Meghalaya – a place with so much beauty and so many hidden gems that for me even 21 days were not enough.
Yes! I traveled here for 3 weeks with the company – Our Guest and discovered few of the unknown gems.
These hidden treasures left me in awe and the best thing is that tourism in Meghalaya isn’t so big yet so you don’t have to share these beautiful places with many other travellers!
So what are these places in Meghalaya? Where should you go and who will help you to visit such hidden treasures that are hard to reach? Read on and you shall know what all unexplored places Meghalaya has 🙂
To know more about Cherrapunjee, accommodation, how to travel around and how to reach Meghalaya – read our Meghalaya Solo Backpacking Guide
Ten Hidden Gems of Meghalaya That No One Talks About
For me, this place will be rated as the top most offbeat destinations of Meghalaya. Considered as one of the scariest trek, U Mawryngkhang won’t only give you a unique experience, but it also offers breathtaking views. You need to reach Wahkhen first to start the trek to Mawryngkhang.
So what exactly is special about this place? Mawryngkhang is a bamboo trail built by the locals on the Umrew river. You will be walking on the bamboo trail mostly while reaching the end of the trek and there is this one particular point on the trek that where you reach the ridge of the mountain rock. It feels like you are walking mid air as you look down.
People who are cremnophobic won’t even think of attempting this. But the trek is not only thrilling but worth it since the trail will lead you to one of the most breathtaking views of Meghalaya. The view of the river gorge from Mawryngkhang is really captivating.
The place is famous for its tale – the tale of two stones that fell in love with a girl from another kingdom. Due to this a battle emerged between the two stones where Mawryngkhang succeeded in beheading Mawpator. His head fell down in the river gorge, which can be seen from the view point.
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Too happy walking at the edge with @OurGuestDiary, on these bamboo sticks that run along the mountain cliff. Due to rains and peak monsoon season the entire pathway was extremely slippery. The people here sustain their livelihood by cultivating broomsticks and are hopeful that with the visit of tourists it will establish their area. Legend – The King of Stones – Mawryngkhang and Mawpator, fell in love with a girl from another kingdom. A battle ensued between the two where Mawryngkhang beheaded Mawpator. His head fell down in the river gorge, that can still be seen from the view point. And Mawryngkhang, today stands as the famous rock with her maiden standing right behind him. ☺️ . Can't wait to show you this place on YouTube, visually! . 📸 @SayujSuresh clicking like a boss at the edge.
Kongthong Village is about 56 km from Shillong. It is also known as the whistling or singing village. But why exactly is it called a Whistling village? In this village a tradition is followed where the mother compose a music or a tune for their children known as jingrwai ïawbei in the local language.
The village has around 650 people which means there are 650 unique jingrwai ïawbei or tunes. The place is so unique and every individual tries to safeguard this Intangible Cultural Heritage. This practice is also one of the reasons that attracts so many tourists. After all not everywhere you will see people singing to each other for calling.
Mawlyngbna and Mawsynram
If you are looking for a few fun activites and adventures you have to visit Mawlyngbna. The Mawlyngbna Traveller’s Nest is a perfect place to enjoy offbeat travel. Over here you can do kayaking, visit the hidden holes of Meghalaya, enjoy Kshaid Umdingkain Falls and walk amidst a giant split rock in Earth. The village is located on a hilltop. From atop the hill, one witnesses the dramatic sequence of the rolling Khasi hills merging into the Bangladeshi plains.
You can also find a land where an animal folklore is still alive – Ka Iew Luri-Lura. You will find impressions of animal footprints on the rocks.
Ialong Park, Jowai
You will find many people visiting Jowai. Mostly they come to witness the scenic Krang Suri Falls. However, there is a particular region in Jowai which is still untouched – Ialong Park. From the park you can see the entire valley of Pynthorwah. A river cuts through the valley which makes the sight even more scenic.
The government currently is trying to make Ialong Park a major tourism hub and building infrastructure in the district.
Tyrshi Falls, Jowai
Another region to explore in Jowai is the Tyrshi falls. You have to first cross an expanse of green paddy fields, followed by a very pretty arch bridge. You will see the mouth of Tyrshi falls from up here, however, if you want to get the entire view of the falls god down the spiral stairs to see the length and wild flow of this massive vertical drop.
Also, on the bridge the view that you will be facing is of Pynthor Nein. This lace is truly breathtaking and when I visited this place there was not even a single tourist present.
