Shillong - The Scotland of East

Shillong is a quaint hill station, sited at an altitude of 1500 meters in the state of Meghalaya, India. This tribal hill town is positioned on a peak called ‘Shillong Peak’ of the East Khasi Hill range. Shillong got its name from Lei Shyllong (a deity of the local tribes). The tribes which majorly reside in Shillong are Khasi, Garo & Jaintia tribes.

Shillong - The Scotland of East, shillong

Shillong has got popularity among the tourists in the last few years because of its serene& unharmed locations which are still natural & far away from urbanisation. This hill town is the capital of Meghalaya. The word Meghalaya means ‘dwelling of clouds’ & as the name means this state is recognized for heavy rainfall, lush greenery & natural beauty.

How to reach Shillong

1. Shillong is well linked by air with Kolkata & Guwahati. Shillong Airport also called Umroiairport is nearly 25 kms away from Shillong town. So, tourists from different parts of India can firstly get to either Kolkata or Guwahati and from there they can get to Shillong by air. Outside the airport cabs can be hired for Shillong.

Shillong - The Scotland of East, trip to shillong
Shillong Airport

2. Shillong like other hill stations is not connected by Railway. The nearest railway station is in Guwahati. From Guwahati, you will get Government buses, private buses or cabs to get to Shillong.

3. Shillong is well connected with most of the major cities/towns of Northeast India. Both Government & private buses run across Shillong.

Where to Stay in Shillong

Shillong is a safe hill station, so you can book hotel in any part of Shillong. Police Bazaar area is the heart of shilling & the busiest place. In Police Bazaar you will get a wide variety of Budget & upscale hotels. You can book hotels online as well or you can try for OYO Rooms & Home stays as well.

Shillong - The Scotland of East, shillong
Police Bazaar Shillong

Places to Visit in Shillong

There are many spots to visit in & around Shillong which you can visit. Three days Trip to Shillong can be planned to visit each & every distinctive location of this hill station.

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First day of Shillong Tour

1. Ward’s Lake – This Lake is amongst the popular spots in the heart of Shillong Town. This lake is surrounded by astounding lush green garden which has a wide variety of orchids. This place is very popular among the honeymoon couples, locals, family vacationers as a perfect picnic spot. This Lake is having a shape of Horse-Shoe. The mid of the Lake has a wooden viaduct; from there you will get a nice Lake view and can click some Shillong memories there.

Shillong - The Scotland of East, shillong tour
Ward's Lake Shillong

This lake is open all the days except Tuesdays from 8:30 am to 6:45 pm (Monday-Friday), from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm (Saturday-Sunday).

The entry charge is 10 bucks for adults, 5 bucks for minors, 5 bucks for senior citizens (With ID) & Disabled persons.

Photography is allowed & charges with still camera 20 bucks & with video camera 200 bucks.

For Boating, 2 seater boat charges 50 bucks per person (30 minutes) & 90 bucks per person (45 minutes).

For Boating, 4 seater boat charges 100 bucks per person (30 minutes) & 160 bucks per person (45 minutes).

Fishing in the Lake is not allowed but you can feed the fishes with puffed rice.

You can take pleasure in tea/coffee in the cafeteria inside the Lake premises.

This spot is easily accessible by auto/bus from any part of the town.

2. Mary Help of Christians Cathedral – This Church is more than 50 years old & is positioned at the heart of Shillong town. This spot of divinity & peace falls under Roman Catholic Archdiocese, which administers similar worship places in Khasi & Jaintia Hills. This Gothic style Cathedral lies in the midst of blossoming greenery.

Shillong - The Scotland of East, shillong
Mary Help of Christian Cathedral Shillong

The Cathedral is open all days from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm.

The entry is free.

Photography is allowed inside the Cathedral.

