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: Shillong at a glance
Shillong at a glance
Shillong is an eco-tourist’s dream with many parks, waterfalls, museums and hills. The city is called Scotland of the east due to the rolling hills and the waterfalls are a sight to behold when they are at their flowing best during the monsoon season. The city also has a lot of parks which must be visited by everyone.
- The Butterfly Museum: The museum has a lot of rare species of butterflies and is an attractive destination for all.
- Umiam Lake: A beautiful manmade lake which resembles the Scottish Lochs, this is also called ‘Barapaani’ due to its size. Situated to the north of Shillong, this lake also holds a water sports complex and a garden.
- Wards Lake: Another manmade lake which has boating facilities and has beautiful lotus plants floating on the lake.
- Lady Hydari Park: A famous picnic spot, the park has stunning orchids and plants, a zoo and a beautiful wa-terfall. The park stretches for half a kilometre where you can cool off with a dip in the pool.
- Sweet Falls: Located in Happy valley, this water fall is extremely steep and quite slippery. Extreme caution must be taken when visiting these falls due to a slot of slippery rocks.
- Elephant Falls: Located near the upper Shillong area, the falls were named during the British reign when a rock close to it resembled an elephant.
- Bishop & Beadon Falls: The pair of waterfalls are located in the Suna Valley which is home to wildlife like deer, wild cats, leopards and various bird species.
- Shillong Peak: The highest point in Meghalaya at 1965 meters above sea level, there is a view point where you get to see the beauty of Shillong. There is a radar station for the Indian Air Force and tourists are ad-vised to declare cameras reaching the point and shouldn’t take pictures of the Army facilities.
- Don Bosco Centre on Indigenous Cultures: The museum is a huge repository of information about the many north eastern states. This is the largest cultural museum in Asia.
- Golf Course: Compared to the “Glen Eagles” course in the USA, the Shillong golf course is the first Indian course to have 18 holes in it and is situated at a height of 5200 meters above sea level.
- Motphran: The ‘Stone of France’ or ‘Motphran’ as it is locally called was erected in memory of the 26th Khasi troops which served in France during World War 1 for the British.
Shillong is a tourist hub which has something for everyone, a few things which should be done while visiting Shillong are:
- Taking a walking through Lewduh (Big Market): It is one of the biggest markets in North East India and you will find almost everything there ranging from food items to iron works.
- Visit the State Central Library: The library was started during the reign of the British and so has many rare books which is a delight for all bibliophiles.
- Cave exploration:Shillong is abundant with beautiful natural caves which can be explored.
- Visit the waterfalls: Shillong has many waterfalls located all across the city and its outskirts. They should be visited by all with caution though as most of these have slippery rocks.
Best time to Visit:
Shillong is an all-year round tourist destination and has a cool climate throughout the year, although the best time to visit is between September to May. The winters which last from November to February are very cold as temperatures can plummet to 2°C. Summers last from March to June and the temperature ranges between 15°C to 24°C. The Monsoon season lasts from June to September and offers heavy rainfall, this time could be avoided due to the incessant rain but this is the best time to enjoy the waterfalls and the scenic beauty of Shillong.
How to reach:
By Air: Although Shillong does not have its own airport, there is an airport at Umroi which is about 30 km from Shillong. Buses and taxis are available from Umroi to Shillong and back. The buses normally ply on those days when flights land at Umroi airport and charge Rs.100 per passenger.
Another airport is situated at Guwahati which is 120 km from Shillong. This airport is better connected than the Umroi airport and has regular flights from and to other Indian cities. Tourists can avail shared cabs for up to Rs.300 which drop you off at Police Bazaar.
There are airport transfer services between Shillong and Guwahati which charges Rs.250 per person.
- Helicopter Service:There is a helicopter service plying between Shillong and Guwahati which takes roughly 20 minutes to cover the distance, this is an economical and faster way to cover the distance between the cities.
- By Rail: There are no rail lines in Shillong but tourists can stop off at the Guwahati rail station and avail a bus service to Shillong. MTC (Meghalaya Transport Corporation) has bus services from the station to Shillong which covers the 104 km journey in roughly 3.5 hours.
- By Road: Guwahati is the closest large city to Shillong and state buses from Assam and Meghalaya regular-ly ply along National Highway 40. There are private buses available as well which cover the distance in 4 hours, including a stop-over at Nongpoh. Tourist taxis and Tata sumo taxis are also available which are more expensive compared to the buses but are much faster in covering the distance between the cities. The bus stand in Shillong is located at Police bazaar for Government buses while the Polo ground is the bus stand for private buses.