Hello friends! Welcome to Visa2explore! This is your host, Harish Bali! Usually, maximum travellers plan a 4-5 days’ Meghalaya tour. Our Meghalaya tour lasted for 15 days. This state has 3 main regions. Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills! We visited all three regions. Each tribe area has its own charm and uniqueness. In this video, I will tell you which tourist spots you must not miss at all. And how you can plan a 4-5 days of Meghalaya tour for yourself. I’ve divided this video into five parts. How to reach Meghalaya? From Shillong, Garo Hills is situated at a distance of 300kms. You will have to decide which regions you want to visit. Must-visit tourist destinations! I mean itinerary! Best time to travel. And we will also talk about the cost of travel. To travel into Meghalaya, you will need to start your journey from Guwahati. Guwahati is the Gateway to North-east India! If you want to travel economical…. ….it would be better if you hire a shared taxi from Guwahati to Shillong at Rs. 400-500 per head basis. And if you would hire an exclusive taxi…. …a non-AC taxi will cost you Rs. 2000 approximately. And Rs. 2500 will be the charge of an AC taxi. Just 15kms before Shillong, on your right hand side, you will see the Umiam Lake. It is a really beautiful lake! A lot of travellers like to stay near the Umiam Lake. In my opinion, this is not a correct choice. It would be better if you stay in the Shillong town. On the Day 0 of your journey, on reaching Shillong, you can spend time visiting the Police Bazaar locality. There are a number of restaurants in the locality, where you can also have dinner. Really very tasty and delicious! On Day 1 of your journey, you can leave for Sohra in the morning. Sohra is also known as Cherrapunji! Right name is Sohra! If you drive non-stop, it will take you two hours to reach Sohra from Shillong. The sun rises and sets early here. If you leave for Sohra from Shillong at 5 or 6 am…. …you will get more time for sightseeing. The traffic starts building up in Shillong at around 7.30 am. Starting your day early would save you time for sightseeing and other things. On the outskirts of Sohra, you can visit Wah Kaba Waterfalls. Waterfalls are the main tourist attractions in Sohra. Now look at the waterfall right there. Speaking of the aerial distance, it is 300 meters away from us. I was thinking how to reach there so I figured out…. …that by road you can go upto that building, one you see there, from that building…. …you will have to walk down for about 20 minutes and… …you will reach that railing built there. So, that is one way you can reach closer to that waterfall. Dainthlen Falls! Usually, when we visit a waterfall, it is falling down from a height and we are standing below looking at it. But here, the experience is such that we are standing right from where the waterfall starts. We can watch closely how the water is flowing down from here. We missed the Wei Sawdong Waterfall, which is located close to Dainthlen Waterfall. Nokhalikai Falls! When you come to Sohra, you must visit this waterfall. And if you will bring a pair of binoculars with you, you will enjoy the view better. Look at the high pressure with which water is flowing. We visited the Seven Sisters Falls from a distance. Well, there is also an Eco Park right near the waterfalls, from where you will have a closer view of the Falls. I liked the Kynrem Falls very much. Look at the charm of this waterfall! Look at the height from which the water is flowing. From one hill down to another, this waterfall is falling in layers! Wow! In Sohra, you must not miss the cave visit at all. We visited Mawsmai Caves but had to miss Arwah Cave. Today’s cave visit, if you ask me frankly, has been an awesome experience! I am telling you seriously… …when you will come to Sohra…. …..don’t even think of missing a visit to these caves…. …and you must come here with enough time at hand. If you want to walk through the cave, you can enter and exit the cave within 7-8 minutes. One more main attraction of Sohra is the “Double Decker Root Bridge.” To reach this bridge, you will need to walk 3500 steps down this mountain. In a way, this is a full day affair! Now look at this amazing thing! Roots of many trees have come together to form this bridge! The roots, in fact, not one but multiple roots, have travelled from one end of the stream to another like this. And this bridge is called Double Decker because… ….these are two bridges one above another. So, I walk to that side from this bridge and come back from the one above it. See, I’ve climbed atop this root bridge! If you can trek, then the amount of joy you will get from visiting the Double Decker Root Bridge,… …will be equal to the amount of joy you will experience from taking a bath in the waterfall here. If you will take a dip under the waterfall here, you will have a great deal of fun! There is another waterfall beyond this place. Its name is Rainbow Waterfall. We could not go there because of paucity of time. To walk from Double Decker Root Bridge to Rainbow Waterfall will take you about 1 to 1.5 hours. You will have to walk all the way to the Double Decker Root Bridge and Rainbow Waterfall. There is no road that you can take there. You will need to spend at least 2 days in Sohra. Now let us talk about Day 3. From Sohra, you will travel for about 2.5 hours and reach Dawki. There, you will get to see crystal-clear river water. You