3. Shillong Peak – This peak is sited at 6500 feet & it offers a bird-eye view of the entire Shillong town & its countryside. This peak is the highest spot of Shillong, where you can also get a view of the plains of Bangladesh on a clear-sky day. This picturesque location will definitely force you to spend some quality time here. This is a renowned picnic location & is approx 11 kms away from Shillong town. You can enjoy the serene view along with roasted/boiled corns and take a few nice pictures in Shillong Peak.

Shillong - The Scotland of East, shillong tour
Shillong Peak View

This place remains closed on Wednesdays.

On other days it remains open from 9:30 am to 3:45 pm.

Entry is free.

As it passes via Air Force Base Camp, it is better to keep your ID with you.

This place is accessible by cabs/taxis only. Buses are not available for this route.

4. Elephant Falls – This falls is named Elephant Falls, as, the stone near the foot of the falls look like an elephant. This location is nearly 12 kms away from the Shillong town. It is a three-tiered waterfall accessible to tourists from various vantage points. This waterfall has a simple walking trail & stairs approx 90-100 stairs) which makes it a paradise for the nature lovers & tourists. The waterfall is surrounded by dense trees & greenery.

Shillong - The Scotland of East, shillong
Elephant Falls Shillong

This place is accessible by bus till the fall’s gate.

You can also opt for shuttle service as it will be cheaper (30-50 bucks per person) than private taxi/cab (400-500 bucks).

You will get some small stalls near the waterfall area where you can buy tribal handicrafts, wooden souvenir & bamboo items.

You can enjoy tea/coffee/soft drinks & snacks also at the food stalls near Elephant Waterfalls.

Wear comfortable shoes as this hilly trail may be little slippery.

This place is open all days from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm.

The entry charge is 20 bucks per adult, 30 bucks per small vehicle & 60 bucks per SUV. Keep your vehicle outside the venue will be a better option.

Leave as early as possible to avoid traffic on the way to Elephant falls.

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5. Don Bosco Museum – If you love to visit museums, than Don Bosco Museum is the place for you. This place exhibits a broad variety of artifacts, tribal attires, handicrafts, weapons & ornaments of the different tribes of the North-Eastern India. This museum is constructed in the courtyard of the Sacred Heart Church. It is a 7 storied building with 17 different galleries.

Shillong - The Scotland of East, trip to shillong
Don Bosco Museum Shillong

The entry charge is 100 bucks per person.

For students entry charge is 50 bucks.

Photography is allowed with cameras with a charge of 100 bucks.

This place is open all days except Sundays from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.

It is accessible from the center of the town easily as it is only 4.5 kms away.

6. Umiam Lake – Umiam Lake usually called as Barapani Lake is a vast man-made reservoir with mesmerising scenic beauty. Umiam Lake allures a large number of visitors across India. This lake is located nearly 16 kms away from Shillong. The lake was originally constructed as a Dam’s reservoir for the 1st Hydel-Power project in Northeast India. But later on it gained popularity among the tourists for boating, kayaking, scooting & water-cycling. The Dam & lake is extended over 221 square km. While boating on the lake, you can enjoy the scenic view of the majestic Khasi hills which surrounds the lake.

You can ride paddle boats, speed boats, row boats, cruise boats or Sailing boats. You can also spend time in the small islands within the lake rising from water. The Umiam Lake features a garden as well called ‘Lum Nehru Park’where you can spend some quality time with your family & friends.

Shillong - The Scotland of East, shillong
Umiam Lake Shillong

This lake is open all the days for the tourists.

The timing for water sports activity is from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.

Photography is allowed here.

The charges for water sports vary from 10 bucks to 200 bucks per person, depending on the sports you select.

The entry charge for Lum Nehru Park is 10 bucks per adult & 5 bucks per kid.

Second Day of Shillong Tour

1. Cherrapunji Town Cherrapunji also called Sohra is one the Sub-divisional town in the District of Eastern Khasi Hills. This town is sited at a high-elevation of 1500 meters. Cherrapunji is mainly famous for the highest rainfall (approx 11,800) it experiences every year. This place brings you very close to the nature & is a heaven for the monsoon lovers. Cherrapunji to Shillong distance is nearly 55 kms & it deserves to be included in the Shillong Tour as this place remains pleasing all through the year.

