Beautiful hills, lush greenery, picturesque sights and foggy roads, Shillong has much more than this credited to its name. Located in the Northeast India, Shillong is a beautiful hill station and the capital of Meghalaya. Popular for its pleasant weather and mesmerizing natural scenery, the hills speak a poet’s mind. The place is blessed with several awe inspiring tourists spots and milky waterfalls. Shillong served as a capital of the Northeast state of Assam in the British-ruled Assam until 1972, you can still find existing charm of the colonial era in the city. Situated on the Shillong Plateau, Shillong is often referred to as the Scotland of the East. To know why let’s take a journey to the fascinating facts revealing our answer-
The European settlers initially settled in Cherrapunji, the place holding the reputation for heavy rainfall in the world is an East Khasi Hill District in Meghalaya. The British moved from Cherrapunji to Shillong for obvious reasons and were stunned by the beauty of the hills and the mesmerizing poetic charm of the natural scenery. The British loved the climate and it is said that the enchanting beauty of the hills and the country side woods reminded them of their native Scotland and this is how Shillong got its name as the “Scotland of the East”
Rapidly developing, Shillong has some of the most reputed educational institutes of the country like the IIM Shillong, a number of amazing museums, natural parks, rock culture,wonderful people, beautiful culture and of course not to forget the world’s wettest golf course. This alluring hill station is the home to the crucial tribes of Northeast comprising Garo, Khasi and Jaintia. The Khasi people form the majority of the population here and also a good chunk of the population comprises of Assamese, Bengalis, Nepalese and Hindi speaking people.
What to See in Shillong?
- Elephant Falls: the most popular waterfall in northeast India, the Elephant Falls is a layer of three falls with walk by stairs and trails. The water fall got its name from an elephant like rock at the foot. A much visited spot, the beauty of the falls gets enhanced during the rainy seasons. The place is set in the Upper Shillong near about 12 km away from the heart of the city, is a must visit spot.
- Lady Hydari Park: One of the most popular tourist spots of the city, Lady Hydari Park is named after Lady Hydari, the first lady of the province. With a collection of a wide variety of flowers and a zoo sheltering near about 100 species of birds and reptiles. An ideal place to spend time with family and kids.
- Ward’s Lake: also known as the Polok Lake, is an artificial lake surrounded by gardens is a favorite spot for picnic and is widely visited by people. You can enjoy boating here and relax under the shade of green shady trees.
- Don Bosco Museum: a beautiful place to visit, the museum stocks wonderful collection of information of North-East states of India highlighting artifacts, dress, ornaments, weapons and photographs. It’s a seven storey building with seventeen galleries.
- Mawsynram: its interesting that the claim of the wettest place on earth keeps changing from Mawysnram to Cherrapunji, however Mawsynram is somewhat 60 km from Shillong. This place receives about 1140 cm of rainfall annually and is 1400 above sea level. People having a special liking for rains are welcome! You simply can’t imagine the powerful rain here unless you visit.
- Umiam Lake: another man-made lake, the Umiam Lake is all sprawled with lush green hills and some pretty islands spotted here and there in the lake. Built by the Assam Electricity Board in the year 1960, this picturesque haven of nature is also a picnic spot and it’s interesting to know that it is four times bigger than the Bermuda. Boating, Cycling, Kayaking, Water cycling and scooting are some of the activities you can do here.
- Shillong Peak: the highest point in Shillong, offers spectacular view of the city. This is from where you can witness the Bangladesh borders as well. Telescope view is available to enjoy the scenic beauty of the city while the city gaze back at you. Legends have it that a local deity named ‘Leishyllong’ lives in the hills and this is from where Shillong got its name. The place also has a radar station of the Indian Air Force and sadly you are not allowed your cameras here.
You are sure to be awed at the beauty of the hills and the foggy roads welcoming you to Shillong. Do visit to witness the resemblance of Scotland with the ‘Scotland of the East’