Meghalaya – The Fabled land of Khasis
CHERRAPUNJI – MAWLYNNONG – SHILLONG
Meghalaya, one of the most beautiful one of the Seven Sisters of the northeastern states of India is the home to a number of ethnic tribes. The Khasi people reside in the middle hills and plateaus of Meghalaya. Khasis are one of the earliest immigrants from Myanmar to settle down in the Indian subcontinent.
The Khasis call themselves the Ki Khun U Hynñiewtrep or “the children of the seven huts” and believe in one supreme creator, the U Blei Nongthaw. No wonder a long history connects them to the land and their religion and culture are deeply rooted in nature. Fables, folklore and mysterious tales dominate their religion and traditions. And in the land of clouds among the clear rivers, rolling green valleys and dense pristine forests, the Khasis live in perfect harmony. Though most of the Khasis have converted to Christians, they have not forgotten their ancient ways of living, their beliefs and customs. And this can be seen in their connection with nature, their sustainable lifestyle, folks and fables and traditional customs.
In this amazing journey through the Khasi lands, you will travel through the scenic landscapes of Meghalaya and encounter with the abundant greenery, numerous waterfalls, caves and rivers. You will come across how nature and human beings can live in perfect communion. The age-old living root bridges will be one of the highlights of this tour. And with that, you will meet some wonderful and knowledgeable people who can tell you wonderful tales of their life and journey.
Day 1 | Arrive at Cherrapunji (Guwahati – Cherrapunji)
After arriving at Guwahati, drive to Cherrapunji. Cherrapunji is said to be one of the wettest places on the earth. Enjoy the nature and landscape of the place.
Day 2 | Exploring the abode of clouds (Cherrapunji)
After breakfast, spend the day in and around Cherrapunji. Visit the grand waterfalls like the Seven Sister waterfalls, Dainthlen, Khynrem and Nokhalikai Falls along with the Mawsmai cave, Arwah Cave and the eco-park. At night, enjoy stargazing in the clear skies of Cherrapunji.
Day 3 | A trek to the Living Root Bridge (Cherrapunji – Nongriat )
After breakfast, start towards Nongriat, a beautiful Khasi village. You have to trek downhill through a very scenic route to Nongriat village. The trek is no ordinary trek. You have to climb down nearly 3500 stairs and it is going to take a toll on your knees. But the rewards are fascinating. At Nongriat, you will see the famous Double Decker Root Bridge. If you want and if weather permits, you can further trek down to the Rainbow Falls. Today you will stay at Nongriat among the Khasi community and you will get a glimpse of the lifestyle of the people.
Day 4 | Visit the Cleanest Village in Asia (Nongriat – Mawlynnong)
After breakfast, trek up towards Cherrapunji and then drive towards Mawlynnong. Mawlynnong is considered to be Asia’s cleanest village. Mawlynnong is known for its prettiness where the educated Khasi community come together to keep their village exceptionally clean – neat small lanes connect cozy houses with front yards filled with flowers and kitchen plants. A community-based tourism ensures that tourism in the village is low-scale, inspirational and reaches directly to the local residents.
Day 5 | Taking a Country boat ride along the Bangladesh border (Mawlynnong – Dawki – Mawlynnong)
At Mawlynnong, take a visit to another living root bridge at Riwai. From Mawlynnong, visit the Dawki border. Enjoy a boat ride in the clear waters of the Umngot River. Also, visit the beautiful village of Shnongpdeng. After that, drive back to Mawlynnong. Spend a relaxed evening at the cleanest village of Asia.
Day 6 | The breathtaking canyons (Mawlynnong – Laitlum Canyons – Shillong)
After breakfast, you will visit the magnificent Laitlum canyons. The sublime beautiful hilltop offers a breathtaking view of the gorges and steep winding stairways that snake their way down to the lush valley. You can get a bird’s eye view of entire Shillong from here. Also, visit the Smit village. Smit is the traditional seat of power of the Hima Khyrim, a sub-tribe of the Khasis. The village also has a traditional house, the Ling Shad that belongs to the King of the Khyrim and is believed to be more than 100 years old.
After that drive to Shillong for an overnight stay.
Day 7 | Enjoying Shillong
After an early breakfast, you will go for Shillong Sightseeing. Shillong is a beautiful town and you will visit the famed Barapani or Umiam Lake, the Elephant Falls, the Shillong Peak, Lady Hydari Park, Wards Lake, Cathedral Catholic Church and the Golf course among others.
Day 8 | Bid Goodbye to the abode of clouds (Shillong – Guwahati)
After breakfast, leave for Guwahati with beautiful memories.