Shillong

Why To Go

Shillong or the ‘Scotland of the East’ is a popular hill station, located in the state of Meghalaya. The capital of the state Meghalaya, this city in the lap of the Eastern Himalayas is one of the most favoured tourist destinations in the country. It’s known for the manicured gardens at Lady Hydari Park.

Nearby, Ward’s Lake is surrounded by walking trails. 

Shillong lovingly called as ‘The Abode of Clouds’ rises to a height of around 1500 m and seems to touch the azure sky.  Known for its picturesque scenery, its undulating plains covered by lush green vegetation are a sight that will mesmerize you.

While the mountains form an integral part of the beautiful landscape of Shillong, the terrain is also decorated by the river beds of several major rivers of north and north-east India. There are many waterfalls here which are spots of tourist attractions.

Shillong was capital for composite Assam during the British regime and later till a separate State of Meghalaya.

Pleasant and soothing climate is another attraction of Shillong. Its summers are cool while winters are chilly and dry. Shillong is subject to vagaries of the monsoon. The monsoons arrive in June and it rains almost till end of August.

Travel Tips

Shillong has pleasant climate through the year and can be the visited any time. However, the best time is between September and May as the climate is most soothing and pleasant during this time. If you are travelling during the winter months pack warm clothes as winter is very cold in these regions. Summer is pleasant with moderate temperature. Driving to Shillong will no dobut take you through a scenic route that gives a spectacular view of the cloud covered rolling hills and deep gorges. Carrying a tour guide book will be handy. It will not only help you in gaining heaps of information about the region but also helps in visiting places in and around Shillong. Travel light in terms of cash as there are around 13-14 ATMs located in Shillong at various locations of different banks. Withdrawing money would not be a hassle and most of the hotels accept credit and debit cards for payment.

Things To Do

While visiting Shillong, there is a chance that your trip will draw to an end, but the places to visit will not be exhausted. The entire region is packed full of beautiful spots to visit. The Elephant Falls is a famous waterfall which is just 12 km from the city of Shillong. The stream here flows through two successive falls. Umiam Lake is a reservoir in the hills 15 km north of Shillong in the state of Meghalaya, India. It was created by damming the Umiam River in the early 1960s. Motphran is a monument in the city that had been erected in memory of the Khashi soldiers who served in the British Army during World War I. Nan Polok is an artificial lake. If you are interested in boating, you can visit the place. Bishop Fall and Beadon Fall are two waterfalls that plunge from great height into the valley below and provide a grand sight to the tourists. You can also visit Chrysalis Art Gallery, the art gallery houses artwork from various artists from the north-east part of India. The Butterfly Museum is another place that is frequented by the tourists. The privately owned museum is the only one of its kind in all of the country. If you want to get better acquainted with the local tribal culture and indigenous art form, Capt. Williamson Sangma State Museum is well worth visiting. The museum has an impressive collection of relics and artifacts that offer interesting insight into the life of the local people. Shillong is also the place to visit if you are a golfing enthusiast, as the city has one of the largest golf courses in the world. It is also the wettest golf course, making the challenge that much more interesting. Shillong Peak is a popular picnic spot. It rises to a height of above 2000 m from the sea level and offers a magnificent view of the surrounding areas and the city of Shillong.

Getting Around

The city of Shillong is quite well developed and getting around is fairly easy. The public transport system is quite good. There are plenty of buses. You can also move about by renting a car. Car renting services are fairly numerous and come at a reasonable price.

How To Reach

FLIGHT

Umroi Airport is the only airport in the region that is nearest to Shillong around 25 km. From there, you may avail private or hired cars to reach Shillong that takes around 1 hour. Flights from Umroi Airport connect to Kolkata only. Alternatively, you can take a flight to Guwahati airport which is around 125 km away from Shillong and then travel to Shillong by taxis, private cars. Guwahati airport is well connected to major towns of India.

TRAIN

Railway travel is not very developed and there are no major railway stations in the region. The nearest important railway station is at Guwahati in Assam, that is very well connected to different parts of India. From the station, Shillong is about 100 km. You can take private cars, shared taxis, bus or self drive to reach the hill station. NH 40 connects Shillong to rest of the cities in India. There are both private and government buses that run from most major cities to Shillong.

ROAD

This is the best way to travel if you are going to Shillong. The roads are well developed and connected to the other cities in the north-eastern part of the country. There are two major highways which you can take to reach Shillong. National Highway 40 connects Shillong to Guwahati and takes around two and a half hours, while National Highway 44 is connected to Tripura and Mizoram. There are plenty of buses which leave daily for Shillong. You can also take a cab or a rented car to reach Shillong. Taxi services can be availed of from cities like Guwahati, Agartala, and Dimapur.

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Surrounding Attractions

Umiam Lake is one of the nearby places of tourist attraction. It resembles the lochs in Scotland and features a water-sport complex. There are many picturesque caves in the surrounding areas. Taking a trip through the caves is also another good way of spending your time here. The famous town of Cherrapunji is just an hour’s drive away. Also at a distance of 102 kilometers lies the city of Guwahati, one of the most important cities of North- eastern India. It takes about two and half hours by road.
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