Meghalaya is a hilly state situated in the north eastern part of the country. It is one of the Seven Sister States of India. A major part of the state is covered with dense forests which preserve the vast biodiversity of Meghalaya. With average annual rainfall as high as 1200 cm in some areas, Meghalaya is the wettest place on earth. The western part of the plateau, comprising the Garo Hills Region with lower elevations, experiences high temperatures for most of the year.
Attractive Tourist Places
It is often referred to as the 'Scotland of the East'. The architectures and buildings in Shillong, along with the eating habits of the local people, till date reflect the British legacy. Most of the houses in this place are built in the Assamese with slanting roofs, numerous windows and wooden floors, which is perfect because heavy rains and frequent earthquakes occur at this place.
Cherrapunjee refers to the land of oranges and is considered to be the second wettest region in the world. It is the only place in India which experiences monsoon all year round. The rainfall in the region varies from heavy to medium to light, with majority of rainfall occurring during the night. Between May to September, Cherrapunjee experiences heavy downpour, with clouds and rain descending earthwards. After September, the pattern of rainfall becomes gentle with soft pastel shades in the sky.
The town of Tura is situated at the footsteps of Tura Hills, just below the Tura mountain peak surrounded by small rivulets and green valleys. The region is largely populated by the Garo tribe, who are known for their traditional Garo dance, named Wangala. Nokrek National Park, which features a large variety of flora and fauna, is the main attraction of Tura. Rongbang Dar Waterfall is another major attraction of the town of Tura. Siju Caves and Balpakram National Park are among the popular sightseeing options in the region.
Situated at an elevation of 485 metres, this town forms northern lower portion of the East Khasi Hills in Meghalaya. Khasis inhabiting this region are mostly Christians and are called Bhois. Major attraction among the tourists visiting Nongpoh is the Road Side Market. The Orchid Lake Resort is another popular attraction among the tourists visiting this destination. Nongpoh is widely known among tourists as a place to unwind and relax in peace.
Jowai consists of many tribes and settlements that depict the cultural heritage of the town. The festival of Behdeimkhlam is a popular festival here, when locals prepare delicacies that mainly include meat, fish and pork like Jadoh, Doh Khleh, Doh Jem during this time. One of the popular attractions in Jowai is Syntu Ksiar, which is located along the region of the Myntdu River. Other popular attractions in Jowai include the Thadlaskein Lake and Lalong Park.
Baghmara is an important commercial town of Meghalaya. The landscape of Baghmara consists of hills and tracts with the River Simsang making its way through most of it. There isn’t one particular tourist attraction here, it is all the rivers, lakes, hills and the vegetation put together that make up some very picturesque locales which attract travellers every season. At a distance of 4 km from the main town of Baghmara is the Baghmara Reserve Forest, a dense forest inhabited with elephants, birds and langurs.
Nongstoin is located at an average elevation of 1409 metres. Shad Suk Mynsiem is the main festival celebrated by the locals of the region. Main attraction of the town is Nongkhnum Island, which is the second largest island in Asia. Another popular attraction among the tourists visiting Nongstoin is Embroidery Stone, which is a natural stone formation that has an embroidered design on it. Langshiang falls and Weinia falls are the other attractions.
Williamnagar lies on the banks of Simsang River and is a popular tourist location, inhabited mainly by the Garo tribe along with Dalus, Banais, Boros, Hajongs, Koches and Rabhas. An important historical relevance attached to this place is the opposition of Garos against the intrusion of the British into the Garo hills. One of the popular festivals of the region is Wangala accompanied with the folk dance, Wangala dance.
Rich in bio-diversity the park is situated at an altitude of 3,000 ft above the sea level and covers an area of 220 sq. km. The Park is a home for variety of animals which include wild buffaloes, sambar, barking deer, wild boar, slow loris, tigers, leopards, clouded leopards and the rare golden cat. Very rare forms of wildlife found in this area, has raised a lot of interest in the eco-tourists. This park is also known as prime birding site as tourists can spot various species of birds such as great and common hornbill, peacock, oriole, kingfisher, Indian roller etc., The Park also accounts for variety of reptiles like python, king cobra, viper, krait, monitor lizard, gekko etc.