We’re still trying to figure out why the North-East is still so highly underrated? The evergreen forests of the ‘abode of clouds’ that is Meghalaya, with its abundance of waterfalls, lush mountains, and finger-licking good food, there are more than just 10 reasons why Meghalaya should be on your travel list this year. But, we feel 10 will be enough to convince you. By Shubhanjana Das

1. The Living Roots Bridge:

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#Repost @machh.and.mishti ・・・ The most surreal and arduous trek to these 120 year old rubber tree root bridge. The steep descent of 3500 steps in one go to this root bridge and oh ! Wait it's just the 3rd of the journey to the next destination of rainbow waterfalls. So, it didn't stopped there we had to cover more than 8kms , 3 cliffs down to witness the rainbow waterfalls and finally settled down there for a picturesque waterfall. The hardest part for me , for a first timer trekking person was to climb the 7500 steps in one go which felt like forever with jelly knees and absolutely no natural lights. I had almost fallen for more then 10times. Thanks to them who had patience in me and literally for them I am alive now. . #meghalaya #northeast #wanderlust #mypixeldiary #_soi #roadtrip #photographers_of_india #indiaphotoproject #traveldiaries #trek #youngwildandfree #india #natgeotravel #ig_worldclub #iggrammers #instatravel #tripotocommunity #trellcommunity #lonelyplanet #lonelyplanetindia #everydayindia #burnmagazine #incredibleindiaofficial #timemagazine #storiesofindia #travelrealindia #worldbestgram #lensculture #myspc

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Te bridges made by man over ferocious rivers out of roots of living trees is perhaps the aptest example of how Meghalaya strikes a balance between man and nature as both co-exist peacefully. The Umshiang Double-Decker Root Bridge and Nohwet Living Root Bridge are alive and keep growing! Some of the locals are teaching this practice of making bridges out of roots to their children to carry the process on in the future because really, it is an unparalleled feat of man and nature! 

2. The Caves:

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#Repost @travelwithaky ・・・ Wei sawdong waterfall . . Amazing . . Shot on : @oneplus #ShotonOnePlus #oneplus6 #oneplus . . #indiamobileclick #india_undiscovered #incredibleindia #storiesofindia #i_hobbygraphy #igersoftheday #beautifuldestinations #spitivalley #natgeoyourshot #himachalpradesh #paradise #maibhisadakchap #nustaharamkhor #NustaGoProHero #nvedi #shootguru #mypixlediary #ig_streetphotography #delhi #manali #mumbai #followforfollow #travelwithaky #himachal #manali #travelstory . . @natgeoyourshot @goproin @colours.of.india @haram_khor_ @india_gram @tree_magic @urbanjungleblog @oneplus @shot_on_phone__ @mophoindia @mobileshoot_photography @12mp_me @chrisburkard @insta_himalayas @awesome.photographers @awesomesaucein @kailashrathtreks

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If spelunking could be practiced as a proper sport anywhere, Meghalaya would be the place. The limestone caves here are not just one or two in number but can be found throughout the state. In fact, some of Asia’s darkest and deepest caves are here with 9 out of India’s 10 deepest caves. Sounds daunting already? Well, then you should try stepping into these cavernous formations to witness the captivating limestone formations, some of which require knowing swimming, a bit of rock climbing as well as trekking. 

3. The Local Music Scene:

Meghalaya’s capital, Shillong, has been long referred to as the ‘Rock capital of India’ due to its cultural encouragement to rock music. Even local cafes, which have live music nights, like the one synonymous to Shillong, Cafe Shillong, give a stage to up and coming musicians. If you happen to be in Meghalaya, look out for music fests or concerts and you’ll know what we’re talking about. 

4. Adventure Sports:

No matter in which direction you look, you will find something adventurous to do! Starting from canoeing and kayaking in Dawki river to waterfall hopping in the Elephant falls, drop a pin on what it is that you wish to achieve next on your adventures list and leave it to Meghalaya to cross it out. 

