Clouded Hills of Mawsynrum
Eco-Park near Seven Sister Falls
Cloud and the hills
Due to rolling hills all around the town, Shillong is known as the "Scotland of East". Shillong is the home to Khasis, is the capital town of the Eastern state Meghalaya. Administratively it is the head quarters to the East Khasi Hills district, lying at 25.570 N and 91.880 E, at an altitude of 1496mtrs (4908ft) above the mean sea-level. The weather is pleasant and pollution free all throughout and it varies from 230 C in summers while from 40 C in the winters.
Although the name Shillong derives from a Khasi deity, the city’s older aspects are hidden behind a British façade. Shillong was the capital of British Assam as well as a permanent hill station during the colonial period. Members of the exclusive Shillong Club emulate BBC English, black-and-yellow cabs swarm through the nest of streets, and cycle-rickshaws have not yet pedaled to Shillong’s exalted heights. The locals keep pace with current Western fashion: hip young women wear combat boots and short skirts, and long-haired Khasi men thrash to the sounds of Pantera. An excursion to Bara Bazaar, a vast, raucous market where villagers sell fruits and vegetables, is really the only way to get a glimpse of the agrarian societies that surround the city.
A map Shillong resembles varicose veins. Many tiny, nameless roads snake out from the MTC bus stand in Police Bazaar. Guwahati-Shillong (G.S) Road, lined with many hotels, twists westward, eventually leading to Bara Bazaar, a web of narrow lanes littered with pineapple tops and animal fat. IGP Point is what government bureaucrats call the road that twists away from Police Bazaar to the southeast, with many government offices. Along this wide, tree-lined boulevard you’ll find the GPO, Banks and at its southern tip, the state Museum. Aside from Ward Lake, adjacent to one curve of IGP Point, most of Shillong’s natural wonders – waterfalls and parks – are located on the outskits of or even kilometers outside the city. The only way to reach them is by taxi from Bara Bazaar or Police Bazaar.
Shillong is well connected by NH 40 with Guwahati (Assam), by NH 44 with Tripura and by NH 44A with Mizoram. State buses, private buses and taxis are available from Guwahati, Agartala, and Dimapur.
The nearest airport is the Shillong Airport in Umroi that is 104kms away from Shillong. Cars are available from the airport and it takes about 5hrs to reach Shillong. A state bus of Meghalaya also runs from the airport to Shillong market.
There is yet another airport namely, Gopinath Bardoloi airport in Guwahati is just 105kms and shared taxis and cabs are available for the 5hours journey to Shillong.
There is no rail station in Meghalaya and so the nearest rail station is Guwahati that is 105kms from Shillong.
Shillong itself is a beautiful place to spend some lovely leisure hours sitting and gazing the hills around. Apart from its natural beauty Shillong has got many tourist spots to our excitement.
Originally known as “Ka kshaid lai pateng khohsiew” in Khaasi, it is 12kms from the main town of Shillong. The mountainous stream descending through three successive steps and finally losing itself to gravity presents a beautiful scenario, being surrounded by green vegetation.
Lady Hydari Park
Named after the wife of the first Governor of Assam, Lady Hydari Park is the only place where we can see a zoo, as Meghalaya has no zoo of its own. So it is a great place of amusement for kids and animal lovers, as one can find Himalayan black bear, porcupine, leopard and other animals with many bird species. The park is designed in Japanese style starting from its entrance, rhododendron plants, willow trees, small plants etc. This park also houses a museum which highlights the rich biodiversity of the state with skulls of elephants, leopard skin, and skin of python and photos of rare animals.
Shillong Golf Course
It is at 5200 ft altitude and was first inaugurated in the year of 1898 as a 9-hole golf course but was later transformed into an 18-hole golf course and is the first of its kind in India. Apart from golf lovers, the place is open for common people too and is often frequented by the visitors due to the beautiful surrounding of pine trees and green lawns. It is also known as the “Gleneagles of the East” for its natural beauty that resembles to the Gleneagles of the United State.
Also known as ‘Nan-Polok’, it is an artificial lake adjacent to Lady Hydari Park. For the amusement of people, the lake has got boating facilities.
The “stone of France”, also known as “Motphran” was established to commemorate the 26th Khasi Labour Corps who served under the British in France during World War I and sacrificed their lives. It exhibits the words of the famous Latin poet Horace “Dulce et Decorum est pro patria mori” which means -It is good to die for one’s own country.
It is 10kms from the main town of Shillong. It is the highest peak of the state at an altitude of 6494ft (1966mtrs) above mean sea-level. It is often chosen as a picnic spot by the natives. The Shillong peak gives a broad view of the whole town.
Capt. Williamson Sangma State Museum
It is a government museum that displays the ethical life, culture and tradition of the natives.
Chrysalis the Gallery
It is a art gallery run by a local artist, Jaya Kalra to promote canvases, sculptures, photography and handicraft items of the North-eastern artists especially. It is on the 2nd floor of Salonsar Mansion at Police Bazaar, the main commercial hub of Shillong.
It is a butterfly museum which is privately run by M/S Wankhar Riatsamtiah. It is just 2kms from Police Bazaar and its uniqueness lies in the fact that it is the only known and recognised museum devoted to butterflies and moths in India.
Apart from all these Shillong has got many museums like the Don Bosco Museum, Air Force Museum, Forest Museum, Rhino Heritage Museum, Zoological Museum in Risa colony, Anthropological Museum at Mawblei, Botanical Museum at 4th Furlong, Arunachal Museum at Cantonment area, State Museum at State Central Library complex.
Also Shillong has a number of falls in and around the town. Some of the famous falls include Bishop and Beadon Falls, Spread Eagle Falls (it is just 3kms from Polo Ground), Sweet Falls (at Weitden)-it is most beautiful of all the waterfall of Shillong and is just 5kms from Happy Valley with a height of 96mtrs and lastly the Crinoline Falls.