Why Should You Go on a Road Trip to Meghalaya in India?

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Whenever somebody spoke of a road trip, Ladakh came to my mind. But after going on a road trip to Meghalaya in India, I realized Ladakh has stiff competition. The coldest desert in the world might be more popular than the North Eastern jewel state, but a road trip to Meghalaya will leave you speechless. This ‘Scotland of the East’ has incredible nature, Living Root Bridges, the wettest place on Earth and Asia’s cleanest village and a lot more.

Don’t forget to stop at the Umiam Lake on a Road Trip to Meghalaya in India

Nestled amid Assam and Bangladesh, Meghalaya offers the panoramic landscapes, misty hills, cascading waterfalls, serpentine rivers, terraced slopes, and adventures that are hard to match.

Here are my reasons why you should go on a road trip to Meghalaya aka “The Abode of Clouds.”

Let’s go on a road trip to Meghalaya in India

Caving

Meghalaya has the largest number of caves in India – more than 1,200 caves with over 460 km of cave passages. The Khasi, Garo and Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya have some of the longest and deepest cave systems in the world, with most being limestone and sandstone caves. Each cave is different from another. Once I was inside, in that eerie silence, with a slight drop in the temperature and with my torch lighting up the pitch darkness, I saw life from the cave’s point of view.

It is an experience worth putting on your bucket list, and any person with moderate fitness can do it.

Caving is a must do when you are on a Road trip to Meghalaya in India

Caving is a must do activity during a roadtrip to Meghalaya in India

Caving is a must do activity during a road trip to Meghalaya in India

Zip Lining

Zipline becomes a soulful experience when you swoosh through the stunning Mawkdok-Dympep Valley carpeted with lush green foliage. But make no mistake. This zip line is not for the faint-hearted as it stretches to a total length of 2600 feet at a dizzying height of 1200 feet. However, I wasn’t worried about the safety as the activity was supervised by experts and the highest industry standards were followed when it came to safety gear.

Travel tip – try the zipline at sunset. The whole place lights up in the golden dust of the sun.

Ziplining should be on your to-do list during a Road trip to Meghalaya in India

Zipline Biking in Sohra, Cherrapunji, Meghalaya, India

Camping and Kayaking

Imagine yourself camping on a river bank with a sky full of stars. Welcome to Schnongpdeng, a camping site on the coast of the Umngot River near Dawki. After a musical night, I started my day by kayaking in the crystal-clear water of the Umngot River, which is the cleanest river in India. The water was so sparkling clear that I could see the bottom of the river and it looked like the boats were floating mid-air. One thing that I missed doing was cliff jumping. Maybe next time.

Our mind is like water. The clearer our thoughts further we can see.⠀ ⠀ This picture was clicked at Umngot River, in Meghalaya. The Umngot river is the cleanest and clearest river in India. You could see all the way to the bottom. The boats look as if they are floating in mid-air.⠀ ⠀ So, when are you visiting Meghalaya?⠀ ⠀ Have you applied for any or all of the six #AltoWOW road trips around India? If not, do it now. Check @msofficialarena and @outlooktraveller for details.⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ #travel #wanderlust #girlswhotravel #passionpassport #instaclick #instagood #photoftheday #worldnomads #abmlifeiscolorful #travelgram #instatravel #vacation #igtravel #travelphotography #travelling #dametraveler #TLPicks #naturephotography #nature_perfection #scenicshots #travelseewrite #India #roadtrip #water #lifeofadventure #beautifuldestinations #instadaily

