Top 9 Prolific Natural Wonders and Parks in Meghalaya

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Meghalaya- the abode of clouds, is enriched with prolific landscapes; the unmatched natural beauty of this state keeps one enthralled. There are cascading waterfalls, scenic rivers and lakes, fresh streams, deep valleys, surging hills and immense greenery. For nature lovers, the state is an ideal place to wander and explore.

We have enlisted some of the best natural wonders and parks that you should definitely visit in Meghalaya.

Top 9 Parks and Nature Attractions in Meghalaya

1. Laitlum Canyon

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Rating: 4.7 (based on 3878 google reviews)

Nestled in the East Khasi Hills of Shillong, Laitlum Canyon is a slightly offbeat destination in the beautiful state of Meghalaya. Laitlum literally means 'End of the Hills' and on visiting this place you'll find that it stands true to its name. The hilltop overviews spell-bounding landscapes, including surging hills, bamboo plantations stretching over vast distances and colourful beds of wild orchids. The canyon always covered with a white misty blanket is known for the best aerial view of Shillong.

The picturesque hills of Laitlum Canyon are called 'the amphitheatre of Meghalaya'. Seemingly interminable, these hills are coloured with a multitude of shades from muddy brown and deep green to light pink at the time of sunrise and sunset.

At the depth of the canyon there's a fresh gurgling stream amidst the viridescent meadow. A quaint wooden bridge over the stream makes it look like a perfect scenery. The pleasant meadow serves as a great picnic spot with a wonderful view of four waterfalls. You can get a traditional Khasi meal packed at a local food joint.

From the top of the canyons you can spot Rasong, a small village perched in the lush green surges of Laitlum Canyon. The 300 residents of the village depend upon an old ropeway pulley system to transport food and other essential goods down to the valley and up the hill.

Trekking at Laitlum Canyon is among the best things to do in Meghalaya. It's a home to nature lovers and trekking enthusiasts. The trail may be quite difficult to traverse, but it offers some of the greatest views and a cool fresh air that will make your efforts worthwhile. The ideal time to visit Laitlum Canyon is afternoon as the valley is enveloped in fog in the morning and evening.

Location: Laitlum Grand Canyon, Meghalaya 793015
Closed on: All days open
Average time spent: 3 hours
Timing: Monday-Sunday: 06:00 AM-05:00 PM

2. Mawphlang Sacred Forest

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Rating: 4.6 (based on 784 google reviews)

The forests in the East Khasi and Jaintia hills are connected with the indiginous beliefs and culture; among which the most important and sacred is the Mawphlang Sacred Forest. Perched in the East Khasi Hills near the Mawphlang village, the forest is spread over 192 acres. It's gripped by the age-old beliefs considering forests as a religious entity.

The local Khasi tribals have been protecting this forest for thousands of years and believe that the local deity called Labasa, resides here. The tribals firmly believe that Labasa protects this forest and their tribe from evil. To please the deity, the locals also offer animal sacrifices in the stone temples situated within the forest.

The forest is secured by one basic rule, 'Nothing is allowed to be taken out of this sacred grove. Not even a stone, leaf or a dead log.' Removing even the smallest thing from the forest would upset the deity. Whoever breaks the rule is punished with severe illness that might even lead to death.

The beliefs,folklore and of course the natural beauty of the forest attracts the tourists. The forest consists of rich flora. Some of the trees are more than a thousand years old. The verdant forest becomes lively during the three-day Monolith festival that is held here to exhibit the rich heritage and culture of the tribe.

Entry Ticket: Rs. 300 (for guided tour), Rs. 20 (extra Rs. 20 for camera)
Location: Nongrum, Meghalaya 793121
Closed on: All days open
Average time spent: 2 hours
Timing: Monday-Sunday: 09:00 AM-04:30 PM

3. Umiam Lake

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Rating: 4.6 (based on 1409 google reviews)

Located 15 Kms from Shillong, Umiam Lake is an enthralling man-made reservoir. The lake was formed after a dam was constructed for generating hydro-electric power. The picturesque Umiam Lake is surrounded by lush green surges of East Khasi Hills making it look no less than a scenery. The sunrise at the lake is mesmerizing and should not be missed. The park adjacent to the lake is quite pleasant and well suited for picnics.

The scenic lake is encircled by thick coniferous expanding over an area of about 222 sq. Kms. It's an ideal place for nature lovers owing to its flourishing flora. You can take a long boat ride and comfort yourself with tranquility of the surroundings or you can also enjoy various water sport activities that are offered here. Apart from these activities, you can also observe the life and work of the natives who come by the lake for collecting twigs and grass or for fishing in the still waters.

During the summers, the shores of the lake look flamboyant with beautiful Gulmohar trees, while during the Winters, the water level recedes and its colour deepens.

The place is always open however, the watersports and activities can be enjoyed only between 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Activity charges: Rs. 20 (pedal boat)
Rs. 200 (Skiing)
Rs. 50 (Scooter)
Rs. 50 (River bus)
Rs. 100 ( Yachting)
Location: Umiam, Meghalaya 793103
Closed on: All days open
Average time spent: 1 hour 30 minutes
Timing: Monday-Sunday: Always open

4. Ward’s Lake

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Rating: 4.4 (based on 879 google reviews)

Ward's Lake is among the best places to visit in Shillong. This artificial lake is surrounded by lush greenery and was named after Sir William Ward, the chief commissioner of Assam during the British era. It's also known as Pollock's Lake and was constructed around 1894. The pleasant environment around the lake attracts a lot of locals and tourists for picnicking.

