12 Amazing Reasons why you need to visit Shillong
Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful hill stations in India. Known as the “Scotland of the East”, Shillong is the home to a number of waterfalls, parks, beautiful lakes and rolling hills. Not to mention, the culture and cuisine of the place is also one of the best. Shillong is also the rock capital of the country! Actually, you do not need any reason to visit Shillong, even then, here are some really good reasons that might convince you to visit this quaint city – a readymade Shillong Travel Guide for you!
1. Visit the mesmerizing waterfalls
Meghalaya is the home to a number of beautiful and cascading waterfalls. The Elephant waterfall and the Bishop & Beadon waterfalls at Shillong are one of the most beautiful ones. Located within the Shillong Cantonment, on the outskirts of the city, is a gushing waterfall that looks like an eagle with its wings spread. Hence the waterfall is named as Spread Eagle Falls. It is a popular picnic spot. And if you are not satisfied with the falls in Shillong, visit Cherrapunjee to see the Nohkalikai Falls plunging down from 1100 ft. The Seven Sister Falls, Dainthlein Falls, Krang Suri are a few more stunning waterfalls that can be visited from Shillong.
2. Stroll around the Police Bazar
The Police Bazar is the most colourful place in Shillong. It is the one-stop marketplace for any kind of tourists in Shillong. It has modern shops as well as an array of traditional shops selling exquisite handicrafts from Meghalaya. There are also both vegetarian and non-vegetarian restaurants here offering delicious dishes. And do try the street food at the Police Bazar.
3. The unmatched beauty of the roads
The road from Guwahati to Shillong is extremely beautiful. And once you are in Shillong and are heading to places like Cherrapunjee or Mawlynnong, the scenic beauty of the roads are unmatched. And the best thing is that the road conditions are quite good and you can have a smooth drive.
4. Visit the Laitlum Canyons
The Laitlum Canyons are a delight to the eyes. Perched at great heights, it is an edge of the hill surrounded by greenery all around. Your eyes will see only stretches of green all around and layers of rocky hills.
5. Bridges that are living: Visit the intriguing Living Root Bridges
The Living Root Bridges are the natural wonders that have been preserved by the Khasi tribesmen. Deep in the tropical forests of Meghalaya shrouded in rain and cloud, lies these root bridges. These are the roots of ancient rubber trees or Ficus Elastica have been trained by the Khasi tribesmen to grow in a tangled mess. And then they were intertwined to form single and double-decker root bridges. The double-decker root bridge is near Cherrapunjee and the Single Root Bridge is at Riwai Village in Mawlynnong.
6. Asia’s Cleanest Village
Much before Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan came to prominence, this village in Meghalaya was already gaining recognition for being the cleanest village. Mawlynnong is considered to be Asia’s cleanest village and is a picture perfect location.
7. Take a visit to the Shillong Peak
Shillong Peak is the highest point in Shillong at a height of 6449 feet. You will get a panoramic view of the city from the Shillong Peak. And while you are looking at the majestic views of the city, you can also dress up in traditional Khasi costume and click some memorable pictures.
8. Get the ultimate experience of caving
Meghalaya has the longest system of caves in the Jaintia Hills. The Mawsmai caves near Cherrapunji consisting of amazing stalactites and stalagmites is quite famous among the tourists. If you want to do some serious caving, Meghalaya is just the place for you.
9. Visit the sacred groves
The Mawphlang Sacred Forest lies around 25 km from Shillong. The sacred groves are essentially a forest area considered sacred among the Khasis. These groves are generally bordered by a dense growth of Castanopsis Kurzii trees that forms a protective cover that halts the intrusion of Pinus Kasia (Khasi pine) that grows wild in all areas outside the sacred groves. And inside the sacred grove is nature’s own museum with rare and amazing plants, orchids, flowering trees and butterflies.
10. Listen to the incredible Khasi Folk Tales
Shillong is the land of Khasi tribes and the Khasi tribes love their folk stories. Originally, he Khasis was the worshipper of nature and almost anything related with nature has an interesting folk tale behind it. You can listen to the story of animal market where animals use to trade and also the giant serpent that later formed the waterfall.
11. Delectable Cafes and cuisines to warm your heart
Shillong has an array of delectable cuisines starting from lip-smacking street food to mouth-watering Khasi dishes. Shillong also has some wonderful cafes where you can have your coffee and listen to great music. Food is definitely one of the reason to visit this city.
12. Umiam Lake
Umiam Lake, situated just 17 km from the city is a picturesque place. The lake is a vast and scenic reservoir also known as “Bara Pani” or the Big Water. Intended initially as a reservoir for a Dam, Umiam Lake quickly became one of the most popular tourists’ spots in Shillong, becoming a prominent venue for kayaking, water cycling, boating and scooting.
How to reach Shillong:
The nearest Airport is at Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport (GAU) at Guwahati. The nearest Railway station is also at Guwahati (GHY).
From Guwahati, take a shared sumo or cab to Shillong. The Sumos from Guwahati Railway Station take INR 200. You can also hire a full cab for yourself. It takes around 2-3 hours to reach there.
Best Time to Shillong:
Although you can visit the place all through the year, the best time is considered between October to March.
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