Location : North-eastern part of India
Capital City : Shillong
Major Attractions : Wards Lake, Elephant Falls, Mawsynram
What Makes For A Holiday : Picturesque Locations, Fresh Air and Adventure Sports
A Picture Postcard View of The Honeymoon Hills of Meghalaya
If you enjoy the sheer thrill of a quick drizzle, come to Meghalaya, for a sudden shower is never far away. Aptly named as the Land of Clouds, Shillong Meghalayas scenic beauty coupled with an invigorating climate has the distinction of being the wettest place on earth. The rolling mists in the valleys lend it a mysterious charm that is hard to resist. Shillong Meghalaya is landlocked, bounded on the north and east by Assam, and the south and west by Bangladesh. Its lush green tropical landscape of hills and valleys and a heavy rainfall account for a medley of exotic flora and fauna that portray an ecologists dream. A cradle to many tribes - Khasis, Jhantias and Garos - that dwell in this pristine land, Meghalaya affords a rich cultural heritage well preserved up on her sleeves. Dance, music and sports reflect their way of life. Mindful of their cultural heritage, these simple folks are jovial and know how to extract the best of life. A vacation climate together with a cordial heart and varied leisure and entertainment facilities, make Meghalaya an interesting holiday destination.
Boating on Ward's Lake
Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, differs from other
hill stations in some ways. Being conveniently motorable is one of them. A
pleasant climate throughout the year is another. The third is unlike other
hill stations, it is neither snow bound in winter nor overcrowded in
summer. Famed as one of the celebrated hill retreats in the country, this
picturesque town still retains quite a bit of its picturesque past; the Raj
mystique, cosmopolitan character and westernised lifestyle. Shillong Meghalaya
derives its name from the Shillong Peak, the highest point in Meghalaya
overlooking the Shillong city. You can hear many interesting legends
related to this place while scaling the summit. On a clear day, you can
see the city down below pretty as picture postcard, lying curled at your
Come back to Shillong and you will find it dotted with beautiful churches. Of these, Cathedral Mary: Help of Christians at Latumkhrah is a must see for every visitor. Modelled on a church in Rome, the church is embellished with exellent sculptures and stained glass windows. Kick back your holiday afternoons boating or just feeding the fish at the 100 year old man-made Wards Lake. Situated in the heart of the city, it is an artificial lake crafted with beauty in those laid-back days of the British Raj. Since then, time has helped her become more seductive with every passing year. Serenaded by tall conifers and laced with stone walkways, the lake is set off by a charming white, wooden bridge with scools of gold and silver fish cavorting below it. The colourful paddle boats start out from a quaint boat house and pepper the emerald waters of the lake, fleecy clouds chasing one another in the bright blue skies above. And come night, when the lights are turned on and the stars brightly lit up; the lake is at her sensual best.
The hills of Meghalaya are ever alive with the sound of music, be it crickets and bird-song or the electronic hum of various music groups. The morning praises the euphony of traditional horns and chimbals, while the evenings pulsate with the rhythm of ubiquitous accoustic guitars, where Rock is a way of life. If music be the food of love, the food that Meghalese love is Jadoh - a delicious Biryani clone - prepared with pork, rice and affection. Dont miss the thrill of savouring Pukhlem, a mouthwatering bland rice cake relished with piping hot tea of Meghalaya hills. After meals or before, any time is Kwai time. You just cannot overlook the pleasure of chewing fresh betel leaf with a tint of lime, taken with a piece of raw areca nut and a wee slice of ginger. A word of caution to the novice - a person not habituated to this potent local delight could well end up with a reeling head. An easy way to revive yourself is, of course, to try your luck at teer. Once an ancient martial art style of combat, teer has now evolved into a popular system of legalised betting. Just a ruppee could get you a fortune in these mist-clad hills.