The lake is situated in the middle of the city and is surrounded by a lush garden with flamboyant flower beds, cobbled walkways and a captivating fountain. There is a wooden bridge in the middle of the lake that enables the visitors to enjoy the panoramic view of the lake or feed the fish in the lake. Boating is also one of the activities that can be enjoyed here. There's a cafeteria for refreshments and beverages too.

Entry Ticket: Rs. 10 (adults), Rs. 5 (children, senior citizens and specially abled people)
Location: Police Bazar, Shillong, Meghalaya 793001
Closed on: All days open
Average time spent: 1 hour 30 minutes
Timing: 08:30-17:30;08:30-19:00

5. Shillong Peak

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Rating: 4.4 (based on 5167 google reviews)

Situated 10 Kms south of the main city, Shillong Peak is the highest point in Shillong. At an altitude of 6,449 ft above the sea level, Shillong Peak offers a prolific view of the waterfalls, the Himalayan summits, the verdant surroundings as well as the Bangladeshi plains. A telescope is available there for the tourists for an aerial view. The peak is semi-circular rather than steep and is often covered in dense fog.

A sacred site dedicated to U-Shulong is situated at the top of the peak. Every spring season a ritual is also organized here in the honour. It is said that Shillong received its name from this peak itself. As per the folklore, the local deity Leishyllong resides on the peak and guards the city of Shillong from evils.

The Radar Station of Indian Air Force is located here and, for security reasons, the tourists are not allowed to carry their cameras with them.

Entry Ticket: Free Entry
Location: Peak Viewing Point, Shillong, Meghalaya 793004
Closed on: All days open
Average time spent: 40 minutes
Timing: Monday-Sunday: 09:00 AM-05:00 PM

6. Mawjymbuin Caves

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Rating: 4.2 (based on 363 google reviews)

Mawjymbuin Caves are situated in Mawsynram- 'the wettest place on Earth'. The caves are a prolific natural wonder and are regarded as a sacred entity among the tribals.

The caves are formed by calcareous sandstone and consists of several stalagmites formed as a result of weathering, deposited calcium carbonate and dripping mineral rich liquid. One of these stalagmites is shaped as a shiva-lingam and is considered sacred among the hindus. These caves are of special interest for the geologists who conduct several researches here.

A thin stream flows through the massive boulders under the eastern portion of this cave. There are many rifts and entrances in the cave that are difficult to enter.Owing to its unique formations and scenic location, Mawjymbuin Caves in Meghalaya are popular amongst nature lovers and landscape photographers.

Entry Ticket: Free Entry
Location: Mawjymbuin Rd, Meghalaya 793113
Closed on: All days open
Average time spent: 2 hours
Timing: Monday-Sunday: Always open

7. Lady Hydari Park

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Rating: 4.1 (based on 2394 google reviews)

Lady Hydari park is named after the consort of the Governor of Assam when Shillong was under the administration of Assam during the British era. The park is themed as a Japanese garden. There are round hedges, willow trees with their leaves brushing the ground as well as many small ponds scattered throughout the park.

Lady Hydari, being an avid nature lover herself, this park is ideal for people who love and appreciate nature's beauty.

There are paved pathways, suited for strolling in the park while admiring its exquisite flora, neatly trimmed & maintained lawns and its captivating collection of a variety of orchids and rhododendrons. If you happen to visit Shillong during winters of spring then spending a lazy afternoon in the park's lawns is the best thing to do.

The park is inarguably the best place for kids as it offers a vast playing ground with swings and slides. There's also a small lake with ducks and colourful fish and you can feed them for your amusement. The mini zoo and museum inside the park premises are among the major attractions.

With innumerable picturesque views and amusement activities, Lady Hydari Park is one of the best places to visit in Shillong and spend some quality time.

Entry Ticket: Rs. 10 (adults), Rs. 5 (children and senior citizens), Rs. 2 (specially abled people)
Location: Lower, Lachumiere, Shillong, Meghalaya 793001
Closed on: All days open
Average time spent: 1 hour 30 minutes
Timing: Monday-Sunday: 08:00 AM-05:00 PM

8. Lumpongdeng Island

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Rating: 4.0 (based on 9 google reviews)

Located 17.8 Kms from the Shillong Airport, Lumpongdeng Island is an isolated natural island in the Umiam Lake. The island is known for camping and boat housing.

The lake being surrounded by vast verdant hills, the island offers some prolific views and is an ideal place for nature lovers and photographers.

Lumpongdeng island has its own little boat house that makes for a perfect getaway for a day or two. You can also enjoy exciting water activities such as kayaking, boating, scooting and jet-skiing in the lake. Apart from these you can also go for a trek in the forest or to the hilltop and enjoy the mesmerizing view.

Entry Ticket: Free Entry
Location: lumpongdeng, Umiam, Meghalaya 793103
Closed on: All days open
Average time spent: 3 hours
Timing: Monday-Sunday: 10:00 AM-04:00 PM

9. Diengiei Peak

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Rating: 4.0 (based on 5 trip advisor reviews)

With a height of 6,200 ft, Diengiei Peak is the second highest peak in Meghalaya after Shillong Peak. Diengiei Peak is known for its scenic beauty and for the panoramic view it offers to Umiam Lake, verdant hills and the surges of East Khasi Hills.

Another interesting aspect of this peak is a huge cup-shaped hollow that geologists believed to be a crater from an extinct prehistoric volcano. The peak appeals to mountain climbers and trekkers for several reasons. Rappelling and rock climbing are two major adventure sports that can be enjoyed here.

Entry Ticket: Free Entry
Location: Diengiei Peak, Meghalaya
Closed on: All days open
Average time spent: 3 hours
Timing: Monday-Sunday: Always open

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