the most important varieties of trees found here. These forests are important for sericulture also. Paddy, Maize, Millets, Pulses, Potato, Jute and Mesta, Ginger, Turmeric, Black Pepper, Sugar Cane, Oil Seeds are the major crop plants of the state.

The Animal Kingdom- The Great Wildlife of Meghalaya
The famous Wildlife national parks and sanctuaries are full of mammals, birds, reptiles and insects. Wildlife safari tours Civets, elephants, mongooses, weasels, rodents,gaur, bear, wild boar, deer and buffalo are in abundance among the mammal world in the state. Hoolock (the only tailless ape in India), Golden Cat, Leopard, Jungle Cat, Large Indian Civet, Bear Cat, Himalayan Black Bear, Barking Dear and Pangolin are easily found in Meghalaya.

The Bird Kingdom - Sighting of Bird Population
Meghalaya bird sighting holiday tour has a rich stock of birds like Magpie-Robin, the Red-vented Bulbul, Himalayan Black Bulbul, the Hill Myna, the Large Pied Hornbill, Peacock Pheasant, the Large Indian Parakeet, the Common Green Pigeon, the Blue Jay, Great Indian hornbill, florican, owl, black drongo, Hoopoe, Long tailed Broadbill, Scarlet Minivet, Burmese Roller, Blue-throated Barbet, Himalayan Whistling Thrush, Spotted Forktail, Black-breasted Kalij Pheasant, Red Jungle Fowl and Turtle-dove.

The Reptile Kingdom
Meghalaya India has many varieties of reptiles also like the python, the Copperhead, the Green Tree Racer, the Indian Cobra the King Cobra, the Coral Snake, Vipers, lizards, crocodiles and tortoises. Some snakes are poisonous while others are non poisonous.

Others Wildlife Attractions
Besides this, Meghalaya also has many insects like ants, flies, bees, beetles; a number of amphibians like frogs, toads; fish like rohu, mrigal, kalibaus, puti and many more of hill stream adaptation and butterflies like Blue Peacock, the Karserhed, the Orange Oak Leaf, the Dipper, the Bhutan Glory.

Adventure in Meghalaya
Meghalaya tourism offers a number of options for adventure holiday tours for the adventurers and explorers. The bountiful nature has bestowed the state with tremendous potential for adventure sports. The adventure sports you can enjoy here are:

Trekking: Trekking Holiday tour includes the regions of beautiful Meghalaya is an awesome experience. The treks are very charming in the hill slopes, taking you through the villages, brooks and hills. Some important trekking routes are Weiloi to Umngi, Mawlyngot, Smit and Pynursla.

Caving: Geologist or historian, common tourist or an adventurer, no matte who you are , you will succumb to the deep caves of Meghalaya. Caves like Siju, Syndai, Mawsynram, Mawsmai are mainly made of stalagmites and stalactites. Tourist enjoy exploring on their cave tours and taking back home a precious moment of their expedition.

Golfing: It is golfer's delight. The Shillong Golf Course is referred to as the "Gleneagle of the East" . Golfers enjoy the lush expanses and serenity of the place.

Archery: This traditional sport has been a inseparable part of Meghalaya culture and the festivals. Men and women of the state weave the archery accessories at home with great adeptness.

Boating / Rafting: Tourists enjoy a boat tour immensely on Meghalaya tourism. These rides refreshes mind and provide recreation. Besides you can also indulge in water skiing and kayaking. Water-scooters, cruise-boats, paddle-boats, row-boats and sailing boats are all available for tourists. The popular water sports destinations in Meghalaya are The Water Sports Complex, The Ward Lake and Thadlaskein Lake.

Camping and Biking: The treks of Meghalaya are perfect for Biking and Camping expeditions. The adventurers enjoy Bike ride through the roads in the hills and spending a night out in a camp.

Angling: As the state has many angling options to enjoy varieties of fish, the anglers find pleasure here. Ranikor is the important site for angling. Golden Mahseer and Barbus Tor are of major interest for the anglers. Boka, Sal, Trout or Korang and the Gorua or Goonch are also of great interest among anglers.

Tribes
Tribal ShillongThree dominant tribes inhabit the state of Meghalaya Tourism. Each tribe contrastingly distinct from the other yet a harmonious milieu. The names of these tribes are The Garos in the western area, The Khasis in the central area, The Jaintia in the eastern area.

The Garos
The zesty and zippy Garos are habitants of Garo Hills and call themselves Achik-mande. In the Garo language Achik means Hills and mande means Man. Hence Achik-mande means the Hills people. Maximum Garos are ardent followers of Christianity. A garo woman wears a piece of cloth around her waist and a blouse or vest. A Garo man wears traditional clothes and a turban. Irrespective of the sex, Garos wear head outfits with beads stuck with feathers of hornbill, bangles and earrings. With adoption of modernization Garos have started wearing western outfits also. The staple food of Garos is rice with onions, capsicum and salt. All types of animal flesh is relished by them. Drinking is almost enjoyed everyday.

A childbirth in Garos is not only celebrated by family but by the whole clan. The child belongs to the mother family irrespective of the sex and thereby the lineage is always matrilineal. Marriage is settled by the parents and marrying within clan is extremely contraband and punishable. Even death of a Garo is not a family matter. Entire community laments the loss of the departed soul.