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What is your ideal way to celebrate a festival?⠀ ⠀ Mine is being close to nature. And, that's what I did on Christmas. Imagine waking up to Umngot River or popularly known as the transparent river of Meghalaya. We checked in late at night. So, I didn't realise what an incredible place we were camping at. I was not at all surprised to know why the Umngot river is often called the cleanest river in India. When I looked down, I could see all the way to the bottom. The boats looked as if they were floating in mid-air.⠀ ⠀ Here's a bit of trivia for you. Umngot River passes through the small border town of Dawki, which lies between India and Bangladesh and is the trade hub between the two countries.⠀ ⠀ So, when are you visiting Meghalaya?⠀ ⠀ Have you applied for any or all of the six #AltoWOW road trips around India? If not, do it now. Check @msofficialarena and @outlooktraveller for details.⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ #travel #wanderlust #girlswhotravel #passionpassport #instaclick #instagood #photoftheday #worldnomads #abmlifeiscolorful #travelgram #instatravel #vacation #igtravel #travelphotography #travelling #dametraveler #TLPicks #naturephotography #nature_perfection #scenicshots #travelseewrite #India #roadtrip #water #lifeofadventure #beautifuldestinations #instadaily

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Living Root Bridges

When I first heard about Meghalaya, the jaw-dropping Living root bridges came to my mind. The bridges are made by the villagers, who organize the roots of rubber trees to go through the capillaries of bamboo, to bind together and form a solid bridge over rivers. The method is hundreds of years old; it takes almost 40 years for a bridge to get build. And, once it’s built, it lasts for many hundreds of years. As long as the tree it is formed from remains healthy, the bridge will naturally self-renew and self-strengthen as its component roots grow thicker. Now isn’t that the most amazing example of bioengineering?

This is the last pic from my Meghalaya Series and I was confused which one to share as there are too many memories to share. But I zeroed on this. Simply because this image was my number one reason to visit Meghalaya.⠀ ⠀ Living root bridges are handmade from the aerial roots of Rubber Fig Trees by the Khasi and Jaintia people and each bridge takes around 15-20 years to grow. They become stronger with age and lasts up to 500 years. Insane work of bio-engineering?⠀ ⠀ Also, while in the area don't forget to check out the Mawlynnong Village (the cleanest village in Asia) and natural balancing rock.⠀ ⠀ So, when are you visiting Meghalaya?⠀ ⠀ Have you applied for any or all of the six #AltoWOW road trips around India? If not, do it now. Check @msofficialarena and @outlooktraveller for details.⠀ ⠀ #travel #wanderlust #girlswhotravel #passionpassport #instaclick #instagood #photoftheday #worldnomads #abmlifeiscolorful #travelgram #instatravel #vacation #igtravel #travelphotography #travelling #dametraveler #TLPicks #naturephotography #nature_perfection #scenicshots #travelseewrite #India #roadtrip #water #lifeofadventure #beautifuldestinations #instadaily

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Asia’s Cleanest Village

As I walked through the spic and span streets, flanked by neat rows of flowerbeds and clean courtyards at Mawlynnong, I couldn’t believe I was in India. This village has been declared ‘Asia’s cleanest village’, where each home has a functional toilet and bamboo dustbins lining the streets. Plastic bags and smoking are banned in the village. Villagers are extremely polite, friendly and well educated. Wish every village in India was like Mawlynnong!

Mawlynnong, Asia’s Cleanest village, Meghalaya, India

Meghalaya might be small in size, but it packs a punch when it comes to adventure. So, just take your car out, rev up the engine and soak in the mesmerizing beauty of Meghalaya. However, before starting your epic road trip, make sure your car is empowered with the best car battery that requires zero maintenance and guarantees full peace of mind. I have been using Amaron for some years, and it hasn’t failed me in my adventures. Be rest assured with a dependable partner on your side, your ordinary journey will become a journey of a lifetime.

It’s time to go on a road trip to Meghalaya in India

Are you a fan of road trips? If yes, I would love to hear from you.

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58 Comments

  • Marcie says:

    You sold me at toilets in every home! Your photos are so vibrant and it makes me want to go on your road trip! That living root bridge would be worth it alone.

  • Lisa says:

    This looks like a stunning region in India! Those waters of the lake and very clear, and it was interesting to read about the cleanest village. I’d like to visit this place one day and see these sights for myself!