5. Hiking Trails:

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#Repost @road.and.food ・・・ Taking the unexplored path. This particular day we started walking on our way, descended down the hill, crawled over the algae-licked stones, trekked and hiked deep into the woods with a bunch of unknown friends led by @obed_don and finally made our way and confronted this magnificent, untouched, unseen, unexplored treasure. The sight of the water gushing down into a series of cascades left me all spellbound. And the only thing that I have learnt from this experience is to trust the creator for all that I have not seen. (and yet to be seen.) . P.S. : We discovered this waterfall somewhere in South West Khasi Hills.The exact location of this waterfall is not to be revealed. . . . . . . . . . #meghalaya #northeastiindia #whereisnortheast #waterfalldiscovery #waterfall #offbeat #unexplored #unseen #instatraveling #Travel #Wanderlust #adventure #intothewoods #trekking #hiking #waterfallsofinstagram #instagood #mypixeldairy #travelgram #quecha #southwestkhasihills

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If you’re in and around Shillong, you can just pick a mountain and start climbing it. However, if you want an established trail to venture into, try the David Scott trail, which starts from the village of Ladmawphlang and ends at Mawphlang. You’ll be covering a total distance of about 16 km. 

6. Native Tribal Culture:

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#Repost @therohanbaruah ・・・ The Hardy locals of Khasi Hills. A sight of locals carrying traditional bamboo baskets (filled with all sorts of stuff) as they climb up the steep mountainside, is very common in Laitlum. The main cash crop of Rasong is the broom plant, which the locals use to make traditional brooms sold in the markets of Shillong. #hashtags #meghalaya #meghalayadiaries #travel #travelrealindia #instatravel #travelgram #instago #passportready #wanderlust #instatravelling #instavacation #wahhindia #postcardsfromtheworld #igtravel #getaway #discoverindia #wanderer #wanderlust #mytravelgram #visiting #travelphotography #amazing #arountheworld #ig_worldclub #worldcaptures #worldplaces #worldingram #worldbestgram

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Spread across Garo, Khasi and Jaintia hills are the populations which are predominantly tribal, meaning their past is steeped in history. Each region speaks its own language and each tribe has its own distinct culture.  

7. Asia’s Cleanest Village:

If there’s one thing people associate Meghalaya with is the village of Mawlynnong, considered the cleanest in all of Asia. While the whole country is reeling under the burden of littered trash, you can practically lie down on the streets of Mawlynnong for it is squeaky clean! 

8. The Sacred Groves:

The Mawphlang Sacred Forest is considered sacred by the Khasi tribe who consider this thick, dense grove to be sacred and revere the monoliths that are found inside. Legend has it that no visitor can ever get lost in these groves for the reigning deity is always guiding them. Also, no one is supposed to carry anything back from these groves for superstitious reasons. 

9. Local Festivities:

If three distinct tribes inhabit one small state, it is bound to be celebrating some festivity or the other around the year. The Khasi community treats dance as a rite of passage and is celebrated during the Ka Shad Suk Mynsiem, Ka Pom-Blang Nongkrem, and Ka-Shad Shyngwiang-Thangiap festivals. These cultural festivals are an effort of the tribal communities to preserve their native traditional culture and rituals.  

10. The Food:

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"Sungat bonua", (Sunga – bamboo hollow) is is an old Assamese technique of slow cooking food in bamboo tubes. Generally rice or marinated fish or meat are placed inside a fresh ,clean bamboo tube along with enough water, sealed with banana leaves and baked on a charcoal fire until done . ✔️ 📸 by @assamesecuisine . ✔️ Follow @incredible.northeast and use ♦️#incrediblenortheast ♦️ for feature . . . #assamesefood #assamesecuisine #nagafood#manipurifood #nagacuisinemanipuricuisine#northeastcuisine #bodofood#mizofood#khasifood#meiteifood#sikkimfood#tripurafood #indiancuisine#indiancurry#tasteofindia #foodsofindia #indiandrinks #naga #nagaland #assam #guwahati #tripura #arunachalpradesh #sikkim #gangtok #mizoram #manipur

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The best is always kept for the last, right? Meghalayan cuisine is an absolute mouth-watering delight for the meat-loving kind. In fact, even their rice, Jadoh, is cooked in pork blood! Try their fermented fish chutneys, chicken and beef preparations with the Jadoh for a taste of what the traditionally Khasis eat in a day. 

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