Shillong is the capital city of Meghalaya. Recent development has been insensitive and haphazard, but the surrounding hills still retain many English style country houses. There is a vast bustling market, Bara Bazaar, to which thousands of Khasi tribespeople flock from their villages, selling everything from gold jewellery to spices and textiles. The market is dominated by Khasi women, who run most of the stalls. These cheerful matriarchs can drive a hard bargain. Police Bazaar resembles a Mall road as is found in many other hill stations in the evenings.

What to see

  1. Arunachal Pradesh Museum: Housed in the North Eastern Council Secretariat this museum depicts the art and cultural life of the different tribes of Arunachal Pradesh.

  2. Bishop and Beadon Falls: At a height 135 metres & 120 metres respectively, these falls cascade down the same escapement into a deep valley.

  3. Botanical garden: Located below Ward Lake, this 3.5 acres garden, houses about 1200 varieties of predominantly native plants, medicinal as well as ornamental.

  4. Butterfly Museum or Museum of Entomology: Meghalaya with it’s heavy rainfall and high humidity promotes a luxurious growth of vegetation, which is a paradise to innumerable species of butterfly and moths. Visitors interested in natural history and Entomology will find this museum a rich repository of this natural wealth.

  5. Cathedral of Mary Help of Christian: Commonly known as Don Bosco church and situated at Laitumkhrah, this church attracts a lot of devotees and alike.

  6. Crinoline Falls and Swimming Pool: Situated near Lady Hydari Park, the crinoline falls overlooking the Crinoline swimming pool provides a cool spot within the city limits.

  7. Lewduh - Bara Bazar: Situated in the heart of the of Shillong town, Lewduh is a special place for tourists in search of local colours. Pure honey, bows and arrows, handicrafts, hand woven shawls and a variety of species are sold in this market.

  8. Meghalaya State Museum: Located in the complex housing the state Central Library, this museum exhibits the culture, life style and the heritage of the people of Meghalaya. (Timing: 1000 hrs to 1630 hrs (in summer), 1000 hrs to 1600 hrs (in winter).

  9. Shillong Golf Courses: Considered one, of the best in the country, this 18 hole Golf Course also provides ample space for evening strollers and picnickers.

  10. Spread Eagle Falls: Situated beyond Golf Links, these, these falls are a treat to the eyes as they cascade down the hills breaking the calm stillness of the environment.

  11. Ward lake: located in the heart of the city, Ward take is an artificial lake encircled by beautiful gardens along with boating Facilities.

  12. Wei Tdem or Sweet Falls; These beautiful falls east of the Happy Valley on the Umkhem stream make for an ideal picnic spot.

Getting There

Air: Nearest airport is Borjhar (Guwahati) 127 km. from Shillong which in turn is connected by lndian Airlines flights with major cities and towns.

Rail: Nearest railhead is Guwahati 103 km on the North-East Frontier Railway which is connected with major cities and towns.

Road: Shillong is connected by motorable roads with Agartala 499 Km, Aizwal 430 Km, Calcutta 1184 Km, Darjeeling 658 Km, delhi 2129 Km, Gangtok 692 km, Guwahati 103 Km, Imphal 614 Km, Itanagar 481 Km, Kaziranga 294 Km, Kohima 469 km, Manas 273 Km, Mumbai 3244 km, Patna 1047 Km, Siliguri 578 Km etc.

General information

Area: 6435 Sq.Km Temperature: Summer - Max: 23.3 Deg.C Min: 15 Deg.C Winter - Max: 15.6 Deg.C Min: 3.9 Deg.C Rainfall; 241.5 cm Season. Throughout the year. STD Code: 0364

Excursions

  1. Shillong Peak (10 Km): At 1965 metres above see level, Shillong Peak is the highest point in the state and offers a panoramic view of the scenic country side.

  2. Elephant Falls (12 Km): On the outskirts of the city, a mountain stream descends through two successive falls set in dells of fern covered rocks.

  3. Umaim lake (17 km): Umaim Lake or Barapani Lake, considered to be the biggest artificial lake in the state, offers water sports facilities and is popular spot for anglers.

  4. Lum Sohpetbneng Peak (20 Km): 1343 metres, high, this peak is regarded as Sacred. Set amidst, a backdrop of deep forests, this peak referred to as the Navel of Heaven” as per Khasi mythology, offers the spiritual seeker peace of mind and solace.

