Shillong: Where Culture and Nature Unite – A Traveler’s Paradise
Shillong is a beautiful hill station located in the northeastern part of India, in the state of Meghalaya. It is often referred to as the “Scotland of the East” due to its picturesque landscape, rolling hills, and misty clouds. The town is situated at an altitude of 1,496 meters above sea level and has a pleasant climate throughout the year, making it a popular destination for travelers.
In this Shillong travel guide, we will take you through the must-visit places, activities, and experiences in and around the town. We will cover everything from the best time to visit to the top things to do and see in the area.
Shillong weather & Best time to visit
Shillong, also known as the “Scotland of the East,” is a beautiful hill station situated in the northeastern state of Meghalaya, India. The city is surrounded by lush green hills, waterfalls, and stunning natural beauty, making it a popular destination for tourists.
The best time to visit Shillong is between September and May when the weather is pleasant, and the temperature ranges between 12°C to 20°C. During these months, the city experiences mild to moderate rainfall, making the weather perfect for outdoor activities.
However, if you are a fan of monsoons, the months of June to August are perfect for you. During this time, the city receives heavy rainfall, and the hills become even more lush and green. However, it is important to note that due to the heavy rainfall, some areas may become inaccessible, and outdoor activities may be limited.
During the winter months of December to February, the temperature drops, and the city experiences cold and chilly weather. If you are a fan of the winter season and want to experience the chilly weather, you can plan your visit during these months. However, it is important to carry warm clothing as the temperature can drop as low as 2°C.
In conclusion, the best time to visit Shillong is between September and May when the weather is pleasant, and you can enjoy all the outdoor activities that the city has to offer. However, if you are a fan of monsoons or winters, you can plan your visit accordingly. Just make sure to carry appropriate clothing and gear as per the weather conditions.
How do Get there?
Shillong, the beautiful hill station in Meghalaya, India, is well connected to other parts of the country by air, road, and rail. Here’s how you can reach Shillong:
By Air: The nearest airport to Shillong is Umroi Airport, which is about 30 km away from the city center. However, this airport has limited connectivity, and flights are not very frequent. The nearest major airport to Shillong is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati, which is about 120 km away from the city. From Guwahati airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Shillong.
By Road: Shillong is well connected to other parts of Meghalaya and neighboring states by road. You can take a taxi or a bus from Guwahati, which is about 100 km away from Shillong. You can also take a taxi or a bus from other major cities in Northeast India like Imphal, Agartala, and Aizawl.
By Rail: The nearest railway station to Shillong is Guwahati, which is about 100 km away from the city. Guwahati railway station is well connected to other major cities in India. From Guwahati, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Shillong.
Local Transport: Once you reach Shillong, you can hire a taxi or a private vehicle to explore the city. You can also use local buses, which are cheap and frequent, to travel within the city.
In conclusion, Shillong is well connected to other parts of the country by air, road, and rail. You can choose the mode of transportation that suits you best and reach Shillong easily. Once you reach the city, you can use local transport options to explore the city and its beautiful surroundings.
What to Wear in Shillong?
Shillong is a beautiful hill station in Meghalaya, known for its scenic beauty, waterfalls, and pleasant weather. If you are planning to visit Shillong, it’s important to pack appropriate clothing for the trip. Here’s a guide on what to wear in Shillong:
- Warm Clothes: Shillong has a pleasant climate throughout the year, but the temperature can drop at night, especially during the winter months (November to February). So, it’s advisable to carry warm clothes like jackets, sweaters, and shawls.
- Comfortable Footwear: Shillong has many beautiful tourist spots that require walking or hiking. So, it’s important to carry comfortable footwear like sports shoes or sneakers. If you are planning to visit the waterfalls, you can also carry water-resistant shoes.
- Rain Gear: Shillong experiences heavy rainfall during the monsoon season (June to September). So, it’s important to carry rain gear like raincoats or umbrellas to stay dry during the downpour.
- Light Clothes: During the summer months (March to June), the weather in Shillong is pleasant, and you can wear light clothes like cotton t-shirts and shorts. However, it’s advisable to carry a light jacket or a shawl as the temperature can drop at night.
- Traditional Attire: If you want to experience the local culture of Meghalaya, you can wear traditional attire like Jainsen and Dhara, which are worn by the Khasi tribe. You can also buy these traditional clothes from the local markets in Shillong.
In conclusion, when visiting Shillong, it’s important to pack appropriate clothing according to the season. Warm clothes and rain gear are a must, and comfortable footwear is essential for exploring beautiful tourist spots. You can also experiment with traditional attire to experience the local culture of Meghalaya.