  • Stella Jane says:

    Meghalaya seems like an amazing place to visit. I would love to go exploring in all those caves. And those living bridges are truly magical. They don’t even seem real! They look more like CGI to me.

  • Nicola says:

    Looks absolutely beautiful! Still haven’t made it to India but it’s on my list for my next big trip! Mawlynnong sounds awesome! So quaint and picturesque and not how I imagine India to be, interesting place!

  • Roman says:

    It looks great, but also quite dangerous. I hope one day I’ll go there!

  • Danijela says:

    Judging by your photos, the scenery is really breath taking. The Scotland of the East, you say? I can see why. 🙂
    I do enjoy road trips, and would love to try that zip line at sunset to see how the landscape gets bathed by the sunlight. Thanks for the tip, I can only imagine the view!

  • Danik says:

    Wow! Ok, I never heard of this area, but as I love road tripping and hope to get to India soon, this I would do! Looks like you had an amazing experience. bookmarked this page for future reference.

  • Nathan says:

    I’ve never heard of Meghalaya, but this area of the countryside looks like a great escape into the embrace of Mother Nature. What an extensive network of caves you have there! I’d love to try ziplining and hike around to spectacular vantage points to enjoy the mountainous landscapes as well 🙂

  • Niranjan R says:

    Meghalaya is gorgeous. Nice post.

  • Anu says:

    I love Meghalaya for all the reasons you mention and more. However, I do not like it to be called Scotland of the East. One, each place has its own identity and second Scotland hardly has the lakes that Meghalaya has, the rains that it gets or the caves like you mention. The two can not be compared – each has its own beauty. Apologies, for say this but I hate these kind of labels for Indian destinations.

  • Kate says:

    What a cool place to visit in India! Those living root bridges look amazing (and like Instagram gold, lol). I also love exploring caves, so the caving looks like a blast to me as well.

  • Kavita Favelle says:

    I love to read about new (to me) places and while Ladakh is getting all the attention lately, with another hundred new blog posts every week, I had not come across Meghalaya before. It’s now firmly on the list, it looks like a real jewel of natural beauty and a perfect mix of great drives, great views and great activities as well. I only heard about these living root trees recently for the first time and now I see them in your post, that adds another reason for me to visit!

  • Kirstie says:

    I love the activities you suggested. They are not “Xtreme” spots, but, they are also not boring. I love kayaking, it’s probably the safest water activity. It’s also slow-paced so I can enjoy the breathtaking views. I also love ziplining. It doesn’t require a particular skill, just the willingness and you are good to go. Caves are also majestic places. It’s not like these activities take a lot of preparation. Anyone can do it. Thank you for this!

  • Cathy Lin says:

    Wow Meghalaya is just beautiful! The water of Umngot River looks so clear! That living root bridge is like nothing I’ve seen in my life!

  • Stacy says:

    This is EPIC! Love caves and loves kayaking! Thanks for sharing!

  • Thank you for sharing this! This is never something I would have considered previously, but this post put it high up on my to do list. Your pictures of the Umngot River are stunning – the colors of the water seem unimaginable. And the living root tree is something I MUST see!

  • Mitali says:

    Apart from talking about the destination… I really appreciate you for viewing that awesome beauty of our country India through your photos… Meghalaya is definitely worth a visit

  • Danila Caputo says:

    Your pictures are SO beautiful! And I absolutely had no idea there was such a place in India! Me and my husband love road trips and we’ve just added this one to our bucket list. While I’m terrified by heights, in fact, my husband loves ziplining so the one at Mawkdok-Dympep Valley would be one of the main highlights. Good tip about going at sunset!

  • Patricia G. says:

    I never knew there were such things as living root bridges, but they seem really interesting and I would love to go to one of those someday! I would also like to go to some of Meghalaya’s caves. I haven’t been to too many caves anywhere in the world, but would love to explore more.

  • Nikki says:

    This looks like so much fun! I would love to check out the caves and go zip lining.

