Carved from the erstwhile State of Assam, Meghalaya became a full fledged State on January 21,1972. Bounded on the North and East by Assam and on the South and West by Bangladesh, Meghalaya is spread over an area of 22, 429 square kilometres, and lies between 20.1° N and 26.5° N latitude and 85.49 °E and 92.52 °E longitude.
Meghalaya at a glance
Area: 22,429 Sq.Kms.
Districts: East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills, Ri Bhoi District, East Garo Hills, West Garo Hills and South Garo Hills.
Civil Sub- Divisions: Sohra, Mairang, Mawkyrwat, Amlarem, Khliehriat, Ampati, Resubelpara and Dadenggiri
Number of Villages : 5629
Forest Area : 8510 Sq, Km.
Population : 23,18,822
Density : 103 Per Sq. Km.
Literacy : 62.6%
Racial Origin of the People: Austric, Tibeto-Burman
The nearest International Airport to Meghalaya is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati, roughly 128km away from Shillong. It is connected with the major cities like Delhi, Imphal, Kolkata, Agartala, Aizawl, Dibrugarh, Lilabari, Silchar, Dimapur, Jorhat and Mumbai.
There are no rail lines in Meghalaya. The nearest railway station is Guwahati. It is 104 km from Shillong and very well connected with all major cities of India.
Meghalaya Transport Corporation (MTC) has bus services coordinated with train arrivals at Guwahati. The buses leave Guwahati beginning 6 am till 5 pm (three and a half hrs). Reciprocal services from Shillong also leave at the same time. Taxis are available at Guwahati Railway Station.
National Highway 40, an all-weather road, connects Shillong with Guwahati. State’s Transport Corporation and private transport operators have services to various places in Meghalaya and to neighbouring states. Meghalaya Transport Corporation (MTC) and Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) operates bus services from Shillong to Guwahati and Guwahati to Shillong from 0600 hours to 1700 hours daily. Tourist Taxis, Tata Sumo Taxis, Tourist coaches are also available for travel between Shillong to Guwahati and vice-versa. Shillong is well connected by a net work of roads with all important cities in the neighbouring states and major cities in the country.
In Guwahati, the State’s Transport Corporation buses leave from the Inter State Bus Terminus, Beltola, while the Private run buses, Sumos and Taxis leave from Paltan Bazar. In Shillong, the bus stand is located in Police Bazar for Government buses and for private buses it is located in Polo Grounds. The Sumos and Taxis leave from Police Bazar in Shillong. Buses usually take around 4 hours with a mid-way stop at Nongpoh. Sumos and Taxis take around 3 hours to reach Shillong from Guwahati.
The best time to travel is between June to August
Things to keep in mind before traveling
- Tourist visiting Meghalaya dont need a Permit but if you plan on visiting other states then you need to obtain an Inner Line Permit and a Protected Area Permit which can be collected from Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati or Tezpur airports.
- The weather in the north-east is pretty unpredictable, so be prepared to have delays due to the bad weather.
- Most roads in the northeast are being converted into double lane, so right now they aren’t in the best shape.
- Locals are friendly and helpful. Be patient as not everyone will know fluent Hindi or English.
- Most cell phone networks don’t work well, so inform your family or friends about your whereabouts whenever possible.
- Don’t forget to carry some ready to cook food packets or instant noodles if you’re strictly a vegetarian.
- Carry extra batteries, power banks and most importantly warm clothing.
- Keep at least a couple of extra days in hand in case of any problems like landslides and bad weather on your way.
Day 1: Arrive at Guwahati airport then drive to Shillong. Check in Hotel
Day 2: Explore around Shillong. Meet with Dr. Mao Senior scientist with Botanical Survey of India.
Rhododendron arboreum, R. formosum, R. inaequale and R. iteophyllum.
Day 3: Drive to Cherranpunjee. On way visit the elephant falls, Nokalikai falls etc.
Day 4: Trek to the living room bridges including the double-decker.
Day 5: To Jaintia hills.
Day 6: Around Jowai R. iteophyllum.
Day 7: Jowai to Kaziranga National park.
Day 8: Early morning elephant safari in the park. After breakfast proceed to Kohima, the capital city of Nagaland.
Day 9: Warm up hike to Pulibadze peak then visit to the heritage village of Khonoma.
Day 10: Hike to Japfu peak at 3826 mtrs where you will see the world’s tallest Rhododendron tree.
Day 11: Hike back and rest at Nino’s Grennwood Villa.
Day 12: Hike to Dzukou valley. Overnight camping.
Day 13: Dzukou valley R. lepidotum