can also enjoy boating there. Wow! Such a clear view of the river bed! So many stones on the river bed and clearly visible to the eye. Well, how deep would this be? 4 feet! Amazing! I have never seen such clear river water in my life. By the way, we undertook this journey in September. Some of the locals told us here that if we come here between December and February,…. …this river water, which is so clean already, will be even clearer at that time. If you have a day extra in your itinerary…. ….and you are interested in adventure activities,… …you can go from Dawki to Shnongpdeng…. ….and enjoy water sports there. After that, while enjoying waterfalls on your way back, you can go to Jowai in Jaintia Hills region. Spend the night there and next day, enjoy the local food. From there, you can return to Shillong. If you don’t have enough time, you can go from Dawki to Poslan…. …and then to Shillong. From Dawki to Shillong, it will take you about 3 hours’ travel. On day 4 of your journey, you can do local sightseeing in Shillong. Some spots, which you should not miss at all, are – Laitlum Grand Canyon! On reaching here, you will feel as if you are standing right in the middle of clouds! In my life, I have never visited such a place ever before. We are standing on top of a mountain right now! Going further can be risky! Canyon means cliff, cliff means deep valley down there! Now look there, and I will tell you why this view is so exclusive! At this moment, you and I can see the mountains quite clearly! The mountains are covered with clouds on all sides. And if you will look down from here, you will see clouds floating up towards you. And we are standing on top of the clouds, in a way! You can explore local food in Shillong. And spend the night of Day 4 of your journey in Shillong. On Day 5, if your return flight or train is booked from Guwahati in the evening…. …you can leave Shillong in the morning and reach Guwahati by 11 am. Visit Ma Kamakhya Temple! Explore local cuisine! If you want to find out more information regarding that, you can see our Assam series videos. That will give you an idea about what all you can do and explore in Guwahati. So, this was the 4 Nights and 5 days of Meghalaya itinerary! If you have visited Meghalaya earlier,… …then you must have already explored all these places. In that case, I would suggest that you must plan an itinerary for Garo Hills region for the same duration. From Guwahati, you can travel directly for 200kms and reach Tura. If you want to hire a shared taxi, then for Rs. 500 per head…. …..from Bharalumukh Gate No. 8, Guwahati,… …you can hire a shared taxi between 6.30 am and 1.30 pm. If you want to travel by bus, from ISBT, Guwahati, you can board a bus at 9 pm. Its cost is Rs. 350 per head. The bus will drop you in Tura between 3.30 and 4 am. Unlike Khasi Hills, tourism sector is under-developed in Garo Hills, as of now. But if you come here, you will get to witness an unexplored region of Meghalaya. It is the perfect destination for adventure seekers. In West Garo Hills, we saw Pelga Falls. To reach there, we had to walk over a cane & bamboo bridge. Oh Man! What an experience! In Meghalaya, river bridges are very charming! Right now, as I am walking over this cane and bamboo bridge…. ..holding on to the side rails carefully… …I can feel the bridge moving under my feet. But the bridge is sturdy and during the day, lots of people cross it from one side to another. We’ve reached the waterfall viewpoint. Look at the speed with which the water is flowing down. It feels good to watch the waterfall so closely. Hardly from a distance of 15-20 meters. If you are travelling with kids… …they would also enjoy the Rongmeram Falls. It is a small waterfall, so the water doesn’t fall with too much pressure. Between February and May months, you won’t get to experience waterfalls the way it is during monsoon. To enjoy waterfalls in their glory, you need to come here during rainy period, i.e., between June & September. You can meet Hoolock Gibbons at the Hoolock Gibbon Center. These gibbons are very special! They are like apes and they are also like humans! They are an endangered species so we need to protect them. That is why we are rescuing them from the people. Giving them good food! And also treating them so that they can gain weight, be healthy and they can be released back in the wild. You can come back to Tura after visiting Daribokgre. And you can spend the night there if you want. This place is really beautiful! Wow! Lovely place! All these are local houses. Are there any homestays in this area? Yes, there are home-stays, located down. This place is ultimate! Really ultimate! If I had been aware beforehand, maybe I would have planned a one-night stay here as well. While touring this region, we also spent a day with Songsarek Community. There lifestyle and cooking procedures are completely traditional. This kind of tribe, with a unique lifestyle, and as we noticed here, they don’t use clock…. ….in fact, they look up at the sky and judge the time…. …and leave for their fields at 4.30 am. And they go to sleep at 7 pm. So all these features differentiate this community from the rest of the world. Tura is a part of West Garo Hills region. After spending 2-3 days here, you can visit the Balpakram National Park in South Garo Hills. Balpakram National Park is about 170kms away from Tura. This trip will take two days, one day to go and visit and come