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Shillong

Scotland of the East


Shillong Peak

Shillong is known for being one of the most romantic destinations in India. With its enrapturing location in Meghalaya, Shillong is also known for receiving the maximum amount of rainfall in the entire world. This has famously kept its name as the 'abode of clouds.' Quaint cottages, lush green trees, rows of tall pine trees along with remains of the victorian british architecture endows a very special ambience to the entire landscape of Shillong. Thus, Shillong has become a sought after choice even for leisure vacations. This state capital of Meghalaya is also fondly called as the 'Scotland of the East.' Initially, it was the capital of an undivided Assam till 1972.


The history of Shillong reveals that it was a village till 1864. During the time of the colonial British era, Shillong was considered as one of the important locations to bestow respite from the scorching summer sun. The name of Shillong is derived from the name of the lady diety Leishyllong who was the sacred Goddess that used to reside on the Shillong peak and protect this city.



Following are the main attractions of Shillong:


Elephant Falls: Situated 12 km away from the main city, Elephant Falls is a three tier fall with water cascading over large rocks. The two falls are called as the Wei Laplam Falls and Wir Phang Falls. In fact, the Khasi inhabitants had given the name 'Ka kshaid lai Pateng Khohsiew' to the falls. The Britishers had given the nameĀ  Elephant Falls as there was a rock near to the third fall which resembled the elephant but was later destroyed in 1897. Currently, there is also a bridge constructed in between the second and third falls.


Lady Hydari Park: This impressively park with manicured laws resembles the Japanese gardens. Willow trees, rhododendrons and small ponds dot the park. A mini zoo is also located inside the park. Kids and animal lovers really look forward to visit this park due to the zoo as there is no other Zoo in Shillong.


Shillong Peak: This high point provides a breathtakingly beautiful and panoramic view of Shillong. A not so very challenging trek is enough to reach this point and watch one of the most spectacular views of one's life. It is 1966 m above the sea level. It is also called as the highest point of Meghalaya. Tourists also come here at night to lose themselves in the soft wind and starlit sky.


Bara Bazaar in Shillong

Golf Course: God was introduced to Shillong in 1898 by the British. The excellent layout of the Golf Course in Shillong was designed by C. K Rhodes and Captain Jackson. It is known for being the first 18 hole golf course in India. The undulating valley with rhododendrons and rare flowers adds to the beauty of the gold course. It is also fondly called as the Gleneagles of the East because of its enrapturing natural beauty.


Butterfly Museum: Located in the East Khasi Hills District, this museum houses unlimited number of butterflies. The museum also helps in the rearing of the butterflies so that the ecological balance can be maintained.There are beetles and moths of unbelievable size also present in this museum.


Excursions from Shillong
The strategic location of Shillong makes it easier for tourists to head for excursions. The destinations located near to Shillong are Cherrapunji (52.8 km), Mawlynnong (79 km), Khliehriat (93.5 km) and Tura (308.7 km).


Shopping in Shillong
Every tourist must visit the Bara Bazaar in Shillong to get an insider's view about the cultural and ethnic life in Shillong. It is one of the most traditional and oldest markets in the North East. The entire market being managed by women alone adds more to the beauty. Local handicrafts made from bamboo and wood are easily available in this market. Khasi dresses, tibetan artifacts and bamboo pickles are also bought by tourists when they visit here. Kacheri Road and the Police Bazaar are also known for their finely woven and embellished baskets.



Shillong

When to Reach
Shillong has a pleasant weather throughout the year and can be thus, visited anytime. Though, this hill station is known for its exceptional beauty specially during the time of monsoons which continue from June till September.


How to Reach
Air: The nearest airport is located in Umroi, around 35 km away from Shillong. Though, most tourists prefer The Gopinath Bordoloi Airport in Guwahati, located at a distance of 128 km, because of more frequent flights.
Rail: The nearest railway station from Shillong is situated in Guwahati. It is situated at a distance of 104 km.
Road: Guwahati is connected to Shillong with the National Highway 40. Taxis are easily available from Guwahati.



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