Located in the heart of the city Wards Lake is perhaps the most visited tourist spot in the city. It is equally popular among locals who throng it during weekends and holidays. The lake was named after Sir William Ward who was the Chief Commissioner of Assam when the lake was constructed during the days of the British Raj. This Horse Shoe shaped lake was once a part of the Government House or the Raj Bhawan and offers a perfect setting for a scenic outing. Legend has it that the beautiful lake was constructed by a Khasi prisoner, who requested for work to get him out of his cell. His initial work inspired the administrators to construct the landscape around. The locals refer to this lake as ‘Nan Polok’ or ‘Polok Lake’.
Shillong was planned around this attractive lake with its beautiful ornamental bridge. The Botanical Garden adjacent to the lake offers visitors the glimpse of some rare plant species. The stone pathways and vividly coloured flowers on the landscape add to the charm. The light and sound that was added recently has become a major attraction in the evening. Boat rides is a must for any one visiting the Wards Lake.