About this Blog: This blog is about a quick guide on how to get from Guwahati to Shillong and Cherrapunjee. This guide focuses on getting from Guwahati to Shillong and Cherrapunjee by public transport or by car. If you are driving your own car, scroll down for a route map.
Living root bridges, waterfalls, caves, canyons, clouds and bountiful nature – Meghalaya is the destination that has it all. And the best thing is that you can explore all these within a week. If you are on budget and want to go for a backpacking trip to Meghalaya, then you are at the right place. Here is a quick guide on how to travel from Guwahati to Shillong and to Cherrapunji. We will alsio provide a tentative itinerary for your Meghalaya trip that can be easily done on a budget.
Why should you read this Guide from Guwahati to Shillong to Cherrapunjee?
We have explored the Khasi and Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya quite well. Not only have we travelled in shared and public transport in Meghalaya, but also travelled in reserved cars. In short, after travelling to all the major tourist spots of Meghalaya as well as a number of offbeat destinations, we have profound knowledge about the places, tourist attractions and transport facilities of the state. Having said that, we are yet to explore the Garo Hills properly. We have only visited Tura during the 100 Drums Wangala Festival, a harvest festival of the Garos.
How to get from Guwahati to Shillong by public transport?
The best way to get from Guwahati to Shillong by public transport is by taking a shared sumo (jeeps) or car. If you are arriving at Guwahati by train, then you will get shared sumos and cars right outside the railway station.
Take the stairs towards Platform No 7 and exit towards Paltan Bazar. Just outside the Railway station is the ASTC Bus Stand. If you want to take a shared Sumo, then you will find them near one of the entry gates of the Bus stand. A lot of sumo drivers and car drivers will approach you. If you are coming for the first time, then ask a few of them about the fare and then decide. These sumos take 10 passengers and only leave when the sumo is filled up. So if you end up getting on an empty sumo, then you might have to wait for a longer time.
Sumo Fare is about INR 200 to 250 per person.
You will also get shared cars from Guwahati to Shillong as well. Usually, Maruti Swift and Tata Indica are found. You will get the shared cars just outside the Guwahati Railway Station at Paltan Bazar. Travelling from Guwahati to Shillong by these cars is more comfortable than by the sumos. The Fare by car is INR 300 – 400 per person.
Shared sumos and cars from Guwahati to Shillong are also available from Khanapara Stand. You can reach Khanapara from any part of Guwahati by taking a local bus or auto.
If you arrive at Guwahati by flight, then it is better for you to go to Khanapara Stand and then take shared sumo or car to Shillong. Here again, you will be approached by a lot of sumo and car drivers. The advice remains the same.
Buses from Guwahati to Shillong
The Meghalaya Tourism Website does mention that buses run by ASTC and MTC are both available from ISBT Guwahati. I think there are a few buses running from Guwahati to Shillong, but we never relied on bus service. We found the shared sumo and cars to be more comfortable and reliable options of travelling from Guwahati to Shillong.
Guwahati to Shillong by reserved car
You can also hire an entire cab for your journey from Guwahati to Shillong. You will get the cabs from the same places where you get the shared ones, i.e. outside the railway station, Khanapara and even ISBT. A hired car from Guwahati to Shillong will take about INR 1700-1800.
You can also book Ola/Uber Outstation from Guwahati to Shillong. Ola/Uber runs in Guwahati , but not in Shillong and Cherrapunji.
If you are hiring a cab for getting to Shillong from Guwahati, then you can ask the driver to to see the major attractions stop on the way. Between Guwahati to Shillong, the Umiam Lake or the Badapani is the main place where you can make a stop.
There are a couple of places in Shillong where the shared sumo or cars can drop you. The cars will usually drop you at Police Bazaar, the main centre of Shillong. The Sumos, on the other hand, usually drop at the Anjali Stand.
How to get from Shillong to Cherrapunji (Sohra) by public transport?
Since you are on Meghalaya trip, you will probably visit Cherrapunji. There are no shared vehicles from Guwahati to Cherrapunji. You have get another shared jeep or car from Shillong to Cherrapunji.
Shillong has a number of Sumo Stands. You will get shared sumos from Shillong to Cherrapunji at the Bara Bazar Sumo Stand near Ïewduh. There is a two-storeyed sumo stand and the sumos to Cherrapunji or Sohra is on the second floor. A ride from Shillong to Cherrapunji takes will take about 1.5 to 2 hours and will cost you INR 70-80 per seat. Hre also, the sumo leaves only when it is filled. The wait can be long here as well.
Shillong to Cherrapunji (Sohra) by bus
Buses are also available from Shillong to Cherrapunji. You will find buses at the Bust Stand near Police Bazar.Bus services are quite regular.
Shillong to Cherrapunji (Sohra) by reserved car
You can reserve a car for travelling from Shillong to Cherrapunji. You will get many cars available at Police Bazar. An entire car may cost you around INR 1500-1800. However, if you are getting a reserved car, then you can ask the driver to stop at the major attractions enroute like the Elephant Falls, Shillong Peak, Dympep Valley viewpoint.
How to get from Shillong to Mawlynnong and Dawki?
