How many of you knew that Meghalaya was part of Assam before becoming an independent state? Meghalaya in translation means the abode of clouds; the place is also considered as the wettest place on earth which makes it a very popular monsoon destination to those who love the rain.
Leaving aside the rain factor, the state is filled with other attractions which make it a must-see place. Majority of the population here comprises of tribal people, of which the Khasis are the largest; the other tribes who have made this place their home are Garos and Pnars, who earn their living from agriculture.
All said and done, let's have a look at some of the must-see places in the abode of clouds.
1. Shillong Iewduh Bara Bazar
Considered as one of the largest traditional marketplaces in the Northeast, this busy and congested market finds its place right at the heart of Shillong. The market is the place where local Khasi women come to sell their fresh produce and livestock.
One also comes across local delicacies, which make it an interesting place for one to walk through, especially if you love street photography.
2. Garo Hills
PC: Sai Avinash
If you are someone who loves nature and are really looking forward to getting into a lesser-taken track, well then, without second thoughts head straight to the densely forested Garo Hills.
The vast area is home to Nokrek Biosphere Reserve, Siju Wildlife Sanctuary and Balphakram National Park and exhibits rich biodiversity.
3. Mawphlang Sacred Forest
Approximately 45 minutes away from Shillong is the East Khasi Hills of Mawphlang where one would come across a sacred grove of the Khasi tribe. The sacred grove is the abode of several medicinal plants. The tribe burns the bodies of their dead inside it apart from performing animal sacrifices. Close to the sacred forest is a Khasi Heritage Village, which showcases various tribal huts.
4. Living Root Bridges
One of famous attractions in the state of Meghalaya, located deep inside the dense tropical forest, which is blessed with ample rains throughout the year, is the breathtaking man-made natural wonder of living root bridges.
Members of the Khasi tribe have trained the roots of rubber trees, which is indigenous to the north-east region. There are two places in the state where one can see and climb these bridges; one is near Cherrapunji and the other at Mawlynnong.
5. The Caves
PC: Sujan Bandyopadhyay
The state is also home to numerous caves, to be precise more than 1,000 of them. The most visited cave in the state is Mawsmai. Situated close to Cherrapunji, the cave is well lit and maintained well as a show cave. The other caves are more challenging to visit and are best for an expedition with the appropriate caving equipments.