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Funny, how when @RadioKaRohan used to call to ask about my whereabouts his replies were always like "kitne waterfall dekhegi" and later after seeing the pictures from that place he used to squall about missing out on so much. Haha, these are Tyrshi falls right here. Travel Partner – @OurGuestDiary 📸 @SayujSuresh
The most breathtaking falls I have ever seen in my life yet. There is no comparison whatsoever! The flow during the monsoon season was massive and because of the flow the vapour that rises from the bottom of the falls make the entire scene worth it.
Weinia Falls lies on the river Kynshi. During the monsoon season the drop is intense, however, if you are visiting the place during the summertime then the sunlight form the colours of the rainbow.
Nongkhnum is the largest river island in Meghalaya and the second largest river island in continent Asia. The place is so offbeat and unconventional that as soon as I entered here I was in complete awe. Nongkhnum Island is located around 15 km from Nongstoin. The island has nothing but masses of green all around. There are no inhabitants here. Just a few shepherd working and cows grazing the land.
The entire area is very peaceful and quiet. The island is spread about 20-25 square km with only trees all around. You can also go for a waterfall hunt here and sit on the beach and admire the blue waters that is right in front of you.
If you want to relax and lay around while watching the beauty all around you – Mawphanlur Village is for you. The place is surrounded with many ponds and lush green hillock. We chose this place as a relaxation point after a week of adventure.
The place is so peaceful and quiet with cows grazing, dogs running and people chilling! Spend your evening by watching children playing football and during the night gaze at the twinkling stars.
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Offbeat #Meghalaya – . When Richard @Richie_Dmary from @OurGuestDiary laid out the itinerary he ensured that we do not see only the places that are limited to Cherrapunji area. He did his research; asked several travel agents and here we are as a team exploring and laying out a trail for the "explorers". We plan to make 8 episodes' series on YouTube of all these places that will include stories of the locals, waterfalls/lakes hardly visited by the tourists and the rugged path and difficulty to reach here. @SayujSuresh is helping us to capture the best of all these places with the help of his drone and Sony A7 lll. While Richard is guiding us around on his gypsy on the unbeaten path. We as a team brainstorm daily on how to capture the places in the best possible way. Can't wait for you guys to see it when the final cuts shall be released 🙂
David Scott Trek
David Scott was a British administrator who built this 16 km horse-cart track that connected Cherrapunjee to Bangladesh. The trail is named after him. Later on, a war emerged between U Tirot Singh, king of the Khadsawphra Syiemship and the British. Thus the trail is visited by tourists not only to experience the lush meadows but also to understand the history of Meghalaya.
David Scott Trek is gaining popularity lately, however, it is still not as crowded or famous as the Cherrapunjee area. The trek stretches from Mawphlang to Ladmawphlang, both os which should also be visited to understand Meghalaya a little better.
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David Scott was a British administrator who operated in and around the Khasi hills. And this 16-km trek is a part of the famous horse-cart track that he built, which stretches from Cherrapunjee to Bangladesh. Also there is a history of how the Queen helped him escape the exile. The locals will tell the tale in the YouTube video that shall be released soon. 🙂 . 📸 @SayujSuresh Travel Partner – @OurGuestDiary
Mawphlang Sacred Forest
If you want to understand the indigenous cultures and religious beliefs of Meghalaya, visit the Mawphlang Sacred Forest. ‘Nothing is allowed to be taken out of this Mawphlang Sacred Grove. Not even a leaf, stone or a dead log’. It is said if you take anything out of this forest, bad luck will follow you. It is said that whoever attempts it is punished with illness.
Mawphlang Sacred Forest covers some 192 acres. The locals preserve this forest and has been protecting it for 1000 years now. The entry to the forest is marked with lush green branches and as soon as you enter the forest you can feel the difference in the air. The environment is more cooler and the air feels purer. You will also come across several plats that are believed to to cure tuberculosis and cancer. The locals also sacrifice bulls here to make the deity happy.
The Map I Followed With Our Guest
Below is a route map of all the ten places. Most of them are very close to each other. You can plan your itinerary on the basis of this.
How to Plan and With Whom to Go
Most of the places mentioned above are not easy to reach. There are no public transport available and some of them are so remote that at times you will reach a no network zone. It is better to plan ahead. Although, if you want a worry free travel then there is a company operating in Meghalaya that can sort arrange everything for you – Our Guest.
They also specialise in offbeat travels and I have personally travelled with them and highly recommend their tours. You can check out their tours here – Our Guest Meghalaya Tours.
So, any other place you recommend exploring? Which is the best one you found out of all these. Let me know below 🙂