Meghalaya's natural beauty is most conducive for extended holidays with the hill station of Shillong continuing to be a hot favourite. Three hundred varieties of orchids are found in the state which is also rich in wildlife . Meghalaya has two national parks which are home to some rare species of flora and fauna. The gentle hills of Meghalaya are interspersed with rich meadows and pine forests.
Amongst these is that intriguing phenomenon-the traditional sacred forests that are steeped in spiritual belief and held in great veneration. They also represent some of the earliest representations of preserving the ancient eco-systems.Just 20km from Shillong you will find the Mawphlang Sacred Forest in all its Pristine wonder.Meghalaya is aldo home to that unique carnivorus plant, the pitcher plant.From the Jaintia hills,sir Joseph Hooker the renowned botanist took the blue vanda to propagate it in London's famous Kew Gardens. You will Discover the blue Vanda, lady's slipper and other rare orchid varieties in the flower gardens of shillong.
Culture:- Music, Crafts and Costumes of Meghalaya provide a glimpse of rich cultural heritage of the state. The tribal people sing folk songs during various occasions such as birth, marriage, festivals, love and heroic deeds accompanied with various types of drums and flutes. Beside, they also sing songs to praise the nature like hills, lakes, waterfalls, rivers and also to express their love for mother land.
From ancient times, the tribals of Meghalaya are known for weaving cane mat, stools and baskets. The Khasis make a special kind of cane mat called ‘Tlieng’ and they also extract iron ore to make knives, utensils, guns and other warfare weapons. The Garos weave the material used for their traditional dress called the ‘Dakmanda’, besides, the Khasis and the Jaintias also weave their costumes. The tribes of Meghalaya have distinct type of costumes and jewellery, however, with the change of time the males have adopted the western code of dress while the ladies still carry the tradition of ethnic sartorial elegance.
Fairs and Festivals:- Due to the existence of three tribes, each tribe has a number of tribes. Some of the few popular festivals are Wangala, Nongkrem dance and Behdienkhlam. These festivals are celebrated by the people of Meghalaya without the bounds of any religious faiths. The ancestral spirits are appeased during the festivals following the sowing and harvesting.
Shopping Delight:- Mounted butterflies, handwoven shawls, orange honey, black mushrooms, Khasi dresses for woman, pineapple, orange and other fruit product are the best buy here. Bara bazar is a must-visit for shoppers. Local handicraft can be bought at Meghalaya Handloom and Crafts, Purbashree, Manipur Emporium, Tantuja, Assam Emporium and Nagaland Handloom and Handicrafts. Mounted butterflies are sold at Butterfly Museum at Mawkhar.
Best time to visit:- From september to April; avoid the monsoons that drench the state from june to september.