Top attractions in Shillong
Shillong, the capital city of the Indian state of Meghalaya, is a popular tourist destination known for its natural beauty, pleasant climate, and vibrant culture. Here are some of the top attractions in Shillong:
A serene lake located in the heart of the city, surrounded by lush gardens and cobblestone pathways. Visitors can enjoy boating on the lake or simply relax in the peaceful surroundings.
It is the highest point in Shillong, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the cityscape and the distant Himalayan peaks. On a clear day, you can see as far as the plains of Bangladesh.
Located on the outskirts of Shillong, Elephant Falls is a three-tiered waterfall cascading down amidst verdant greenery. It is a popular picnic spot and offers a refreshing escape into nature.
Don Bosco Museum
This museum showcases the rich cultural heritage of the Northeast region of India. It features various exhibits on art, history, and indigenous tribal cultures, offering insights into the diverse traditions of the region.
Situated around 25 kilometers from Shillong, Laitlum Canyons offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding hills, deep gorges, and lush valleys. It is an ideal spot for nature lovers and photographers.
Lady Hydari Park
Named after the first lady of Assam, this well-maintained park is adorned with colorful flowers, manicured lawns, and a mini-zoo. It’s a great place for a leisurely stroll or a family picnic.
Shillong Golf Course
Known as the “Gleneagles of the East,” this golf course is one of the oldest and largest natural golf courses in Asia. Surrounded by pine trees and rolling hills, it provides a picturesque setting for golf enthusiasts.
Mary Help of Christians Cathedral
A beautiful Catholic cathedral known for its stunning stained glass windows and serene ambiance. It is one of the most important religious landmarks in Shillong.
The main commercial hub of Shillong, Police Bazar is a bustling market where you can find a variety of shops, restaurants, and street food stalls. It’s a great place to shop for local handicrafts, clothing, and souvenirs.
Located on the outskirts of Shillong, Umiam Lake is a vast reservoir surrounded by hills and adorned with islands. It offers various water activities like boating, kayaking, and water skiing, making it a popular spot for outdoor recreation.
These are just a few of the many attractions that Shillong has to offer. The city’s natural beauty, pleasant climate, and cultural heritage make it a delightful destination for travelers.
Things to do in Shillong
In addition to the top attractions mentioned earlier, there are several other things to do in Shillong that you can enjoy during your visit. Here are some suggestions:
Explore the Living Root Bridges
Take a day trip to Cherrapunjee (Sohra) or Mawlynnong village to witness the magnificent living root bridges. These unique bridges are made from the interwoven roots of ancient trees and are a testament to the traditional engineering skills of the local Khasi tribes.
Trek to Shillong Peak
If you enjoy hiking and adventure, embark on a trek to Shillong Peak. The trail takes you through lush forests and offers splendid views along the way. It’s a great way to connect with nature and experience the beauty of the region.
Indulge in Local Cuisine
Shillong is known for its delicious food, so be sure to sample the local cuisine. Try dishes like Jadoh (a rice and meat dish), Tungrymbai (a fermented soybean delicacy), and Dohneiiong (pork cooked with black sesame seeds). Visit local restaurants and street food stalls to get a taste of the authentic flavors.
Attend a Cultural Festival
Shillong hosts various cultural festivals throughout the year that showcase the vibrant traditions and music of the region. The most famous festival is the Shillong Autumn Festival, which celebrates music, art, and local culture. Check the event calendar to see if there are any festivals happening during your visit.
Visit the Mawphlang Sacred Grove
Located about 25 kilometers from Shillong, the Mawphlang Sacred Grove is a preserved forest that holds great religious and ecological significance. Take a guided tour to explore the dense forest, learn about the local beliefs and rituals associated with it, and appreciate the biodiversity of the area.
Enjoy Waterfall Hopping
Meghalaya is known as the “Land of Waterfalls,” and Shillong is no exception. Besides Elephant Falls, there are several other stunning waterfalls in and around Shillong that you can visit, such as Bishop Falls, Sweet Falls, and Spread Eagle Falls. Spend a day hopping from one waterfall to another, and relish the beauty of nature.
Shop at Bara Bazaar
Located in the heart of Shillong, Bara Bazaar is a bustling market where you can shop for local handicrafts, clothing, traditional Khasi attire, and other souvenirs. It’s a vibrant place to immerse yourself in the local culture and pick up some unique items.
Attend a Concert
Shillong is known as the “Rock Capital of India” and has a thriving music scene. Keep an eye out for live music concerts and performances happening in the city, especially at popular venues like Cloud 9, Cafe Shillong, and The Vinyl Underground. Enjoy the energetic atmosphere and experience the local music culture.
Remember to check the local weather conditions, plan your activities accordingly, and make necessary arrangements in advance for a memorable and enjoyable time in Shillong.
Shillong Tour Packages
FAQs on Shillong Tourism
The best time to visit Shillong is during the summer months from March to June when the weather is pleasant and ideal for sightseeing. The monsoon season from July to September brings heavy rainfall, so it’s advisable to avoid this period if you’re not fond of rain. Winter (October to February) can be chilly, but it offers a unique charm and occasional clear skies.
Shillong is well-connected by roadways and airways. The nearest major airport is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati, which is approximately 125 kilometers away. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a shared cab to reach Shillong. The city is also well-connected by road, and you can take a bus or hire a taxi from nearby cities like Guwahati or Siliguri.
Yes, there are several trekking opportunities near Shillong. You can embark on treks to popular destinations like the David Scott Trail, Double Decker Living Root Bridge Trek, and the trek to the peak of Shillong itself. These treks offer stunning views, natural beauty, and a chance to explore the region’s biodiversity.
It is advisable to carry some warm clothing, especially if you’re visiting during the winter months (October to February) when the temperatures can drop significantly, especially during the evenings and nights. Even during the summer months, the weather can be cool, so carrying a light jacket or sweater is recommended.
While Shillong is generally a safe destination, it’s always wise to take certain precautions. It’s recommended to carry a copy of your identification documents and avoid displaying expensive jewelry or valuables. Be cautious while exploring hilly areas, waterfalls, or trekking trails and follow the instructions of local guides. It’s also advisable to drink bottled water and avoid consuming street food from unhygienic stalls.
Yes, you can hire local guides in Shillong for sightseeing or trekking activities. They can provide you with valuable insights about the attractions, local culture, and history. Hiring a guide can enhance your overall experience and ensure that you don’t miss out on any important details.
Yes, Shillong offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. You can find luxury hotels, resorts, budget guesthouses, and homestays in and around the city. It’s recommended to book your accommodation in advance, especially during the peak tourist season, to ensure availability.