Garden of Caves
Meghalaya is the home to a large number of water bodies and is enriched with natural glory and greenery. Located in between Shillong and Cherrapunji, Garden of Caves is an elegant tourist destination that is loaded with natural beauty and tranquillity and will definitely give you a feeling of reaching a wonderland.
Surrounded by misty green hills and forests all around, this place is home to a number of gorgeous waterfalls, tiny little ponds and an enchanting cave. This place was officially inaugurated in 2010 as a tourist destination yet not many are aware of this paradise of Meghalaya.
However, if you are willing to know about this dream destination in detail, read ahead before planning your Meghalaya trip.
Why visit Garden of Caves
The whole North-eastern state of Meghalaya is filled with innumerable cascades and caves. Garden of Caves was broadly used by the Khasi tribes for hiding from the British during the days of their colonial rule. As the whole area is surrounded by virgin forests, it became easier for them to hide amidst the deep jungle and entwining creepers.
Even though it often feels by the name that this place is filled with caves, actually it is a garden flooded with countless sources of natural beauty along with caverns. If you are a huge fan of cascades, you can easily walk near the stunning waterfalls falling over the rocks and enjoy the soft drizzles of it. Or else, one can also stand upon the bamboo bridges and admire the beauty of the place.
What to see here?
Pay the entry fee at the gate and enjoy the full freedom of spending some amazing moments in the green heaven of “Bri Ki Synrang”. Here is a list of all the points which you are going to see inside the 2.5 hectares of majestic Cave of Gardens.
- Hilly trails amidst lush greenery
- The endless stretch of forest
- Stunning Waterfalls- Sum Syiem Falls, Arsdad Falls, Riat Umlwai Falls
- Narrow lanes of water flowing haywire
- Ka Synrang Syiem, which is commonly referred to as the king’s cave
- Ki Stieh Maw or the warrior rocks
- U Mawdohnud or the heart-shaped rock
- U Mawkhyllung, also known as the baby rock
- Several viewpoints
- Bamboo Bridges
- Natural medicinal Water resource point
From youngsters to aged individuals, each and everyone can enjoy the grand elegance of this green fairyland without any hectic walk.
Experience Nature at its best!
This gorgeous space amidst the dense forest is created by the seasonal waterfalls which are fed by the rains. Once you get your entry ticket and start walking down the stairs, the sound of the gushing water will start alluring you soon enough.
While trying to find out where the soothing sound is coming from, you will notice a silvery waterfall peaking amidst the tall shrouded trees. That is when you are going to meet the gorgeous Arsdad Falls for the first time.
Walk down a few more steps and reach the mesmerising spot from where you can see the 15 feet tall cascade flowing downwards into a small pool of water. The view of the sun rays falling on the dazzling water falling downwards looks pretty magnificent and you must definitely dip your feet in the crystal clear water of the pool and enjoy the whole sumptuous scenery peacefully!
Sitting on a random piece of a boulder and listening to the constant burbling of the water along with the varieties of sounds coming out of the forest will boost up your mood profoundly!
After clicking some attractive snaps of the place and spending some great time here, move ahead to the next spots as well. The whole place serves as the habitat for a number of waterfalls of varying sizes. Walk amidst the entrancing beauty of the forest while enjoying the calmness of the place.
From the Rial Umlwau Falls, Ka Synrang Syiem to the natural sculptures on the rocks, explore all of it one after another and make sure to reach the sunset point on time and witness the breathtaking view of the place at the hours of dusk. The mood and ambience of the forest seem to change completely along with the changing position of the sun.
Just some steps away from the sunset viewpoint, the bamboo bridge is located where you need to pay an entry fee of Rs.20/adult. Even though there are a number of small bridges in the whole area of the garden, this bridge adjoins the spot of medicinal water along with the main section of the Garden of Caves.
Fill up the empty bottles whichever you are carrying with you as this medicinal water is filled with minerals and the locals believe that it is capable of curing a number of diseases. If you are still having some energy left after spending a long day here, sit on the rocks for a while and let it calm your spirit slowly.
One can visit this place anytime between 8:00 am-5:30 pm on any day. However, it does stay closed only on Sundays of every week.
The entry fee per adult person is Rs.20. You need to pay an additional 20 rupees for your mobile camera and something between Rs 50-100 in case you are travelling with a DSLR camera. However, it is worth paying this minimal amount when you are provided with the opportunity to capture some sparkling moments in the breathtaking beauty of this place for cherishing them as a souvenir forever!
The Garden of Caves is located in the quiet and peaceful village of Sohra. The place is typically situated around 10 km away from the Laitryngew region and quite close to the Laitmawsiang village.
How to Reach Garden of Caves
The nearest airport is at Shillong which is 52 km away from the Garden of Caves. However, the airport has flights only to and from Kolkata and the Umrai airport often delays its flights due to bad weather conditions. Therefore, Guwahati Airport is the most functional and second nearest one which is well-connected with all the major cities of the country. You need to either opt for the private or government bus services or hire a cab to come to Shillong and then travel to the Garden of Caves from there.
The nearest railway station from here is in Guwahati which is around 180 km and is well-connected with all the vital and nearby cities. Either opt for the state bus services for travelling till Shillong or you can also hire taxi service and visit the Garden of Caves directly.
