Northeast India is well-known for its diverse culture and rich heritage. States like Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland have some of the most magnificent landscapes and landforms to be found in India. Meghalaya is another Northeast Indian state, famous for its scenic natural beauty and rich culture. Shillong, a popular hill station of Meghalaya, attracts hordes from tourists from all over the world. And this is where the Meghalaya cycling tour starts and ends. Arrive at Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport of Guwahati and head to Shillong for an overnight stay. From Shillong, travel to Mawphlang village to explore the sacred groves of the area. Enjoy an overnight stay in an eco-friendly farm in the vicinity of this forest.
Utilise the next day of this trip by visiting Mawsynram, the wettest place on earth that receives an annual rainfall of over 467 inches. After spending the night at a farm, travel to Cherrapunjee in the morning. It has received some record-breaking amounts of rainfall in the past, and till some time ago, it held the title which now belongs to Mawsynram. On arrival in Cherrapunjee, travel a little further to Laitkynsew village for an overnight stay in a farm. The next section of this Meghalaya cycling trip entails an adventurous hiking expedition through lush forests. Witness the rare living root bridges, restricted to this region, as you hike. After lunch, an option to explore Cherrapunjee on bicycles is also at your disposal.
This Meghalaya cycling experience further takes you to Mawlynnong. Dubbed the cleanest village in Asia, this place is the site for your accommodation for this evening. The destination, travelled to in the seventh phase of this expedition, is Shillong. Journey to Jowai, the administrative headquarters of the West Jaintia Hills district, on cycles and then complete the rest of the journey in a motorised vehicle. En route, pass the Dawki border outpost, which acts as a gateway into Bangladesh. The trip officially ends when you board the flight from Guwahati on the final day of this journey.
Day 01: Arrival in Guwahati | Guwahati to Shillong
On arrival at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport of Guwahati, meet our representative and drive to the hill town of Shillong. After reaching here, transfer to your lodging for an overnight stay.
Day 02: Shillong to Mawphlang
In the first leg of this Meghalaya cycling tour, take your bikes and ride to Mawphlang village. The forests of the region are considered sacred by the local people and are preserved by traditional religious sanction. After reaching here, head to a local farm, noteworthy for being completely eco-friendly, for an overnight stay.
Day 03: Mawphlang to Mawsynram | Mawsynram to Mawphlang
Early morning, steer your bikes towards Mawsynram, a small village in the East Khasi Hill district of Meghalaya. It may not be as famous as Cherrapunjee, but it holds the current record for receiving the most amount of precipitation as rain. The village gets an average rainfall of about 467 inches annually. After spending some time here and enjoying the beautiful weather of the place, return to the farm in Mawphlang for an overnight stay.
Day 04: Mawphlang – Cherrapunjee – Laitkynsew
Once the wettest place on earth, Cherrapunjee is the next destination on this Meghalaya cycling trip. Often called by its alternative name, Sohra, this village receives an annual rainfall of around 460 inches. After spending some time here, travel to the village of Laitkynsew. Staying in a small establishment run by a local family presents a great opportunity to learn about the culture and traditions of the ethnic people.
Day 05: Optional Cycling Trip to Cherrapunjee
In the morning, head out on a hike through the forest of the region. As you trek, cross the living root bridges that are constrained to this part of the world. The sight of the bridges suggests that nature has come out of its way to the aid of humans. After a leisurely on-foot excursion, we return to Laitkynsew for lunch. Willing participants can opt to explore Cherrapunjee on their bicycles, and enjoy the panoramic view of the Bangladeshi riverine plains below. Thereafter, return to your lodging for an overnight stay.
Day 06: Laitkynsew to Mawlynnpong
The next day of the Meghalaya cycling experience takes you to Mawlynnong. Replete with picturesque natural beauty, this place is dubbed the cleanest village in Asia. Also referred to as gods own garden, the village is the home of a matrilineal community of the Khasi tribe. Riding on the vacant forest roads and enjoying the breathtaking sight of nature, reach the village and stay overnight here.
Day 07: Mawlynnong to Jowai | Jowai to Shillong
In the last leg of this adventurous journey, travel to Shillong. Ride out of the village, and enjoy the sights of Indian hills and Bangladeshi plains. Also, glance at some mesmerising waterfalls along the way. Passing through the Dawki border outpost, travel to Jowai, which is the administrative headquarters of the West Jaintia Hills district. On arrival in Jowai, get off your bikes and board a car to travel all the way to Shillong. After, reaching Shillong, transfer to your lodging for an overnight stay.
Day 08: Shillong to Guwahati | Departure from Guwahati
Early in the morning, travel to Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport of Guwahati, and board the flight for your onward journey.
Duration: 07 Nights/ 08 Days
Places Covered: Guwahati, Shillong, Mawphlang, Mawsynram, Cherrapunjee, Laitkynsew, Mawlynnpong, Jowai
Activities: Cycling, Hiking
Average Cycling Time: 5-6 hours
Best Time to go: October to March
October 2015 - 3rd, 17th
Bikes available - Giant Rincon and Merida Matts