Meghalaya, one of seven-sister states of India, is a paradise for nature lovers. Literally meaning the 'The Abode of Clouds', Meghalaya is a hill station, which is home to a celestial sky with wandering clouds, fascinating the minds of tourists from all around the world. Nestled in the north-east of India wherein the mighty Himalayan ranges gleam, Meghalaya is bordered with Assam to the north and east and meets Bangladesh to its south and east side.
Bangladeshi people can visit the state easily through Tamabil-Dawki immigration point, which is located in Sylhet. Local bus services from Sylhet city to Tamabil border are available. There are bus services that directly head to Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya, from Dhaka. Following the immigration procedures at the border, visitors can affordably hire cars and jeeps available to visit places in the beautiful state. Night stay in Meghalaya is quite affordable. People of the state know English very well, while some of them understand Bangla as well as Hindi. Though Indian cuisines are available there, at the same time, Bangladeshi delicacies will fulfill a tourist's appetite.
Meghalaya is covered with high hills and pristine valleys. Apart from these, several lakes together with eye-soothing waterfalls, pitch-dark caves and reserve forests easily attract tourists. One can gaze at panoramic views, foggy hills, cascading waterfalls, and twisting rivers to one's soul content.
To our utter excitement, we planned a trip to Shillong for our honeymoon. Visiting Meghalaya had been a dream since my university life, when I toured Lalakhal, Sylhet with my friends and teachers. At that time, I was bewitched to behold the Meghalaya hills for the first time and decided to visit the place someday.
With lush green hills mingled with a mystique aura of clouds and fogs, Meghalaya always offers an untainted beauty that captures the hearts of many. Ranging from popular sightseeing to travelers' trek and adventure, one can delve into nature's beauty. Heading to the Double-Decker Living Root Bridge in Cherrapunjee will let someone catch some fascinating sights.
The other sightseeing and tourist attractions in Meghalaya include Nohkalikai Waterfalls, which is humorously known as Noakhali Falls to Bangladeshis visited there, Cherrapunjee, Umngot river, Dawki river, Mawphlang Sacred Forest in Synrang Kaban, Laitlum Canyon from where one can get the bird's eye view of Shillong and Elephant Falls which let the tourist get a refreshing retreat in the middle of a green forest. The other waterfalls include the Seven Sister Falls, Borhill falls (Bangladesh Side's name is Panthumai Falls), Umkrem falls Krangsuri falls,among others.
The state even gives the opportunity to get a perfect wildlife experience by visiting the Balpakram National Park where the rich biodiversity and mind-boggling beauty impress the tourists. Visiting the Nokrek National Park, which is listed as UNESCO's Biosphere Reserve, will entertain tourists to come across the rich flora and fauna.
Apart from this, Meghalaya also offers water sports activities near Umiam Lake and Ward's Lake where tourists can enjoy riding rowboats, paddle boats, sailing boats, water scooters and more. These two lakes are situated just behind the Shillong city. Meghalaya is famous for its enthralling caves; the important one among them is Mavswami Cave, which is made of limestone. By exploring the culture of Meghalaya, tourists can learn about their dance, music, fairs and festivals.
With regard to shopping in Meghalaya, the state boasts of amazing handicrafts which are designed by the skilled indigenous people. The markets of Meghalaya are lined with shops that offer a variety of handicrafts. Tourists can shop silk fabric, pineapple fiber articles, cane mats, cane baskets, carpets, jewelry and bamboo and cane products. But people from Bangladesh usually love to do their shopping from the supermarket because they usually purchase Indian cosmetics.
Along with these, a trip to Meghalaya will let the tourists explore a lot more places and spoil in activities. There are lots of tourist companies in Bangladesh and even in India offering packages for Meghalaya tours that cover everything that is needed for a wonderful trip. The travel guides provide tourists with required information on places to visit, shopping, eating and how to reach the destinations. Travelers can travel solo, as a couple or in limited group because Meghalaya is one of the safest states in India, and locals are very helpful. Generally, three days are enough to explore Meghalaya, but it is wise to keep five days in schedule to discover the beauty.
The writer in an environment activist and traveler, who is the founder of Vromonio, and can be reached at [email protected]