11 Famous Temples In Meghalaya: Explore The Sacred Shrines

 In Meghalaya, temple, Temple, Travel

Imagine a place where tranquility meets adventure, where ancient Temples and breathtaking landscapes stir the soul.  Welcome to Meghalaya religious tourism, a hidden gem in northeast India, where ancient temples in Meghalaya offer a chance for spiritual discovery. 

Whether you’re a seasoned history buff or a devotee seeking blessings, there’s a temple in Meghalaya waiting to be discovered. With our Meghalaya holiday packages, you can get to visit most if not all of them.

The best places to visit in Meghalaya are known for their natural beauty like the scenic deep valleys, cascading waterfalls, dark caves, etc and exploring these offers the ultimate sense of peace. And the temples in Meghalaya add a touch of spirituality, thus elevating your overall experience of exploring this northeastern state.

List Of Top 11 Temples in Meghalaya

Image source - Meghalaya Online

If you’re traveling to Meghalaya, you’ll encounter a diverse mix of religions. Many locals are Christians, especially from the Khasi and Garo tribes, so one can visit the major Churches in Shillong dotting the beautiful landscape of the city. There are also Hindus, particularly from other parts of India, and you might stumble upon Hindu temples during your exploration. 

The Meghalaya temple architecture, rituals, and cultural practices reflect the region’s heritage and traditions, making them integral to Meghalaya’s historical narrative. Shaktipeethas in Meghalaya, like the Nartiang Durga Temple, holds immense religious importance. Believed to be places where body parts of Goddess Sati fell, Shaktipeethas are revered as sacred places for worship and pilgrimage sites in Meghalaya. 

The presence of Shaktipeethas in Meghalaya, such as the Nartiang Durga Temple, not only strengthens the spiritual fabric of the region but also connects devotees to the divine through rituals, prayers, and offerings. These sites serve as focal points for religious practices and cultural traditions, embodying the deep-rooted spiritual beliefs of the people in Meghalaya. 

Shillong temples guide

There are several places to visit in Shillong like waterfalls, parks, museums, view points etc. But if you are a spiritual traveler, then you must explore the temples in Shillong with this Shillong temples guide. Here is a Shillong temples guide of lesser-known that are worth visiting, along with brief descriptions:

1. Uma Umang Temple


Dedicated to Goddess Durga, this temple is located amidst scenic pine groves on the outskirts of Shillong.  The unique feature of this temple is the red cloth tied on the horns of the Nandi bull statue at the entrance. There is a belief that these clothes carry the wishes of devotees. And therefore tying a red cloth and making a wish to the goddess in this temple, is one of the best things to do in Shillong. This temple takes the top spot in this Shillong temple’s guide.

2. Maa Kamakhya Temple

The next temple in the Shillong temples guide is dedicated to Goddess Kamakhya, an incarnation of Sati, consort of Lord Shiva.  Located atop a hillock on the outskirts of Shillong, this temple offers panoramic views of the city.  The annual Durga Puja celebrations here are quite popular.

3. Isckon Temple Shillong:


Any Shillong temples guide would be incomplete without mentioning the majestic temple built by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). This temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna.  The temple complex has a beautiful structure and serene atmosphere.  They hold regular aarti (prayer) ceremonies and cultural programs.

4. Shillong Shiv Mandir

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is located in the heart of Shillong.  The architecture of the temple is quite simple, yet it has a peaceful ambiance.  

5. Sankardevi Temple:


Though last in this Shillong temples guide, the Sankardevi temple is certainly of no less importance. It is a temple dedicated to Maa Sankar Devi, a local deity believed to be the protector of Shillong.  Located amidst scenic beauty, the temple is frequented by locals, especially during Durga Puja.

These temples attract pilgrims from across the nation due to their historical and religious importance, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Meghalaya. These temples not only hold religious significance but also offer insights into the rich cultural heritage of the pilgrimage sites in Meghalaya. The temples are the best on offer in Meghalaya religious tourism.

Also Read: Top 10 Hotels In Shillong For Couples, Family And Luxury Tourist

Other Temples in Meghalaya

6. Mawsynram Temple


Located in Mawsynram, this temple is known for its naturally formed “shiva linga” attracting visitors during the monsoon season. It is considered one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in Meghalaya and globally due to its unique geological features and spiritual significance. The best time to visit Mawsynram temple is the month of April to June. The location of Mawsynram temple is in Mawsynram village near Khasi Hills around 60 Km away from Capital Shillong.