The Khasis
"Hynniew trep"as they call themselves signifies "the seven huts` constitutes about 50 percent population of the state. Khasi's ligua franca, Khasi, is very sweet language. Khasis are followers of different religious practices. Presbyterian, Anglican, Roman Catholic are also found significantly in Meghalaya. Khasi tribes who adapted to the indigenous practices of the Khasi religion are also in large number. Their man occupation is Jhoom cultivation. They produce adequate fruits, vegetables, betel leaves and crops.

The traditional dress of a Khasi male is Jymphong, a long sleeveless coat minus collar fastened by lashes in the front. A dhoti along with an embellished waistband enhances the beauty of the outfit. A Khasi female is clad in peculiar pieces of clothes giving the body the shape of a cylinder. In social events females wear a silver or golden crown with a thorn or crest affixed at the rear side of the crown corresponding to the feathers of the Khasi males.

The Khasi tribe follow the culture, rituals and norms of matrilineal community. Even father plays a significant role in the family. Khasis have unwavering belief in marriage institution. The laws of Khasi community are liberal and lenient like a Khasi girl can end up marriage at her own wish and so cannot be enforced into the marriage bonding.

The Jaintias
This tribe is also called Pnar or Synteng. They belong to Hynniewtrep sect of the Austric race whose kingdom was the oldest and most widely spread around Jaintia Hills. Like the othre two, this tribe also is matrilineal where the youngest daughter of the family inherits the familial property. The girl child of the family is adored and molly coddled, in terms of education, health and liberty, by every member of the family. The Jaintias are proud of their rich cultural heritage.

The famous tribal tours for Meghalaya holiday will take you visit the famous tribe art and crafgt work. The tribes have expertise in artistic weaving, wood-carving, cane and bamboo work. Also they are interested in carpet weaving, sericulture and making musical instruments, jewelry and pineapple fiber articles. Behdiengkhlam is celebrated by the Jaintias annually in July with great fervor.

Dance And Music
Shad SukmynsiemShad Sukmynsiem (Dance of the Blissful Heart): This is commonly called Shad Weiking because of the ground where the dance is held every year. It is a thanksgiving dance to pay homage to the ancestors and salute God. Unmarried males and females dance rhythmically on the beats of drums and pipes.

Shad Nongkrem: This dance form is associated with Ka Pomblang Nongkrem. This dance, generally celebrated in November, is performed to please the Goddess Ka Blei Synshar for plentiful harvest and prosperity.

Doregata: This is quite interesting dance as the Khasi women try to knock off the turbans of their male pertners.

Do Dru-su’a: This traditional dance of Garo has two women performing like doves pecking each other.

Lahoo Dance: The Jaintias have this unique dance stylein which males and females participate. Generally two young men on either side of girl conjoined together in arms dance in steps. A cheer leader is also integrated in this dance.

Festivals Of Meghalaya
Wangla: This, very important festival of Garos, is a harvest festival to commemorate Saljong, the Sun-god of fertility. It marks the end of phase of hard labor and advent of holidaying and relaxing. Dance and music is all around the state during the festival. The spectators are amused to see the performing artists.

Shad Suk Mynsiem : This festival, the 'Dance of Contentment' , is a counterpart of the Garo harvest celebrated in April at the Wecking grounds near Shillong and at other places.

Beh-dien-Khlam : This Jaintia festival, held at Jowai, is for chasing away the Demon of Cholera. People celebrate the festival by holding the long poles across Wah- Ait – Nar, and jumping on the poles to break them while dancing in the boggy pool of water.

Some other different types of Khasi Festivals are: -
» Ka Pom-Blang Nongkrem
» Ka-Shad Shyngwiang-Thangiap
» Ka-Shad-Kynjoh Khaskain
» Ka Bam Khana Shnong
» Umsan Nongkharai
» Shad Beh Sier

Shopping In Meghalaya
Enjoy your shopping holiday tour organized by Meghalaya tourism. The absence of multiplexes and malls gives you the pleasure of traversing through local markets and haggling with the shopkeepers for a good deal. The main feature of the shopping in state includes handicrafts, wooden materials, Bamboo and Cane articles, Jewelery, Pottery, Carpets, and Yes! fine silk textiles. As weaving is the main occupation of Garo women, you will find wonderful silk and cotton cloths.

While in Meghalaya do not miss out to check:
» Khasi Bamboo Comb
» Khasi Locks
» Khasi knives
» Spices like Black Pepper
» Honey
» Megam Khok
» Khasi Bows and Arrows
» Baskets
» Small Storage Baskets
» Large Storage baskets
» Winnowing Trays and fans
» Open Weave Carrying Basket
» Shield Made of Bamboo Splints
» Pineapple Fiber Articles
» Carpets
» Traditional Ornaments
» Waist Coats / Jackets
» Shawls / Sarees / Mekhela
» Endi, Mulberry Silk Cloths
» Mats and Khasi Umbrellas etc.

These articles are utilitarian and beautiful also. The main shopping center of Shillong is Police Bazaar. Here you will find a number of shops purveying to all interests, modern and traditional. Village market tour is another place where you will find these insular items.