Shillong, located in the picturesque hilly region of Northeast India also known as Scotland of the East. Its inhabitants belong to the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo tribes. They have a colorful lifestyle and cultural traditions.
The main attractions at Shillong that earn it the name as Scotland of the East are its scenic beauty, parks, waterfalls, and panoramic views. This is mostly because of its numerous waterfalls which look best during monsoon season.
Amongst the various tourist attractions at Shillong are:
The Shillong Peak – Located 10 kilometers away, at an altitude of 1,965 m it gives a spectacular birds-eye view of Shillong city.
Botanical Garden– Located in the heart of City offers a vista of exotic plants species.
Ward’s Lake -Located inside the Botanical Garden, it is ideal for an idyllic place for short garden walks and boating.
Churches – Shillong has several historical churches which are very well maintained. Amongst them are the Cathedral of Mary Help and the All Saints Church.
Waterfalls – The Bishop and the Beadon Falls are other beautiful spots ideal for picnics. Also, the Fruit Garden, Polo Ground, and the Golf Course are also worth visiting in Shillong.
Maphlang Sacred Grove – Approximately 22 kilometers away from Shillong, this grove, considered sacred by the locals contains fantabulous fauna.
The Orchid Lake Resort. About 10 km from Shillong on the Umaim Lake offers excellent opportunities for swimming and various other water sports.
Lump Nehru Park. Co-located with the Orchid lake resort is this park where one must check out the flora, aviary, and orchidarium.
This is the worlds second-most wettest place. Located 54 kilometers away from Shillong, it has been rechristened as Sohra. Co-located with this is the wettest place in the World – Mawsynram.
The annual average rainfall at Mawsynram exceeds 1,200 cms.
Its famous limestone caves are a must-visit.
The landscape is surreal and the drive will justify it being named as the Scotland of the East.
Jakrem– Located Sixty-four kilometers from Shillong this is a popular health resort. It has hot sulfur springs, believed to have curative medicinal properties.
Dawki– This is a border town, 96 km from Shillong which provides a glimpse of Bangladesh.
Ranikor – Located 140 km from Shillong this is an angler’s paradise containing a huge population of carp and mahseers.
How to Reach
Guwahati’s Borjhar Airport is the nearest international airport at a distance of 128 kilometers from Shillong. Regular Taxis are available from there.
Guwahati at a distance of 103 kilometers is the nearest railhead. From here a full Taxi will cost you around Rs 1500/-. Shared Taxis cost Rs 300/- per head.
From here, the buses are also available at a regular frequency.
National Highway number 40 an all-weather road connects Shillong with Guwahati. Moreover, the road from Shillong to Sohra has beautiful scenic sites that aptly showcase this as Scotland of the East.
The State Transport buses and the private transport operators operate and offer services to the various places in Meghalaya. The main bus stand is located in the heart of Shillong.
Where to Stay
Accommodation is easily available in Shillong. Also, there are many all-inclusive budget homestays hosted by AIRBNB that you will love!
You will get many hotels that cater to the needs of travelers in Shillong. These can be booked as per your budget.
IMPORTANT Travel Information
Foreigners require a restricted Area Permit to visit Shillong. This can be obtained from the Foreigners’ Registration Office at Delhi.