Meghalaya (Abode of Clouds in Sanskrit) is one of the seven Northeastern states of India. It is bound by Assam in north and east and by Bangladesh in the south. River Brahmaputra (or Luit as called locally) forms the border in the west.
It comprises of erstwhile Khasi-Jaintia hills and Garo hills districts of Assam. Most of the terrain is hilly and experiences heavy rainfall during monsoons.
Meghalaya is home to three major tribal population - Khasis, Garos and Jaintias (in order of population).
- Shillong East Khasi Hills
- Tura, West Garo Hills
- Nongstoin, West khasi Hills
- Jowai, Jaintia Hills
- Nongpoh, Ri Bhoi
- Williamnagar, East Garo Hills
- Baghmara, South Garo Hills
The British came to Sylhet in 1765. At that time the Khasis used to come at Pandua on the border of Sylhet to trade in silk, cotton goods, iron, wax, honey and ivory in exchange for rice, salt and dried fish. Limestone from the Khasi hills used to fulfill the demand in Bengal then. Soon British officials of the East India Company began trading in limestone and thus came in contact with the Khasis. In 1824, the Burmese invaded Cachar and also appeared at the border of the Jaintia Hills. The British sent a small force to reinforce the Jaintia Rajah’s troops. On 10th March 1824, a friendship treaty was signed by the Rajah accepting the protection of the British. Other Khasi chiefs also allowed the passage of the British troops through their territories. After the Burmese invasion was over, the British demanded a corridor through the Khasi and the Jaintia Hills to connect Assam valley with Surma valley. Most of the Khasi chiefs agreed, and the road was completed in March 1829, but only after quelling an upheaval by U Tirot Sing. The story that followed after putting down the uprising by U Tirot Sing was the signing of several treaties with different Khasi chiefs. In 1862 the Jaintias revolted under U Kiang Nongbah. By virtue of these treaties, the British gradually took control of the mineral deposits and side by side subjugated the chiefs and also took control of judiciary.
Garo, Khasi & jaintia are the major languages spoken in addition to english. English is spoken all over the state at all urban areas.
Visa and Restricted Area information
Get Visa Information or Restricted Area Pass From the following address;-
Director of Tourism Nokrek Building
Lower Lachumiere, Shillong - 793 001
Phone: 0364 - 2226054
MTDC Ltd. Orchid Hotel Polo Road,
Shillong - 793 001
Phone: 0364 - 2224933
Tourist Information Centre
Ulubari G.S. Road, Guwahati- 781001
Phone: 0361 - 2527276
MTDC Ltd. Meghalaya House
9, Russel Street, Calcutta- 700071
Phone: 033 - 22172009,22172802
Tourist Office Meghalaya House
9, Aurangzeb Road, New Delhi- 110011
Phone: 011 - 23015139,23015605.
- Any Meghalaya Excursion should start from Shillong or Guwahati for convenience. Local Non-AC Buses, Share Sumos connect several parts of Meghalaya and other destinations of North East. Though cheap but these buses are infrequent and inconvenient for both domestic and foreign travellers. Best is to hire a taxi for a day and cover your destination.Standard Maruti 800 Taxis costs about INR 1200(with fuel) for standard day excursions(Mawsynram, Cherrapunjee, Nartiang) as on Nov 2008. One will have to negotiate if you want to explore more other than regular tourist sites.Shillong City Tour costs about INR 500-700. Being a small state destinations are not very far apart in regular tourist circuit. So retaining a car is not a cost effective idea. If one visits Orchid Lake Resort or Cherrapunjee Resort, cars are not readily available from these offbeat spots.So plan your itinerary in advance and accordingly make arrangements from Shillong for pick up from the resorts in the return leg.Otherwise, you may have to face delays. As tourism initiatives are mostly limited to Shillong and East Khasi Hills, travellers to Garo Hills(Tura, Williamsnagar),Jaitia Hills(Jowai), West Khasi Hills(Nongstoin) should plan their route/itinerary considering the lack of proper tourism infrastructure(Fooding/Lodging/Transport/Road).
- Kickstart Adventures- an adventure tourism firm, has pioneered motorcycle tours in North East India. This adventure motorbike tour covers the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh, giving a traveller to visit to not only popular places but also rural parts of the region to experience first-hand of tribal cultures and traditions. The firm conducts tours all round the year.
- Shillong Peak
- Elephanta Falls
- Wards Lake
- Lady Hydari Park
- Umiam Lake
- South Garo Hills, Pitcher Plant sanctuary, Siju Caves
- Balphakgram National Park
- 'Nokrek National Park
- FOODPLUS, Laban Last Stop Taxi Stand. Fastfood joint Cum Motel
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- Hotel Alpine Continental,3 Star, Shillong email: [email protected] Kolkata Office: 09831220761
- Lake View Inn, MG Road, . Kolkata Office: 09831220761
- Hotel Micasa. Shillong
- Hotel Broadway. Shillong
- Hotel Pineborrough. Shillong
- Orchid Lake Resort. Umiam Lake(Barapani), 16 KM from Shillong towards Guwahati.
- Cherrapunjee Resort, 
- FOODPLUS,FOODING CUM LODGING, Laban Last Stop Taxi Stand,Shillong. Ph:09863083167
Hotel Polo Tower's will be also a good place.