Best of Shillong-Cherrapunji
7 Days / 6 Nights
Day 01: Guwahati- Shillong
Received at Guwahati airport and drive to Shillong (110kms /03 hrs). On arrival check in hotel. Evening option to visit Police Bazar
Meghalaya, swaddled amidst wraith-like mists is aptly called “the abode of clouds”. It is one of India’s prettiest states inhabited by the Khasis, Jaintias and Garos. It is known for its matrilineal society, which governs lineage and ancestral inheritance through the female line. It stands out for its traditional and natural beauty among the other states. Its historical strengths have been irreversibly linked with its superlative natural setting.
Best Hotels in Shillong
Ri Kynjai , Royal Heritage-Tripura Castle , Hotel Centre Point , Blueberry Inn , Polo Towers .
Best Restaurants in Shillong
Cafe Shillong , City Hut Family Dhaba , Cafe Shillong Heritage , Dejavu , Royal Heritage Tripura Castle Restaurant. Lamee.
Day 02: Shillong – Cherrapunjee
Today post breakfast drive to Cherrapunjee (55 kms/01 ½ hrs), 1300mt – once the heaviest rainfall area in the world. The drive will give us a spectacular view of deep gorges and the rolling hills luxurious with tropical vegetation that boast an innumerable variety of ferns, moss and orchids. Enroute visit Mawphlang Sacred Forest . At Cherrapunjee, we explore the Arwah Lumshynna cave, Nohkalikai Falls, Nohsngithiang Falls etc. Overnight at Cherrapunjee
Sohra is 56 kms from Shillong and is literally the high point of any visit to Meghalaya. One of those ultimate eco-friendly destinations, a place renowned all over the world for having the privilege of receiving the highest rainfall in the world. Set against the backdrop of breath-taking landscape, it is a place to discover the Indian summer monsoons. An unique annual meteorological phenomena directly influenced by the south west monsoon and the north east winds. The heavy monsoon rains over these mountains undoubtedly creates in Sohra one of the rarest bio-diverse vegetations in the world. Truly a beautiful corner in north-east India, waiting to be discovered and explored.
The old Cherra or Sohrarim was the original Cherra village but with the coming of the British who set up their headquarters further south, the village came to be known as ‘Sohra’ or present day Cherrapunjee. It was here that the British realised the enormity and intensity of the rainfall and set up a meterological office for measuring the rain.
Sohra was declared by the British to be the capital of Assam in 1832, which was later shifted to Shillong in 1866 due to the inclement weather.
Nohkalikai falls : A hauntingly beautiful waterfall, cascading down from the top of the gorge to the mystic deep green pool below, reminding one of the tragic legend associated with it, of a grief stricken mother who plunged to her death, unable to overcome her sorrow over the murder of her daughter by her husband.
Nohsngithiang Falls: It also known as Mawsmai falls, is 1 km south of Mawsmai village and derives its name due to the fact that the waterfalls are situated in a south westerly position and get illuminated by the sun from dawn to sunset. The vibrant colours of the setting sun on the waterfalls make it beautiful to behold.
Mawphlang Sacred Forest – Just 28 kms away from Shillong is Mawphlang Sacred Forest, one of Meghalaya’s most celebrated sacred forests, as the world over, are steeped in spiritual belief and held in great veneration. They also represent some of the earliest representations of preserving the ancient ecosystems. This is a dense forest where the Lyngdoh (chief) used to offer sacrifices and prayers. Not a branch should be broken or else a curse may befall on that person. This grove is surrounded by a lush green valley and a great variety of plants like orchids, include the carnivorous varieties and ferns grow here.
Best Hotels in Cherrapunji
Cherrapunjee Holiday Resort , Serene Homestay . Kutmadan Resort , Polo Orchid , Coniferous Resort .
Day 03: Cherrapunjee ( Living Roots Bridge Trek)
Duration: Total distance of approximately 10 + 10 km of which 5 + 5 km is by a beautiful mountain skirting road commanding a beautiful view of the valley and through three interesting Khasi villages and can be done by vehicle if anyone wants to save time and energy.
This is one of the most beautiful and very popular treks. The high points of this trek are the Double Decker Root Bridge and the natural swimming pools in the river bed. The people of the gorge village Nongriat where the Double Decker Root Bridge is located are very friendly and very special. The trek down stone steps is steep for almost half of the trek down. This trek is open through-out the year and are being used by the villagers of Nongriat, Nongthymmai and Mynteng daily, when it rains and when the sun shines. The steps become slippery during the monsoon months and have to be negotiated with little care to avoid slipping. The rivers in spate and streams and waterfalls in full flow during the monsoon months add magnificence to the root bridges spanning these rivers and streams. Contemplate the raw force of nature, when the river is in spate after very heavy rainfall, standing on the Steel Rope bridges strung taut across the river 45 feet above normal water level, . You need to be strong willed and brave.
Before reaching the Double Decker Root Bridge you come across more Living Root Bridges and Steel Rope bridges. The valley scenery is very impressive. Beyond the Double Decker Root Bridge you walk on level ground another 2 km (say 20 minutes) to reach Mawsaw Steel Rope Bridge. From here you access our famous natural swimming pools. The larger pool is deep and we recommend only good swimmers to attempt it. The smaller pool can be used by others. However, when the river is in spate please don’t attempt swimming. When the flow is normal, you see the bottom of the pools very clearly, so clear is the water. The colour of the water is so inviting for a swim.
