Carved out of Assam in 1972, Meghalaya means `Abode of the Clouds', and they rarely go away. It is a cool, pine-fresh contrast to the warm Assam plains. Meghalaya boasts the delightful hill station of Shillong, as well as one of the wettest places on earth, Cherrapunji. Most of this precipitation falls April to September, creating some very impressive waterfalls.
Day 1 - Shillong
Shillong is the capital city of Meghalaya, easily reached by a 3 hour drive from Guwahati. The best way to enjoy Shillong's sights is on foot. With no significant monuments, the attractions here lie in the scenic beauty, parks, waterfalls and panoramic views. Places worth visiting include the decorative Ward Lake in the heart of Shillong and the Bara Bazaar where you can see local and hill-people, mostly women, trading their wares including interesting jewellery and handicrafts. The Bara Bazaar market is dominated by Khasi women, who run most of the stalls. These cheerful matriarchs can drive a hard bargain. The best person to tell you about their culture is your guide, a Khasi lady herself! In the evening you may want to stroll around the Police Bazaar as this is the hip and happening area with fancy shops and eateries. The Police Bazaar comes alive at night when local bands offer the latest in rock and rap.
Day 2 - Shillong
The scenic drive from Shillong to Cherrapunji gives a spectacular view of deep gorges and the rolling hills luxurious with tropical vegetation that boast an innumerable variety of ferns, moss and orchids. Cherrapunji is the place which once received the heaviest rainfall in the world. The numerous falls are most impressive during the steamy monsoon season when awesome torrents of water plunge down to the Bangladeshi plains. Cherrapunji and its surroundings have curious `living bridges'. A growing tree is bent across a narrow stream as a bridge to cross it. A species of ficus, a rubber tree with its strong aerial roots are used. The aerial branches are bent and guided over the stream/river and in a span of ten to fifteen years the bridge is ready. These bridges can last a long time and are incredibly sturdy.
Day 3 - Shillong
Half an hour's drive away from the city of Shillong, is a large lake called Burra Pani (Big Water). Here at a grassy promontory is the magical resort, Ri Kynjai. The architecture is inspired and derived from the original Khasi thatch huts, which make a symbolic presence as a cap on the roof of the cottages. Each cottage and room is designed with its orientation to the east, capturing the view of the lake and the rising sun. Ri Kynjai offers traditional Khasi massages and herbal treatment. The unique feature of the spa is its "Khasi bath". The Khasi bath is a water massage which leaves you feeling rejuvenated and recharged.
Day 4 - Guwahati
Drive from Shillong to Guwahati where your tour ends. You can continue your journey by exploring Guwahati & Kaziranga. Alternatively, it is just a just an overnight train or a short flight to Kurseong & Darjeeling.