Shillong, the capital of the state of Meghalaya, offers an eclectic mix of the old world charm and modern day flurry. This city has found its haven in the East Khasi
Hills, and is a perfect spot to spend your vacations, away from the pollution and noise of the cities. And unlike the backbreaking roads of the North-East, Shillong
actually has really good roads, making it an easy trip. The serene climate, scenic beauty, make Shillong one of the best places to spend your vacation in. Many
companies offer amazing Shillong tour packages
that cover every aspect of the city.
Shillong amuses and bewitches you with its lively atmosphere, a tinge of the colonial era charm, and the many colorful flea markets. So, if you are planning to do
something off-beat, and wish to escape the monotony of the city life, well no one is stopping you from visiting Shillong- the quaint little place in our very own
North-East! Because of its charm and picturesque settings, Shillong is also called the Scotland of the East.
Shillong is also a lover’s delight, and we have amazing Shillong packages for honeymoon! So, what are you waiting for? Start packing already!
It is said that Shillong was a small village, which was later transformed into the civil station of Khansi and Jaintla hills in 1864. After the uprising of the Khasis
against the British in 1829 after the Khasis lost and their leader surrendered to the formidable British military, this place became a British headquarter, and was
called ‘Yeddo’. Later it came to be known as Shillong owing to its location below the Shillong hill. In 1874, it was the capital of Assam under the British rule. In
1972 when the state of Meghalaya was formed, it was declared the capital of Meghalaya.
Best places to visit in Shillong
● Don Bosco Museum of Indigenous Cultures
This museum has been extremely well-maintained and showcases an impressive collection of tribal artifacts, and photographs of Christian missionaries who came to do
charity in this region. It is a seven-storey museum, which means that it will take you more than an hour to finish the tour, not a single second of which is boring. It
features a beautiful collection of tribal handicrafts such as baskets, musical instruments, handmade weapons, costumes, beaded jewelry, and items of daily use. The
simplicity of this museum contributes to its uniqueness.
● Elephant Falls
These falls are definitely worth a visit. What makes them truly unique is the fact that the water gushes out in three different steps before finally taking the plunge.
It creates an enigmatic setting, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a nice picnic under the sun!
● Ward’s Lake
Take a tour back in time and visit the Ward’s Lake. It has a rustic colonial era charm attached to it; and looks straight out of an artist’s imagination. The moments
pass like days, as you spend your time boating leisurely or admiring the beauty of the ornamental bridge. A perfect place for newly married couples to declare their
newfound love to each other again, or for old souls who wish to rekindle their timeless romance.
● Shillong Golf Course
It is located at a short distance from the Ward’s Lake. It is a great place from golf enthusiasts, but even if you are not one of them, you can still pay it a visit to
see the beautiful pine trees and the fantastic club house.
● Wankhar Entomology Museum
It is the only museum in India that showcases moths, butterflies, and insects exclusively. Housed inside the house of the original collector, you will find beautiful
butterflies, rhinoceros beetles, and stick insects pinned in the room and put up as displays.
● Pinewood Hotel
It was built in the fiery 1920s and served as a retreat for the tea-growers’ then. Now, it is just another beautiful building worth visiting, and represents the
colonial era architecture. Visit the Pinewood hotel on a weekend evening for a glass of good ol’ English scotch and immerse yourself in that perfect old world
● Anglican Church
This beautiful church is located very close to the famous Police Bazar and boasts manicured and well-kept lawns.
● Police Bazaar
It won’t be an understatement to say that the Police Bazaar is one of the most happening areas of Shillong. It has shops, restaurants, cafes lined on its either side.
The atmosphere here is eclectic, and you will see people dressed in colorful attire trying to wade through the crowd. The crafts at the handicraft shops are quite
impressive, and you should definitely consider getting some for your family back home.
● Shillong Peak
Embellished at a height of 6649 ft and 1965 m above the sea level, the Shillong peak is the crowning glory of the city. The view from here is no less than enchanting,
something no camera would be able to capture. You will have to go there to experience it firsthand. As it has already been mentioned in the article before, Shillong
gets its name from this peak. A telescope is available at the top for tourists to capture a bird’s eye view. Floklore says that the regional deity
‘Leishyllong' resides there and protects the entire population from all evil. There is a U Shulong site at the top, which is considered sacred by the population, and
rituals are performed in its honor.
● Umiam Lake
Umiam Lake is a beautifully constructed reservoir, situated at a distance of just 15km from Shillong. This lake was formed subsequent to the construction of dam to
generate hydroelectric power. The lake offers an inimitable sense of tranquility and the thick coniferous forests surrounding it are a treat to sore eyes. The lake and
the forests expand over an area of 222 square kilometers, making it an ideal place for leisurely strolls, away from the busy roads and hustling-bustling markets. It is
a great place to relax, rejuvenate, and calm your mind. And what’s more, other than the tranquil surroundings, this place also offers the tourists a chance to observe
the daily activities of the local tribes as they come here to fish or collect twigs or grass.
Places to visit near Shillong
Mawlynnong is a 3 hour drive from Shillong. It is a small village situated in the East Khasi district of Meghalaya. Touted as Asia’s cleanest village, Mawlynnong
boasts of scenic boulevards, clean streets, and extremely hospitable people. The village is also known for its women-centric society, which is a unique concept in
India. The property and wealth are passed from the mother to the youngest of daughters, an idea that is unheard of in other parts of the Indian society.
As already mentioned above, this place is also known for its exceptional cleanliness. You won’t find waste lying around here and there. The waste is collected in
dustbins made from bamboo and then used as manure.
● Nohkalikai Falls
The drive from Shillong to Cherrapunji where this intimidating yet beautiful waterfall is situated is scenic and picturesque. It is an experience in itself.
Cherrapunji is also one of the wettest places on earth, so you can expect to see a lot of greenery around. Nohkalikai falls is the largest plunge waterfall in India.
Be prepared to get mesmerized by the way the white waters take a dramatic plunge into the rocky bed. You will not be disappointed!
Best things to eat in Shillong
Shillong is a great place to sample some Khasi and Jaintia cuisines, the most famous of them being ja doh and ja doh snam, both rice dishes cooked in chicken stock.
Turumbai is a popular side dish made from fermented soyabean. The cuisines here also have a lot of fish. Doh kha sdieh is a Khasi variant of the hugely popular
Assamese fried fish.
When in Shillong, pay a visit to the ja cha stores, that literally mean rice and tea eateries. These stores serve delectable rice cakes and fried rice malpuas along
with hot tea. And yes, there are momos too. Those steaming hot dumplings with hot soup are to die for!
How to reach Shillong
● By air
- There is no airport within the city. The closest airport is Umroi airport near Barapani, that is about 25kms from
● By train
- Guwahati is the nearest railway station to Shillong. It is about a 100kms away and taxis ply regularly on that route.
● By road
- The NH37 connects Guwahati and Shillong, and the roads are quite serviceable.
Summers are quite pleasant in Shillong, making it the best time to visit
. The city experiences heavy monsoons, so it is better to give it a skip during the monsoons. Winters are also quite pleasant, and you can consider going
there then as well.
Shillong is a beautiful place to spend your vacations, and if you are with your beloved, then nothing like it. Its calm environment and beautiful surroundings make it
one of the best places to holiday in. You can easily look out on the internet for cheapest Shillong tour packages