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About Meghalaya

The Abode of Clouds & Misty Mountains Meghalaya bordered by Assam to the north and east and Bangladesh to its west is one of north east India 's most attractive states. Sustaining a wealth of rolling green, thickly forested hills that nurture an amazing ecological diversity, Meghalaya also presents a lavish spectacle of sapphire blue lakes, towering peaks, cascading waterfalls, and an amazing variety of wild Orchids. It is known for its small towns of Cherrapunji and Mawsynaram - the wettest places on earth.

Located between 25.10-26 N Latitude and Longitude 85.49 0 and 22,439 Sq.Kms in size this evergreen state is bordered by Bangladesh to the south and west and Assam to the north and north east. The state comprises of three divisions- Western Meghalaya – Garo Hills ; Central Meghalaya – Khasi Hills , Eastern Meghalaya and Jaintia Hills. These tribes with their numerous fairs and festivals are all fun loving, hospitable lot living a peaceful life in this enchanting abode of the clouds.

Meghalaya's capital Shillong –was in the past referred to as ' Scotland of the East' due its remarkable resemblance to the British province's climate and vegetation. This pulsating hill town presents quite a contrast to the easy going tribal village lifestyle. Hep and happening with its fancy shops and eateries, and strains of the latest in rock and rap wafting out of posh restaurants, and a miscellany of local bands, Shillong offers you a wild late night partying kind of holiday or a more carefree, stress eliminating one in a laid back setting.

Meghalaya has an excellent infrastructure in terms of roads, hotel accommodation, and easy accessibility to Guwahati the well connected gateway of the north east, in neighbouring Assam.

Getting There

Shillong the capital of Meghalaya is easily accessed by air and road from Guwahati the gateway city to the entire North East region and is the nearest rail head for trains coming in from other parts of the country.

Air: Alliance Air has regular flight from Kolkata to Barapani Airport , 16 Kms from Shillong. Pawan Hans also has a helicopter service from Guwahati to Shillong . The half hour flight costs 725 one way. Taxis charge about Rs. 250-300m from the airport into town. Guwahati on the other hand has many more daily flights coming in from Delhi and Kolkata. Jet, Sahara and Indian Airlines all fly into Guwahati from where you can take a luxury coach or hire a taxi for the 103 Kms ride to Shillong. Taxis generally charge about Rs. 1000/- for the ride.

Rail: Guwahati has excellent rail services from almost all major cities in India making it easily accessible. It is connected to rest of India with convenient train connections.

From Delhi the Rajdhani Express is the best train to take to Guwahati which takes 30 hours for the journey. The ticket cost includes all meals. However there are other trains like the Brahmaputra Mail, North East Express.

From Mumbai there is one train the Dadar - Guwahati Express which is not recommended as it takes three days to reach Guwahati and does not have adequate facilities and is quite unreliable.

From Kolkata there are the Kanchenjunga Express and Shoraighat Express which take about 24 hours and 21 hours respectively to reach Guwahati.

By Road: Guwahati is connected to Shillong by National Highway 40 . This excellent 103 Km arrow straight road affords breathtaking views of the countryside passing through the small settlements of Jorabat, Barnihaat, and Nagpoh.

Climate

Meghalaya's climate is entirely influenced by the south-western monsoons originating from the Bay of Bengal and continuing from May through October. Cherrapunji has been replaced as the wettest place on earth by Mawsynaram in East Khasi Hills district receiving the heaviest rainfall in the world with a July average of 959cms. November to April are the ideal months to visit Meghalaya where the winter begins in December and lasts until February.

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