Best Restaurants in Cherrapunji
Orange roots , Cafe Cherrapunji , Avron restaurant , 7 Trep Food Stop .
Day 04: Cherrapunjee – Dawkki- Mawlynnong – Shillong
Post breakfast we drive to Dawki border (03 hrs) close to Bangladesh Border and later go for boat ride in Dawki river.
Just across the border of Bangladesh near the Tamabil-Dawki checkpost flows the beautiful Dawki river with greenish-blueish water so clear that one can see the bottom of the river even from as high as the bridge over the river. It flows very close to the customs checkpost at Dawki with Jaintia Hills District on one side and East Khasi Hills District on the other. As it enters the plains of Bangladesh it loses its beautiful color and becomes heavily strewn with rocks and small boulders
Later we visit Mawlynnong village. Place of interest to be found here includes natural beauty, excellent day walks for birding, a haven for botany, living root bridge crossing numerous streams, rivers and cascading waterfalls. Later drive back to Shillong and overnight .
Mawlynnong has been voted the cleanest village in India by noted magazine Discover India’s travel writer and photographer Anshuman Sen. Situated on the Southern ridges overlooking the plains of Bangladesh, this little hamlet has around seventy houses. The inhabitants belong to the War group, i.e. a sub-tribe of the Khasi people. They have their own dialect.
Day 05-: Shillong-Jowai-Shillong
Morning drive to Nartiang (02 hrs). The Nartiang village is famed for its monoliths and remnants of the Jaintia kingdom. Visit the erstwhile Summer Palace of the Jaintia Kings. The remnants of the summer Palace is located on a hillock with an arched gateway. Adjacent to the ruins of the Summer Palace stands the Durga Temple. Nartiang monoliths are the biggest collection of monoliths stones in one single area. These consists of Menhirs (Upright stones) Moo Shynrang and Dolmens (flat stones in the horizontal position) locally known as Moo Kynthai. Within the perimetre of these Megalithic collection stands the tallest Menhir erected by U Mar Phalyngki a trusted lieutenant of the Jaintia King to commemorate his victory in battle. Other monoliths were erected by U Mar Phalyngki, U Luh Lyngskor Lamare and various clans of Nartiang village between 1500A.D.and l835A.D. Return to Shillong. Overnight to Shillong.
Day 06: At Shillong
Today we visit Elephant falls, Shillong Peak, DBCIC Museum, Ward’s Lake, local market and archery competition. Overnight at the hotel.
Elephant Falls: 12 km away on the Shillong – Cherrapunjee road lie the Elephant Falls. A mountain stream descends through successive falls set in dells of fern-covered surroundings.
Shillong Peak: The 1960 metres high, Shillong Peak, 10 Km from the city is another fantastic tourist spot. The peak has a very important legend as it is generally believed to be the abode of a powerful deity known as ‘U LEI SHYLLONG’ meaning Shyllong God. It is said that ‘U LEI SHYLLONG’ was responsible for the creation and the origin of the Khyrim and Mylliem Syiemship. The Peak gives a magnificent view of the spreading township below.
The Ward Lake is an important tourist site of Shillong. It is a horseshoe-shaped artificial lake lying beneath the Raj Bhavan (Governor’s Residence) and the Accountant General’s (AG) Office, with little isles and a bridge over it. The lake abounds in fish (grass carps) and feeding the fish from the bridge is a favorite pastime of the tourists. It is said that a Khasi prisoner, who requested for any kind of work to get him out of his cell, initiated its construction. The lake has a charming winding walk-a-way in the midst of rolling flowerbeds and fairyland lighting with gradually undulating grounds, hemmed in by lush greens. Boats are also available, while the cafeteria provides refreshments.
Iew Duh (Bara Bazar) is situated in the heart of Shillong town,’ Iew Duh’ is a wonderful bazar for tourists in search of local colour. Pure honey, bows and arrows, handicrafts, handwoven shawls and a variety of local artifacts are sold in this market. Iew Duh is one of the few places where one can taste a variety of Khasi and Jaintia delicacies.
Archery Competitions: Archery in Shillong is an age-old tribal skill in a new guise – the archery contest takes place every day (except Sunday) in Polo Grounds, about 3 km from the city center. It is quite a commercialized activity, with betting booths lining one side of the field. The atmosphere at the contest is very charged, much like a horseracing meet, with bookies and gamblers exchanging money, groups discussing the odds, and contestants gingerly fingering the tips of their arrows. The bows (straight not cross) and arrows are all handmade and local.
DBCIC (Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Culture) is the largest of its kind in Asia. It is a centre where you can see, learn and experience the diverse culture of all the states of North East India under one roof.
DBCIC Museum : The Museum has the following holidays – All Sundays, January 1, January 26, January 31, August 15, November 2, Second last Monday in November, December 22-25 (both days inclusive), December 31, Thursday before Easter to Easter Monday (both days inclusive).
Day 07: Shillong – Guwahati Fly out
In time transfer to Guwahati airport to board flight for onward destination.
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