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Shillong Tourism

Shillong Tourism
Shillong - Fast Facts
Population 2,60,000
Best time to visit October-November and March-April
Languages English, Hindi, Khasi, Garo, Assamese
STD Code 0364

Shillong - Introduction

It is a picturesque hill station offering a good holiday all year round. One of the most motor-able hill stations a stay at Shillong does not require as much mandatory walking as in other places. Adequate facilities, scenic beauty, cheerful people, clouds and tall pines, mountains, valleys, meadows and an excellent golf course make Shillong a great destination. The people Khasi, Jaintia and Garo hill tribes have a colorful lifestyle and cultural traditions. Shillong can be a base for visiting other places in Meghalaya.

Shillong - Location

Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya at an altitude of 1, 496 mts above sea level and was carved out of Assam. the city stretches for about 6 km on an elevated tract. It is situated on a plateau bound on the north by the Umiam gorge, on the northwest by the great mass of the Diengiei Hills that rise up to a height of 1,823 meters (6077 ft.) above sea level, and on the northeast by the hills of the Assam valley. The Umshyrpi and the Umkhra rivers, which finally merge and form the Umiam River, water it. Shillong is at distance of 104 km from Guwahati, 295 km from Kaziranga, 578 km from Siliguri and 658 km from Darjeeling. The climate is hot and humid during summers. The monsoons arrive in June and it rains almost until the end of August. Shillong is quite cold during winters.

Shillong - Past

Shillong was a small village until 1864, when it became the new civil station of the Khasi and Jaintia hills. It remained the summer capital of Eastern Bengal and Assam for many years. In 1874, on the formation of Assam as a Chief Commissioner's Province, it was chosen as the capital of the new administration. An earthquake destroyed the city in 1897, necessitating its complete rebuilding. In January 1972, Shillong became the capital of the newly formed state of Meghalaya.

Shillong - Sites to Visit

The best way to enjoy Shillong's sights is on foot. With no major monuments, the attractions are Shillong's scenic beauty, parks, waterfalls and the panoramic views. The waterfalls are at their best during the monsoon. Amongst the various tourist attractions at Shillong are:

The Shillong Peak is at a distance of 10 kilometers from the Shillong city. The altitude of 1,965m makes it an ideal spot to feast the eyes with vistas of the spectacular Shillong. At the Shillong Peak the local deity Shyllong or Lei Shyllong is worship. The deity lends its name to the Shillong.

You must check out the Ward's Lake inside the Botanical Garden for short garden walks and boating whereas the Botanical Garden itself offers a vista of exotic plants.

Amongst the many churches in Shillong the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians, Grotto Church and the All Saints Church.

The Bishop and the Beadon Falls are other beautiful spots ideal for picnics.

The Fruit Garden, Polo Ground and the Golf Course are the other places worth visiting in Shillong.

Shillong - Sites Near By

Approximately 22 kilometers away from Shillong is the Maphlang Sacred Grove. Maphlang Sacred Grove offers a forest with fantabulous fauna. Since the grove is considered sacred by the tribes it has not been commercially exploited yet.

Elephant FallsThe Orchid Lake Resort at a close distance from Shillong offers excellent opportunities for swimming and various other water sports. Near by is the Lum Nehru Park where you must check out the flora, aviary and orchidarium.

Then there is Cherrapunjee, 54 kilometers away from Shillong. At the Lew Sohra Market of the world's second most wet place Cherrapunjee you must buy the famous oranges and the orange honey. The wettest place in the World Mawsynram is 55 kilometers from Shillong. Mawsynram is renowned for its limestone caves though the Mawjymbuin Cave is a must-visit. The annual average rainfall at Mawsynram exceeds 1,200 cms.

Shillong has some excellent waterfall getaways nearby like the Elephant Falls, Spread Eagle Falls, Sweet Falls, Nohsngithiang Falls and the Dian-thlen Falls that are fun to be at especially during the monsoons.

About 13 km from Shillong is the village of Nongkrem. It is the seat of the Syiem of Nongkrem, whose estate extends up to Shillong. The traditional Nongkrem Dance festival is held here around autumn and draws large crowds of visitors.

Sixty-four kilometers from Shillong is Jakrem, a popular health resort having hot springs of sulfur water, believed to have curative medicinal properties. Dawki, a border town, 96 km from Shillong, provides a glimpse of Bangladesh. The colorful annual boat race during spring at the Umgot River is an added attraction. At a distance of 140 km from Shillong is Ranikor, an angler's paradise containing a huge population of carp and mahseers.

Jowai is a popular and prosperous town situated on a beautiful plateau 1,500 m above sea level. Three sides of this plateau slope sharply down to the Hai River and contiguous areas are rich in coal deposits. It is also an important station on the route to Silchar and Agartala.

Shillong - What to Buy

Good buys in Shillong include mounted butterflies, hand-woven shawls, orange honey, black mushrooms, Khasi-style jewelry and handcrafted bamboo objects.

Shillong - How to Reach


Guwahati's Borjhar Airport is the nearest international airport at a distance of 128 kilometers from Shillong.


Shillong is connected by rail with the rest of the country through the railhead of Guwahati at a distance of 103 kilometers from Shillong.


National Highway number 40 an all-weather road connects Shillong with Guwahati. The State Transport buses and the private transport operators operate and offer services to the various places in Meghalaya and the neighboring states from Shillong. The bus stand is located in the heart of Shillong.

Shillong - Where to Stay

Accommodation is easily available in Shillong. There are various hotels that cater to the needs of the travelers in Shillong. You can easily reserve accommodation in the hotel that suits your budget.

While at Shillong you may try the traditional Khasi delicacies that include pig's brains with ginger and fried rice flavored with pig's blood.

Shillong - Fairs and Festivals

Ka Pomblang Nongkrem dance - Shillong

Festivals are an integral part of the tribes in Shillong. Christmas, Easter, Good Friday and the New Year Day celebrations are the most important. Ka Pomblang Nongkrem, or the Nongkrem dance and Shad Sukmynsiem are the most important Khasi festivals. Behdiengkhlam, the festival of the Jaintias, is celebrated in July. Then there is the Wangala festival of the Garos that is dedicated to the Sun God.

Shillong - Travel Information

In order to visit Shillong a restricted Area Permit is required by the foreigners. Details of the same may be obtained either from the Foreigners' Registration Office at New Delhi or the Meghalaya Information Center at Kolkota.

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