Have you been to the Scotland of the East yet? An ideal place to escape from the rigours of the summer, Shillong is the perfect place to unwind from your business trip to the Northeast. Cosmopolitan in nature and arguably the fashion capital of the Northeast, there is lots to see and do in the capital of Meghalaya. Rolling hills, benign lakes, lissome rivers and orchids and formidable pines that stand sentinels over the hills all add to make the beauty of Shillong. Here are the places that you should visit on your trip to this beauty of the hills.
How to reach
Buses and taxis are readily available in hordes to reach Shillong, which also means that road to Shillong nowadays witnesses horrible traffic jams. Starting early in the morning from Guwahati is advised. Taxis are available for hire from the Lokapriya Gopinath Bardoloi international airport. Share taxis are available from the market hub of Paltan Bazaar within a range of Rs 160 to Rs 400 per head. Buses run by the Assam State Transport Corporation as well as Meghalaya Transport Corporation are also available every 2-3 hours. Private buses are also readily available.
If you are coming in from Guwahati, the first stop along the way will be the spellbinding Umiam lake, also known as Barapani. 15 km away from Shillong, this is built on the reservoir of the Umiam Hydro Electric Project and on a sunny day, the surface of the lake will be sky blue.
Shillong Golf Course
You can start your Shillong tour by going to the Shillong Golf Course. Shillong was the capital of British Assam till the early part of the 20th century and the traces of colonial rule are manifested in places like the Shillong Golf Course and Ward's lake. This golf course was developed in 1898 and has the distinction of being the third-oldest golf course in India.
Photo Courtesy: Ajit Thapa
Next stop can be the Shillong Cathedral, one of the largest cathedrals in the Northeast and all blue in color.
Photo Courtesy: Javed Rahman
From there move on to the Shillong Peak, the highest point in the city from where you can view the whole of Shillong. Get a small feeling of how it would feel like to be god, as you take a look at the city from amidst the clouds on top of the peak. From here, you can move on to Police and Bara Bazaar to indulge the shopaholic in you.
Photo Courtesy: Masrur Ashraf
Walking distance from Police bazaar is the lady Hydari park and also Wards Lake. Ward's lake is a five minute from the city circle of Bara bazaar. It is an artificial lake with a large botanical garden around it and it has facilities for boating. You can also choose to sit on a bench on the banks and just enjoy the sights.
Don Bosco Museum of Indigeneous Northeast Culture
A ten minute ride from Police Bazaar in the heart of the city, will lead you to the Don Bosco Museum of Indigenous Northeast Culture which has an amazing collection of attire, weapons, ornamentation and rare photographs.
Photo Courtesy: Ashwin Kumar