Shillong is a hill station in the North East India. It is the capital city of Meghalaya and as well as the District headquarter of the East Khasi Hill District. A beautiful city is encircled by pine trees. It derives its name from Lei Shyllong, an idol worshipped at the Shillong Peak.
This beautiful city is situated at an altitude of 1,491 m above the sea level and is 103 kms from Guwahati. It is also known as the "Scotland of the East". The suitable time to visit Shillong will be between September to May. During these months weather remains pleasant. So you can enjoy the beauty of Shillong properly without any disturbance.
Some of the beautiful places to visit in Shillong are Umiam Lake, Shillong Peak and View Point, Elephant Falls, Mawphlang Sacred Forest, Forest Bazar and many more.
Umiam Lake is one of the biggest artificial lakes in Meghalaya. It is situated about 15km from Shillong. It is mostly known as 'Bara Pani' and it covers an area of about 220 sq km.
It is one of the popular tourist spots in Shillong. Umiam Lake is a vast and scenic reservoir tht attracts a large number of tourists from across th country. It is constructed as a dam to store water for hydroelectric power generation. It was the first Hydel Power Project in the North--East Indian State.
Umiam Lake is also known for water sports and adventure facilities such as kayaking, water cycling, scooting and boating. It is surrounded by the lust and loft East Khasi Hills. It is often compared with the beautiful and mesmerising lakes of Scotland. The lakes open daily between 9 am to 5 pm for various water sports activities.
Shillong View Point
Shillong Peak is the highest peak in Meghalaya. It has an altitude of 1,965m (6,446feet.)It is at a distance of 13km from Shillong Bus stand. Shillong Peak is an eye-catching point located at Laitkor area of Shillong, Meghalaya. It is situated in th outskirt of Shillong, being one of the popular viewpoint in Meghalaya.
According to historians, Shillong is named after this hill. The peak offers an enchanting 360 degree view of the entire Shillong city, surrounding waterfalls, the Himalayan Range, Bangladesh Plains an the lush greenery nearby.Due to some security reasons, at the air base, travellers are needed to show their original ID cards and have to submit their cameras at th check post before entering into the viewpoint area. People from another country aren't allowed to enter this area as it is under the control of Indian Air Force.
It opens at 9am and closes at 3:30 pm. On Wednesday it remains closed. It costs Rs. 30 per person and Rs 30 per vehicle for entry fee.
Elephant Falls is named after an Elephant look like stone at its foot. It is among the most popular falls in the North - East situated next to Shillong.
Elephant Falls is situated at the outskirt of the main city of Shillong. It is almost 12kms away from the city chaos. The name was originated in the British Era when a man spotted a giant rock resemebling an Elephant near the fall. The original Khasi name of the fall is Ka Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew, which means 'the three step waterfall'.
However, that rock was destroyed in an earthquake back in 1897.
Mawphlang Scared Forest
Mawphlang Scared Forest is one of the noted scared forest in Meghalaya. It is about 25km from Shillong.
Shillong has a string of legendary stories that date back 700-800 years. The curvy road , dotted with hairpin turns will take you to the places where such stories are still alive.
One such place is Scared Forest or Scared Grove in Mawphlang. This forest is spread across 78 hectares of land and is protected by the local deity- Labasa. Villagers have a believe that deity takes the form of leopard or tiger to protect the village.Even they says that no one can take anything out of that forest, not even the tiniest thing. Doing this makes deity upset. If whoever tries to disrespect the deity by breaking the rule, they'll be punished with illness an ultimate lead to death.
This forest is open every day from 9 am till 4:30 pm. The entry fee is Rs. 20 per person and if you wanna take camera, it'll cost you extra Rs 20 for it. If you are new to that place you can even get a tour guide, charging Rs 300 for an hour. If you like staying there and experience the tribal culture, the best place would be the Maple Pine Farm.
At a distance of 1 km from Shillong Bus stand, Police Bazar is the main market area located at the heart of Shillong in Meghalaya.
Police Bazar is the major market Shillong., and a popular shopping haunt for locals and tourists alike. It is also known as Khydailad.
The market is considered as ideal for shopping and food lovers. It has enough options for everyone. There are plenty of hotels, restaurants and shops. Along with modern shops, you can also get to see there an array of traditional old shops selling handicrafts from Meghalaya. Vehicles not allowed in most of the roads in this market, which makes an perfect stop for shopping without any disturbance.
How to reach Shillong from Delhi?
The cheapest way to reach Shillong from Delhi is via train. You can go Delhi to Guwahati in train. Then, from Guwahati you can take bus to Shillong. It takes 42 hours 20 minutes.
But, if you don't want to waste time in travelling than through flight will be the fastest and easiest way to reach Shillong. You can take a flight from Indira Gandhi International Airport to Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport. From airport you can heir a cab to Shillong. It takes 6 hours to reach Shillong from Delhi.
How to reach Shillong from Kolkata?
You can take a flight from Kolkata to Shillong. It almost takes 1 hour 45 minutes.
You can even go in train. First you have to take train from Kolkata to Guwahati and from Guwahati you'll get bus to Shillong. It takes around 19 hours 33 minutes.