Shillong – Travel attractions in the capital city of Meghalaya
The capital city of Meghalaya is a hilly tourist attraction in northeast India. Shillong rises to a height of 1496 m from sea level. The state of Meghalaya was created during the year 1974. Prior to the creation of Meghalaya, Shillong used to be the capital city of Assam.
Accommodation in Shillong
Shillong, the capital of the Indian state of Meghalaya, offers a variety of accommodation options for visitors, including hotels, resorts, guesthouses, and homestays. Some popular hotels in the city include The Polo Tower Hotel, Hotel Pinewood, and Hotel Brookland. There are also many budget-friendly options available, such as guesthouses and homestays. These types of accommodations provide a more authentic experience of local culture and are often more affordable than hotels. You can also find many resorts in Shillong which provide a luxurious stay and amenities like a swimming pool, spa, and gym. To book your accommodation, you can use online travel websites or contact the hotel or guesthouse directly.
Sightseeing Tours in Shillong – Top 13 Places to Visit in Shillong
1. Elephanta Falls:
This beautiful waterfall is located just outside of Shillong and is a popular spot for picnics and swimming. The waterfall is formed by the Umiam River and cascades down from a height of about 100 feet, creating a picturesque and serene setting. Visitors can take a leisurely walk along the river to the base of the falls and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The waterfall is surrounded by lush green forests, providing a perfect opportunity for nature lovers to explore the surrounding area. You can also find a small park and a few food stalls around the falls, which makes it a perfect place for a day trip.
2. Shillong Peak:
The highest point in the city, Shillong Peak offers panoramic views of the surrounding area. The peak is located about 6 km from the city center and can be reached by car or on foot. The summit offers a bird’s eye view of the city and the Khasi Hills, making it a popular spot for photography. Visitors can also explore the nearby Umiam Lake and enjoy a boat ride on the lake. The peak is also a popular spot for trekking and hiking, with several trekking trails leading to the summit.
3. Wards Lake:
A scenic artificial lake located in the heart of the city, Wards Lake is surrounded by a beautiful garden and a small bridge. The lake is a popular spot for a leisurely stroll, picnics, and boating. The garden around the lake is well-maintained, and you can find a small playground for children and a few food stalls. Visitors can also take a boat ride on the lake, which offers a serene and tranquil setting. The lake is also a popular spot for bird-watching, as a variety of bird species can be found in the area.
4. Lady Hydari Park:
This park is located in the heart of the city and features a miniature zoo, a children’s park, and a Japanese garden. The park is named after Lady Hydari, the wife of the first governor of Assam. The zoo houses a variety of animals and birds, including a leopard, a bear, and a variety of deer species. The children’s park has a playground and a few rides for children. The Japanese garden is a peaceful and serene spot and features a pond, a waterfall, and a few statues. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the natural beauty of the park.
5. Don Bosco Museum:
This museum is dedicated to showcasing the culture and history of the Khasi tribes of Meghalaya. The museum is located inside the Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures and is run by the Salesians of Don Bosco. The museum houses a collection of artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that provide an insight into the rich culture and traditions of the Khasi people. The museum also features a Planetarium, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of astronomy. Visitors can also attend the live demonstrations of traditional dances and music performances organized in the museum.
6. Mawphlang Sacred Grove:
This sacred forest contains several ancient monoliths and is considered sacred by the Khasi people. The forest is located about 25 km from Shillong and is a popular spot for nature lovers and trekkers. The forest is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, and visitors can take a guided tour to learn about the traditional beliefs and customs of the Khasi people. The monoliths in the forest are considered sacred and are believed to have spiritual significance. Visitors are requested to respect the traditional customs and not to disturb the natural surroundings of the forest.
7. Cathedral Catholic Church:
This beautiful church is located in the heart of the city and features gothic architecture. The church was built in the year 1901 and has been an important religious and cultural landmark in Shillong. The church is dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua and is known for its impressive architecture and beautiful stained glass windows. Visitors can take a tour of the church and admire the intricate carvings, statues, and frescoes that adorn the interiors. The church also features a large bell tower, which offers a panoramic view of the city. Visitors can also attend mass or other religious services at the church and experience the local community’s religious practices. The church is surrounded by a lush green garden and a few food stalls.
8. Golf Course:
9. Air Force Museum:
This museum is located at the air force station in Shillong and showcases the rich history of the Indian Air Force. The museum features a collection of vintage aircraft, weapons, and equipment used by the Indian Air Force. Visitors can take a tour of the museum and learn about the history of the Indian Air Force, and the role it played in various conflicts and peacekeeping missions. The museum also features interactive exhibits and simulations, which provide visitors with an immersive experience. The museum is open to the public and visitors can take a guided tour of the museum.
