Top 9 Adventure Sports in Meghalaya
Updated: Oct 29, 2021
Ever wanted a vacation where you could enjoy a peaceful landscape, delicious food, and adventurous sports all in one? Shillong, the Scotland of East, and Meghalaya’s capital city, is that destination. The topography of this city is rich with forests, waterfalls, lakes, hills, and plains, making it the hub of adventure sports in Meghalaya. Here we have combined a list of all adventurous activities in Meghalaya, along with our personal tips on how and when to do these sports.
8. Horse Riding
Camping among the Legends in the Sacred Forest
The sacred forest of Mawlynnong might as well be named as the scared forest of Mawlynnong for the legend surrounding the forest – nothing goes out of this forest. The native tribe warns that nothing should be taken out of the forest, not even a dead leaf or log, otherwise the doer may suffer a mysterious illness that could even be fatal.
Follow the mesmerizing trail of the forest to find a suitable camping sight (make sure you don’t run off-track and end up deep into the forest. It’s unadvisable for obvious reasons). Enjoy the journey spotting frequent monoliths and a mysterious groove called Labasa which natives deem as their deity and believe that Labasa can turn into a leopard/tiger to protect its people from dangers.
COST: Cab ride – INR 1500/-, Entry fees – INR 10 per person, Guide fees – INR 300 for a half-hour (compulsory to hire and you can pay extra for a longer time), Extra charges – INR 10/- for camera, INR 50/- for vehicle
BEST TIME TO VISIT: September- October (avoid monsoon)
HOW TO REACH: 25 KM cab ride from Shillong
Boating above Crystal
Now, this is where your Meghalaya tourism compares to the Banana beach in Phuket, Thailand.
The Umngot river, better known as Dawki river near Shillong is so crystal-clear that boats appear to be floating above glass. You can see unique rocks at the bottom of the river and endless fish species racing alongside you through the course of the river.
Apart from boating, activities like cliff jumping and zip-lining are also available here. Or you can just relax with your feet dipped in water at the shallow end of the river. The journey from Shillong to Dawki river, albeit a long one, is full of picturesque views of the beautiful city that won’t let you look at the watch.
COST: INR 500 per person (maximum 4 allowed in one boat
BEST TIME TO VISIT: January to May (avoid monsoon)
HOW TO REACH: 95km cab ride from Shillong
Cave exploration is a major part of Meghalaya tourism and if you’re mystery seeking soul, the caves of Shillong are your new best friend. 9 out of 10 deepest caves in India are in Meghalaya and have been the subject of attention of hikers, geologists, and historians alike. Each cave has a mystery, a legend, and a panoramic view to offer. Some caves even have vertical slide-downs, waist-high water passages, and dark, slippery trails. Exploring the caves of Shillong is nothing less than a journey to the mysterious island.
The 6 best caves to explore are:
1. Mawjymbuin Cave (Mawsynram Village)
2. Mawsmai Cave (Cherrapunjee)
3. Krem Mawmluh (Cherrapunjee)
4. Krem Umshyrpi (Cherrapunjee)
5. Siju Cave ( East Garo Hills)
6. Marai Cave (Jowai Road).
COST: nominal or no entry fee
BEST TIME TO VISIT: any time of the year
HOW TO REACH: 1-3 hours cab ride from Shillong
River Rafting and Kayaking
Water sports make up for a huge part of adventure sports in Meghalaya and White-water rafting tops the list for any water enthusiast.
Feel the strong and icy freshwater gushing against your face as you fervently peddle the raft with the flow of the river.
River rafting can be enjoyed at the Barapani lake or in the Dawki River.
For beginners, we suggest Kayaking in the Kynshi river - one of the best kayaking destinations in India, however, kayaking can also be done in the Umiam lake, which is just a half-hour drive from Shillong.
Either way, water sports at Shillong are a major tourist attraction to Meghalaya and will leave you feeling refreshed and energized.
COST: average cost for both rafting and kayaking is INR 500 per person
BEST TIME TO VISIT: all year long, avoiding monsoon
HOW TO REACH: Barapani lake, Dawki river, Kynshi river, and Umiam lake are 17 km, 95 km, 53 km, and 17 km from Shillong, respectively.