Shared sumos and taxis are available from Shillong to Dawki from the Anjali Stand at Shillong. There are no shared cabs to Mawlynnong. A reserved car from Shillong to Mawlynnong will cost about INR 3000-3500.
If you are looking for budget options, then you can take the conducted tour of Mawlynnong and Dawki from Meghalaya Tourism. The Tourism Office is located at Police Bazar. Book your seats a day in advance.
Meghalaya Tourism also conducts daily tours to Cherrapunjee, Mawsynram, Nartiang (if adequate bookings are done).
Getting your own car from Guwahati to Shillong to Cherrapunjee
You can also drive in your own car and even rentals from Guwahati to Shillong and then further to Cherrapunji. The road from Guwahati to Shillong is in a good condition and once you cross Assam to Meghalaya, the drive will be a pleasant one.
NH6 directly goes from Guwahati to Shillong. The distance is 100 km and it takes about 3nhours to reach. If you are driving in your own car, do stop at the Umiam Lake Viewpoint before reaching Shillong.
To drive from Shillong to Cherrapunji, take the state highway. The distance is about 55 km and will take about 2 hours to reach Cherrapunji.
Can I rent a bike from Guwahati to Shillong and to Cherrapunji?
The road from Guwahati to Shillong and then further to Cherrapunji is in good condition. Riding a bike is absolutely safe. You can rent a bike from both Guwahati and Shillong and then continue your Meghalaya trip. Why don’t you read about our Meghalaya Bike trip to know more about it? We did a 7-days bike trip in Meghalaya and visited quite a number of known and offbeat places. And yes, it is absolutely safe to ride a bike in Meghalaya, even for solo women riders.
However, if you are planning for a bike trip, have your bike accessories, jackets and warm clothes for your trip. Winters can be cold in Meghalaya.
A tentative Meghalaya Trip Itinerary for 6 days
Here we are providing a tentative itinerary for a Meghalaya Trip. This itinerary is the most common one usually taken by majority of the tourists. If you want to go a bit offbeat, contact us for a customized trip plan.
- Day 1 : Guwahati to Shillong
- Day 2: Shillong sightseeing
- Day 3: Excursion to Cherrapunji
- Day 4: Excursion to Mawlynnong & Dawki
- Day 5: Excursion to Jowai
- Day 6: Shillong to Airport/Guwahati
Day 1 : Guwahati to Shillong (100 km)
Start from Guwahati to reach Shillong. You can also directly arrive at Shillong Airport.
Day 2: Shillong sightseeing
You can rent a bike and go around exploring the major attractions of Shillong. Shillong sightseeing buses are also conducted by Meghalaya Tourism. The Shillong-Barapani conducted tours covers the following places : Elephant Falls, Shillong Peak, Lady Hydari Park, Laitumkhrah Cathedral, Wards Lake, Golf Course, State Museum, Bishop Beadon Falls, Umiam Lake.
Day 3: Excursion to Cherrapunji
The next day, you can travel from Shillong to Cherrapunji. If you have time, you can explore Cherrapunji as well. If you reach early, you can cover the majority of the places. The places you can visit in Cherrapunji are Mawkdok Valley, Ramkrishna Mission, Nohkalikai Falls. Mawsmai Caves, Eco Park, Nohsngithiang Falls, Thangkharang Park, Motrop and Arwah Caves.
Day 4: Excursion to Mawlynnong and Dawki
You can start early in the morning from Shillong and visit Mawlynnong, Asia’s cleanest village. There are a number of places to visit in Mawlynnong such as Riwai Root Bridge, the tree house, balancing rock and the beautiful village itself.
After Mawlynnong, visit Dawki and enjoy beside the clear waters of Umngot.
Day 5: Excursion to Jowai
Visit Jowai, the headquarters of the Jaintia Hills. It is located about 66 km from Shillong. Jowai used to be the summer capital of the Jaintia King. Today, the Jowai is a picturesque town beside the Myntdu River. Visit the Durga Mandir, Shiv Mandir, Monolith Park at Nartiang, Thadlaskein Lake, Tryshi Waterfalls and Krang Suri Waterfalls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Meghalaya.
Day 6: Shillong to Guwahati
You can either get your return tickets from Shillong (in this case flight) or Guwahati (you can avail either the flight or train).
As mentioned earlier, this is the most common itinerary for tourists. If you wish to stay at Cherrapunji, Mawlynnong or Dawki, that is possible as well.
Hope this quick guide from Guwahati to Shillong to Cherrapunjee helps you plan your trip across Meghalaya, the beautiful state steeped in clouds and rains and interesting folklore!
More resources on Meghalaya
If you want to plan a trip to Meghalaya, you can check out our resources.
- The Complete Meghalaya Travel Guide
- Offbeat Places to visit in Meghalaya
- Places to Visit in Cherrapunjee
- A compleet Guide on Nongriat Trek
- Kongthong – The Whistling Village of Meghalaya
- Mawryngkhang Trek – The Scariest Trek in Meghalaya
This post first appeared on Tale Of 2 Backpackers - We Travel. We Live. We Lov, please read the originial post: here