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Meghalaya border is just 16 Kms. from the Guwahati Railway station.

No proper signs will greet you to inform that the state of Meghalaya has started but instead, nice roads with steady incline and forest on both sides will.

You will be amazed to see everything around you change in just a span of one Kilometer.
The ride from here onwards gets better and better, roads keep on taking you up to a higher altitude, with small huts made of bamboo and curious locals peeping out from the windows.

Meghalaya is not called Adobe of Clouds and Land of Rain Clouds without a reason; all throughout the ride the clouds offer a kaleidoscope view of the mountain ranges.

20 kms. before Shillong, capital of Meghalaya is Umian lake, amidst the beautiful surrounding are the huge hoardings welcoming you to the state, letting you know the history, culture and places of interest, all put up by the Tourism Ministry of Meghalaya.

Though this region is still in turmoil for it's slow economic growth and traveling in the night is still not advisable, even though it is now considered the safest state in the North East after Arunachal Pradesh. But it was nice to see the government realizing that tourism can boost the growth of the state and hence going all out to make you feel at home.

Ride from the Umian Lake gets steeper giving a bird's eye view of the lake below, as we moved up temperatures went down. At Shillong the temperature was freezing 11 degrees that too in the month of March, which is Summer time in India.

Streets in Shillong are narrow with lot of one ways making parking a big problem.

Shillong will remind one of Shimla (Capital of Himachal Pradesh, a Northern State of India), old colonial style architecture and lots of churches.

Shillong is more of a hill station than a city, stay here is pleasant, but unlike Guwahati there are no ATM facilities and hotels are very expensive.

Meghalaya is home to three tribes, Jainti (the smallest community) Garo, which inhabits the western side of the state, and Khasi's, which inhabitate the eastern side.

The tribes follow matrilineal society, the property is passed on to females rather than males, the tribal palace we went to had a Queen, but her husband was not addressed as King, instead he was called Chief.

CHERRAPUNJI..(read on)


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