Meghalaya, which is one of the seven north eastern states, is quite famous for its mesmerizing natural beauty. The combination of Scottish scenery and Indian charm attract thousands of visitors to this incredible place, whose name translates to “the abode of clouds”. From panoramic landscapes to cascading waterfalls, foggy hills to serpentine rivers, terraced slopes to windswept meadows, Meghalaya offers a variety of treats for nature lovers as well as adventure seekers.
The low hills of Meghalaya make it a perfect place to enjoy trekking even for people with minimal experience. However, apart from trekking, the state is also a popular destination to enjoy a cycling trip full of great thrill and fun. As the cyclists maneuver their bikes across hills, valleys and even different types water bodies, the adventure and thrill of the activity is increased manifold.
Exploring Meghalaya During The Monsoon
The one thing that most people are unaware of about Meghalaya is that it is one of the wettest places during Monsoon time. In fact, the village of Mawsynram receives the highest rainfall of 11,872 mm annually, making it the best place to witness monsoon fury. It is this very fact that drives many travel experts to advice people against exploring Meghalaya during the rainy months. However, missing out the opportunity to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Meghalaya in monsoon is akin to losing a chance to revel in the majesty of nature and the bewitching spectacle it creates in this season.
The landscape of Meghalaya is slightly dull and lifeless during the relatively dry summer and winter seasons. However, as the monsoon showers begin, the entire landscape takes on a lively look as the surroundings become completely lush and green. The cyclists feel a sense of happiness and calm descending on them as they traverse the roads lined by tall trees and breathe in the incredibly fresh air infused with the pleasant odor of wet soil. In addition, the cyclists also get to enjoy the beautiful sight of huge volumes of water gushing down from high cliffs creating loud roars and clouds of foam and sprays.
Must Visit Places For Cyclists In Meghalaya
There are a few places that must be included in the itinerary of every cyclist to ensure that they make the most of their monsoon trip to Meghalaya. The most important of these places are discussed below.
Villages of Mawphlang and Mawlynnong
The beautiful and quaint villages of Mawphlang and Mawlynnong are often an integral part of cycling tours to Meghalaya. The village of Mawphlang is renowned for its forests and grooves, which are considered sacred by the local population. On the other hand, the village of Mawlynnong is renowned as the cleanest village in Asia, with every street lined with bamboo dustbins at short distances to throw litter. It is also not uncommon to find people constantly cleaning their homes and streets.
The Astounding Living Root Bridge
Any trip to Meghalaya is considered incomplete without a visit to the natural wonder of living root bridges. These bridges take around 10-12 years to form after a minimal initial support by the local people, who place two trunks of beetle nut parallel to each other across a river. The trunks are placed so that their ends touch the stem of the local rubber trees, whose long hanging roots start entwining themselves around the beetle logs. This process continues for years until the bridges become strong enough for people to cross. In addition to the normal single tier bridges, cyclists can enjoy traversing across double-decker bridges and those that have two opposing pathways.
Explore The Various Natural Caves
Meghalaya abounds in various natural caverns that present an exciting exploring opportunity for the cyclists. These include the Mawsmai Cave in the East Khasi Hills district and the Krem Lymput, which is renowned for its huge chamber known as the Mughals Room. The cavern of Krem Mawjymbuin features a stream flowing through it which makes for an amazing view. Krem Liat Prah, the longest cavern in India at 25 kms, is easily accessible from the cycling trail of Jaintia Hills. Its length is expected to extend further as new caves are discovered to be connected to it.
View The Grand Waterfalls
Meghalaya is home to several waterfalls each of which has some local legend associated with it. While most cycling tours will take the participants across the famous Nohkalikai Falls, there are other falls that are equally spectacular and mesmerizing. The Kynrem Falls which is the highest waterfall in Meghalaya falls to the ground in three stages. In addition, the Mawsmai Falls, which are also known as Seven Sisters Falls comprises of seven separate streams of water cascading down the hills simultaneously.
With all these attractions and much more, exploring Meghalaya through a cycling trip is surely an amazing experience. Most cyclists consider the trip to extremely educating and life changing that also quenches their thirst for adventure.