Meghalaya is one of the best places for paragliding in India. With a gliding height of 700 meters, you’ll be in awe of the exquisite view before you, and no matter how long you stay in the sky, you always land down wanting more.
Paragliding tickets can be prebooked or purchased on the spot. Paragliding cost per adult is around INR 2000. A little expensive, but with the best equipment, trained help, and assured safety, the experience is worth the cost.
COST: INR 2000 PER PERSON
BEST TIME TO VISIT: any time of the year
HOW TO REACH: there are several paragliding spots in Shillong depending on the company/agent you choose
Trekking on the David Scott Trail
Thakk gaye Bunny? If not, get ready to trek on one of India’s oldest trek routes, constructed during the British administration in India. The David Scott Trek (named after the British administrator David Scott) is a 16 km long trek that runs in the sacred forest and stretches between two villages - Mawphlang and Lad Mawphlang.
The passage of the trek is nothing short of paradisiacal. Walking on the Eastern Khasi rolling hills with the river Umiam flowing alongside you is an experience you will always cherish. You’ll be surrounded by lush green trees, natural ponds, and the fresh forest scent in the atmosphere.
Amongst Meghalaya’s tourist spots is a Hanging bridge that you will encounter during this trek. It is a military-built suspension bridge on Umiam lake, that got washed away in the flash floods of 2007. It was rebuilt in 2012 but you will still be able to hear a creaking sound as you walk through the bridge.
The trek starts from village Mawphlang. The Shillong weather is unpredictable, so it is advisable to wear summer clothes as you will be subjected to the scorching heat of the sun, but also carry a jacket for the weather gets cold after sunset.
COST: INR 1200-1500 depending on the number of people
BEST TIME TO VISIT: October – April (avoid monsoon)
HOW TO REACH: Mawphlang village is a 27 km cab ride from Shillong
‘Elephant falls’ is one of the most famous places to visit in Meghalaya. These falls were named after an elephant-shaped rock near the falls during the colonial period. The rock broke down due to an earthquake in 1897, but the falls are still famous with this name.
Alternately, they are also referred to as ‘the Three-Step Waterfalls’ because there are three falls in succession. Amongst the three, the third fall is the most visible, and popular amongst tourists.
You can find utmost serenity just sitting on the rocks and admiring the beauty of these falls.
Because of their calm atmosphere and beautiful views, these falls are one of the best places in Shillong for couples.
COST: INR 20 per person
BEST TIME TO VISIT: all year long
HOW TO REACH: just 12 km away from Shillong
Horse Riding to the Peak of Meghalaya
The highest point in Meghalaya is at an elevation of 1966m. It is easily accessible through horseback riding up to the peak. As you ride the horses, you not only enjoy the effortless swing, but also the landscape of your journey uphill. You’ll agree with the title – the Scotland of East as you witness the beauty of the rolling hills and the vast vegetation of the state. Moreover, when you reach the peak, you look down at the mesmerizing view of the entire city of Shillong.
This peak makes for an excellent picnic spot in Shillong so it can be enjoyed with friends, family, spouse, or solo.
COST: INR 100 per person
BEST TIME TO VISIT: October – April
Visit Asia’s Cleanest Village
Mawlynnong village, 79 km from Shillong, is Asia’s cleanest village. The village is a sight for sore eyes and the home to one of the most iconic tourist spots in Meghalaya – the living bridge. This bridge differs from regular bridges in that it is not man-made, rather naturally made by the weaving of the Ficus Elastica tree. The roots of this rubber tree were interlocked together in such a way that it made a functional bridge that natives use to travel to and from the plains.
The village is also a hub of fruit orchards and gardens where you can have a taste of fresh fruits while watching panoramic views of the bordering country Bangladesh.
There is also a treehouse in the village where you can stay if you wish to spend a night in this beautiful village.
COST: entry fee of INR 10 per person and inside village expenses
BEST TIME TO VISIT: October – April
HOW TO REACH: 72 km cab ride from Shillong or 16 km David Scott trek
Meghalaya has a few more activities like archery, golfing, bungee jumping, rock climbing, snorkeling, and various museums and national parks that are common tourist places, but these were our handpicked suggestions on Meghalya’s tourism, specifically curated for the adventure geek inside you.