Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, is a picturesque hill station nestled in the northeastern part of India. It’s known for its lush greenery, beautiful waterfalls, and pleasant climate. Here’s a detailed guide to help you plan your trip to Shillong:
Shillong was initially a small village until it became the capital of the composite state of Assam during the British rule. After Meghalaya was formed as a separate state, Shillong retained its position as the capital. The city has a rich cultural heritage, influenced by various tribes of the Khasi, Garo, and Jaintia hills.
Best Time to Visit:
- October to April: This period is ideal for visiting Shillong when the weather is pleasant and suitable for outdoor activities.
How to Reach:
- By Air: Shillong Airport (Umroi Airport) is the nearest airport, about 40 kilometers from the city. Guwahati’s Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport is the major airport, and Shillong is well-connected to Guwahati by road.
- By Train: The nearest major railway station is Guwahati, which is well-connected to various parts of the country. From Guwahati, you can hire a taxi or use public transport to reach Shillong.
- By Road: Shillong is well-connected by road. Regular bus services and taxis are available from Guwahati and other nearby cities.
- Mobile networks and internet connectivity are available in Shillong. The major telecom operators have good coverage in the region.
Shillong offers a variety of accommodation options, including hotels, resorts, guesthouses, and homestays. Some popular options include The Heritage Club – Tripura Castle, Ri Kynjai, and Hotel Polo Towers.
Things to Do:
- Visit Umiam Lake: Enjoy the serene beauty of Umiam Lake, where you can indulge in activities like boating and kayaking.
- Explore Police Bazar: The heart of Shillong, Police Bazar, is a bustling market offering a variety of local products, handicrafts, and delicious street food.
- Cherrapunji Day Trip: Take a day trip to Cherrapunji, known for its living root bridges, beautiful waterfalls, and stunning vistas.
- Mawphlang Sacred Forest: Explore this sacred forest, known for its biodiversity and unique Khasi culture.
- Elephant Falls: Visit the Elephant Falls, a popular tourist spot, and enjoy the stunning three-tiered waterfall.
Things to Carry:
- Appropriate Clothing: Depending on the season of your visit, carry clothes suitable for the weather. Pack extra layers for chilly evenings.
- Umbrella/Raincoat: Given the region’s propensity for rain, having an umbrella or raincoat is advisable.
- Trekking Shoes: If you plan to go trekking, bring sturdy and comfortable trekking shoes.
- Camera: Don’t forget to capture the mesmerizing beauty of Shillong.
- Local Currency: While credit cards are accepted in major establishments, carrying some local currency is useful, especially in local markets.
Shillong, the “Scotland of the East,” offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. Plan your trip accordingly, pack appropriately, and immerse yourself in the enchanting experiences this lovely hill station has to offer.