Shillong is one of the most favourite destinations of people who want to holiday in the North East. It’s a charming blend of the old and the new. Tribal and urban cultures make it stand out as do the marvellous views, refreshing waterfalls and trekking trails. Shillong sightseeing is full of beautiful sights where you can lose yourself in nature and emerge from your holiday, feeling like a completely new person.
Not only is it known as the Scotland of the East, thanks to the annual jazz festival and the numerous musicians who have emerged from here, Shillong is also known as the Rock Capital of India. So, one of the best things to do in Shillong would be to join in at an impromptu jamming session in a café and let your hair down. Apart from enjoying the natural beauty, there are plenty of places where you can unwind and enjoy the peace and calm, a far cry from the bustling and polluted cities. Here’s a list of some of the top things to do in Shillong.
This British church has a wooden colonial architecture and is one of the oldest churches in Shillong. Although it was destroyed in 1897, it was rebuilt in 1902 and is one of the most visited churches here.
It goes without saying that if you come to Shillong, one of the fantastic things to do in Shillong would be to visit the Umiam Lake. This scenic manmade lake is spread over 10 km, and it’s easy to spend an entire day here. There are various activities such as boating, along with water sports such as kayaking, skiing and scooting that you can do here.
Mawlynnong is touted to be Asia’s cleanest village. The village is around 90 km from Shillong and is very pretty, especially during the monsoons when the rain makes the greenery in the surroundings lush and beautiful. The village has a hundred percent literacy and is a matrilineal society. Mawlynnong is not to be confused with Mawsynram which holds the record of being the wettest place on earth, even beating Cherrapunjee for this title.
Can you imagine golfing in a serene green surrounded by undulating hills and lush greenery? One of the most amazing things to do in Shillong is to try golfing at the Shillong Golf Club. The game came to Shillong in 1898 and has remained one of the popular pastimes of numerous locals and visitors. The golfing green is surrounded by pine and rhododendron trees, and as far as the eyes can see, everything is quite literally, green which is soothing and splendid.
Trekking enthusiasts will love the opportunity to trek on David Scott’s Trail, considered to be one of the best places for trekking in Meghalaya. Although this is outside Shillong, it is still considered to be one of the top Shillong sightseeing activities. Enjoy the beautiful sights of hills, green valleys and walk through low sandstone and granite cliffs. A clear stream also runs along the trail, adding to its charm but there are also waterfalls you can come across along with tribal villages too.
You don’t need to look too far to enjoy the delightful food here. There are lots of small and big places to eat, restaurants and cafes also where you can indulge in tasty food. Non-vegetarians will rejoice at the numerous grilled meats that are available, and food choices can still accommodate conventional tastes too. Some of the places where you can enjoy good food are Trattoria (don’t miss out on the Jadoh here) or Dylan’s Cafe if you want waffles or something lighter.
Cafe Shillong is the place to head to not just for good coffee and delicious food but also live music on Sunday evenings where you can experience first-hand why Shillong has been dubbed the Rock Capital of India. Cafe Shillong is where you can expect all the ‘in’ crowd to be and or a good reason too. This Laitumkhrah hangout is renowned for the Les Paul guitar which is part of its decor.
While most people attempt to trek up to Shillong Peak, another option is to go up on horseback. This is the highest peak in Meghalaya with an elevation of 1966 m. It is a marvellous experience to reach the peak from where you can look over the entire city as well as numerous waterfalls right up to Bangladesh!
While most people come to Elephant Falls to experience the rush of water and the cascade as it falls down on three levels, most are surprised to learn that this famous Shillong sightseeing spot is also a great spot for rappelling. The elevation is doable for even beginners as it is just 40m and there are rocks on both sides which act as support. Although the level is quite easy, it is fun and will go down as a memorable activity in your life. People also attempt waterfall hopping here.
If you are excited about the thought of enjoying some Shillong sightseeing, an excellent idea to go ahead would be to check the SOTC website for offers and deals on holiday packages.