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Paddling at Ward’s Lake, Shillong

View of Ward's Lake and its surrounding
View of Ward's Lake and its surrounding
The stylish wooden bridge suspended over Ward's Lake
The stylish wooden bridge suspended over Ward's Lake
Ticket counter for boating at Ward's Lake
Ticket counter for boating at Ward's Lake
Swans swimming along with a boat at Ward's Lake
Swans swimming along with a boat at Ward's Lake
Boating under a cool autumnal treevat Ward's Lake in Shillong
Boating under a cool autumnal treevat Ward's Lake in Shillong
An exotic tree at Wards Lake
An exotic tree at Wards Lake
A vibrant lotus blossom at Ward's Lake
A vibrant lotus blossom at Ward's Lake
Two college students enjoying the moment at Ward's Lake
Two college students enjoying the moment at Ward's Lake
Boys playing on fallen autumn leaves at Ward's Lake
Boys playing on fallen autumn leaves at Ward's Lake
Cherry blossoms replacing the fallen leaves at Ward's lake
Cherry blossoms replacing the fallen leaves at Ward's lake
Ward's Lake is surrounded by beautiful gardens
Ward's Lake is surrounded by beautiful gardens
Footpaths at Ward's Lake Park
Footpaths at Ward's Lake Park

Ward’s Lake is a refreshing pool surrounded by beautiful gardens in the heart of the city. The serene lake and the cool shades of trees around it, makes it a nice spot for sightseeing and boating. As the name suggest, it is a lake surrounded by patch of land with some exotic trees. In winter the park sheds most of its hues along with the leaves; except for the oddly rejuvenated cherry blossoms, which paint the park in lovely off-white pink.

A stylish white wooden bridge suspended in the middle of the lake is the most recognizable feature of Ward’s Lake. Kids love watching the fish swim up to the surface of the lake to feed on food thrown by visitors, especially puffed rice and pop corn sold outside. In spring, the lake slowly absorbed the warmth and the trees and plants begin to blossom again. 

The lake was named after a British officer, Sir William Ward, who was then the Chief Commissioner of Assam (Meghalaya was under the same administration). Though he was the one with the initial plan, it was Colonel Hopkins who oversaw the Lake completed in 1894. Since then, it has become a favorite with both locals and tourists. This man made lake is one of a kind in Shillong. 

A narrow footpath circles the fringes of the lake, making it an idle place for walking. The shallow waters of the lake dazzle with lotus blossom. With the backdrop of Shillong Peak behind; the reflection of pine trees on the water and clouds drifting the blue sky, there cannot be a better place for boating. It's proximity with many colleges also makes it a popular hangout place.  

On the downside, the ugly face of pollution has begun to get the better of Ward Lake. Effluents from hotels and offices like Lake View Hotel and Shillong Club have polluted the lake. On the insistence of the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board, measures have been taken to preserve the lake. It is just too beautiful a thing, to fall for any price, least of all pollution. 

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