Meghalaya has some of the thickest surviving forests in the country. Therefore constitutes one of the most important ecotourism circuits in the country today. The Meghalayan subtropical forests support a vast variety of flora and fauna. Meghalaya has 2 national parks and 3 wildlife sanctuaries.
Meghalaya, also offers many adventure tourism opportunities in the form of mountaineering, rock climbing, trekking and hiking, water sports etc. The state offers several trekking routes some of which also afford an opportunity to encounter some rare animals such as the slow loris, assorted deer and bear. The Umiam Lake has a water sports complex with facilities such as rowboats, paddleboats, sailing boats, cruise-boats, water-scooters and speedboats.
Cherrapunjee is one of the most popular tourist spots in North East of India. It lies to the south of the capital Shillong. The town is very well known and needs little publicity. A rather scenic, 50 kilometre long road, connects Cherrapunjee with Shillong.
The popular waterfalls in the state are the Elephant Falls, Shadthum Falls, Weinia falls, Bishop Falls, Nohkalikai Falls,Langshiang Falls and Sweet Falls. The hot springs at Jakrem near Mawsynram are believed to have curative and medicinal properties. It is a very good place to visit.
2.Living Root Bridges- Cherrapunji
Deep in the dense tropical forest of Meghalaya, and shrouded in cloud and rain for much of the year, are some astonishing man-made natural wonders. Known as living root bridges, inventive members of the Khasi tribe have trained them to grow from the roots of ancient rubber trees, native to the northeast region. The root bridges provide a stable alternative to wooden bridges, which decay and get destroyed during the lengthy monsoon seasons.
It takes around 15 years for a new root bridge to become strong enough to bear the weight of people crossing it. However, it will continue to grow and strengthen even more over time. Some of the bridges are believed to be hundreds of years old, although no one knows their exact age. Their tangled webs of roots are almost eerie in nature and wouldn’t look out of place in a fantasy world.
Meghalaya’s most famous root bridge, the “double decker” root bridge, can be found in the vicinity of the wettest place on earth — Cherrapunji (also known as Sohra). There are 11 functional root bridges in this area, situated around two and a half hours drive from Shillong.
The bridges have been documented as far back as 1844, in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. However, it’s the owner of the Cherrapunjee Holiday Resort (a retired Tamil banker who’s married to a local Khasi woman) in Laitkynsew village who put them on the tourist map. He spent a lot of time exploring the surrounds and detailing interesting treks when setting up the Resort. (The Cherrapunjee Holiday Resort is a delightful, homely place to spend time in nature and guides are provided for trekking. However, don’t expect resort-style facilities).
3 . Umiam Lake
Umiam Lake is a reservoir located in the hills 15 km to the North of Shillong in the state of Meghalaya, India. It was created by damming the Umiam river in the early 1960s. The principal catchment area of the lake and dam is spread over 220 square km.
The lake was formed as part of building a Dam. The dam started construction in 1965. The dam has the distinction of being the first Hydel power project in the North-east region of India.
The lake serves as a major tourist attraction for the state of Meghalaya. It is also a popular destination for water sport and adventure facilities. Tourists visit this spot for kayaking, water cycling, scooting and boating.
Mawsynram is a village in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya state in north-eastern India, 65 kilometres from Shillong. It is reportedly the wettest place on Earth, with an annual rainfall of 11,872 millimetres (467.4 in), but that claim is disputed by Lloró, Colombia, which had an average yearly rainfall of 12,717 millimetres (500.7 in) between 1952 and 1989 and Lopez del Micay, also in Colombia, with 12892 mm between 1960 and 2012. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Mawsynram received 26,000 millimetres (1,000 in) of rainfall in 1985.
Mawsynram is located at 25° 18′ N, 91° 35′ E, at an altitude of about 1,400 metres (4,600 ft), 16 km west of Cherrapunji, in theKhasi Hills in the state of Meghalaya (India) . The name of the village contains Maw, a Khasi word meaning stone, and thus might refer to certain megaliths in the surrounding area. Khasi Hills are rich with such megaliths.