Meghalaya is one of the seven sister states, situated in Northeast India. This beautiful place is known for its numerous waterfalls and lush greenery. From Bangladesh, you can easily go to Meghalaya through the Dawki landport in Jaflong, Sylhet. This hilly area can be a great escape from Dhaka's heat and traffic. Below is a list of 10 unique places you can visit here:
Shillong: If you visit Shillong, you will instantly fall in love with the disciplined traffic system without any horns. In Rabindranath Tagore's 'Shesher Kabita', the two lovers meet on a steep road in Shillong and ever since, this place has been a favourite destination for Bangalis. In fact, Tagore stayed here in two different houses, and one of them is a museum now.
Mawlynnong: Mawlynnong village is known as the cleanest village in Asia. You can visit it easily after crossing the border at Dawki, on the way to Shillong. But it is always worthwhile to stay one night in a local homestay. Not only does this village have a natural, clean environment, but the villagers are also very cordial.
Living root bridges: This is an ancient, traditional way to join two trees from the opposite sides of a canal or a narrow river by bamboo, wood sticks, ropes etc so that in many years, the trees grow in such a way that they become a bridge. Usually, it takes 60 years to make a bridge.
There are several living root bridges in Meghalaya but the most famous is the Double Decker Bridge where there are two separate bridges very close to each other.
Largest open air market in Asia: Lewduh Bazar or Bara Bazar in Shillong is known as the largest open air market in Asia, and interestingly, all the shops are run by women. The fresh produce available here reminded me of our local kacha bazars minus the dirt.
Sohra: Sohra was previously known as Cherrapunji - the place with the most rainfall in the world. Once we went there in December and still saw clouds crossing the hills and rain falling over the villages. Sohra is a scenic place of natural beauty full of waterfalls, green hills, open spaces and cloudy sky. I would really love to spend one full monsoon here.
Orange market: Any orange market in the Khasi Hills is a must visit place to witness the vibrant colours of life. Anyone will get lost in the beauty of thousands of shiny, ripe oranges piled up in baskets and the neatly organised shops. Even here the shopkeepers are mostly women.
Mawphlang Sacred Forest: It is a sacred place for the locals and a must visit for any nature lover. In this special forest, no one is allowed to collect any firewood, not even the fallen branches. That's why we saw so many of them on the ground, covered in green moss. Life seems to thrive everywhere in this place.
Mawsmai Cave: This is one of the largest cave systems in Meghalaya and anyone will be amazed by the growth of stalactites and stalagmites (mineral and rock deposits seen in caves). Deep inside the cave, it is pitch dark and very slippery, one has to walk very cautiously with torchlight and walking sticks.
Nohkalikai Falls: Nohkalikai Falls is one of the most known waterfalls in Meghalaya. In winter, one can spot three different falls in different heights, all of which turn into a giant fall during the rainy season.
It is the tallest plunge waterfall in India with a height of 1,115 feet. And in winter, if you trek down for a few hours, you can also see the Rainbow Falls where there is always a rainbow on the falls if there is sun. From this point you can also see the Haor wetland of Bangladesh, which is quite a unique experience.
Other waterfalls in Meghalaya: A lot of people go to Meghalaya to mainly enjoy the beauty of the waterfalls. Besides Nohkalikai Falls, there are Elephant Falls, Krang Suri Falls, Seven Sisters Falls, Wei Sawdong Falls and many more.