The north east has its more than its share of beautiful places, but Shillong is one of the most well-known hill stations here. Noted for its quiet beauty, mist covered mountains, lush greenery and abundant waterfalls. There are several places to go in Shillong where you can enjoy nature at its best. Known as the Scotland of the East, Shillong tourist places offer delightful views, fresh and clean air and sights that you will remember all your life.
Shillong is also known as the rock capital of India as the city loves music. Don’t be surprised if you walk into one of the cafés here and see a full-on jamming session in progress. While this is certainly exciting, being in Shillong means that you get to enjoy the delicious food here either in the restaurants or in the street stalls. If you happen to visit the city, here are some of the must-visit places in Shillong.
One of the top places to visit in Shillong is the Umiam Lake in Shillong. This sprawling manmade lake sees numerous visitors throughout the year. People come here to enjoy the beauty of the ripping water surrounded by the numerous trees and hills and the Lum Nehru Park adjoining it is a great place for people to walk around and enjoy a quiet picnic. Boating is one of the favoured activities here although there are several other water sport related activities that you can enjoy here too. Kayaking, water-cycling and scooting are some of the popular things that people like to do here. Reaching Umiam Lake is not difficult at all. Simply hire a private cab from Police Bazaar to take you there.
One of the important Shillong tourist places is Elephant Falls. This three-tier waterfall was named thus because of an elephant shaped rock that was there during the time of the British. Over time though, the rock was destroyed in an earthquake, but the name has remained. Enjoy the thrill of cool sparkling water as it falls down in a rush, over the different layers and feel energised as you take a dip in the water. While the waterfalls are surrounded by dense trees, there are places near the entrance where you can pick up souvenirs. Elephant Falls is just 11 kms away from the city and from Police Bazaar, you can take a state-run bus or hire a cab to take you there.
Shillong Peak is the highest peak in the area at an elevation of 6449 feet. It is one of the best places to visit in Shillong. Surrounded by mist and fog, it’s beautiful in a surreal sort of way. Once you reach the top, you have a splendid 360-degree view of the city and the surrounding areas. Not only can you see the hills in the distance, several waterfalls and the city of Shillong but you can also see Bangladesh from here. If you love nature or photography and enjoy trekking, this could be a really great place to see. This place is just 4 km from the city centre. You can take a bus or hire a cab and reach it within twenty minutes.
Yet another famous Shillong tourist place is Ward’s Lake which is located at the centre of the city near Raj Bhavan. This is a gorgeous and scenic spot, ideal for evening strolls as you take in the beauty of the surroundings. The cobblestone walkway around the lake is charming and people come here to see the dancing fountain shows, enjoy snacks at the cafeteria nearby or simply indulge in some people watching. There’s a wooden bridge on the lake which adds to its quaint beauty while the sprawling lotus beds makes the place look positively romantic.
If you’re a fan of culture and history, this is definitely one of the places to visit in Shillong. Walk through the art galleries and browse through the collection of handicrafts, clothes, weapons etc which were used by the various tribes. The museum is in the Sacred Heart Church premises and has seventeen different galleries. An added bonus if you have seen all the galleries is to go to the skywalk on top where you can enjoy the splendid views of Shillong. To come here from Police Bazaar, simply walk along the Buddhist Temple Road or the Camels Back Road and you can reach the museum in no time at all.
Right in the middle of the city is this gorgeous Japanese style garden/park where you can see a huge number of tourists and locals converge. There’s a zoo here as well, where you can get to see various animals such as porcupine, jackal, leopard and Himalayan Black Bear. Inside the park, there is rich flora and fauna and there are charming ponds as well. If you like, you can even go boating on the lake and enjoy the marvellous scenic sights around you. The park is open only from morning 8 am to 5 pm and is closed on Mondays. Since it is located within the city, it can be reached easily by cab.
If you have planned a vacation to Shillong, then it’s a good idea to check the SOTC website as there are often some interesting deals and offers on holiday packages which are exciting as they help save money.