Top 5 Places To Visit In Shillong

Located at a height of 1496 meters above sea level, Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, is a great destination that fits the dream of nature lovers and adventure seekers. The picturesque landscape of the hill station earns it the name the ‘Scotland of the East’. Located on Khasi Hills, the colorful city offers adventurous outdoor activities such as rock climbing and boating. Here are the top 5 places to visit in Shillong.
1. Shillong Peak

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Situated 10 kms from the city, Shillong Peak offers spectacular views of the city from an impressive height of 1965 m above sea level. Being the highest point in Shillong, it offers stunning views of lush greenery and cascading waterfalls. If you are here on a day when clouds do not play spoil sport, you will be able to view the majestic Himalayan peaks and the Bangladesh plains from here. Indian Air Force has its radar station here.

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2. Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Culture
The culture of the land is best understood here and hence make it a point to visit Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Culture. The museum gives you a clear insight into the history and culture of the tribes who lived here in the ancient times. The seven storied building has many galleries that highlight the different faces of the city. The galleries here are about Prehistory of the tribal world, culture, art, musical instruments and tools used in the past for fishing and hunting. If you are adventurous enough you will love the skywalk on the sloping roof at the top of the building.

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3. Laitlum Canyons
How much of nature would you be able to take on that make you miss many a heart beat? Viewing endless beauty of nature could be challenging too, so it seems when one goes to Laitlum Canyons. A paradise by every definition, Laitlum canyons in the Khasi Hills gives you panoramic views of the hills and valleys. A place that is not much explored gives you an experience of a lifetime – naturally so, considering the fact that Laitlum means ‘end of hill’. You will have breathtaking views of valleys and surrounding hills from here. Trekkers are in for great exercise and even if you are not one, you are going to love every minute of it.

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4. Elephant Falls
Elephant Falls, the Three Steps Waterfalls as it is originally called, is located 12 km from the capital city. The three steps in which the water falls earned it the name as Three Steps Waterfalls, which was later called as Elephant Falls by the British. The stone that resembled an elephant near the beautiful falls inspired the British to name the falls thus though the stone is no longer seen as it was destroyed in 1897 by an earthquake. The rainy season brings more life to the already energetic waterfalls and you will see the falls in full vigor. You may combine your visit to Shillong Peak and Elephant Falls on a single day as both are just a few minutes away from each other.

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5. Mawjymbuin Caves

Mawjymbuin Caves, one of the leading attractions of Shillong, is located 56 km from the city. The natural caves are situated on the world’s wettest place, Mawsynram. You will be required to do some stretching, squeezing and at times go on all fours as you explore the caves. The spectacular stalagmites seen in the caves are amazing. One such huge stalagmite is in the shape of Shiva Linga on which drops of water fall steadily from a stone above. Exploring the naturally formed caves is a thrilling experience, which words fail to describe.
Shillong, one of the most compelling tourist destinations deserve more time to explore the land and take in the essence of its rich culture and enjoy its endless natural beauty. I had been to more tourist destinations here but the above mentioned places are my favorite places here. Do send along your ‘top favorites’ list here so that we will have more for tourists who plan to visit Shillong.

This video will take you on an unforgettable tour to Meghalaya’s mystic Shillong – The Scotland of East.

Shillong is the capital city of the marvelous north eastern state of Meghalaya. There are several scenic places to visit in Shillong. The Shillong peak is a great place to catch a breathtaking view of the city. The Umiam lake, 15 km from Shillong, is a result of damming the Umiam river. It is famous for its beautiful views and is a cool place to hang out with friends. At a distance of 12 km from Shillong, the Elephant falls are definitely worth visiting. The Lady Hydari park is known for the variety of flowers like roses and orchids that bloom here.

Lets take you on a Journey to Shillong ..

Reasons tourist can visit Shillong at any time of the year.

 

Shillong  has a pleasant climate throughout the year which opens the door to tourist at any time of the year.  Every season brings a different scenic beauty to this beautiful place.

 

  • Summer

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It is that time of the year where the colorful flowers start to bloom, the smell of fresh leaves on the trees and the bright sunny days bringing in the fresh air. Summer in Shillong is like winter in most parts of India, simply pleasant and warm. While other parts of India face extreme hot conditions during summer, Shillong experiences cool, warm and pleasant weather.