back the next day. We could not visit the South Garo Hills. I will tell you about some more tourist destinations of South Garo Hills. Siju Caves! I’ve heard that for a real cave experience, Siju Caves are the ideal tourist spot. We missed it. Next time when I will come, I will ensure that we explore Siju Caves and South Garo Hills. Siju Caves are located about 150kms from Tura. There are two routes to go there. One is via Baghmara! And the second route is via Williamnagar. You can hire a shared jeep for Baghmara from Tura. But there is no fixed timetable for that. So, it would be better if you hire a private taxi to go there. You will get to see Pitcher Plant in Baghmara. For your knowledge, these plants eat insects. In South Garo Hills, you can also visit Jawa Wari and Aginma Wari. As I told you, I could not visit South Garo Hills. So the photographs that you see here have been provided by some locals. If you have 8-10 days of time, spend 4 days in Khasi hills. From Dawki, you can follow your itinerary via Nongstoin and reach Tura. You can visit Mawphanlur on your way. This is a really beautiful place! I cannot believe my eyes that I am watching such a gorgeous location! What a view! There is Mawphanlur! I don’t have words to describe this amazingly beautiful place! What a beautiful location! Apart from that other tourist group and us, there is nobody else here. This means, the travellers are not aware of this place yet. Completely unexplored location in West Khasi Hills area! We also missed Nongkhnum. You must go there. We’ve heard it is also a very lovely and beautiful place. From Dawki or Shillong, if you go via Nongstoin to Tura… …I must tell you, you will get such scenic views on the way…. ….that you will be left amazed. Just take care of one thing, leave early in the morning, at 5 or 6 am so that…. …you can reach Tura before it gets dark… ….and also get a chance to enjoy each and every scenic view on the way. Speaking of the best time to travel, if you love waterfalls, you must come here during the monsoon season. You will get to enjoy the rains here as well as the beautiful waterfalls in full flow. Meghalaya is also known as the “abode of clouds.” If you want to see the crystal clear river water in Dawki, you should come here between November and February. If you want to club your Meghalaya tour with a trip to Assam’s Kaziranga National Park,…. ….avoid the monsoon season because the Park remains closed at that time. Wow! What a moment! There are two elephants just 20 meters away from us. Right in the middle of this path! I am glad to see elephants at such a close distance. Finally, our Kaziranga trip was a success. Both winter & monsoon seasons are good times to travel, you can decide based on your personal preference. But speaking overall, any time is good time to travel to Meghalaya! Let us speak of cost of travel now! If your family has two adults and two kids…. …your daily cost of travel would be approximately Rs. 10,000. This will include your taxi cost, stay, food and sight-seeing. As per our experience, during this 15-days-long journey,…. ….we were able to find an average hotel, guest house or home-stay…. …at a tariff of Rs. 2500 on double occupancy basis. We went there in September but if we had gone during monsoon season, the tariff would’ve been Rs. 3000. During November and December, you will get the same type of accommodation for Rs. 2200-2300. If you travel to Meghalaya during the monsoon season, keep in mind that….. …that you have pre-booked a hotel for yourself because most of the travellers love to go there during monsoon. Second thing, if you are a solo traveller,…. …you will easily get accommodation within the range of Rs. 500 to Rs. 1000 but… …not in the main Shillong town. For that you will have to travel 2-3kms to the outskirts of the town. Now talking about travelling to Meghalaya in a group…. ….I mean in a shared taxi, in that case, your mobility will be restricted, you won’t be able to travel far. Talking of food, restaurant food is expensive here, just like it is in every hill station…. ….but if you go to a Jadoh shop to eat, you will get hygienic food. And you will find Jadoh stalls everywhere in Meghalaya. You must have heard in the news about the introduction of Meghalaya Residents Safety & Security Bill. Under this bill, tourists who are in Meghalaya for more than 24 hours, will have to obtain a permit. This permit can be obtained both offline and online. Till date, I mean, till the day this video is being shot…. …this Bill has not been executed. Whenever this bill is executed, I will mention its details, etc., in the description of this video. Nevertheless, if this Bill is implemented and executed, it will not change much because…. …the process to obtain this permit is going to be very easy. Just like you provide your personal information while checking-in at a hotel,…. …similarly, you can obtain this permit, either offline or online. There will be no need to stand in a queue for this. Although, I have provided a lot of information to you in this summary video…. …even then, if you have any query…. …do write in your comments. I will definitely try and reply to that. After Meghalaya, you will see videos from the Odisha series. I hope you enjoyed the Meghalaya series very much and… …you will definitely enjoy the Odisha series too. Tell me your views about this summary episode. We will meet soon! Till then, goodbye! Thanks for your time!