Shillong - The Scotland of East, shillong
Cherrapunji Route

This town can be visited all through the year.

Cherrapunji is accessible by rented cabs which will charge nearly 2,500 bucks for a to and fro journey.

If you visit Cherrapunji, you can get to many popular spots in & around Cherrapunji. Book the cab including these sightseeing places.

Keep some warm clothes with you, as the weather is chilly & breezy there.

You will get food stalls & souvenir stalls in Cherrapunji.

Keep an umbrella with you while you are in Cherrapunji, as it may rain anytime.

2. Nohkalikai Falls – In India, this waterfall is the most elevated among all. Its elevation is about 1117 ft. This waterfall is just 25 minutes away from Cherrapunji, Meghalaya.  This waterfall is formed from the river Nongkhnum. The Nohkalikai Falls is amazing with cool environment & fresh air all around. Bangladesh border is also visible from this location. Spending some time in this location will make you recharged.

Shillong - The Scotland of East, shillong tour
Nohkalikai Falls

You can reach this place by rented cabs.

Keep warm clothes with you.

You can trek from the view spot to the area very near to the waterfall.

The best time to visit this waterfall is in between June to December.

No entry charge as it is a public location.

This is a total pollution free location.

3. Mawsmai Cave – This is the most visited cave in Meghalaya. This cave is very popular among the tourists as this cave can be visited devoid of any guide. Mawsmai Cave is very close to the Cherrapunji Market & is located in the village Mawsmai. The entrance of the cave is spacious but is squeezed in a small passage after sometime. The passage of the cave is one-way, so you have to enter from one direction & come out from the other side.  

Electricity is available inside the cave which helps to check the details of the rock formation inside the cave. This cave is nearly 140 meters long & is worth visiting for adventure lovers.

Shillong - The Scotland of East, shillong
Mawsmai Cave Shillong

Entry charge for adults is 20 bucks & for kids below 10 years the charge is 5 bucks.

Photography/videography is allowed inside the cave.

For photography you have to pay 20 bucks & for videography 50 bucks.

This cave is open all days from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm.

On 26th January & 15th August this cave & all other tourist spots of Meghalaya remain closed.

If you are a claustrophobic than, please avoid this place.

4. Thangkharang Park – This Park is among the well-liked tourist spots of Cherrapunji. Situated only 11 kms away from the city center, this place offers a breathtaking view of the countryside as well as Bangladesh. The main attraction inside the park is the ‘Shiva Rock’ called ‘Khoh Ramrah Rock’ in local language. This rock is a Lingam-shaped huge rock. The Forest Department of Meghalaya maintains this park. You can also check a number of plant & flower species in this park.

Shillong - The Scotland of East, shillong tour
Thangkharang Park

This park is open all days except Wednesdays.

The park remains open from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm.

The entry charge is 20 bucks per adult & 20 bucks extra for camera.

If you come to this park directly from Shillong, than, it will take 2 to 3 hours to reach.

Small food stalls are available outside the Thangkharang Park where you can have tea/coffee & snacks.

5. Nohsngithiang Falls – The Nohsngithiang Falls is also called as Seven Sister Falls. This fall is just few minutes away from the Mawsmai village and is one of the famed tourist spots in Cherrapunji. This fall is segmented into seven falls & in this way, it got the name Seven Sister Falls.  This fall plunges from top of the limestone cliffs of Khasi hills and offers an astounding view.

Shillong - The Scotland of East, shillong tour
Nohsngithiang Falls

Seven Sister Falls is 300 meters high & 71 meters wide.

No entry charge for this view-point as it is a public place.

This place is open all the days of the week.

This place is accessible by private/rented cabs.