After the cold winter months the waterfalls are dry but the beauty does not die.  During Summer one can enjoy all the adventurous sports like caving, trekking, cycling and many more.

 

  • Monsoon

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Shillong is known for its exceptional beauty especially during the monsoon season. One will not be able to enjoy the adventurous sports due to the heavy rain but it is during this time of the year that you can witness the real beauty of this exotic place. The waterfalls whooshing, pushing, gushing over rocks, the whispers of the breeze and the pleasant sound of the rain drops brings one’s eyes to a close and the feeling of paradise.

 

  • Winter

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Winter in Shillong brings a different beauty to the place. It’s generally freezing cold even though it doesn’t snow, but waking up before the sun rises one can witness the white frost on the grass and fields like a bed of clouds. It is the best time for long treks and other adventure sports, picnics and long drives, enjoying  hot soup and steam momos, delicious Italian food especially from one of the best hotels in Shillong, Hotel Polo Towers and some hot pakora and tea.

Haven’t made any plans yet?

Cherrapunjee – A Place more than just Rainfall

Originally known as Sohra, Cherrapunjee was pronounced as ‘Churra’ by British that later on changed to Cherrapunjee meaning ‘land of oranges’. The place is quiet unknown from the travel point of view. But Cherrapunjee is a great place to visit. Beautiful waterfalls like are Dain Thlen Falls (5 km away), Nohsngithiang Falls and Nohkalikai Falls are easily accessible from Cherrapunji. Stunning caves that are worth visiting are also located close to the town. Mawsmai Cave is one of the most famous caves that is lit up with halogen lamps and 820 ft long. It is located at a distance of about 6 km from the town. Most of these striking caves are still unexplored.

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Living bridges are particularly famous in Cheerapunjee that are not built but grown by the local people. Secondary roots of Ficus elastica tree that grows above the ground surface are used for making living bridges. Though the process of developing living bridges takes about 10-15 years but these last for more than hundreds of years. One of the oldest living bridges in Cheerapunjee is 500 years old and still in use. Umshiang Double-Decker Root Bridge is one of its own kinds in the entire world that consists of two bridges one above another.

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Cherrapunjee receives rainfall for about eight months in a year from March to October and most of it happens during the month of June and July. From November to February it is almost dry. So if you want to enjoy the rain and scenic beauty then monsoon is the great time but on the other hand if you love adventure and outdoor activities then visit Cherrapunjee during winter from November to February.

Cheerapunjee is suffering a lot because of large scale destruction of forests. Each year after monsoons the place dries up. Even finding drinking water becomes hard for the people. The town must be protected to save nature and the beauty of the place as Cheerapunjee is a great place to unwind and enjoy.

The Hotel Polo tower has taken an initiative to protect and conserve the nature. Lets join hands to save the beauty of nature for our better future.

 

Shillong : Diverse culture & traditions

Shillong is said to be named after lei Shillong , the deity of the Khmer people who were the first ones to inhabit this place. The highest peak on this land was considered to be an abode to their deity.

The Inhabitants Of This Fine Land Of Shillong

Since the times of the Khmer people to present days when the Garos, Khasis and Jaintias form the major three tribes living here, Shillong has a unique blend of different cultures. These three tribes form the majority of its population today. The Garos are divided into several sub tribes that include the Awe and Chisakand and these sub tribes are further grouped into different sects and clans. The clans are also grouped further. So, Shillong’s population has a vast chained hierarchy of many groups and their sub groups. All these add a personal element to the diverse cultures being followed here. Apart from these major tribes, Shillong is inhabited by considerable Bengali and Nepali communities as well.

Nearly half of the state’s population comprises of Christianity followers which is the reason for great influence of the Christian missionaries set up here. A number of people have resided the city from outside during its development and modernization phase. The Khasi and Jaintias communities still form major ethnic groups here. The children take up their mothers’ family name and clan and the eldest brother is responsible to take most of the family decisions.

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Festivals: A Way For Thanksgiving

Festivals are the ones which symbolize the traditions and myths of all tribes. Thanksgiving festivities form a major part of the festivals celebrated here. The Khasi tribe celebrates thanksgiving by the name of ‘Shad Suk Mynsiem’ where they perform harvest dance for consecutive three days. Young girls and men dance to show their gratitude for a good spring harvest wearing beautiful silver and gold ornaments. The Jaintias name their thanksgiving festive time as the ‘Behdiengkhlam’, which is celebrated to drive away the deadly plague or any bad luck from the land. The Garos celebrate ‘Wangala dance’ with a dance on the sounds of a hundred drums as their thanksgiving dance during the autumn harvest.