  5. Law Kyntang (126 Km): This is a dense forest grove where the Lyngdoh (chief) used to offer prayers and sacrifices. The grove is surrounded by a lush green valley and a great variety of plants typical to Meghhalaya.

  6. Mairang (45 Km): West of Shillong, Mairang is the headquarters of the Nongkhlaw Syiemship. In the centre of the town stands the Memorial of U Tirot Sing. Syiem of Nongkhlaw who fought against the British during 1829-1835.

  7. Symper Peak (45 Km): Lying South-west of Shillong, this peak projects like a big monument in the middle of a table land and has a few caves.

  8. Cherrapunjee (56 Km): At an altitude of 1300 mts, Cherrapunjee is considered as one of the wettest places with the 2nd highest rainfall in the world. Endowed with luxurious tropical vegetation, Cherrapunjee is surrounded by waterfalls, breathtaking deep gorges and lovely rivulets. It was at Cherapunjee that the welsh Missionaries and teh Rama Krishna Mission started their services in the Khasi Hills. The Nohkaiikai falls, the the Dainthien falls, the Kynrem Falls and the Mawsmal (Nohsngithiang) falls are worth visiting. Cberrapunjee is also famous for its limestone caves.

  9. Mawsynram (56 km): The wettest place on earth, Mawsynram is known for it’s caves with stalagmite and stalactite formations. It has a giant stalagmite formation in the shape of a shiv Linga with a stalactite formation overhead dripping water on the Linga.

  10. Thadlaskein Lake (56 km): A Beautiful take on the way to Jowei.

  11. Mawlong Syiem Peak (60 Km): This peak is a retreat for adventure sports lovers and a paradise for Orchid lovers. The rocky, subterranean Mawsmai Caves are close by.

  12. Jakrem (64 km): Set amidst rocky surroundings, this is a popular health resort with hot sulphur water springs, believed to possess therapeutic properties.

  13. Jowai (64 Km): Jowai, the headquarter of the Jaintia Hills district, is a picturesque town circled by the majestic Myntdu river. About 58 kms from Jowai are he famous Yale falls the site of the Kopili Hydel Project. In the village of Lumshnong, 60 Km from Jowai, there are numerous caves in and around the vicinity with fossil passages and some beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations.

  14. Nartiang (65 Km): It was the summer capital of the Jaintia kings. Huge monoliths form striking landmarks of the village and represent the megalithic. culture of the Hynniewtrep people. A 500 year old temple of Goddess Durga, atop the hill is an added attraction.

  15. Dawki (9C Km): A border town by the side of the Umngot river where one can have a glimpse of Bangladesh, the neighbouring country.

  16. Ranikor (140 Km): Ranikor is one of the best spots for fishing. Huge golden mahseers, the pride of anglers are available here.

  17. Sarpin Saha Pir (150 Km): A pilgrim place for Muslims, it is believed that the ‘Pir’ who hailed from Mecca, established a dargah on a hill top cave 500 years ago.

  18. Williamnagar (312 Km): Situated on the banks of the Simsang river, this district headquarter was named after the first chief minister of the state. Close to Williamnagar is Sisobibra as well as historical place where the Garo warriors fought the Britishers. A monument has been constructed in the memory of those who laid down their lives.

  19. Tura (323 Km): Tura is the district headquarters of the west Garo hills, provides the finest views of sunset against the backdrop of low-lying plains with the mighty river Brahmaputra flowing through. A 5 km trek takes one to the Tura Peak (1400 mts). 112 Km from Tura, Naphak lake is an ideal place for fishing and bird watching . 152 Km from Tura, Siju caves popularly known as Dobakkol, has stalagmite formations resembling those of the Blue Grotta in the Isle of Capri. 167 Km from Tura, Balpakram is also known as the “place of perpetual winds. The Arabella Range and the Tura range pass through the Garo Hills forming the lush green valley of Belpakram. The Belpakram Reserve forest offers a variety of wildlife.

  20. Rongrengiri: Rongrengiri, at a distance of about 79 Km from Tura, is a historical place where the Garos fought their final battle against the British.

  21. Nokrek Biosphere Reserve (343 Km): The Nokrek Biosphere Reserve is situated in the Garo Hills at a distance of 20 Km from Tura Peak. The Biosphere reserve is one of the least disturbed forest tracks of the sub-Himalayan ranges. The Nokrek Biosphere ranges in height from 300 to 1400 mts and is a part of the Tura ridge extending over an area of 80 Sq.Km.