I Love My India Ep 1: Reaching Meghalaya – Abode Of Clouds

by Kamiya Jani
I Love My India Ep 1: Reaching Meghalaya – Abode Of Clouds

Travel Enthusiasts! We at Curly Tales have often given you the best recommendations for places to travel and food to eat. But we derive the most pleasure when we recommend you travel destinations and eateries in our country, India. So we have a brand new series for you named, I Love My India. Our Chief Travelling Officer and Editor, Kamiya Jani will explore hidden gems and off beaten tracks of our country, and help you plan your desi trips. The first episode of the Curly Tales’ series I Love My India is all about the ‘Abode of Clouds’, Meghalaya. So fasten your seat belts and get ready for a journey into the clouds.

Meghalaya – The Abode Of Clouds

This is one of the most easily accessible Seven Sisters states of North East India. Meghalaya means ‘Abode of Clouds’. It houses the rainiest place on planet earth, Cherapunjji which receives the maximum rainfall in the world. Think mountain drives, deep valleys, thundering waterfalls, mysterious caves, pixie rainforests, living root bridges, friendly people and you have Meghalaya. Shillong is the capital of the state, and it’s also one of the most urbanised areas. Shillong has a lot of British colonial influence and you will find gorgeous British architecture in the city. It’s popularly known as ‘The Scotland of the East’ thanks to the spectacular lakes and hills surrounding the city.

The majority of Meghalaya’s population is made up of tribal people. The tribal groups predominantly residing in Meghalaya are Khasis, Garos and Pnars who mainly earn their livelihood from cultivation. Khasi, Garo, Koch, Rabha, Maram, Hajong, Sylheti are some of the languages spoken here. Meghalaya is divided into three main hills- Khasi Hills is the Central Range, Garo Hills is the Western Range and Jaintia Hills is the Eastern Range. Most of the tourist attractions are situated in Khasi Hills.

Also Read: My 8-Day Trip To Meghalaya With My Husband In ₹40,000 Including Flight Tickets

How To Reach Meghalaya?

Now that we’ve piqued your curiosity about the gorgeous state of Meghalaya. Let’s answer your question about how you can travel to Meghalaya. Folks at Mumbai, you can travel to Meghalaya by air, rail or by road.

  • From Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore By Air

The capital of Meghalaya, Shillong, doesn’t have an airport within the city. The nearest airport to this hill station is the Umroi Airport near Barapani, this is around 25 km away. But this airport has limited connectivity with other cities. So the nearest major airport is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport situated in Guwahati, Assam. It’s well connected to multiple cities across India. However its 125 km away from Shillong. So you can board a flight from Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore to reach Guwahati.

Once you reach Guwahati airport, you can go to Shillong by road. There are Assam state government buses outside the airport, but they have restrictive timings of 7 am and 8 am. But they cost only ₹169 per person. But the downside is you will have to go 22km away from the airport and board this bus. The other good option is to take a shared cab, which you can board right outside the airport at ₹500 per person. And if you want to indulge, then you can hire a private car to travel from the Guwahati International Airport to Shillong which will cost you anywhere between ₹2500 to ₹4000 per car. It’s a 3-hour journey of 125km, but nevertheless the picturesque view will leave you feeling relaxed.

  • From Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore By Rail

Guwahati Railway Station is the closest railhead to Shillong, as there are no direct trains from Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore to Shillong. If you’re from Mumbai and you want to take an adventurous train ride from Mumbai then there are 7 weekly trains from Mumbai to Guwahati. The following are the train names with their respective train numbers- Karmabhoomi Express (15611), Lokmanyatilak Terminus Kamakhya Special (5611), Lokmanyatilak Terminus Kamakhya Superfast Special (22519).

The first train from Mumbai to Guwahati is at 7:50 am, which is Lokmanyatilak Terminus Kamakhya Superfast Special (22519) followed by Lokmanyatilak Terminus Kamakhya Ac Express (12519). This leaves at 7:50 am. It takes around 44 hours and 55 minutes to reach Guwahati from Mumbai, depending on the train and the route taken.

If you’re a Delhiite, then there are 15 trains to reach the Guwahati from Delhi by train. The trains travel through the states of Bihar, Rajasthan and more. A total of 4 trains commute directly between New Delhi and Guwahati which include Ndls Dbrt Rjdhni, Ndls Dbrg Rjdhn, Porvotr S Krnti and Dbrt Rajdhani. Most trains run through the major stations of New Bongaigaon, New Jalpaiguri and Kishanganj. It takes around 27 hours and 35 minutes to reach Guwahati from Delhi by rail. 

