Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya a small state located in the picturesque hilly region of the North east India, at an altitude of 1, 496 meters above sea level. It is a picturesque hill station offering a good holiday all year round.
Adequate facilities, scenic beauty, cheerful people, clouds and tall pines, mountains, valleys, meadows and an excellent golf course make Shillong a great tourist destination. The local inhabitant’s belomng to the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo hill tribes and have a colorful lifestyle and cultural traditions.
Sites to Visit
The main attractions at Shillong are its scenic beauty, parks, waterfalls, and panoramic views. The waterfalls are at their best during the monsoon. Amongst the various tourist attractions at Shillong are:
The Shillong Peak – This is at a distance of 10 kilometers from the Shillong city and at an altitude of 1,965m it makes an ideal spot to have a bird’s eye view of the spectacular Shillong city. At the Shillong Peak is also a local deity of Lei Shyllong. The deity lends its name to the Shillong.
Botanical Garden– Located in the heart of City offers a vista of exotic plants species.
Ward’s Lake -Located inside the Botanical Garden itself is ideal for a calm soothing time and is ideal for idyllic short garden walks and boating.
Churches – Shillong has a number of historical churches which are very well maintained. Amongst the many churches, the well-known ones are the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians, Grotto Church, and the All Saints Church.
Waterfalls – The Bishop and the Beadon Falls are other beautiful spots ideal for picnics.
Besides this, The Fruit Garden, Polo Ground, and the Golf Course are the other places worth visiting in Shillong.
Sites Near By
Maphlang Sacred Grove – Approximately 22 kilometers away from Shillong, offers a forest with fantabulous fauna. The grove is considered sacred by the tribes hence it has not been commercially exploited as yet.
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.
Cherrapunji – located 54 kilometers away from Shillong and has been rechristened as Sohra. At the Lew Sohra Market of the worlds second most wet place Cherrapunji you must buy the famous oranges and the orange honey. Co-located with it is the wettest place in the World – Mawsynram which is also is renowned for its limestone caves which are a must-visit. The annual average rainfall at Mawsynram exceeds 1,200 cms.
Jakrem– Located Sixty-four kilometers from Shillong and is a popular health resort having hot springs of sulfur water, believed to have curative medicinal properties.
Dawki– This is a border town, 96 km from Shillong which provides a glimpse of Bangladesh. The colorful annual boat race during spring at the Umgot River is an added attraction.
Ranikor – At a distance of 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. Full Taxi costs about Rs1200/-
Shillong is connected by rail with the rest of the country through the railhead of Guwahati at a distance of 103 kilometers from Shillong. From station, Taxi costs Rs 800/-. Shared Taxis cost Rs 210/- per head. Buses are also available at a very reasonable cost and frequency.
National Highway number 40 an all-weather road connects Shillong with Guwahati. The State Transport buses and the private transport operators operate and offer services to the various places in Meghalaya and the neighboring states from Shillong. The bus stand is located in the heart of Shillong.
Where to Stay
Accommodation is easily available in Shillong. There are various hotels that cater to the needs of travelers in Shillong. You can easily reserve accommodation in the hotel that suits your budget.
IMPORTANT Travel Information
In order to visit Shillong, a Restricted Area Permit is required by the foreigners. Details of the same may be obtained either from the Foreigners’ Registration Office at New Delhi.