Meghalaya: Shillong

 

One of the picture perfect cities in India that offers the best views around is Shillong, the capital of state Meghalaya. The attractive hill station, set in the darkness of pine and fur woods, located at an elevation of 1496 meters, offers an eye soothing natural locale.

British came and fell in love with the green precincts of Shillong and very aptly named the city as “Scotland of the east”. Temperate weather, fascinating environs, matchless mountain vistas and roaring falls are the gifts of the nature to the indwellers of Shillong. The wonder of the planned hill station extends from the Shillong cantonment on its acclivity to the homeland of Khasia communities downside.

The edifice of the city was revamped after the destructive earthquake of 1896. Local homes, built with woods and corrugated tins, provide the much needed security to the inhabitants. The ancient palace of the king is an example of the hilly culture and ethnicity. Shillong has garnished itself within 6436 square km of manor and 2 ¼ lacks of inhabitants are living in its undulating lands.

City dwellers should amble in and around the city to enjoy the mild and wonderful weather of the hillock. Rainy seasons will offer you lash green valleys and dancing water falls. The city is not covered with ice in winters (October- November) but the chill weather will create a cool sensation. Summers are probably the best time (March- June) to visit if you want to enjoy the mild weather and gentle breeze. Search solace and peace of mind in the local ethnic dance forms while enjoying the offerings of the cosmos.  

Bengalis will be able to recall the memories of Rabindranath Tagore in his residence. Even though Meghalaya Government has set up an art and craft centre in his residence but still the white marble, displaying brightly “here lived Rabindranath Tagore in oct 1919” on the premise, acts as a memorial of the intrepid and talented writer. Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy was also in love with the joyful Shillong. His house has now become a circuit house.   

Business minded Khasi women have taken the responsibility of their shops. This is the forte of their customs.

Although the Bengali culture is still very prominent on the city lifestyles but the number of Bengali families have decreased extensively. Engineers have tried hard to make the city modern with tall buildings and they are quite successful on that note but the matter of the fact is the charming hillock has lost its agreeable nature due to its urbanizations. Striking pine and far trees are now trying to find their places in the lively city. Once upon a time the hill station was well known in the vicinity for Golf club and race course. But the prominence of these places are definitely not like yester years. Draught of water has become an alarming predicament these days. The tourism business has been hampered a lot due to the political mayhem in north- east India.

Golf club of Shillong, nestled in pine woodlands, is located on the city slopes. This is the second biggest golf club in Asia.

Race course and polo ground, adjacent to the Golf club, are renowned destinations. Polo is not played here anymore but shooting competitions on the polo ground are now prime enticements. The competition is one of the biggest carnivals in Shillong.

The deity Kali is worshipped in her temple, located at the opposite side of the polo ground, on the lower elevation of the adjoining tourist lodge. The nearby Buddha temple confirms the existence of Buddhist in the city.

Ward Lake, wrapped by the astonishing gardens, is located in central Shillong. An Island is nestled in the waters of the manmade Lake and a wooden bridge is connecting the Island to the banks of the Lake. Watch the playful fishes in the transparent water while enjoying an adventurous walk to the Island through the linking viaduct. Also gaze at the city traffic on the adjoining road while riding on a boat. Botanical garden, Bungalow of chief minister and Rajbhawan by the lines of pine trees are the prime attractions for the tourists.

Impressive Wankhar Memorial Museum Of Entomology, built in 1973, showcases colorful butterflies and various insects. Butterflies are even being exported to the other cities of the world.

State museum, Meghalaya cottage industries, and central library are the other hot and coveted attractions, all located in the same complex, at the roadside of G S road. Cultural depictions of the state, dexterously made handicrafts, assortments of weapons and many unknown archeological flora and fauna are the imperative enticements in the fastidious complex.

Visit Barabazar, located at the western corner of the city, showcases traditional handicrafts, Mizo shawls with vivid work and fine-looking items built by bamboo. You can buy something for you from the weekly market of the city to remember the Shillong trip for long time. Police bazaar around the bus stand area is a popular shopping destination as well. Government Emporium offers traditional and patent items of Shillong in a reasonable price range.

Hit the highest point of the enamoring Meghalaya, Shillong peak, the abode of the Gods, located at an altitude of 1965 meters, about 10 km off the city. The panoramic sight of the city from the peak has an enticement that can fill up the emptiness. Feel the presence of clouds standing on the crest. Lucky crowd can even witness the heavenly beauty of the ice-capped Himalayan range on a clear day. Spree lovers can enjoy the pleasing natural vista around for the whole day during the U Shulong utsav (carnival) in springtime. Buses and taxis are available but take a walk to the peak to enjoy the serenity of the hilly gorge.

