Kaziranga National Park welcomes you to the City of Shillong ~ the State Capital of Meghalaya!
Shillong aka the Scotland of the East and the Rock Capital of India is a place where you see a blend of the cultural world and modern civilization. Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya and is also the District Headquarters of East Khasi Hills District and is situated at an altitude of 1,496 metres above sea level. Shillong has a bracing climate throughout the year. The city of Shillong has been the seat of Government since the consolidation of the British administration in this part of India more than a century ago. The East Khasi Hills District is mostly hilly with deep gorges and ravines on the southern portion. The most important physiographic features of the district is the Shillong Plateau interspersed with river valley, then fall sharply in the southern portion forming deep gorges and ravine in Mawsynram and Shella-Bholaganj bordering Bangladesh. Shillong peak lying 10 Kms. from the city, offer a panoramic view of the scenic countryside and is also the highest point in the district as well as in the State. In the evening , the city lights below appears like a star studded abyss.
Shillong is well connected with motorable roads to other places of Meghalaya, has its own charm, different from other hill stations, and presents a natural scenic beauty with waterfalls, brooks, pine groves and gardens. The place, the people, the flora and fauna and the climate all combine to make Shillong an ideal resort throughout the year. Shillong offers amenities for tourists with good hotel accommodations, facilities for sports, angling, trekking and hiking.
If you are from the North East the name Shillong would mean a perfect weekend getaway for you. The pleasant weather, the spectacular drive along NH 40, the Barapani lake, the numerous waterfalls, cheap booze (this one to lift you damp spirits), mouth watering dumplings and an hours to Cherrapunji are sure motives to get you hit the road and drive to Shillong.
Places of Tourist Interest in Shillong ~
1| Ward’s Lake Shillong, Meghalaya ~
The Grand Ward’s Lake located in the heart of Shillong City is a refreshing pool surrounded by beautiful gardens. The serene ambiance around the lake and the cool shades of trees around it, makes it a nice spot for sightseeing and boating. In winter the park sheds most of its hues along with the leaves; except for the oddly rejuvenated cherry blossoms, which paint the park in lovely off-white pink.A stylish white wooden bridge suspended in the middle of the lake is the most recognizable feature of Ward’s Lake.
Kids love watching the fish swim up to the surface of the lake to feed on food thrown by visitors, especially puffed rice and popcorn sold outside. In spring, the lake slowly absorbed the warmth and the trees and plants begin to blossom again. The lake was named after a British officer, Sir William Ward, who was then the Chief Commissioner of Assam (Meghalaya was under the same administration). Though he was the one with the initial plan, it was Colonel Hopkins who oversaw the Lake completed in 1894. Since then, it has become a favorite with both locals and tourists. This man made lake is one of a kind in Shillong.
2| Don Bosco Museum Shillong, Meghalaya ~
The Don Bosco Museum also known as the Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures is an Institution combining a museum with a research and publication centre, for promoting and preserving the rich cultural heritage of North East India. With seven stories and 56,000 square feet of floor space it ranks among the best cultural Museums in India.
Built in hexagonal shape, the Don Bosco Museum has seven floors representing the seven states of North East India. The building rises to form a flame, expressing the reality that if cultures are understood well, they can form a communion of cultures for a better society. The Don Bosco Museum contains seventeen galleries displaying cultural artefacts and paintings. It offers study and research facilities throughout its specialised library of 10,000 volumes, a media hall and a conference hall. It is frequented by Tourists from India and abroad.
3| Shillong Peak Shillong, Meghalaya ~
The Shillong Peak is one of the most frequented tourist spots in Meghalaya. Being slightly away from the city, hustle and bustle this is the highest point of Shillong. At the height of 6449 ft and 1965 m above sea level, the Shillong Peak offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the entire city of Shillong, the Himalayas, its waterfalls as well as of the Bangladesh plains. A telescope is available for tourists to get a bird’s eye view.
It is said that Shillong gets its name from this peak itself. Regional tales tell that the patron deity ‘Leishyllong’ resides in the hills and protects the city from all evils. The U Shulong site at the top of the peak is sacred and every spring, a ritual is organised there. The place is situated at the air force base and features a radar station of the Indian Air Force.
