Shillong, also known as the “Scotland of the East” is the capital of the state of Meghalaya and counts among the best hill stations of India. Popular not only among tourists but also among regular weekenders from neighboring places there are quite a few enchanting places to visit in Shillong. Situated at an altitude of 4990 feet above sea level Shillong offers a perfect mix of unique culture and natural heritage.
Here Are The Places To Visit In Shillong You Shouldn’t Miss
Located in the heart of Shillong is the best place you can indulge in shopping to your heart’s content. Being a one-stop shop for all kinds of visitors the place offers the best of food and entertainment options. This marketplace features both modern and traditional shops, multi-cuisine restaurants, and hotels making it one of the best places to visit in Shillong
One of the most famous places to visit in Shillong, Ward’s Lake is an artificial lake in the midst of enviable greenery and right in the middle of the city. Dating back to the late 19th century, the place is named after the then Chief Commissioner of then undivided Assam, Sir William Ward, and is one of the best places to enjoy nature’s beauty in Shillong.
Botanical Garden of Shillong is located along Ward’s Lake in the middle of the dense forest of Mawphlang. The garden offers an impressive collection of some rare species of orchids. A stroll in the garden is refreshing and you can also spot exotic species of birds which is rewarding.
Lady Hydari Park/Phan Nonglait Park
Named after the wife of the first Governor of then undivided Assam, this Park is a unique place to visit. This serene place to visit in Shillong lets its visitors enjoy a Japanese-styled garden and many ponds dotting the area that gives a sense of peace and tranquility to the visitors.
Don Bosco Museum
There is no better place to learn about the culture and the cultural history of nearly the whole of North East India than the Don Bosco Museum Acclaimed as one of the finest and the largest museum in Asia a visit to the museum gives you an excellent insight into the rich heritage and culture of the tribes in the North East.
The museum gives some interesting insights into the history of the Indian Air force and the wars the country has fought. You can see, among a wide range of things, an exhibit of miniature models of aircraft, the uniforms of air force pilots, missiles, and rockets
One of the best tourist places to visit in Shillong to experience the cultural diversity of the region is the State Museum. It is more commonly known as Captain Williamson Sangma State Museum and is a must place to visit in Shillong. The museum has a wide collection of traditional tools, traditional musical instruments, antique jewelry, etc. displayed and is an important Centre for studies of culture and history in the region.
Mary Help Of Christian Cathedral
Among a number of churches around the city, Mary Help of Christian Cathedral stand out as a must-visit destination. Founded in 1936 this church is a prominent religious place in Shillong and quite famous for its unique and striking Gothic Revival Architecture. The high arches and stained-glass windows, artwork showcase scenes from the Holy Scriptures. Being in the Centre of the city, it is crowded with devotees on Sundays, and the visitor is advised to visit on weekdays to enjoy the elegance and peaceful environment of the Church.
Umiam Lake is a huge manmade lake situated at a short distance from the main hub of the city and is one of the top places to see while in Shillong. Popularly known as Barapani, this refreshing site is a place where you can be at peace with nature or enjoy a variety of water sports such as sailing, water skiing, fishing, cruising, Kayaking, and water scooter rides. The lake is surrounded by dense forests on one side and hills on the other side providing a unique place for landscape artists and photographers.
Sohpetbneng Peak situated on the outskirts of the city is one of the must-visit places in Shillong owing to its divine aura and peaceful nature. The Peak offers a wonderful destination for trekking, photography, and sightseeing. The Peak has a religious significance for Hinniewtrep Tribe of Meghalaya and locals regard the peak as the ‘Naval of Heaven’. The Peak is situated at an altitude of 1343 meters above sea level and draws tourists throughout the year for a breathtaking view of the forest all around it.
Situated in Upper Shillong, Elephant Falls is one of the main tourist attractions where people flock for Nature photography, sightseeing or even shopping for souvenirs, bamboo handicrafts, etc. The waterfall was named after a rock at its bottom that appeared like an elephant. However, the resemblance was destroyed by an earthquake in the year 1897. The frothy water of the fall cascades down in layers and the three-layered cascading natural view of the Elephants Falls places it among the most spectacular waterfalls of India. With three layers of the falls accessible, surrounded in lush greenery with crystal clear streams flowing along embedded rocks makes the visit just heavenly. The best time to visit the falls is during monsoons to see the falls in their full glory and might.
Shillong Peak is another landmark worth visiting in Shillong. The Peak is the highest spot of the city situated at a height of 1965 meters from sea level and offers a breathtaking view of the scenic lush green countryside, several cascading waterfalls, the Himalayan range beyond, and even the plains of the neighboring country, Bangladesh. The Shillong Viewpoint situated on top of the Peak provides a panoramic view of the city to the visitors. Shillong Peak and its surroundings is a heaven for nature lovers, trekkers, adventure seekers, photographers, and birdwatchers. Locals believe that the patron deity Lieshyllong from which the name Shillong is derived resides in these hills. There is a sacred site at the top of Shillong Peak where every spring ritual is organized.
Laitlum Canyons is an enchanting place to visit in Shillong, just a 45-minute drive away from the main city hub. Laitlum literally means ‘The End of Hills’ and is very popular among photographers and trekkers because of the lush green forests and majestic mountain peaks. Visitors can spend hours in solitude enjoying the beauty of nature all around.SHILLONG has a lot to offer not only to seasoned tourists but also to a casual visitor. Once you visit Shillong you would want to come back again to explore more of the beautiful surroundings and the friendly people.
So if you ever plan to visit Shillong, here is your list of places to visit. Please let us know in the comments section how many of these places have you visited.
Also read: Visit Meghalaya’s Sacred Grove in Mawphlang