  • Darshan Timings:
    Opening – 8:00 AM, Closing – 4:00 PM
  • Dress Code – Traditional and Formal attire
  • Photography and Videography – Allowed
  • Prasad – Not available

7.  Nartiang Durga Temple:

Situated in the West Jaintia Hills, this 500-year-old temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peeths in India. It combines Khasi and Hindu rituals during religious celebrations, especially during Durga Puja, attracting devotees to honor Goddess Durga. The Temples is located at Nartiang, Jaintia Hills. The nearest town to the temple is Jowai (27 kms). It is located at a distance of 64 kms from Shillong. 

  • Darshan Timings:
  • Opening 06:00 AM,  Closing – 06:00 PM
  • Nearby Attractions – Ialong & Syntu Ksiar, Krangshuri Falls, Kudengrim

8. Mahadev Khola Dham:


Located in Shillong, this temple dedicated to Lord Shiva has a history of 150 years and is known for the discovery of a significant Shivling during excavation. The temple hosts elaborate festivities during Maha Shivratri, drawing devotees for worship and celebrations. The temple is located at NH 44, Lawsohtun, Law Sohtun, Shillong.

  • Darshan Timings:     
  • Opening – 06:00 AM, Closing – 06:00 PM
  • Dress Code – Traditional and Formal attire
  • Photography and Videography Not allowed
  • Prasad – Available

9. Matri Mandir:

An ancient temple in Shillong dedicated to Goddess Kali, known for its architectural beauty, intricate carvings, and grand celebrations during Diwali. The temple’s unique architecture and religious significance make it a popular destination for worshippers wishing to visit spiritual sites in Meghalaya solace. It is located at Polo Rd, Police Bazar, Shillong, which is also one of the major places for shopping in Shillong.

  • Darshan Timings:
  • Opening – 05:30 AM (Summer), 6:30 AM (Winter)
  • Closing – 09:30 PM (Summer), 9:00 PM (Winter)
  • Dress Code – Traditional and Formal attire
  • Photography and Videography Allowed
  • Prasad – Not Available

10. Dwarkamai Sai Baba Temple:


Situated in Byrnihat near Shillong, this temple dedicated to Sai Baba offers a serene setting for devotees with a picturesque backdrop near a lake. Devotees from across the country visit this temple via National Highway 6 to seek blessings and participate in religious ceremonies.

Location  14 Mile, Byrnihat, Meghalaya

11. Rynjah Kali Temple:

The Rynjah Kali Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Kali located in Rynjah, Shillong, Meghalaya, India. It is one of the oldest temples in Shillong, built in 1832 by Rani Sati Rani Singh. The temple is known for its unique architecture, which blends Bengali and Mughal styles. The temple complex houses a number of shrines, including one dedicated to Shiva and another to Hanuman.

  • Location – Rynjah Main Road, Rynjah, Shillong

Also read: The Best Of Meghalaya: 10 Best Things To Do In Meghalaya

Beyond the Meghalaya Hindu Temples: Unveiling the Local Charm


You’ve explored the magnificent temples in Meghalaya, but your adventure doesn’t end there. Meghalaya religious tourism includes activities beyond the tourist trail! Here are some ways to enrich your journey of spiritual sites in Meghalaya:

Attend a local puja (prayer ceremony): Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and aromas of a traditional puja, gaining a deeper understanding of the local customs and rituals associated with the ancient temples in Meghalaya.

Learn about the history and legends:  Each temple in Meghalaya has a story to tell.  Uncover the fascinating history and local legends surrounding these sacred sites, adding another layer to your experience of the temples in Meghalaya.

Explore the natural beauty:  Meghalaya is a land of stunning waterfalls, serene lakes, and rolling hills.  Balance your spiritual exploration with moments of peace and rejuvenation in nature, complementing your visit to the temples in Meghalaya.

