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3 Exotic Summer Destinations in India

2. Monsoons in Meghalaya

On the north-east frontier of India, lies the breath-taking state of Meghalaya. Meghalaya’s claim to fame are the two towns of Cherrapunji and Mawsynram, who compete on an annual basis to be known as the rainiest places on earth. Hence, it isn’t really surprising to imagine, the best time to visit this place (if you do not mind getting a little wet), is the summer monsoon period – preferably around May.

In the wide scheme of things, the greatest attractions in Meghalaya are the countless number of waterfalls, caves, engaging hiker routes and the wondrous ‘living root bridges’; however,  there’s more hidden just under the surface. The beautiful Khasi tribe that inhabits these plateaus are an ancient, intelligent and friendly people – ones that have engineered a great lifestyle to live in harmony with this precious ecosystem. If you have some time off – please grab the opportunity to live with these amazing people for a little while and let them initiate you to the treasures overlooked by the regular travelers.

Climate: Meghalaya sees its highest mercury in March & April. May is the onset of monsoons whereas July & August are the wettest months, which makes May just about the best time to watch the rain water lash down into the Bangladeshi plains – also, the precipitation is rarely consistent and falls in batches, giving you plenty of time to explore.

 Getting There: Umroi airport, located around 35 KM from the capital city of Shillong is the only airport in Meghalaya where commercial flights operate from and only a few flights flying to Kolkata are available. There are no railway lines in Meghalaya – a clear indicator of how remote these places are. Shillong is a 4 hour drive from Guwahati airport in Assam, with buses, shared taxi & private cabs all available.

Points of Interest in Meghalaya: 

  1. Mawlynnong: known to the western world as the ‘cleanest village in Asia’, Mawlynnong is home to the beautiful, matrilineal Khasi tribe. Make this the base of your Meghalayan adventure, and live the life of an ancient, mature tribe. Read a great excerpt from his time with the Khasi tribe by photographer Timothy Allen at Human Planet.
  2. Double decker Living Root Bridge, Cherrapunji: Meghalaya is renowned for it’s living root bridges – the most famous of which is the Double Decker bridge near Nongriat village – personally, they are all marvelous works of art, science and nature and if you’d like to avoid the tourist ‘sentiment’ you might as well discover lesser known root bridges in and around Mawlynnong.
  3. Nohkalikai Falls, Cherrapunji: witness the tallest waterfall in India – ‘the jump of Ka Likai’ or Nohkalikai is named after a tragic Khasi legend. Amongst the top tourist locations in the state – and a priceless sight in the monsoons.
  4. Trekking Trails: Meghalaya, literally translated is ‘abode of clouds’ – this mainly because of the massive variety of hills, valleys and plateaus it is blessed with. Naturally, the place has several opportunities for the trekking enthusiast – the omni-present rain and low visibility only adds to the challenge. Some useful tips here.

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14 comments

  1. I’ve never been to India… not yet anyways. These places sure are exotic and enticing. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I also have not been to India. Must go one day. I imagine India being stifling in summer but the climate must be as varied as most other large countries.

  3. All of these look like amazing places to visit, I’ve only experience the “corporate India”, literally, as I’ve been there only through work and only in the cities. And I have to say as a Finn living in Norway this made me chuckle – “20-30°C between April – June; definitely pleasant by Indian standards” 🙂 That would be a heatwave here!!

    • HA! That’s very true. I was in Ireland last month, and everybody seemed to love me because my visit coincided with the warmest heat-wave the country had seen in more than a generation – everybody believed I brought along from back home! 🙂

      India is very diverse as a country – so weather & climate can vary significantly. If you’re talking Mumbai/Bombay, we have 2 seasons here – the summer & the wet season! Winters are a namesake

  4. I’ve never been to India, but I really want to go. It seems so fascinating and full of culture and history, though I’ll have to be sure not to go in the middle of summer. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Amazing tips on some wonderful destinations! Loved Dharamsala, so peaceful.

  6. Good info. Andamans are beautiful, but the place is little humid in summer season. It is best visited in Nov-Dec.

  7. Very good info thanks.

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