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Shillong Travel Guide

Discussion in 'Meghalaya' started by Debapriya Deb, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. Debapriya Deb

    Debapriya Deb Active Member

    North-Eastern region often gets a raw deal from the citizens of mainland India due to the ethinic, cultural and behavioural differences. Be it development, recognition, infrastructure, communication or tourism - you will witness the eternal negligence in all walks of life. The current situation is appaling to put it mildly. To make the matter worse, any change of attitude towards this deprived region appears to be highly unlikely, at-least in the foreseeable future.

    Nevertheless, there is something special about the North-Eastern states that every other region can only dream of - abundance of natural beauty. Bestowed with the blessings of Mother Nature, North-Eastern India is unarguably the most serene, territory in the entire country.

    Surrounded by the colossal Himalayan Mountain Range and its extended branches, North-East India could have been a paradise for the tourists all over the world. However, its enormous potential to be regarded as a tourism hub remains largely unexplored. In the absense of any whole-hearted effort from the Government, tourism still remains at a nascent stage compared to the rest of the country.

    This new series, "The Majestic North-East India: Serenity Redefined", is intended to unveil the unmatched beauty of North-East to the travel enthusiasts from India and abroad. This series will bring you several North-East tourist destinations which are yet to gain the recognition that they truly deserve.

    The first installment will introduce you to the spellbinding Capital of Meghalaya - Shillong!


    Shillong At A Glance:

    Destination Category: Hill Station
    State: Meghalaya
    Highest Altitude: 6449 feet (1966 m)
    Attractions: Lakes, Waterfalls, Mountain Ranges.

    The alluring beauty of Shillong has not only attracted the masses, but even the prominent personalities were bowled over by its charm. Most notably, Rabindranath Tagore was an ardent fan of this sleeping beauty of a hill station. One of his greatest novels, 'Shesher Kabita', was written on the backdrop of Shillong, in which Rabindranath captured its lazy elegance in intricate details.

    Meghalaya literally means 'the abode of the cloud' - which is indeed a true reflection of the state's tryst with clouds and rains. Referred to as the 'Scotland of East', Shillong, the state capital, is the most decorated tourism destination in the entire North-East region. The city of Shillong is situated at an average altitude of 4908 feet (1496 meters) above the sea level, with Shillong Peak being the most elevated point standing at the height of 6449 feet (1966 m).


    Although monsoon serves as a catalyst to bring Shillong at its very best, its pleasant climate throughout the year makes it an excellent all-season vacation getaway for the travel enthusiasts.

    Intimidating peaks of Khasi and Jayantia hills kissing the clouds is a sight to behold. Catching a glimpse of the sunrise from top of the Shillong peak is equally spectacular. The natural golf course at Shillong is situated at an elevation of 5200 feet. Surrounded by scenic pine and rhododendron trees on the lap of mountain valley, it should also be added to the list of 'must visit' places on your tour to Shillong. Notably, this unique golf course is one of the oldest in Asian continent and also the first 18-hole golf course established in India.


    The colossal Umiam Lake, which is often compared to the famous Lochs Lake of Scotland, is another spot that should not be missed. For a spellbounding experience, do make sure to visit the twin waterfalls, Bishop and Beadon, located amidst dense evergreen forest. Sweet falls, located in Happy Valley, is a popular picnic destination. The scenic Elephant Falls is unique in its own way - being a collection of several smaller falls.

    If time permits, then do make sure the visit Cherrapunji and Mawsynram - couple of scenic places in Meghalaya. The former is famous for the Seven Sisters Falls, while the latter made it to the record books being the wettest place on earth (receives highest rainfall).



    Must Visit Places:

    1. Shillong Peak - For a memorable sunrise and a breathtaking view of illuminated Shillong city at night.

    2. Umiam Lake - Popularly known as 'barapani', it resembles the 'Lochs' of Scotland. It has a water sports complex which can give adrenaline rush to the adventure seekers.

    3. Wards Lake - For a romantic boat ride meandering through lotus plants.

    4. Lady Hydari Park - To spend some lazy moments with your spouse and children.

    5. Sweet Falls - A pristine waterfalls in the peaceful Happy Valley.


    6. Bishop & Beadon Falls - Beautiful twin waterfalls situated in the evergreen forest of Suna Valley.

    7. Shillong Golf Course - Due to its picturesque surroundings and rich history (oldest 18-hole course in India)


    8. Elephant Falls - Collection of several small waterfalls - two distinctly visible. Also a popular picnic spot with fern-covered rocks scattered throughout.

    9. Crinoline Falls - A smaller waterfall suitable for a refreshing shower.

    10. Museums - Butterfly Museum, Air Force Museum, Heritage Museums, Zoological, Botamical and Anthropological Museums, Cathedral of Mary, Chrysalis Art Gallery.


    Connectivity & Communication:

    By Road: This is by far the best mode of transport to and from Shillong. Shillong has well-connected road transport facility to other major places in the North East. NH-40 connects Shillong with Guwahati, while Silchar can be accessed through NH-44 - which then bifurcates to Aizawl and Agartala. Besides regular bus services - both government and private, tourists can also make use of taxi operators.


    By Rail: Shillong does not have a railway station. Guwahati and Silchar can be reached by train and then road transport is available to Shillong.

    By Air: Shillong has its own airport at Umroi but flights are few and far between. Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati and Kumbhirgram Airport at Silchar has well-connected flight network.


    Getting Around:

    Unmetered shared taxis are the best transportation medium within Shillong city. City buses are also available to most of the tourist attractions - but these are usually crowded and move at the snail's pace.

    Accommodation:

    Plenty of options are there to stay at Shillong. Several Guest Houses, Private Hotels and Resorts are there to suit budgets of all sizes.

    Must Eat Local Cuisine:

    Delicious steamed momos - both veg and non-veg (chicken & pork). Non-vegetarian folks can feast on a variety of delighful cuisines made of pork meat.


    Concluding Verdict:

    With its lush greenery of oscillating pine trees, cascading waterfalls, tranquil water-bodies and above all the picturesque mountain ranges, Shillong has all the ingredients to mesmerize you with its magical charm. Besides being a backpacker's paradise, Shillong is also an excellent choice for romantic honeymoon trip. Do make sure to pack your rain-gears or be prepared to drench in the unpredictable rain - especially during the monsoon season.

    ~ Debapriya Deb
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
    BadBoy, Chahal and ChaiNashta like this.
  2. BadBoy

    BadBoy Active Member

    Some one once told me that in Shillong after marriage, husband goes to his wife's house and live their is it true, Deb?
     
  3. Chahal

    Chahal ਜੱਟ ਕੀ ਤੇ ਘੱਟ ਕੀ Staff Member

    @BadBoy
    Yes there are some tribes that have such traditions. Such traditions exist in other parts of the country too not just North East.
     
    BadBoy likes this.

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