Shillong is a beautiful hill station in north-eastern India and the city is the capital of Indian state Meghalaya. Famous for its cool breeze, gushing waterfalls, and rolling green mountain slopes, Shillong is commonly known as the “Scotland of the East”.
Best Time to Visit
Since the town is home to numerous waterfalls, the best time to visit here is just after monsoon, so that we can enjoy the waterfalls at its fullest.
How to Reach Shillong
To reach Shillong, first, reach Guwahati airport or railway station. From there take a car to reach Shillong. It takes almost 3 and a half hours to reach Shillong from Guwahati.
An online booking facility for both train and air is available.
A small cab will charge around Rs 2500 for this trip.
A shared cab will charge around Rs500 per head.
The road from Guwahati to Shillong passes through the green mountain valley and it is one of the best road trips of India.
There is an airport in Shillong but very few planes land there. If possible, you can go directly to Shillong airport also.
In Shillong, a cab for a sightseeing tour will charge around Rs3200 per day. You may also avail of shared cab or bus services for a local sightseeing tour in Shillong.
Top Places to visit in Shillong
Badapani or Umiam Lake
Umiam Lake is a huge man-made reservoir, set amidst the lush green east Khasi hills. The lake was constructed to generate hydroelectric power.
If you are going there in your reserved car then you have to park the car in front of the ticket counter just outside the main entrance. The ticket fare here is Rs20 per person.
There are pedal boats, speed boats, river bus riding facilities. All of them are chargeable.
It is the highest point of Shillong. As per legend the patron deity “Leishyllong” resides in this hilltop and protects the city from evil and from this, the town got its name Shillong.
Before entering the main entrance of the Shillong peak, you have to pass 1km through the base of the Indian Air Force. Before entering this region military personnel check each and every car thoroughly and then give permission to enter into the area.
The waiting time here is quite long. We waited in a queue for nearly 50 minutes to get our permission. You have to submit photo identity proof at the base office to get permission to enter into the main entrance of the Shillong peak.
The ticket price here is Rs10 per head.
From there go to the top of the watchtower.
The watchtower is a two-storied architecture and from the top, you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the entire Shillong city. It is really wonderful.
At the Shillong peak, you can also take pictures wearing local clothes. We saw many people taking their pictures in local cloths.
There is also a cafeteria and some little momo stalls at the car parking area where you can enjoy your breakfast.
This is probably the most famous waterfalls of this region after seven sister’s waterfalls. The falls were named like this due to an elephant-shaped rock that stood beside the falls. But, due to natural calamity, the rock is now completely destroyed.
The ticket price here is Rs10 per head.
This is a three-layered waterfall. The first layer of this falls is surrounded by a thick green forest. At this phase, the waterfalls are rolling down over some huge stone steps.
You have to climb down several steep stone steps to reach the second layer of the falls. This part of the waterfalls is comparatively narrower.
Moving further down reach the third and the last layer of the waterfalls. At this point, the waterfalls are falling from the highest rocks. Here you can saw the milky white water rolling down the stone steps. This phase is the most beautiful one.
Lady Hydari Park
Ticket fare is Rs 10 per head.
This park is situated in the Laban area in Shillong. It is named after the first lady of the state and the wife of Governor of Assam Lady Hydari.
The Park is a Japanese style garden. At one end of the park, there is a children’s park. Your kids can play there for a while. In the center of the park, there is a pond. We saw some Pelicans playing in it. The little zoo at one corner is also worth visiting.
The entry fee to the ward’s lake is Rs 10 per person. It remains open throughout the week except for Tuesday.
At the center of Shillong, lies this big artificial lake. This lake is surrounded by a beautiful green garden, dotted with many trees. After entering into the lake, cross the footbridge over the lake.
On the opposite side, there is a complex from where one can purchase tickets for boating. There are pedal boats. You can enjoy a boat ride in this lake.
Don Bosco Museum
The entry fee here is Rs 100 for Indian tourists and Rs 150 for foreigners.
Don Bosco Museum is Asia’s biggest Museum showcasing the Cultures of Northeast India. The seven-storied building has different galleries showing agriculture, basketry, jewelry, lifestyle, housing and many other things of the local tribes of northeast India.
There is also a skywalk on the rooftop of this museum.
Cherrapunji or Sohra
Sohra- the name may sound unfamiliar, but it is the original name of Cherrapunji. Sohra is a beautiful hilly village of Indian state Meghalaya, which is popular for receiving the highest amount of rainfall in the world. Due to this heavy rainfall, the place is dotted with some of the most spectacular waterfalls in India.
From Shillong, you can easily get a reserved or shared cab to reach Sohra. We hired a reserved cab which charged Rs3200 for this trip. It will take a whole day to cover the Sohra tour from Shillong.
The road to sohra from Shillong passes through the vast green mountain valley which is really refreshing.
Mawkdok Dympep valley viewpoint
This viewpoint is developed by the Meghalaya government and it lies at the beginning of the Sohra tourist circuit. Enjoy the stunning views of surrounding mountain valleys from this point.
The entry fee to this viewpoint is Rs10 per person. This is one of the highest waterfalls in the region. We witnessed the beautiful waterfalls rolling down from a high rock. The surrounding mountain range of this waterfalls also needs a special mention.
Villages and Local Life
Next on your way you will see some small villages and can enjoy the local lives there. The mountain tops are flat in this region covered with grasses. You can also see some big trees. No doubt the surrounding views are very beautiful.
Seven sister’s waterfalls or Mawsmai falls
This is one of the highest waterfalls in India. Surrounded by lush mountains, these waterfalls drop from a great height of 1033ft of the limestone cliffs of Khasi hills.
The car parking area is a little distance away from the real cave. Here in the car parking area, there are some small eateries and souvenir stalls. The entry fee to the cave is Rs20 per head.
From the ticket counter climb up some steps to reach the cave entrance.
Mawsmai cave is one of the breath-taking cave mazes in Meghalaya. The cave is full of beautiful natural limestone structures. Also, enjoy the flora and fauna of the region.
On a public holiday, you will see a large crowd come to visit this cave and enjoying themselves.