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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.