‘Meghalaya’ (Sanskrit for ‘abode of clouds’), is one of the seven North eastern states of India. Famous for its high rainfall, subtropical forests and biodiversity, it is a state that has been blessed with natural beauty that is almost untouched. There is so much more to Meghalaya than we know and a recent festival organised by Meghalaya Tourism and E Factor showcased the hidden secrets of Meghalaya to the world with the first edition of ‘The Meghalayan Age’ festival.
It was held from 7th March to 15th March at Jowai in the Jaintia Hills region of Meghalaya. The Meghalayan Age Festival traverses culture, adventure, history, food, luxury, and raw nature. It takes you through diverse shades of stunning landscapes and rich traditions of this stunning state. The most amazing part of the festival was how it brought people closer to the bounty of nature whilst in the lap of luxury. What was even more commendable was that all of this was pulled off without any compromises on sustainability.
Glamping, also known as luxury camping or glamorous camping, was the escape that people at the Meghalayan Age festival cherished the most. It redefined the concept of luxurious commune with nature and was indeed one of the major talks of the festival. More than fifty 5-star tents were setup, all equipped with luxurious interiors and international standards in terms of facilities. It changed the age old concept of camping where you take your own tent without any basic facilities at all. The Meghalayan Age Festival brought a unique concept of glamping. Where instead of you having to carry a tent, the hosts had set them up for you, and that too in luxurious way. With glamping, less is more. As compared to a luxury hotel, glamping accommodations, in many cases, take advantage of the surrounding elements of nature and don’t barricade you between four walls. The idea of waking up and stepping out into your own private natural retreat was a hot seller. Fresh air and absolute leisure…what more could one ask for? But the festival wasn’t limited to the four walls of a luxurious tent. There was so much to be explored as the Meghalayan Age offered infinite experiences to its visitors.
Caving goes down in my list of adventures as the most incredible thing I have done in my life! Imagine trekking through a dense jungle to explore a cave in the middle of the same. A cave network of over 500 kilometres, 1,700 discovered and 1,000 explored caves – it’s safe to say that Meghalaya is home to one of the world’s most extensive cave networks. Not only that, the north-eastern state also boasts of the world’s longest cave in sandstone and the world’s largest species of cave fish.
There are experiences in life that you take to your grave and a ride in a hot air balloon definitely qualifies as one! Flying over the beautiful landscape of Meghalaya was a surreal experience. Cotton clouds and lush green fields, lakes and mountains make for the ideal view when up in the air. Being right on top (about 3500 feet to be precise) of serene views in Meghalaya will not only give a mad rush of adrenaline but a sense of existence like you have never experienced before.
Water Sports was another experience cherished by those at the Meghalayan Age Festival 2020. No, water sport is not limited to beach lovers, but you can experience that mad adrenaline rush in the mountains as well. In fact, the spot where the Meghalayan Age made it happen is the only spot in India where river scuba diving can be done. Scuba diving in the Umngot river is an experience in its own. The river is the natural boundary between Ri Pnar (of Jaintia Hills) and Hima Khyrim (of Khasi Hills). Kayaking was another incredible activity in the itinerary of the ‘Meghalayan Age 2020’. Kynshi River, located in the West Khasi Hills, is a popular site for kayaking in Meghalaya.
Opportunities Unlimited For Intrepid Travellers
For those who were less of adventurers and more of explorers, this festival turned out to be a game changer. As the camping site was merely a 2-hourdrive from several major attractions of the hill state, there were enough and more chances for sightseeing as well. Destinations like Tirshy waterfalls, Krem Suri waterfalls, living root bridges were a sight for sore eyes. A visit to the Nartiang Monoliths – a collection of monoliths that are believed to be the tallest in the world – was like taking a walk through history. The monoliths in Jowai were erected to mark the reign of the erstwhile Jaintia kings.
There are not enough words to give reasons visiting Meghalaya. It was the efforts of people at E Factor, Meghalaya Government that made it possible through this festival – that gave you infinite reasons to visit Meghalaya. Check into nature at Meghalaya. It will change your life.