Visit Shillong, The Rock Capital of India, The capital of undivided Assam and The Capital of The abode of clouds. Has Shillong ever been in your Bucket List? No? Why not? If you are a music lover, you have got to be there. Also, if you are a nature lover, you have definitely got to be there.
Shillong is situated in the state of Meghalaya. Before the North East was divided into 7 different states, Shillong was the capital of business, trade and politics of North East India, because the rolling hills of Shillong reminded the British of the Lands of Scotland and hence the name â€śScotland of the Eastâ€ť.
You can visitÂ Shillong via Guwahati. It is a drive of three hours. Before reaching Shillong you will come across Barapani. Barapani is a beautiful picnic spot with a big lake and sandy banks where youngsters go for picnic, photography and sometimes just to escape from the hustle bustle of the Guwahati city.
As you enter the hilly city of Shillong, you will feel the cool breeze of the hills and smell the fragrance of the evergreen trees. Driving through the city, you can pretty much see all the tribes of Meghalaya, their diversity and unity. To enjoy the real beauty you should park your vehicle and walk. Nothing will bring you pure joy of the beautiful city other than walking all the way through the city to the outskirts.
The old official buildings and college like St. Edmunds of Shillong will give you that Colonial India scene.Â For a nice evening, go to Police Bazaar, the main concession area. When you visit Shillong, don’t miss the Police Bazaar which will quench the thirst of all shopaholics and the hunger of every foodie. From clothes, shoes, bags to continental and regional cuisine, everything is available in Police Bazaar.
I need not mention about the fashion statement which you will witness in Shillong. It is the hub of North East India. Shillong Â is to North East India like a Tokyo is to Japan. One can just break the rules of Fashion and head out with what you want to wear.
Let us see what is in store for you for sight-seeing. First and foremost, head to Wardâ€™s Lake. The scenery will bewilder you. Shillong is the first city in India to organise The Cherry Blossom Festival of the country. Now how beautiful does that sound? To witness this festival, autumn is the best time to visit. This festival is similar to The Cherry Blossom festival held in Japan known as Sakura. This is when the cold sets in and the trees produce beautiful flowers like cherry blossom and Jacaranda.
Moving on to the Majestic Elephant Falls, this place is a must visit. Also, you should go up to the Shillong Peak. This peak gives you the view of the entire Shillong from the top.
The hills and the colourful houses, cars that look like toys from the top and roads that look like threads will make you feel like you are looking at a painting. Shillongâ€™s Golf Course is the finest, oldest, largest and natural golf circuits in the world. This is where all the Rock bands from across the world come to perform.
For hotels and inns with a traditional lifestyle of the people of Meghalaya, you can opt for Ri Kynjai Serenity by The Lake. It charges Rupees 37,583 for four nights. Choose Hotel Knight Inn for the cheapest stay for 3 days which will charge you only Rupees 4,745. Isnâ€™t this a great deal?
Last but not the least; Meghalaya is not only about Shillong. There are places like Dawki which has the cleanest water. You can see the bed of the river which is 12 feet deep and yet reflects the boats and sky above it very clearly. This makes the river look very shallow but donâ€™t be fooled.
Next, comes Cherrapunjee which receives the most rainfall and is the wettest place. Once you go to Cherrapunjee, there is no looking back. So, visit Shillong, the Abode of Clouds and make it worth all your time and money for this is a place you should visit once or maybe twice in your lifetime.
(c) Sneha Choudhury