Road to Silchar is positioned in upper Shillong, at the roadside of the highest peak of Meghalaya.

The cascaded Elephanta waterfall, located at a distance of 12 km from Shillong towards Cherapunji, is hitting the wavy land after crossing as many as 177 natural stairways. The gratigying sight of the surrounding places is worth seeing. A stunning connector is linking two different hills, located far apart from each other, at the opposite side of Elephanta hills. Stare at and enjoy the charm of the rippling waterfall at the lower dale. Listen to the singing of many known and unknown birds around the valley. But the road to the lively Elephanta falls is really tough.

The stories by the oil paintings are the imperative attractions of the Cathedral Of Mary Help Of Christmas or Don Bosco Cathedral. Visitors also are engrossed by the reflections of light on the colorful glasses of cathedral. 
The neighboring Ramkrishna Mission has a spiritual environment.
Even though the Lady Hydary Park, Mini Zoo, and Forest seum are not outstanding locations in the tourism map of Shillong but it is not a bad idea if you visit these spots once. Camellia trees and striking flowers sprinkle the color on the
Lady Hyderi Park.

Leaping Crinoline falls, about one and half km off the city, looks even more fascinating due to the adjoining Bonsai and orchids orchards.
 
Avail a package tour to Ward Lake, Bidan and Bishop falls for a contented and overwhelming trip. Bidan and Bishop, twin falls, one at the left hand side and other at the right hand side of the road, located at a distance of 5 km from Shillong, are the treats to the eyes.

Ganars fall, about 6 km from the twin falls, is coming down from 100 feet (approximately) height at a rate of knots and meeting Bishop waterfalls on its way.

An artificial Lake Umium, located on the lap of the nature, about 17 km off the city, gives the birth of Umium river. The river is very important for Meghalaya because of the water power plant planted on it. Delimited by hills all around, the beautiful umiam fall is also known as Barapani in the proximity. Blue water along with the golden island on the umium river fascinates nature lovers. Wilderness of the birds around the natural locale greets tourists with its arms wide open. Rainy seasons bless the place with gripping greeneries. Take the pleasure in the water sports on the Umium river. This was the first water sport complex in India. Musical fountains and aquariums are the other possible options by which tourists can entertain themselves. The contiguous Lum Nehru Park displays a large variety of fruits and flowers. Enjoy fishing all alone sitting on the banks of the Lake.

For the solace and comfort on the lap of the captivating nature, stay at Orchid Lake Resort, Umiam. Watch the natural vista while taking foods in the floating restaurant of Umiam.

There are no dearth of fascinating falls on the Shillong valley. Hire a car to visit the well stretched tea garden, wonderful Happy valley and uncultivated suit falls at the end way of the city. Their charm will always please you in any season.

Interested nature lovers can walk down to the Spread Eagle Falls, located just beside the polo ground and Sati Falls, adjacent to race course. Seven sister waterfall is famous for its heavenly prettiness. 

Moflong, about 24 km from Shillong, is well known for its mesmerizing natural locale. This is a manor of various species of trees and mesmerizing orchids. Kunjaban of Moflong is an ancient and unique garden. The flower festival in July attracts a large number of tourists. Indwellers should walk in and around the place to enjoy the offerings of the nature. Located on the way to Moflong from Shillong, watch the narrow hills of Moflong which came into the existence after the destructive earthquake in 1897.
Frequent bus services are available to Moflong from Shillong.

Not many hotels have come up yet in Moflong. It is prudent to enjoy your stay at Shillong and complete the tour of Moflong from Shillong on the same day. 

How to reach:
Guwahati is the nearest railway station of Shillong. Take any train to Guwahati from Kolkata and from Guwahati bus stand buses are going to Shillong in every hour. For a comfortable journey you can hire a vehicle to Shillong from Guwahati.

Where to stay:
Hotel Centre Point, Baba Tourist Lodge, Hotel Lotus, Hotel Magnam, Hotel Rajtilak, Hotel Marwari Basa, Hotel Ashoka, Hotel Blue Mountain, Sunny Hotel and Suntiniketan Hotel. Try our hotel booking links below for a virtual tour of the hotels and more options.

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