Places to Visit in Shillong

Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya, is the preferred destination for those who thirst for natural beauty. The city, situated in the northeastern part of India, is also famous as the "Scotland of the East".

As per the 2011 census, the population of Shillong is 143,007, which makes it the 330th most populous city in India. The city is at an average altitude of 1,496 metres above sea level.

Places to See in Shillong

Shillong has long been a favoured popular tourist destination given its natural beauty and pleasant weather and there are many places of interest here. Here is a list of popular tourist attractions in Shillong

Elephant Falls

Situated on the outer reaches of the main city of Shillong, the Elephant Falls is a two-tier waterfall. The two falls that enhance its beauty are known as the Wir Phang Falls and the Wei Iaplam Falls. It was named 'Elephant Falls' because a stone near the falls looked like an elephant. The stone was torn down by an earthquake in 1897, but the name has stuck.

Shillong Peak

The Shillong peak is the highest point in Meghalaya. It is located 5 km to the south of Shillong and is 6,433 feet in altitude. From here, one can enjoy the spectacular bird's-eye-view of the city and the countryside.

Cathedral of Mary help of Christians

With Christianity being a dominant religion in the city, there are many beautiful churches in Shillong. Among them the most popular is the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians, which is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Shillong. The cathedral is earthquake resistant and on a clear day one can see the River Brahmaputra and the peaks of the Himalaya Mountains from here.

Butterfly Museum

The Entomological Museum, established in the 1930s, is more popularly known as the Butterfly Museum. It is a private property owned by M/s Wankhar, Riatsamthiah, Shillong. It is the sole museum in India which is dedicated to preserving the species of butterflies and moths. This colourful museum, with 1,600 species of butterflies, insects and moths, is a veritable treat for visitors. The museum remains open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Lady Hydari Park

The Lady Hydari Park, a children's themed park, derives its name from the wife of the first Governor of Assam, Lady Hydari. Established and maintained by the Forest Department, this park incorporates a mini zoo, a deer park, and an open area for children to play. The vast stretches of rose-beds make it strikingly beautiful. The park has been designed in a Japanese style, as there are several elements like rhododendron plants, small ponds and willow trees which remind one of the garden style of Japan.

There is also a museum in a small house located inside the park. The rich biodiversity of Meghalaya has been showcased in this museum, which includes photos of rare species, stuffed leopard, dried skin of python, and skulls of elephant.

Golf Course

The Shillong Golf Course located at an altitude of 52000 feet, this is India's first 18 hole golf course. Owing to its beautiful location, this golf course is sometimes compared to the Glen Eagle Golf Course in the United States.

Umiam Lake

The Umiam Lake, located in the north of Shillong, combines beauty and adventure facilities. It is also famous as Barapani or Big Water. It is an admired tourist destination for water cycling, kayaking and boating.

The lake also provides a number of ecosystem services, like storing water for electricity generation and downstream irrigation.

But gradual encroachment and exploitation have altered the ecological balance of the lake, and consequently it is losing its beauty. The increase in population and pollution, upstream encroachments, blockage of natural drainage systems, deforestation, and unscientific mining have smeared the beauty of the lake, turning it into a sink of garbage.

Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Culture

This museum displays a vast and very impressive collection of tribal artifacts along with a gallery on work done by Christian Missionaries in the area. Compulsory tours last for an hour and depart every half hour.

Getting Around Shillong

There are local buses and taxis which can help you get around Shillong. Buses are irregular and taking a shared taxi will be a better option. But, be prepared because the taxi drivers usually fill up the taxis with a lot more passengers than the taxi can accommodate.

Visit Shillong to have an experience to be remembered for life.

Last Updated on : 30/10/2013

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