Shillong, capital of Meghalaya is popularly known as “Scotland of The East”. It being one of the north-eastern states is home to Khasi Hills. It is said that the name “Scotland of The East to the place was given by European settlers, as the hills and place here reminded them of Scotland. Thus, Shillong popularly came to be known as Scotland of The East.
Shillong is located at an average altitude of 4908 feet above sea level. This place largely being unexplored, gives visitors an insight into its culture and lifestyle. Along with nature’s beauty Shillong give its visitors a unique serenity and calmness peculiar to this place. The calm attitude of people here may surprise many as they handle all responsibilities with so much ease without any competition amongst them.
There are many places to be visited in Shillong. Barapani lake, Shillong Peak, Elephant falls, Air force museum, Tripura Castle, Wards lake, Lady Hyadri Park, Golf Course, Don Bosco Museum, Butterfly Museum and many churches.
Here, the most beautiful part of this place is the natural beauty which comes to where houses are actually built on hills. The small houses with colored roof tops give place a different aura, bound to leave a visitor( esp. those not living in hilly areas) spellbound.
The place is easily accessible. Mostly tourists prefer hiring a private taxi for the visits and could easily be reached by Guwahati or Shillong Airport.
If you happen to travel by road from Guwahati to Shillong, you will see the Barapani lake or Umiam Lake. As said, this lake was formed as a part of building dams. It arrived at its name Barapani from its size. Tourists love to visit this place for water sports and boating. Kayaking and water cycling are few of the sports. When viewed from slightly above, that is at an altitude on the way it gives a panoramic view of the lake.
Shillong Peak is the highest point of Shillong, 1965 m(approx) above sea level. Though the area is under military, visitors are allowed to visit this place and see bird’s eye view of Shillong. Here cold winds blow giving peace to mind of the visitors. A few shops are also here.
These are the famous waterfalls, in 3 steps. Here, a rock was carved in form of elephant (thus deriving its name) but the rock has been destroyed by an earthquake. Water flows down from the rock and its sprinkling is heard very clearly.
Tripura Castle is a Royal Heritage built by Maharaja Bir Bikram. As the story goes, he came here to learn martial arts, and got this castle built. It reflects the regality of royal home.
Wards lake is an artificial lake where one can enjoy boating. It is surrounded by greenery on all sides. Wards lake is a place where tourist can rest and enjoy the still calm water. A cafeteria, which serves snacks is also here.
Lady Hyadri Park
Lady Hyadri park is home to various animals and greenery is abundant here. With wide variety of trees and quite a few types of animals is what this park is famous for.This place is most enjoyed by children as this park has a sort of mini zoo inside it. It is a famous picnic spot among localites.
Shillong has one of the largest and natural built golf courses in Aisa. At present it has got 18 holes to play on. It is surrounded by pine trees on its sides.
Museum and Church
Shillong is also home to various museums and churches which are worth visiting. Don Bosco Museum and butterfly museum is one of them. Butterfly museum, located in East Khasi Hills district is known to be only Indian museum for butterflies. It is of special interest to zoology students. It houses some of the rarest butterfly species.
Air force museum is home to many aircrafts, vintage planes, models for display and a shop to buy things at a very reasonable price.
Don Bosco Museum is a part of DBCIC(Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures). It is a place of knowledge sharing of culture especially of north eastern states. Other museum are Forest Museum in Lady Hyadri Park, Rhino Heritage Museum, Shillong and Capt. Williamson Sangma State Museum(ethnic tribal culture and traditional artifacts).
Shillong Baptist Church, Shillong Catholic Cathedral are few of the famous church which could be visited here.
It is a famous shopping place for those who want to indulge in shopping. One can find everything here, especially woodcraft items, for which Shillong is famous for.
Here, people love to enjoy their lives. They will never be seen in a hurry and perform their work efficiently. Usually, people leave the workplace early in the evening. The roads are usually deserted during night time.
The houses here are built according to peculiar hill style. In the night time it gives a complete amazing view to just see lights from the various houses on hill in the darkness of night.
People here have got their own particular dress which is easily available on rent at Shillong Peak and Elephant falls at affordable price. Wearing the dress and getting snapshots is one of the best part enjoyed by the tourists here.
Nearby Places To Visit
Shillong is very closely situated to Cherrapunjee (once the wettest places on the earth) and Guwahati, which are also attractive tourist places.
Shillong with friendly people, natural beauty , hills, windy routes, variety of museums and a pleasant weather throughout is an emerging tourist spot. It leaves the visitors with an influence of its own.