What to carry in Shillong?
Shillong is a popular tourist destination known for its natural beauty, waterfalls, and pleasant weather. If you’re planning a trip to Shillong, it’s important to carry the right essentials to make your trip comfortable and hassle-free. Here’s a list of things you should carry when traveling to Shillong:
- Warm Clothes: Shillong experiences cool weather throughout the year, so it’s essential to carry warm clothes like jackets, sweaters, and shawls, especially during the winter months (November to February).
- Comfortable Footwear: Shillong has many beautiful tourist spots that require walking or hiking, so it’s important to carry comfortable footwear like sports shoes or sneakers. If you plan to visit the waterfalls, it’s advisable to carry water-resistant shoes.
- Rain Gear: Shillong experiences heavy rainfall during the monsoon season (June to September), so it’s important to carry rain gear like raincoats or umbrellas to stay dry during the downpour.
- Medicines: It’s advisable to carry a small first aid kit containing basic medicines, especially if you have a medical condition. It’s also a good idea to carry insect repellent, as mosquitoes and other insects are common in Shillong.
- Sunscreen and Sunglasses: Even during the winter months, the sun in Shillong can be harsh, so it’s essential to carry sunscreen and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes.
- Camera: Shillong is a photographer’s paradise, with numerous scenic spots, waterfalls, and landscapes. So, it’s important to carry a camera to capture these beautiful moments.
- Power Bank: It’s important to carry a power bank or portable charger as you may not find charging points everywhere in Shillong. It’s also a good idea to carry extra batteries for your camera and other electronic devices.
- Traditional Attire: If you’re interested in experiencing the local culture, you can carry traditional attire like Jainsen and Dhara, which are worn by the Khasi tribe. You can also buy these traditional clothes from the local markets in Shillong.
In conclusion, when traveling to Shillong, it’s important to carry warm clothes, comfortable footwear, rain gear, medicines, sunscreen, sunglasses, a camera, and a power bank. You can also experiment with traditional attire to experience the local culture of Meghalaya.
Where to stay in Shillong?
Shillong is a popular tourist destination that attracts visitors from all over the world. The city offers a wide range of accommodation options for tourists, from budget hotels to luxury resorts. Here’s a list of some of the best places to stay in Shillong:
- Polo Orchid Resort: Located amidst the lush green hills of Shillong, Polo Orchid Resort is a luxury resort that offers world-class amenities and services. The resort has spacious rooms and suites, a swimming pool, a spa, and a multi-cuisine restaurant.
- Ri Kynjai Resort: Located on the banks of the picturesque Umiam Lake, Ri Kynjai Resort is a beautiful resort that offers a perfect blend of traditional Khasi architecture and modern amenities. The resort has well-appointed rooms and suites, a spa, a restaurant, and a bar.
- Hotel Centre Point: Located in the heart of Shillong, Hotel Centre Point is a budget hotel that offers comfortable and affordable accommodation. The hotel has well-furnished rooms, a multi-cuisine restaurant, and a travel desk that can arrange tours and activities.
- Hotel Polo Towers: Located in the heart of Shillong, Hotel Polo Towers is a popular choice among tourists. The hotel has well-appointed rooms, a fitness center, a spa, a restaurant, and a bar.
- Cafe Shillong Bed and Breakfast: Located in the peaceful Lachumiere area of Shillong, Cafe Shillong Bed and Breakfast is a cozy and comfortable place to stay. The property has well-appointed rooms, a cafe that serves delicious food, and a friendly staff.
- Royal Heritage Tripura Castle: Located on a hilltop in Shillong, the Royal Heritage Tripura Castle is a luxurious heritage hotel that offers stunning views of the city. The hotel has well-appointed rooms, a spa, a restaurant, and a bar.
- The Habitat Shillong: Located in the beautiful Upper Shillong area, The Habitat Shillong is a boutique hotel that offers comfortable and stylish accommodations. The hotel has well-appointed rooms, a restaurant, a bar, and a garden.
In conclusion, Shillong offers a wide range of accommodation options for tourists, from budget hotels to luxury resorts. Depending on your budget and preferences, you can choose from Polo Orchid Resort, Ri Kynjai Resort, Hotel Centre Point, Hotel Polo Towers, Cafe Shillong Bed and Breakfast, Royal Heritage Tripura Castle, and The Habitat Shillong.
