The popular tag that everyone knows, “Scotland of the East” belongs to Shillong, one of the cities in the north eastern part of India. Apart from being a city that has greenery and mountains, the locals there are modern in their lifestyle. If you want to witness a matriarchal form of society that depicts women empowerment, Maghalaya is the state that is a big example. The beauty of the city attracts people from various parts of North East especially for weekend getaways. Shillong is also the capital of Meghalaya. The city is at an elevation of 1496 meters and has beautiful pine trees across. The view is only mesmerizing for the mind and soul.
The city Shillong has various places that you can visit when you are on a family trip. Another reason people love visiting Shillong is a number of waterfalls. The landscape of the hill station together with its heavy rainfall record in Cherrapunji makes it a city to be definitely visited. When you are in the city, you will find many people on solo trips enjoying their time and making memories.
Being an ideal destination for weekend getaways from various cities in North East, Shillong invites many adventure lovers too. Guwahati is the most developed city in Assam, and it is located at a distance of 70 kilometers from Shillong. Agartala is 202 kilometers away, Aizawl is 223 kilometers away and Imphal is 225 kilometers away. Bangladesh border is also very close to Shillong. Therefore, Sylhet which is in Bangladesh is only 75 kilometers away.
The city that has the highest rainfall density, Cherrapunjee is only 53 kilometers away. People visiting Shillong always visit this place to witness rainfall that is almost constant.
If you are in North East and want to visit Shillong, you may require a budget of at least Rs 3000 for two days trip, excluding transportation. On the other hand, if you are travelling from any other part of India, the distance will considerably add to the expenses. The budget will go beyond Rs 7000 for two days trip very easily if you travel by air and choose a luxurious place to stay. However, one thing to note is that, people from Guwahati usually go on a day trip and spend hardly Rs 1000 per head. With that handy a budget, why wouldn’t someone visit this beautiful city.
Things to do in Shillong
1. Umiam Lake
While many are natural lakes, this lake is man-made and is one treat to your eyes. The need for hydroelectric power encouraged the construction of a dam and this in turn brought about the presence of this beauty around the city. People on an adventure trip ensure to visit this lake for the boating and other water activities this place has to offer. Don’t miss the sunrise from here as it is one of the best things you could see.
Just 90 kilometers from Shillong is a small village called Mawlynnong which is also called “God’s own Garden”. In 2003 it was declared as the cleanest village in all of Asia by Discovery India, and in 2005 it was decalred the cleanest village in the country making it popular amongst the tourists visiting the state. The village has some of the best picturesque spots, and by the virtue of the villagers has crystal clear water in its river.
3. Elephant Falls
Situated at a distance of 12 kilometers from the main city, Elephant Falls can’t be ignored by any tourist in the town. Not just beautiful, this fall has the significance of being one after combining with three, i.e. water falls from three layers. If you have seen any calendar of falls, you will be able to relate the picture with it. It is that stunning.
Mawsynram is the village that receives the highest rainfall in not just the country, but globally. It receives around 12 meters of rainfall on an average every year. When on an adventure trip with family or friends, you will love to witness the green side of this place with clean landscape. Also, this place sits at a height of 1400 meters. Cherrapunji (Cherrapunjee) is also a place that is one of the wettest in the world, on an average it gets just 100mm less rainfall annually than Mawsynram.
5. Shillong Peak
Situated at an elevation of 1965 meters from the sea level, this peak has been successful in attracting visitors to Shillong. If you are on a solo trip or an adventure trip with friends, you can’t miss out on the fun that one can have being here. It is known as Shillong Peak as you can see the entire city from the peak which becomes even more delightful in the evening.
6. Nohsngithiang Falls
If you have heard of the Seven Sister Falls, you are very close to experiencing this wonderful fall. One of the most beautiful falls of the state and the country, the falls plunge from a height of 315 meters makes it one of the highest situated waterfall in the country. The impact is just mind blowing. It is situated in Cherrapunjee. Ensure to be here when you are in Cherrapunjee.
7. Don Bosco Museum
It is a seven story building with approximately seventeen (17) galleries for your exploration. There is a wide collection of things that belong to the seven states of the North East. You can find attires, handicrafts, accessories, ornaments, artwork and more that you can think of.
8. Police Bazar
Every city has a shopping destination. Police Bazar is the shopping centre for people in Shillong. This market has a range of products you can choose. There are markets where you can buy things without denting your pocket and then there are brand stores if you like to spend more on classy products. If you are on a family trip and want to carry home tokens of love for everyone, this is the market you must go to.
There are several lakes for you to enjoy boat rides with your loved ones. Angling at Dawki lake is one of the best things to do. Umiam lake facilitates camping if you like adventure trips. You can also raft while in Dawki visit. Mountain biking at Sohilya village is another activity that you can try.
10. Other Museums
There are other museums that you can visit such as Rhino Heritage museum, Butterfly museum, Ever Living Museum, Air Force Museum, and Meghalaya State Museum. If you like seeing old and unique things that have a history, visit these museums.
How to Reach Shillong?
The question is whether you want to travel by road, train or flight? The choice is yours. Being a tourist destination, the city is connected to most of the major cities in India.
The nearest railway station is Guwahati which is at a distance of 100 kilometers. When you reach Guwahati railway station, you step out and find a number of commercial vehicles willing to take you to your destination. It is always better to plan your budget when on a family trip.
The nearest airport is in Shillong itself that is connected to most major cities, however not many direct flight will be found, hence you can also book a flight to Guwahati, and from there take a cab or a bus. Are you planning to travel to Shillong from any part of India?
Best Time to Visit Shillong
You can visit Shillong any time of the year. It has pleasant winter as well as summer. Avoid Monsoon as you won’t like too much rain when on a trip, but if you are a rain lover like us, this is the place to be during Monsoon. The best time of the year is September to May.
Have a ball of your trip in Shillong!