4| Elephant Falls Shillong, Meghalaya ~
The Elephant Falls is another very popular destination near Shillong City. Generally the ideal stop-over after the visit to the Shillong Peak on your way to Cherrapunji. The Elephant Falls was the British name of what the local Khasi people once referred to as Ka Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew (or “Three Steps Waterfalls”) since the falls actually consisted of three sections in succession. The British renamed the falls because there used to be a rock resembling an elephant near the left side of the main falls. However, that rock was destroyed in an earthquake back in 1897.
Of the three waterfalls (all of which were easily reached by the same short and easy walking path), the bottom tier was the most impressive. The walking path gently descended from the entrance, and it is practically almost completely paved with lots of stairs and a bridge traversing the stream between the 2nd and 3rd falls.
5| Lady Hydari Park Shillong, Meghalaya ~
The Lady Hydari Park is one of the well-known tourist attractions in the heart of Shillong city. The Park was named after the first lady of the province, Lady Hydari, wife of the Governor of Assam. The Lady Hydari Park is spread over an area of more than 1 km and features a mini zoo that has about 73 species of birds, 140 species of reptiles and other mammals. Besides this, the park has a wide variety of local flowering plants and orchids, and is landscaped in Japanese style.
The Park is best known for beautiful bed of roses that blossom here in various colours. The park also has a butterfly museum a special play area for kids that offer swings like sea-saws, slips and other small rides for children.The Lady Hydari Park is very avidly maintained and is an ideal place to spend some peaceful time. You may sit in the green garden and relax while reading a book or just enjoying the beautiful nature around.
6| Police Bazaar Shillong, Meghalaya ~
Your visit to Shillong doesn’t end with a tour of the Police Bazaar. One of the busiest markets across North East India, the Police Bazaar is the main Shopping Center of Shillong. Located at the heart of Shillong City, Police Bazaar is frequented by visitors from across India and the World. With the primary Hotels of Shillong being located in and around Police Bazaar it is an easy access from your night halt. The attractions of Police Bazaar are the numerous malls, the local Handicraft Shops, the Archery Betting Stalls and the Cafes of Shillong.
So why wait?! Plan your visit to the Scotland of the East ~ the City of Shillong, Meghalaya, Incredible India!
Sample Itinerary details for your visit to Shillong – Meghalaya
Day 1 ~ Guwahati and Cherrapunji
Arrive at Guwahati Airport and depart to Cherrapunji. On the way sight the Umiam Lake. At Cherrapunji, visit the Majestic Nohkalikai Falls (India’s tallest plunge waterfall) and spot the exotic view here. Also visit the Seven Sisters Falls and the Mawsmai Caves at Cherrapunji.
Night Stay: Resorts/Cottages at Cherrapunji
Meals Included: NA
Day 2 ~ Cherrapunji, Mawlynnong, Dawki and Shillong
After breakfast enroute to Dawki (Indo-Bangladesh) border and enjoy boating on the clear waters of the Umngot River at Dawki. Later visit to Mawlynnong (Asia’s cleanest Village). At Mawlynnong visit the Living Root Bridges, sight the balancing rocks and take a walk along the Cleanest Village of Asia. Experience the rich culture of the Khasi Tribes of Meghalaya at Mawlynnong. Later depart to Shillong for night halt. At Shillong, visit the Madina Masjid (India’s only Glass Mosque).
Night Stay: Homestay/Hotel at Shillong
Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 3 ~ Shillong – the Scotland of the East and Guwahati
Today we will spend the first half of the day sightseeing at Shillong City. Visit the Ward’s Lake, Shillong Peak, Elephant Falls and Don Bosco Museum. Depart to Guwahati.
Night Stay: Comfortable Hotel at Guwahati
Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 4 ~ Kamakhya Temple and Guwahati Airport
Morning visit the Holy Maa Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati. The Kamakhya Temple ‘the Temple of the Bleeding Goddess’ is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas and is one of the holiest temple shrines in India. Offer your worship to Goddess Kamakhya. After breakfast, depart to Guwahati Airport for your onward destination. Tour Ends. Bid Adieu!
Meals Included: Breakfast
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