Third Day of Shillong Tour

The third day, you can plan for Dawki, which is a small town sited on the west part of the Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya. This town is nearly 100 kms away from Shillong & only 1.5 kms away from the border of Bangladesh. You can visit 2-3 spots in an around Dawki, which nowadays have gained a lot of fame among the tourists coming for a Trip to Shillong. The rented cabs usually charge 2000 to 3000 bucks for a to & fro trip to Dawki including Sightseeing.

1. Dawki River – The Dawki River also called as Umngot River has become very popular among the travellers for its sublime natural beauty & crystal-clear water. This river is among the cleanest rivers in India. The water in this river is so clean that you can see through this water. This river lies on the boundary of India & Bangladesh, where boating is once in a lifetime experience. A hanging bridge which connects the 2 borders was constructed over the Dawki River by the British in the year 1932.

Shillong - The Scotland of East, shillong
Dawki River

Dawki River is accessible by private/rented cabs. You will also get buses from Shillong to Dawki.

The boating charge for a family or group in Dawki River can cost anything in between 500 to 700 bucks (you better bargain).

The timing is from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, after 4:00 pm you will not be able to enjoy boating.

The best time to visit Dawki River is in winters, in monsoon the visibility of this river become dull.

2. Living Root Bridge – The double-decker Living Root Bridge is positioned in Riwai Village of Dawki. This bridge is only 25 kms away from Dawki town. This is nearly 300 years old bridge which is hand-woven by Khasi Tribes meticulously from the roots of rubber trees. This place is a complete surprise for the visitors coming to Dawki & this spot will definitely blow your mind. Riwai is a small village which comprises only 78 families but recently it has gained importance because of this antique example of human wonder, the Living Root Bridge.

Shillong - The Scotland of East, shillong
Living Root Bridge

Riwai village is accessible by cabs, from village you have to trek to the Living Root Bridge.

This is about 3 kms walk way down the stairs.

Visitors are not permitted to stay for long time on the bridge, as the weight can harm the bridge.

Thyllong River flows below the bridge, where you can also click pictures.

The entry charges are 10 bucks per adult, 5 bucks per kid, mobile phone 10 bucks, camera 20 bucks, video camera 200 bucks & video shooting 1000 bucks.

This spot is open from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm.

The khasi people are very much conscious about their environment & cleanliness, so do not through your wastes here and there & keep the nature clean.

Food stalls & souvenir stalls are available where you can buy some handicrafts made by local tribes.

3. Mawlynnong Mawlynnong well recognized as Asia’s Cleanest Village is located on the eastern District of the Khasi Hills. This pretty little village comprises 90 families & agriculture is their chief occupation with betel the chief crop. The literacy rate of this village is 89% which is really admirable. Mawlynnong became famous for its hygiene & cleanliness. In this village the waste of every house is collected on Eco-friendly bamboo dustbins, than deposited in a pit to make compost. In 2003, Discover India magazine announced it as Asia’s cleanest village & after that it became one of the popular destinations for tourists.

Shillong - The Scotland of East, shillong
Mawlynnong Village

This wonderful village is just 35 kms away from Dawki & 90 kms away from Shillong.

You can get there by rented taxis/cabs.

No entry charge as it is a public location.

You can visit this village from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm.

You can also visit the Mawlynnong Balacing Rock, located on the village outskirts.

The way this huge rock is balancing itself, is a wonder of nature.
Keep the environment clean while you are in Mawlynnong.

Best Time to Visit Shillong

1. Summer (March-June) is a good option to plan for a trip to shillong, as; the weather remains breezy & soothing during this period. The temperature varies in between 25 degrees to 14 degrees.

2. During monsoon (June-September), Shillong experiences heavy rainfall. The weather remains fogy & for less visibility it will be difficult to enjoy the views. So, it monsoon is not a good option.

3. In winter (October-February) the temperature varies in between 15 degrees to 2 degrees. This is the time when you will witness tourists & honeymoon couples all round the city. The weather remains chilly yet mesmerising.

Hope the information I have provided in this article will you all to plan a Trip to Shillong. Come & enjoy the scenic beauty of the land of tribes, Shillong.

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