Meghalaya is well-connected with the important cities as well as with the neighbouring states and that is what makes it to be such a perfect fit for road trips. So you can easily take a cab from Shillong or Cherrapunji and visit the spectacular Garden of Caves.
Best Time to Visit Garden of Caves
The Garden of Caves can be visited at any time of the year. However, the monsoon starts here from around mid-June and continues till September and the heavy rainfall boosts up the grandeur of the ponds, waterfalls and green mountains immensely. That is why visiting in the months of August or September will be the best decision as you will be able to witness the forest and the waterfalls in their best spirit.
Best Places to Stay Near Garden of Caves
This relaxing resort is not only the closest one to the Garden of Caves, rather it is accessible easily from a number of other tourist destinations. With a compact space and an attractive and friendly environment, this place will let you spend your best holidays here comfortably.
Address: Cherrapunjee, Sohra 793108 India
San Nael La Resort
The homely vibe, the clean rooms and the warm behaviour of the staff will allow you to have a good time at this place. Located amidst the lush greenery, this place is a nice one for spending some quality time.
Address: Pynshadkhurai – Shella Road Junction road, Opposite to Fire brigade, Sohra 793108 India
Abode of Clouds Resort
A mid-budget hotel with all the modern amenities and a breathtaking view from your hotel room, what more can one ask for spending some delightful holidays here! The location of the place is just a perfect one and so is their warm services.
Address: Sohra-Shella Road, Sohra 793108 India
Nearby Major Attractions
There are a number of places located near the Garden of Caves including the Mawsmai Cave, Double Decker Living Root Bridge, Mawphlang Sacred Grove, Khasi Heritage Village and an ample range of waterfalls. Here are the top three destinations located in close proximity to the “Bri Ki Synrang”.
The entire area around these falls is rain-fed. Therefore, if you want to see the best version of this seasonal cascade, visit during the monsoon days and enjoy the view of Wah-Kaba Falls flowing downwards to a gorge with a gurgling sound.
Entry fee: Rs.10/person
Arwah cave is known for attracting history enthusiasts from all around the country. The entranceway to the cave itself is extremely gorgeous which is made by craving the long trees of the forest. Besides that, walking through the maze-like area inside the caverns and viewing the limestone walls filled with fish bone fossils will definitely add a different thrill to your experience.
Entry fees: Rs. 20/person, Rs 10/child
Timings: 9:30 am-5:30 pm
Located on the way to Sohra, this beautiful cascade drops straight down for about 80 metres. Besides viewing the mesmerising beauty of the dazzling water droplets from the viewpoints, take a walk through the terrains around it and let the fresh air calm your soul!
Timings: 6:00 am- 5:00 pm
Parking fees: Rs.20
Travel Advice on Visiting Garden of Caves
- Try to cover this place by coming over from Cherrapunji and not Shillong as in that way, you will get to spend more time here and less on the roads as the distance is comparatively a lot shorter than that of Shillong.
- Make sure to dress comfortably depending on the weather of that particular day as it will let you enjoy yourself freely.
- You need to walk quite a lot through the dense greenery. So make sure to wear comfortable shoes which have a good grip and will let you walk freely on the slippery steep roads.
- Do not litter the place with plastic or other pieces of stuff.
- Visit this spot in the afternoon as that will let you witness the elegant view of the sunset from here.
Useful Contacts Details
Directorate of Tourism
Phone Number: 0364-2582508
Commissioner and Secretary,
Government of Meghalaya
Director of Tourism,
Government of Meghalaya
Information cum Publicity Officer,
Mobile Number: +91.9612266199
Tourist Information Centre,
Mobile No: +91.9089621171
Office of the Deputy Commissioner
Mobile No: +91.9436113337
Mobile No: +91.9007016897
Mobile No: +91.9774440322
Information & Publicity Officer
Directorate of Tourism
Mobile No: +91.9436310374
Directorate of Tourism
Mobile : +91.9863026858
Mobile No: +91.9774815276
Mobile : +91.9856057455
Mobile : +91.9862213891
Tourist Information Centre
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile No: +91.7005199957
Mobile No: +91.7005199957
Mobile : +91.9436102544
Tourist Information Centre
E–mail : email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile No: +91.9612325695
Tourist information centre
Phone : +91.8860189316
Tourist Officer Tourist Information Centre
Mobile : +91. 8582839907
Frequently Asked Questions
There are more than a thousand caves in the entire state and most of them are yet to be explored. However, the Krem Puri in Mawsynram, Mawsmai cave and the Garden of Caves are some of the best ones to start your journey with.
There are around seven major places here which include a number of waterfalls, certain rocks of attractive shapes, some pretty bamboo bridges and the Ka Synrang Syiem.
The whole aura of the place is quite soothing and it will offer a peaceful treat to your eyes. However, the Arsdad Falls will mesmerise your soul the most with its charming appeal and its small pool of clear water.
The Garden of Caves is located in close proximity to Cherrapunjii and that is why it is a lot easier to come here from Cherrapunji. However, Shillong is located around 50 km away from this charming spot and one can also book a taxi and visit this place with ease.
One must visit during the middle of August or September in order to witness the waterfalls in their blooming mood as the monsoon months tend to boost up their flow immensely!