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Livelihood And Lifestyle Of Shillong People

Shillong is primarily an agrarian society but with the developments and modernization that has occurred here, Shillong is now open for manufacturing, mining and tourism. The warmth, hospitality and genuine pleasure of being hosts to outsiders are an inseparable part of the lifestyle of the regional people. This kind gesture is very much indigenous to this land. The people are exceptionally hospitable and friendly and will greet you with utmost courtesy.

A Kwai or a betel nut along with some rice and beer is offered here as a gesture of friendship and you must accept it with gratitude and appreciation. Most of the young, rich and poor love being served with these food stuff. Some of the traditional delectable cuisines include Momos, Tung Rymbai, Jadoh, Ki Kpu, Nakham Bitchi, Mylliem Chicken, Pudoh, Putharao, Kyat, Tit Tung, Pickled Bamboo Shoots and Rice Beer. You need to taste these exclusive cuisines for a complete Shillong trip experience.

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Shillong Traditional Dress

The traditional costumes of this beautiful city in the North East reflect the beauty and serenity of the hills here. A Khasi woman is more likely to be dressed in ‘Jainsem’, which is a two piece dress affixed at the shoulder and covered with a shawl well known as ‘Tapmohkhlieh’. The Jaintias are also known to wear the same costume. Khasis wear a ‘Dhara’ on occasions while the Jaintias wear a ‘Jaintia sari’ or ‘ryndia and muka’. The native men will be seen in a half coat, dhoti and turban.

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Fun …football…. Shillong

Shillong a place know for peoples love for sports generally has sports meet from time to time. Having multiple stadiums for various sports events, recently in 2016 the SAG games was being held at this beautiful place.

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The green trees that surround and found on every corner of Shillong makes the players enjoy their morning run. When there’s any sports event/meet, majority of the players nestle at one of the best hotels in Shillong, Hotel Polo Towers. Not only because the hotel is close to their training ground (Polo Ground) but also because of its wide range of facilities that it provides. It has a multi-purpose gym which is functional at all times for trainers to pump up their energy, it also has a relaxing spa for full rejuvenation and relaxation after their tiring work out sessions. That’s not the end of it, the max rest beds in every room gives that extra comfort after a long tiring day.

The early morning sunrise and fresh air opens the eyes of players to start their new day. With fresh fruits and healthy food that is being provided to them at the hotel helps in boosting up their energy to start their training. Ranga_20140422_1.jpgRanga_20140422_2.jpg

The local people have a lot of interest in playing outdoor games. As known rain and football goes hand in hand partnership. Not only professional the local people have a lot of interest in playing football. A lot of tournament does take place in Polo grounds where we see lot of young talent coming up.  Recently Hotel Polo Towers conducted a football match it was a high energy game surprisingly the game turned out to be a thrilling game where we saw team spirit, leadership and lot of talent. It was a great day seeing the high spirited game and the excitement continues.

NH7 weekender 2015… SHILLONG

NH7 Weekender was a magical experience for the people of Shillong. On hearing from ear to ear NH7 2015 was the best in Shillong in comparison to other parts of India and was the first largest music festival ever held in Shillong.

Not only was the experience a memorable one but the drive to the event itself was simply breathtaking since the event was held a little away from the main city.

No one but few knew that the whole crew( artist) who had performed at NH7 had stayed at one of the best hotels in Shillong, Hotel Polo Towers. The fortunate few got their autographs signed which will remain as a memory to them for the rest of their lives.

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People of Shillong praised of how clean and well organised the event was. How amazing the star MEGADETH’s performance was. Not just the young but the old too head banged to the songs that were being performed by MEGADETH. Parents who didn’t have the energy to head bang simply tapped their feet to the rhythm of the music played one stage after the other.

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Shillong know for foodies emptied their pockets on munching the delicious food being sold by the top restaurants and eating joints in the city.

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The ones who got tickets for the 1st day tired to get tickets for the second day as well because one day just wasn’t enough.

Everyone hopes and waits for the next magical experience to come back this year.

So get ready for the next time ……….. Make sure not to miss it this time!