Shillong – “Scotland of the East”
Meghalaya is one of the most visited tourist places of North-East. Area of Meghalaya is around 22,429 Sq.Kms with 7 districts. The state enjoys a temperate climate. It is directly influenced by the South-West monsoon and the north east winter wind. The four seasons of Meghalaya are: Spring – March and April, Summer (Monsoon) – May to September, Autumn – October and November and Winter – December to February.
Monsoon usually starts by third week of May and continues right to the end of September and sometimes well into the middle of October.
Shillong:– Shillong is a capital of Meghalaya, situated in Khasi Hills at an altitude of 1,491m above the sea level. It’s also known as “Scotland of the East”. A beautiful place to visit with picturesque natural beauty. Best way to Shillong is from Guwahati, Assam. You can take a cab or a vehicle on your own for transportation. It’s about 103km, with approximately 3h drive from Guwahati.
Places to visit in Shillong–
Umiam Lake:- Driving from Guwahati to Shillong one can stop to see a men made Lake called Umiam, popularly known as Barapani Lake. It’s about 15km from Shillong. Surrounded by wooded hills and wrapped in the beauty of an assortment of green Khasi-pines and the bright blue skies is the majestic Umiam Lake.
Cathedral Church:- Cathedral Church also known as Cathedral Mary Help of Christians, is a beautiful shrine located in the heart of Shillong. This Cathedral falls under the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Shillong, which admires similar shrines in Meghalaya’s Khasi and Jaintia Hills. The construction of the present shrine was started after the first church built at this site got destroyed in a fire in 1936. In order to ensure that the cathedral is earthquake resistant, rock trenches were filled with sand and a strong foundation was laid. This Cathedral was given the status of a shrine in 1980, on completion of the Cathedral Church’s 100 years in North-East India.
Shillong Peak:- Shillong Peak is a highest point with the height of 6449 ft and a965 m above the sea level. From this point you can see the breathtaking panoramic view of the entire city. Shillong peak is highly recommended place to visit but it often bounded by heavy fog. You can see the original picturesque if you are a lucky one. But with bounded by fog one can fell the beauty of nature as well.
Ward’s Lake:- Ward’s Lake is an artificial (manmade) lake situated at the middle of the city. Ward’s Lake is beautiful place for relaxation. Here you can done activities like Boating. Usually surrounded by couples, picnic parties and locals. It is also known as Polok Lake.
Don Bosco Museum:- Don Bosco museum is a one of the major tourist places in Shillong. The museum is a theme museum with a rich and multi-cultural lifestyle of the indigenous people of North-East. The museum exhibits a wide collection of regional artwork, attires, accoutrement, handicrafts, ornamentation, photographs and weapons. It is fall under top 10 museums in India and under top 25 museums in Asia. If you visit Don Bosco Museum, you may be able to gain some knowledge about the lifestyle of North-East people.
Lady Hydari Park:- The name of the park dedicated to first lady- Lady Hydari. This park is one of the most visited places by tourist. This park is encompasses a wide variety of flora and along with cute mini zoo with 73 species of birds and over 100 reptiles. It has to be mentioned that this is the one and only zoo in Meghalaya. So, it is the popular among children. You can often see the school students with their teachers.
Elephant Falls:- The original name of the fall was ‘Ka kshaid lai pateng khohsiew’ (three steps water falls), those are the British who named it as Elephant Falls. The reason behind the name Elephant Falls was, there is a stone near the falls which look like an elephant. But the stone was destroyed by an earthquake in 1897. But the name of the falls remain same. Its near about 12 km from the Shillong.