Shillong is a food lover’s paradise, with a diverse range of cuisines and dining options to choose from. Here are some of the best restaurants in Shillong that you should not miss:
- Dylan’s Cafe: Dylan’s Cafe is a cozy little cafe located in the heart of Shillong that offers a variety of food options, from burgers and sandwiches to pizza and pasta. The cafe also serves some of the best coffee in town.
- City Hut Dhaba: City Hut Dhaba is a popular restaurant in Shillong that serves delicious Indian and Chinese cuisine. The restaurant is famous for its butter chicken, biryani, and chili chicken.
- Trattoria: Trattoria is a popular Italian restaurant located in the heart of Shillong that offers a variety of Italian dishes, including pizza, pasta, and lasagna. The restaurant also serves a selection of wines and cocktails.
- Jadoh: Jadoh is a traditional Khasi restaurant that serves authentic Khasi cuisine. The restaurant is famous for its jadoh (rice cooked with pork), tungrymbai (fermented soybean chutney), and dohkhlieh (spicy pork salad).
- Cafe Shillong: Cafe Shillong is a popular restaurant located in the Laitumkhrah area of Shillong that serves a variety of cuisines, including Indian, Chinese, and Continental. The restaurant is famous for its chicken stroganoff and sizzlers.
- Sao Aiom: Sao Aiom is a popular restaurant located in the Polo Bazar area of Shillong that serves authentic Assamese cuisine. The restaurant is famous for its fish curries, bamboo shoot dishes, and pitha (rice cakes).
- ML05 Cafe: ML05 Cafe is a popular cafe located in the Upper Shillong area that offers a variety of food options, including sandwiches, burgers, and pizzas. The cafe is famous for its cozy ambiance and stunning views of the city.
In conclusion, Shillong offers a wide range of dining options for tourists, from traditional Khasi cuisine to Italian and Chinese cuisine. Depending on your preferences, you can choose from Dylan’s Cafe, City Hut Dhaba, Trattoria, Jadoh, Cafe Shillong, Sao Aiom, and ML05 Cafe.
One of the most exciting aspects of traveling is shopping, and Shillong offers a unique and eclectic shopping experience. The city is known for its local handicrafts, exquisite textiles, and traditional artifacts. The bustling markets of Shillong are a treasure trove of souvenirs, clothing, and accessories that you can take back home as a memory of your trip.
Here are some of the top shopping destinations in Shillong that you should definitely check out:
- Police Bazar: Located in the heart of Shillong, Police Bazar is a bustling commercial center and one of the most popular shopping areas in the city. The market is filled with shops selling everything from clothes and shoes to electronics and jewelry. You can also find local handicrafts and souvenirs at reasonable prices.
- Bara Bazar: If you are looking for a more traditional shopping experience, head to Bara Bazar. This market is known for its unique textiles and handloom products, including shawls, stoles, and sarees. You can also find a variety of local food products, including spices, tea, and honey.
- Lewduh Market: Also known as the “Khasi Heritage Village”, Lewduh Market is a must-visit for anyone interested in local culture and traditions. The market is famous for its traditional Khasi dresses, bamboo handicrafts, and organic produce. You can also find a variety of local snacks and delicacies at the market.
- Police Bazar Tibetan Market: If you are a fan of Tibetan artifacts and handicrafts, the Police Bazar Tibetan Market is the place for you. From colorful prayer flags and Tibetan carpets to jewelry and accessories, the market offers a wide range of unique and authentic Tibetan products.
- Gleneagles of the East: This is a famous shopping mall located in the heart of Shillong. The mall features a variety of international and domestic brands, as well as local handicrafts and souvenirs. You can also find a variety of food and entertainment options at the mall.
In conclusion, shopping in Shillong is an experience in itself. With its unique blend of traditional and modern products, the city offers something for everyone. Make sure to visit these top shopping destinations during your trip to Shillong and take home some beautiful souvenirs and memories.
Things to do
If you are planning a trip to Shillong, you must be wondering about the things to do and places to visit. In this article, we will take you through a comprehensive guide to the top things to do in Shillong.
- Explore the Living Root Bridges: The Living Root Bridges are a natural wonder unique to Meghalaya. These bridges are made by manipulating the roots of the Ficus Elastica tree to grow across rivers and streams. The most famous living root bridge in Meghalaya is the double-decker bridge in Cherrapunji, which is around 50 km from Shillong.
- Visit Elephant Falls: Elephant Falls is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Shillong. The waterfall is located around 12 km from the city center and is easily accessible by road. The falls get their name from a rock that looks like an elephant near the falls. The lush green surroundings make it a perfect spot for nature photography.