The Gurgling Two-tiered Elephant Falls, Meghalaya
The hills and gurgling waters flowing through their
hearts create a kaleidoscope of alluring waterfalls all over the green
landscape of Meghalaya. On your way to Shillong, after the refreshing
cuppa at Nongpoh, look out on your right for the Margaret Falls, rushing
through green virgin woodland. Just after reaching Shillong, a narrow
by-way at Mawlai takes one to a view point from where the 135 mt high
Bishop Falls and the 120 mt Beadon Falls can be seen together. It is
indeed an impressive sight to behold the twins fall into the womb of
nature and provides ample scope for photography. Remember to halt at the
Elephant Falls, a picturesque impression of a unique two-tiered waterfall,
10 km on the way to Cherrapunjee.
The wettest place on earth, cherrapunjee in itself, is a major attraction for tourists and is a must on every travellers itinerary. Situated 56 km from Shillong, this tranquil pad of leisure is a home to the aboriginal tribes (Khasis). Enjoy the pleasant drive to this rain retreat to see roaring waterfalls leaping into deep gorges, including the popular Nohsngithiang falls. The lovely town is also famous for its limestone caves and orange honey. Dont miss another enchantment of Hindu mythology. Drive 56 km from Shillong to reach Mawsynram, known for its giant stalagmite formation shaped into a Shivlinga. It is a fun to be a part of the colourful ceremony that pulsates this place during Shivratri festival, drawing hundreds of devotees from all pockets of north east India.
The pristine hills and sinister gorges of Shillong have
recently bracketed the Adventure Tourism concept. The Projects Division of
the Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation has identified two trekking
trails and backed them up with exclusive photographs, maps and trekking
equipments and tents; all available at the MTDC Office at Polo Road.
Register yourself for the five days part-trk and part-bus trip to
Cherrapunjee and the seven days trek to Umlyng (extendable to 10 days if
one wants to press on upto Mawlyndep). Trek through dense pines and hybrid
forests, trace your footprints amidst bamboo groves and leave ephemeral
impressions on interesting rock formations, explore exotic ferns and
irresistible creepers and feel the pride of touching nature in her true
form. Colourful butterflies and a myriad bird-life add to the pleasure
while opening up the almost virgin vistas. And as you move further, a
whole new drama of ancient forest life comes to your sight. Dont be
amazed to see the pastoral life of the local tribes and knowing their
methods of cultivation.
On the other hand, if it is watersport that you are into, the Umiam Lake Resort serves up motor boats, waterscooters, skiing and sailing facilities backed by the comforts of the comforts of the Orchid Lake Resort. Enjoy your hearts out by kicking the chilly winds or kissing the ebullient waters of the lake. Angling is another activity that you can delve into here but ranikor is truly an angler;s dream come true.
Shillong is connected by Alliance Air flights to Kolkata, Silchar and Aizwal with regular flights. The airport is at Umroi, 35 km from downtown. Taxis are available at the airport for transportation to the ciity. For more information, contact the airport offices clustered at Police Bazaar Point. Tourists can also go for helicopter services, that operates between Guwahati and Shillong in every 30 minutes. Meghalaya Transport arranges transport from/to the helipad. Guwahati, 103 km, is the nearest railhead. Meghalaya Transport Corporation (MTC) has bus services coordinated with train intervals at Guwahati. The buses leave Guwahati on the hour from 6 am to 5 pm and takes around 3.5 hrs to reach Shillong. NH 40, an all-weather road, connects Shillong with Guwahati. Transport corporations and private bus operators run bus services to Shillong and other places in Meghalaya. The bus stand in Shillong is located near Centre Point in the heart of the town.
Top 5 Reasons to Visit Meghalaya and Shillong
A Holiday on Cloud Carpets
Shillong - A Cool Place For A Holiday
Cheer Up With Cascading Waterfalls
Cherrapunjee - Refresh Yourself With A Shower
A Celebration of Taste
North India &
Glorious Golden Triangles (I & II)