Also Read: 10 Amazing Resorts in Meghalaya for a Luxury Stay

Ideal One-Day Itinerary To Explore The Temples in Meghalaya


Creating a one-day itinerary so that you can unlock all major temple visits in Meghalaya, that is one day to cover all  major temples in Meghalaya would be challenging due to the distance between these temples and the time required for travel. However, if you are determined to achieve as many temple visits in Meghalaya as possible in a day, here’s a possible plan of action to visit the major Meghalaya Hindu temples in a day:

  • Start Early Morning: Begin your day by visiting the nearest temples in Shillong, such as Mahadev Khola Dham and Matri Mandir.
  • Mid-Morning: Travel to Nartiang Durga Temple, which is located in the West Jaintia Hills region, known for its historical significance.
  • Lunch Break: Take a break for lunch at a local eatery to experience the local cuisine and recharge for the rest of the day.
  • Afternoon: Visit Mawsynram Temple, known for its unique geological features and spiritual significance. Proceed to Dwarkamai Sai Baba Temple for a peaceful retreat and spiritual experience.
  • Late Afternoon/Evening: If time permits, consider visiting other nearby temples like Garikhana Hanuman Temple or any other accessible temples in the vicinity.
  • End of Day: Return to your starting point or accommodation by evening, concluding your Meghalaya religious tourism.

While this itinerary may not cover all major temples in Meghalaya due to time constraints, it provides a structured plan to visit some significant temples within a day. It is advisable to prioritize the temples based on personal preferences and travel feasibility.

Visiting all major temples in Meghalaya in one day may not be feasible due to the geographical spread of these temples and the time required to travel between them. Meghalaya’s temples are located in different parts of the state, some deep inside valleys and hills, making it challenging to cover them all in a single day.

Additionally, the diverse cultural and religious significance of each of the Meghalaya Hindu temples warrants ample time for exploration and appreciation. It is advisable to plan a more extended itinerary to fully experience and appreciate the spiritual and architectural richness of Meghalaya’s major temples.

Festivals celebrated at Meghalaya’s temples


Let’s delve into some of the specific festivals celebrated at Meghalaya’s temples:

1. Wangala Festival:

The Wangala Festival is a significant harvest festival celebrated by the Garo people in Meghalaya. This festival, also known as the Hundred Drums Festival, marks the end of the agricultural year and is a thanksgiving celebration for Misi-A-Gilpa-Saljong-Galapa, the god of fertility.

2. Nongkrem Dance Festival:

The Nongkrem Dance Festival is a significant event among the Khasi community in Meghalaya. Held at the Nongkrem Syiem’s residence in Smit, this festival is a five-day-long celebration that involves various rituals and dances.

3. Behdeinkhlam Festival:

Celebrated by the Jaintia Clan in Meghalaya, the Behdeinkhlam Festival is a four-day event that revolves around chasing away evil spirits and seeking blessings for a bountiful harvest. This festival involves various rituals, including playing Datlawakor (a game similar to soccer) believed to bring good production for that year. 

These temple festivals in Meghalaya are not only religious events but also cultural extravaganzas that bring communities together to celebrate their heritage, express gratitude for nature’s bounty, and seek blessings for prosperity. 

The colorful dances, traditional attire, rituals, and communal feasting during these festivals showcase the deep-rooted traditions and beliefs of the diverse tribes in Meghalaya. 

The celebrations at these temples serve as a platform for preserving age-old customs, fostering community spirit, and passing down cultural legacies from one generation to another.

Also read: Meghalaya Travel Tips: A Complete Guide To Explore Meghalaya 

What are the most famous temples in Meghalaya?

In Meghalaya, you’ll find several notable temples worth visiting. Nartiang Durga Temple is famous for its ancient stone carvings and vibrant Durga Puja celebrations. Mahadev Khola Dham, nestled in the picturesque village of Mawsynram, is a revered Shiva temple drawing devotees seeking spiritual solace. Another significant site is Matri Mandir, dedicated to the divine feminine, attracting pilgrims from near and far seeking blessings and tranquility.

Are there any specific festivals celebrated at Meghalaya's temples?

Yes, Meghalaya’s temples host vibrant festivals like Durga Puja at Nartiang Durga Temple and Maha Shivaratri at Mahadev Khola Dham, showcasing rich cultural heritage. Additionally, festivals like Wangala, Nongkrem Dance, and Behdeinkhlam celebrate harvest and community, uniting tribes through rituals, dances, and feasting, preserving customs and passing down legacies.

Can you visit all major temples in Meghalaya in one day?

No, it is not possible to visit all major temples in Meghalaya in one day. If one is inclined to explore all the major temples in Meghalaya within a single day, it would be quite rushed and wouldn’t do justice to their beauty and significance. To truly appreciate the unique architecture, historical importance, and spiritual ambiance of each temple, it’s advisable to spread your visits over 2 to 3 days. This way, you can savor each experience, delve into the local culture, and soak in the tranquil atmosphere without feeling hurried.

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