  • Jamie says:

    Wow, there are so many unique things to do in Meghalaya. As a photographer I am intrigued by the living roots bridge and the clear water of the Umngot River. Your photos are wonderful.

  • Tabbie says:

    Looks like a beautiful place full of adventure!

  • Soraya says:

    Holy wow! Meghalaya looks so beautiful – and I love that they call it the ‘Scotland of the East.’ I would totally love to try camping at the coast of Umngot River and watch the magical night sky. And then kayaking on the crystal clear water does look incredible. I do agree with you – it looks like Meghalaya, while small, does pack a punch! What a great road trip experience.

  • Medha says:

    Yes, yes to everything on this list! I had no idea that Meghalaya was full of such amazing adventure activities and you’ve put it on my radar for the next Indian vacation that I plan. I’d love to go inside those caves, or kayak on that gorgeous lake with such clear water or even zip line! The landscapes are lovely, the road trip will be so cool I can imagine and stopping at one of those root bridges or clean villages would be a dream, thanks for sharing this information!

  • Shweta says:

    I am totally inspired. Though camping is not my style, I really want to explore the northeast esp Meghalaya. Kayaking in the Umngot lake, crossing those stunning root bridges and caving…all my god, hope to do all this soon.

  • blair villanueva says:

    I am glad that we have the Asia’s cleanest village! I want to try the kayaking and looks like the river is very calm and gorgeous. Exploring the forest is also one in my list. You are right, Meghalaya is a must-visit.

  • Rhiannon says:

    A road trip around the whole of India is one of the number one things on my bucket list! I’m slowly but surely bringing my Malayali boyfriend around to the idea, and it’s posts like these that are helping me on my way! Like you, Ladakh is always top of my mind when it comes to the places I’d most love to visit on an Indian road trip, but on reading this I can totally see that Meghalaya would give it a run for its money! Bookmarking this for future when my dream road trip comes to fruition.

  • jill conyers says:

    Meghalaya looks like a place my family would love to visit. So much exploring to do!

  • Sandy N Vyjay says:

    Road trips are so liberating and exhilarating at the same time. On top of it if the road trip is in the pristine environs of the North-Eastern region of India, then the experience is definitely on an altogether different level. Meghalaya is indeed heavenly and apart from its amazing natural beauty, the experiences it offers are indeed enticing. Living root bridges, cleanest village, caving, transparent river beds, the works!

  • Juliette S says:

    I don’t think you’d catch me in those caves, but I would totally be up for kayaking on that beautiful water and zip lining across the forest! I love visiting places that have lots of different adventure activities to do – and Meghalaya sounds like it has plenty to keep you occupied. A great place for a road trip, and ideal for those wanting not only adventures, but the fresh air in nature.

  • Indrani says:

    Very valid reasons for a trip to Meghalaya! The caves and root bridge fascinated me the most. The zip lining and Kayaking seems to be a common feature across several states of India. I had a short trip there during analog days. Time to again with my DSLR.

  • Denny George says:

    I’ve recently been on a two month long trip of the Northeast. Meghalaya was my favorite state, by a long margin. I absolutely adored the place and can endorse every recommendation of yours.

  • Arnav Mathur says:

    Been there, done that, which is why I can very well relate to all the reasons you justified for taking a road trip in Meghalaya. The beauty of Meghalaya, is such that, it is best experienced and explored during a road trip, and with the roads being so wide and high quality, a road trip is definitely going to be a memorable one.

  • Ami Bhat says:

    Meghalaya is one of my favorite destinations too for exactly the same reasons. I even loved it for its valleys and waterfalls – such pristine ones. Caving by far was the best activity I have done here, especially the offbeat caves like Arwah Caves. Squeezing through those crevices in ankle or knee deep water is something else. Glad you too had a good time.

  • Ling Ge says:

    Meghalaya is such a stunning place! The root bridges are particularly impressive and unique and I would love to be able to see that. Also great do see so many activities to enjoy this beautiful location

  • Niels Thomas says:

    Sweet! The Road Trip Guy approves of this amazing road trip, haha!