10. Police Bazaar:
Police Bazaar is one of the most popular shopping areas in Shillong. The market is known for its wide variety of shops and street vendors that sell a wide range of products, including traditional Meghalayan handicrafts, textiles, jewelry, and souvenirs. Visitors can take a stroll through the market, browse the shops, and haggle with the vendors for the best deals. The market is also known for its vibrant atmosphere and is a great place to experience the local culture and traditions.
11. Mawphlang Sacred Forest:
The Mawphlang Sacred Forest is a sacred site for the Khasi tribe, the indigenous people of Meghalaya. The forest is considered to be sacred and is protected from any kind of human intervention. The forest is home to a wide variety of plants and trees and is also a popular spot for bird watching. Visitors can take a guided tour of the forest and learn about the Khasi tribe’s culture, beliefs, and practices.
12. Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Culture:
The Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Culture is a cultural museum that showcases the rich culture and heritage of the northeastern states of India. The museum features a wide variety of exhibits, including traditional textiles, jewelry, sculptures, and artifacts. Visitors can take a tour of the museum and learn about the history, customs, and traditions of the region’s various ethnic groups. The museum also features a small theater where visitors can watch cultural performances and a library where visitors can find books and research materials on the region’s culture.
13. Barapani Lake:
Barapani Lake is a beautiful man-made lake located about 25km from Shillong. The lake is surrounded by lush green hills and forests and is a popular spot for visitors. Visitors can take a boat ride on the lake, admire the natural beauty of the area, and enjoy the serene atmosphere. The lake is also a popular spot for fishing and bird watching and a popular spot for camping.
Shillong can be reached by several means of transportation:
By Air: The nearest airport to Shillong is the Umroi Airport, which is located about 30 km from the city. The airport is well-connected to major cities in India, and visitors can take a taxi or a bus to reach Shillong from the airport.
By Train: The nearest railway station to Shillong is Guwahati Railway Station, which is located about 100 km from the city. Visitors can take a taxi or a bus to reach Shillong from the railway station.
By Bus: Shillong is well-connected by road to major cities in the North-East region of India. Visitors can take a bus to reach Shillong from Guwahati, which is the nearest major city. The bus journey from Guwahati to Shillong takes about 3-4 hours.
By Car: Visitors can also hire a car or drive to Shillong from Guwahati. The journey from Guwahati to Shillong takes about 3-4 hours.
It’s important to note that the monsoon season (June- September) can make it difficult to reach Shillong via road, as landslides and heavy rainfall can cause road blockages. It’s best to check the current weather and road conditions before planning a trip during these months.
Best time to visit Shillong
The best time to visit Shillong depends on the type of activities and the weather conditions that you prefer.
If you’re looking for pleasant weather, the best time to visit is from October to May. During this time, the weather is cool and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 10-25 degrees Celsius. This is the perfect time for sightseeing, trekking, and other outdoor activities.
If you’re looking to experience the monsoon season, the best time to visit is from June to September. During this time, the city receives heavy rainfall, which makes the surroundings lush and green. This is a good time to experience the local culture and festivals, and also to enjoy the scenic beauty of the waterfalls, which are at their best during this time.
It’s important to note that during the monsoon season, landslides and heavy rainfall can cause road blockages, making it difficult to reach some of the tourist spots. It’s best to check the current weather and road conditions before planning a trip during these months.
Overall, the best time to visit Shillong is from October to May, when the weather is pleasant and perfect for sightseeing and other outdoor activities.
Shillong Famous for
Shillong is known for a variety of things and is famous for:
- Scenic beauty: Shillong is known for its picturesque landscape, lush green hills and valleys, and beautiful waterfalls. The city offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and modern amenities.
- Music and Culture: Shillong is known as the “Rock Capital of India” and is famous for its music scene and cultural festivals. Visitors can enjoy live music performances and traditional dance shows at various venues in the city.
- Adventure activities: The city and its surrounding areas offer various adventure activities such as trekking, rock climbing, paragliding, and more. Visitors can also enjoy a round of golf at the prestigious Shillong Golf Course, which is one of the oldest and best golf courses in the country.
- Local cuisine: Shillong offers a variety of local delicacies that are a must-try for visitors. The city is famous for its meat dishes, especially smoked meat and bamboo shoots.
- Shopping: Shillong is a great place for shopping, visitors can find traditional handicrafts, souvenirs, and textiles made by local artisans.
- Festivals: Shillong is known for its vibrant festivals, which reflect the rich cultural heritage of the city. Visitors can attend the annual Cherry Festival, the Bihu Festival, and the Wangala Festival which are celebrated with great enthusiasm.