After spending three days in Tura (One of the largest towns in Meghalaya, Tura is located in the West Garo Hills district.), I decided to explore Meghalaya in a group to reduce my expenses.
So I went to the CouchSurfing app to find some travelers and got connected with Khaled, a traveler from Bangladesh.
CouchSurfing is an app where you can get hosts and ask to stay at their home for free, you can also see how many travelers are using the CouchSurfing app at that location.
Khaled told me he and three other travelers will arrive in Shillong on the evening of 14 July, and I can join them on their trip to Cherrapunji and Dawki.
So, I booked a 9-hour long overnight bus ride from Tura to Shillong (303 KM).
It was 8:30 PM on 13 July when I boarded the bus, and it was 5:30 AM on 14 July when I reached ISBT (Inter-State Bus Terminus) Shillong.
Morning, July 14, Shillong, Meghalaya
From ISBT Shillong, I took a taxi to Center Point, Police Bazar, Shillong. There were no hotels or restaurants open in Shillong since it was still early morning.
Despite searching online and visiting various hotels, I struggled to find a vacant room due to full occupancy.
Eventually, I managed to secure a room around 8 AM, planning to stay for one night, as I had already decided to go to Cherrapunji the next day with Khaled.
Later that day, I met Nayan Das, another solo traveler from Bangladesh, who was around the same age (20) as me.
In the evening, Khaled arrived with his three travel companions and informed me that their plans to visit Cherrapunji and Dawki had been canceled.
At the moment, I was completely fucked up as I had planned the entire trip with this group and I didn’t even have room to stay in the next day, as Nayan had already booked my room for the next two days.
Yes, Shillong is always crowded with tourists from India and abroad. The majority of travelers are from Assam and Bangladesh.
The group canceled their trip, but after meeting Khaled, I was happy since he was a hardcore traveler like me and we decided to go on a trip together in the future.
Because they arrived in Shillong at night, we had a hard time finding a hotel room for them; we went to multiple hotels and finally found a room for them. It was a little expensive, but there were no other options.
After leaving them at their hotel, I was searching for a new group to explore Cherrapunji and Dawki since that was the main reason why I came to Shillong in the first place.
At my hotel, I met a new group – an uncle (Anisul) from Bangladesh, and another uncle (Tazamul) along with his nephew (Samim) from West Bengal, India.
July 15, Cherrapunji, Meghalaya
On July 15th, our group set out to explore Cherrapunji.
We drove through clouds and rain, experiencing the unique charm of one of the rainiest places on Earth.
I had come prepared with a raincoat, but my companions had to purchase raincoats on our way due to the rain.
Our first stop was the breathtaking Wah-Kaba Falls, a mesmerizing experience reminiscent of my visit to Jung Waterfall in Arunachal Pradesh.
We then visited NohKaLikai Falls, one of the tallest plunge waterfalls in India. Its height is 340 meters (1,115 ft). Unfortunately, we couldn’t see the waterfall because of the fog.
It was on my bucket list due to the local sad legend associated with it.
A brief summary of NohKaLikai’s legend follows:
“A young woman named Ka Likai who had a daughter from her earlier marriage had married for a second time. Her husband hated her stepdaughter. One day, on returning home after work in the fields she was surprised to see her husband had prepared the evening meal and even served her. After eating the meal without suspicion, Likai discovered her daughter’s fingers in the basket of betel nuts. Distraught with grief and remorse she rushed to the nearby cliffs and threw herself over the precipice adjoining the waterfalls. The fall has ever since been known as NohKaLikai which means The Leap of Likai.“
You can read more about the legend on the Wikipedia page here.
We then went to Nohsngithiang Falls (also known as the Seven Sisters Waterfalls or Mawsmai Falls) which is a seven-segmented waterfall located one kilometer south of Mawsmai village in East Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya.
Then we visited the Mawsmai Cave. There is a bad smell inside the cave, but what do you expect from a cave? It was well-lit, that was enough.
We visited Elephant Falls on the way back to Shillong from Cherrapunji.
When I returned to the hotel at night, there were no rooms available. So, I searched a lot for a hotel and finally found one through Booking.com. The hotel’s name was Manna Inspira, and it was located 6KM away from Police Bazar, Shillong.
The distance was the only problem but I had no choice, so I decided to book the hotel and booked a Rapido bike (bike service) to get there. I booked the hotel for two days.
Even though the hotel was better than the previous one, there was no restaurant or shop nearby.
July 16, Dawki, Meghalaya
I booked another Rapido in the morning and met my group at Police Bazar for breakfast before embarking on our journey.
First, we visited Mawlynnong village, known as Asia’s cleanest village. Next, we visited the Mawlynnong living root bridge. I had never seen a bridge made with living plant roots before, so it was an amazing experience.
Then we went to Dawki, and on our way, we saw the India-Bangladesh border and multiple Waterfalls. In Dawki, we experienced a boat ride in the stunning turquoise waters of the Umngot River.
In the evening, we returned to Shillong. I booked Rapido again to go to my hotel room after the car dropped us off at Police Bazar.
July 17, Shillong to Guwahati
I was waiting for a Rapido guy in the center of the city, near an Indian Army barricade, when an Indian Army soldier asked me:
: Are you waiting for someone?
: Yeah, I’m waiting for a Rapido guy for a ride to ISBT Shillong.
: Are you a student?
: I’m a traveler and I write online. Inuidea.com is my blog.
After that, he asked me some more questions about my work with great interest, and I told him to visit my website, and he promised to do so.
The Rapido guy then arrived, and I hopped on the bike. It was raining lightly on our way, and I reached ISBT Shillong after half an hour.
While waiting for the bus, I realized that I had a high fever. I took medicine from my first aid box and finally boarded the bus.
I was feeling unwell due to food poisoning and fever. That’s why I booked a sleeper seat and slept for three hours until I reached Guwahati.
That concluded my solo trip to Meghalaya. It was a challenging, unplanned, yet memorable experience. I had the opportunity to meet some amazing people during my journey and to learn a lot about different places in Meghalaya.
Thanks for reading this article. 💚
If you loved what you read, would you be able to buy me a cup of coffee? It’s okay if you can’t right now.
Keep traveling. 💚