    Looks amazing! What an adventure. 🙂

  • Wow, that living root bridge is amazing! I had no idea that was even a thing! Meghalaya looks amazing with so much greenery and many activities that I’d like to do. Especially the ziplining and kayaking. I’m not sure I’d try the cliff diving though lol!

  • Yukti says:

    I love road trips in India, and if it is Meghalaya then it is a boon. Meghalaya is always on my wishlist as it is called Scotland of East. I would love to see the cleanest village of Asia, go for kayaking and explore root bridges. There are so many unique things here which we cannot find anywhere else. Nice pictures!

  • Kanishka Acharya says:

    Caves give me the creeps! But I am up for the rest of the adventures. This is on my wishlist xoxo

  • Stephanie says:

    India truly has a lot of wonderful and breathtaking places to offer! I’ve always been particularly fascinated with the culture and so a trip to this country is a must one day!

  • Leah says:

    Just looking at these amazing photos is reason enough! Then hearing about the village, the caves, and that bridge definitely adding this to bucket list!!

  • Christie Moeller says:

    This is magical! would love to visit there! I have never been to India!

  • Samantha Sparrow says:

    I love that Meghalaya is called the Scotland of the East – I can see the similarities in look and feel and I’d love to visit one day! The living root bridges are blowing my mind a little. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that before. I’d explore the caves too.

  • Disha Singh says:

    This is EPIC! Love caves and loves kayaking! Thanks for sharing!

  • Elizabeth O says:

    Wow this looks like an incredible trip of a lifetime! Your pictures really showcase the beauty you got to experience.

  • Pooja Krishna says:

    Lovely post. I lived in Meghalaya for several years, so this brought back awesome memories.

  • Tara says:

    these photos are amazing. so much color and vibrancy! I also love exploring caves, it’s so thrilling!

  • Esperanza Scotto says:

    India is on my list of countries to travel to! Beautiful photos, thank you for sharing 😀

  • Hariom says:

    Planning to go to Meghalaya for a long time. I think this post has inspired me enough to make a trip soon. 🙂

  • We love going into caves and since Meghalaya has the largest number of caves, it would be a great place to explore. The cleanest village sounds great too. We are constantly picking up trash everywhere we go and it would be nice to visit somewhere that was already spotless. Plus smoking is banned and we don’t smoke, so that makes it even more appealing!

  • Anna says:

    This photo of zip lining looks breathtaking! Meghalaya was never on my travel bucket list before – now I´d love to visit it so much! Thanks for sharing!

  • Marvi says:

    What a scenic road trip with lots of places to visit and things to do! Ziplining at sunset sounds pretty cool. I’ve never done that before and I’d love to see Mawkdok-Dympep Valley at the golden hour from that height!

  • prabhu says:

    it’s a nice place and it was always on my top list to travel and this time I am going with my friends so I got your site for reference. Thanks for sharing nice information about your trip, it would help us to know better about Meghalaya.

  • Ellen Smith says:

    The “Scotland of the East” Meghalaya mesmerizes the visitors by its natural beauty. I really enjoyed my road trip as I was excited to go on a road trip after reading this post. The pictures took my heart right away and I planned a road trip soon after reading the blog. Thank you so much for sharing the informative information.

  • Maira says:

    India truly has a lot of wonderful and breathtaking places to offer! Ziplining at sunset sounds pretty cool. I really want to explore the Meghalaya, hope to do this soon.

  • sushmita kapoor says:

    India is full of beautiful places.. meghalaya is becoming main attraction of tourist.. must visit place

  • thakur Nitin says:

    I’ve recently been on a two month long trip of the Northeast. Meghalaya was my favorite state, by a long margin. I absolutely adored the place and can endorse every recommendation of yours.

  • Mycabdeal says:

    It’s Nice Photography …?

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