For a Bangalorean, there are 8 trains available to take you from the south to the east of the country. The 8 trains are travelling between Bangalore and Guwahati Railway Station are AGTL Humsafar, Guwahati Express, Shatabdi Express, Donyi Polo Express, YPR DBRG Express. The fastest train running between Bangalore and Guwahati is the 02651 Yprkyq Express. It takes around 53h 0m. You can board the trains from Bangalore at Bangalore Cantt. Railway Station, Tangla Railway Station, Bangalore Yesvantpur Junction and Bangalore City Junction.

Once you reach the Guwahati Railway Station, Shillong is around 135km away. So to reach Shillong, you can take a shared cab service from Paltan Bazaar in Guwahati or hire a cab from outside the railway station. And if you like to add zing to your travel experience, then opt for a helicopter service available from Guwahati to Shillong. This functions on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Did you know Guwahati Station Becomes India’s First Fully Solar Powered Railway Station?

  • From Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore By Road

Meghalaya is easily accessible by road. You can drive from major cities You and reach Guwahati’s Bara Bazaar and then head to NH37. After this, you will come across Kamrup District and then NH40, in another 65km you will be able to enter Meghalaya through Nongpoh. Motorable roads and easily accessible highways makes travelling to the northeast a wonderful experience and a memorable road trip. Shillong is one of the best road trips in India that you can undertake. 

What’s The Best Time To Visit Meghalaya?

The best time to visit Meghalaya is during the months of October to June. Most tourists destinations in Meghalaya have temperatures beyond 30°C, making it the perfect respite from March and June which is the summer season in India. You can also travel to Meghalaya and experience the chilly winters from October to February.

Since its, the wettest region in the country, it’s not recommended for tourists to venture here during the peak monsoon season between May to September, as the state receives an average rainfall of 250 cm. But do visit here during the beginning and end of the monsoon season, when the terrain is mesmerisingly gorgeous.

How To Dress In Meghalaya?

Meghalaya is known for its pleasant climate throughout the year. If you visit Meghalaya during the springtime, then wear light cotton clothes, but do dress conservatively and respect the culture of the state. During the winter season, it can get quite cold, so carry warm woollen clothes with you, as the evenings and nights get really chilly. And if you have adventurous activities on your itinerary then do carry a comfortable pair of shoes, and if you go during the monsoon season then a colourful umbrella must be on your list.

What To Eat in Meghalaya?

The staple food of the people in Meghalaya is rice with spicy fish and meat preparations. The popular dishes of Khasis and Jaintia tribes are Jadoh, Ki Kpu, Tung-rymbai, and pickled bamboo shoot. Jadoh is a popular Khasi community dish that is prepared with rice, pork, chopped vegetables and spices. Its garnished with egg and fried fish.

Where To Stay In Shillong?

The picturesque hilly city of  Shillong in Meghalaya, welcomes everyone, the backpackers, romantic honeymoon couple, excited family, group fo friends, everyone. It’s a paradise for travellers. Since it welcomes everyone with its pleasant climate, aromatic food and friendly folks, it also makes sure its guests are comfortable and wake up to a lovely view. So here are budget, comfortable and luxury stays for the traveller in you.

  • Budget Stay

Balaji Guest House located in Shillong in Meghalaya is a great place for travellers on a tight budget. It costs around ₹1747 for a room for two per night. The guest house has friendly staff and offers people clean and basic accommodation.

To book click here

Picture Credits: tripadvisor.in
  • Comfortable Stay

Nirvana Guest House situated in Shillong is a cosy accommodation for those travelling in a tight budget. A room for two costs around ₹2649 per night. It’s a 3-star hotel that offers Wifi, free parking apart from a delicious continental breakfast. 

To book click here 

i love my india curly tales meghalaya
Picture Credits: booking.com
  • Luxury Stay

The Centre Point Shillong is a luxurious stay bang in the middle of the city. With gorgeous room starting from ₹4500 to ₹7450 for two guests per night, this is perfect if you crave for luxury. Complimentary breakfast, laundry services, cable tv channels are some of the amenities here. The best part in here is the panoramic view of the Shillong Peak Range from out of your room windows. It’s breathtaking!

Picture Credits: The Centre Point Shillong

To book click here

Meghalaya undoubtedly is heaven on earth. The pleasant climate, mesmerizing valleys, mystical forests will ensure you have some of the best experiences of your life. So we hope our detailed Meghalaya guide, as well as our I Love My India episodes on Meghalaya, will give you all the more reason to add ‘The Abode Of Clouds’ to your bucket list. Anf if you need any more reasons then here are 8 Reasons To Visit Meghalaya Once In Your Life