Meghalaya literally means 'Abode of Clouds' in Sanskrit and is aptly named so due to the high rainfall it gets every year. It is the wettest region in India, bordering Bangladesh and predominantly an agrigarian economy. Home to dense rainforests, people have inhabited this region since he neolithic era. The rolling forests of Jaintia, Khasi and Garo hills are full of rich flora and fauna and also home to one of the largest network of caves in Asia. The Adventure Meghalaya itinerary is a perfect way to be introduced the stunning beauty of this border region. The week long trip has been designed to cover and explore the best bits that Meghalaya has to offer. We start the trip by heading to Cherrapunjee, once claimed to be the wettest place on earth. In the following days we go spelunking in the cave nearby, visit the famous Living Root bridges, camp next to waterfall and river and then head back to Shillong, the state capital, to witness the local life. All along you will be accompanied by a UFO guide and other guides may join in for activities that you will be a part of. A truly breathtaking trip!
This trip does not require any major fitness though Day 3 and Day 4 you do end up climbing down 4000 stairs and again climb the same up the next day. There is fair bit of travelling to be done every day, and we would encourage you to do a bit of walking/running and breathing exercises to enjoy this trek. A fair level of fitness is always helpful and makes the trip more enjoyable.
We land at Guwahati and then leave for Cherrapunje. A group transfer at 12 noon will be waiting for you with the UFO guide will pick you up from the Airport. We will then leave for our destination, Cherrapunjee, once considered to be the wettest place on the planet. We will stop at a local restaurant for lunch and passing through little villages and farming lands. If we reach Cherrapunjee in time we will stop at Arwah cave for a little sightseeing before we check into our comfortable hotel.
After tea and breakfast, we leave for spelunking. Meghalaya has one of the biggest network of caves in Asia with most of them not yet explored fully or not at all. We will meet our spelunking guide after breakfast who will give you quick tips for the day activity. We will then leave for the cave which situated behind an abandoned cement factory. After changing into our caving gear and helmet, head torch we head for a 20 minute walk to the entrance of the cave. You will see little 'rat holes' on the way. these small caves are dug by local people trying to chip away for coal which is then sold. This is dangerous as sometimes the caves collapse leaving the person trapped. the last 10 minutes of walk is scramble downhill through dense forest. We then enter Mawmluh cave, and you should stay close to the group and follow the guides instruction. As it is a horizontal cave, you will be able to walk easily except some places where you will have to use your hands and get a bit wet as you cross a small pool. Always look where you step as there are small holes everywhere. You will be able to spot some crayfish and of course bats living inside these caves. Spotting ,Stalactites and Stalagmites, shimmering rocks and other formations. After reaching the 'Hanging Gardens' where there is group of stalactites and stalagmites, we head back up to the entrance. We meet our vehicle and then head out for lunch. After lunch we will head to some tourist attraction and visits the local market. The evening is at leisure and you can explore the vast grounds at the group hotel. After a tiring day, we will look forward to a delicious dinner and head to our rooms for a deep sleep.
A fantastic day in the itinerary as you will visit the famous living root bridges of Meghalaya. One of the natural wonders of the world. Using the rubber tree routes through betel tree trunks, villagers place and train these routes across rivers and streams until the roots attach with each other. The process can take anywhere between 5-15 years and shows the foresightedness and patience of the local Khasi population. We leave for Nongriat village after breakfast by 8.30 am. We have to climb down almost 3000 steps to reach the village. So take it slow and steady. You will able to catch the single root bridge at Nong Thynmai village on the way and also see the life and work of the local population. We will have packed lunch or lunch at the local guest house at Nongriat village. Do not forget the free fish spa in the little ponds below the double decker root bridge. After a short rest, it is another 90 minutes to Rainbow Falls. You will be asked to carry a day bag with your essentials that you need for the night along with a change of clothes for the next day. Your main bags will remain either at the hotel or in the car for the night. Sleeping bags and blankets will be provided for the night.
After an early breakfast , we walk back up to reach our transport and head back to Cherrapunjee for lunch. This is the hardest day of the trip as you have to climb almost 4000 steps back from Rainbow falls. After a sumptuous meal at Cherrapunjee, we leave for Dawki, a small town in the West Jaintia Hills which is also the border between Bangladesh and India. You will notice the crystal clear waters of Umngot river and the suspension bridge built by the British in 1932. We will then leave for our beautiful riverside accommodation for the night at Shnongpdeng. The evening is at leisure and you can explore the nearby areas before dark with your guide.
A fun day with lots of planned activities. After breakfast we head for a short walk hike in the forests. We then head to a cliff point where you will have muster the courage to jump into the Umngot river . There will also be a scuba diving lesson with a local scuba guide in the clear Umngot river. We will then have lunch and get an experience of local riverboat which you will see ferrying up and down on the river. After a busy day we will head back to our night hotel for dinner and night stay.
After an early breakfast, we depart for our next destination, Mownlongbna, a sleepy village 20 kms from the Bangladesh border. We check in to a resort which is run by the village community and settle down for lunch. After some rest, we will head out for a short walk where we can find fossils of starfish, and take in the sight of Pungbahshait waterfall . You can take your swimwear if you a fancy a dip in the pool at the waterfall! We will then visit a pitcher plant farm. After a stroll through the garden, we head back to our resort for dinner. A visit to the town market is optional if the group wants to experience the night life at this border village.
We wake to the birds chirping early morning. After tea and breakfast, we get ready for some canyoning. It is fairly easy, but slippery, where you will be swimming and walking across small streams and pools to get to the Umkhakoi reservoir. Once at the reservoir, you can opt for kayaking or just jump in the reservoir for a swim. Please make sure you keep the life jacket on at all times. After the swim, we will head to the 'Split Rock'. A curious place where two 30 ft high rocks have just enough space to stand for a couple of people at the base. After a cup of tea, and gazing into the plains of Bangladesh, we head back to our resort. We have a hearty lunch after all the swimming, and say our goodbyes to the local staff and leave for our hotel near Shillong. We can rest at the resort with the evening at leisure.
We have early breakfast and the taxi will be ready to drop you to the Guwahat airport at 8 am. If you want to extend your holiday to visit the Kaziranga National Park to spot tigers and rhinoceros, please get in touch with the UFO Office.