- Trek to the David Scott Trail: The David Scott Trail is a popular trekking trail that stretches for around 16 km from Mawphlang to Lad Mawphlang. The trail is named after a British officer who discovered the route in the early 1800s. The trail takes you through some of the most beautiful and remote parts of Meghalaya and is a must-do activity for adventure enthusiasts.
- Visit the Shillong Peak: The Shillong Peak is the highest point in the city, standing at an elevation of 1965 meters. The peak offers breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding hills. You can also visit the Shillong Peak Observatory, which has a telescope to help you get a closer look at the landscape.
- Enjoy the Local Cuisine: Shillong is known for its delicious local cuisine, which is a blend of Khasi, Jaintia, and Garo influences. Make sure to try the Jadoh, a dish made with rice and pork, and the Dohneiiong, a pork curry with black sesame seeds. You can also sample the local brew, made from fermented rice, known as Kyat.
- Visit the Don Bosco Museum: The Don Bosco Museum is a unique museum dedicated to the history and culture of Northeast India. The museum has a vast collection of artifacts, handicrafts, and textiles from the region, as well as interactive exhibits that showcase the lifestyle and traditions of the local tribes.
- Go Shopping: Shillong offers a unique and eclectic shopping experience. The city is known for its local handicrafts, exquisite textiles, and traditional artifacts. The bustling markets of Shillong are a treasure trove of souvenirs, clothing, and accessories that you can take back home as a memory of your trip.
In conclusion, Shillong is a perfect destination for those seeking a blend of natural beauty, adventure, and cultural experiences. Make sure to add these top things to do to your itinerary and have an unforgettable trip to Shillong.
If you’re planning a longer trip and looking to explore the surrounding areas, there are many nearby attractions that are worth visiting. In this article, we’ll take you through some of the top nearby attractions in Shillong.
- Cherrapunji: Located about 50 kilometers from Shillong, Cherrapunji is a small town that holds the record for being the wettest place on earth. The town is surrounded by lush green hills, waterfalls, and deep gorges. You can visit the Nohkalikai Falls, which is the tallest plunge waterfall in India, or explore the living root bridges in the nearby village of Mawlynnong.
- Mawsynram: Mawsynram is another nearby town that is known for receiving the highest rainfall in the world. The town is home to the Mawsynram Cave, which is one of the longest natural caves in India. You can also visit the Mawjymbuin Cave, which is a popular pilgrimage site for the Khasi tribe.
- Dawki: Dawki is a small town located about 80 kilometers from Shillong, on the India-Bangladesh border. The town is known for its crystal clear Umngot River, which is a popular spot for boating and fishing. You can also visit the nearby Dawki Bridge, which is a suspension bridge that connects India and Bangladesh.
- Jowai: Jowai is a small town located about 60 kilometers from Shillong, and is the administrative headquarters of the Jaintia Hills district. The town is home to the Tyrshi Falls, which is a popular picnic spot for locals. You can also visit the Nartiang Monoliths, which are ancient stone structures that are believed to have been erected during the Jaintia Kingdom.
- Mawphlang: Mawphlang is a small village located about 25 kilometers from Shillong, and is known for its sacred groves. The groves are home to a variety of flora and fauna, and are considered to be one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in the region. You can also visit the nearby Khasi Heritage Village, which showcases the traditional lifestyle and culture of the Khasi tribe.
In conclusion, Shillong and its surrounding areas offer a range of attractions and experiences for visitors. Whether you’re interested in nature, culture, or adventure, there’s something for everyone. Make sure to add these top nearby attractions to your itinerary and explore the best of what the region has to offer.
History & Culture
Shillong has a rich history and culture, shaped by the indigenous tribes that have inhabited the region for centuries. In this article, we’ll take you through the fascinating history and culture of Shillong.
Shillong was originally a small village called Lei Shyllong, which was inhabited by the Khasi tribe. The British arrived in the region in the mid-19th century and established it as the capital of their administrative unit, the Assam Province. Shillong quickly grew into a bustling city, with a thriving trade and commerce industry. It was also a popular summer retreat for British officials who worked in the region.
During India’s struggle for independence, Shillong played a significant role as a center of protest and resistance. Many prominent leaders of the freedom struggle, such as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi, visited the city and addressed large crowds.
Shillong is known for its rich cultural heritage, which is a unique blend of traditional Khasi customs and modern influences. The Khasi tribe is the largest ethnic group in the region, and their culture is deeply rooted in their love for music, dance, and festivals.
Music is an integral part of Khasi culture, and the people of Shillong are renowned for their love of music. The city has produced many famous musicians, such as Lou Majaw and Rudy Wallang, who have contributed significantly to the Indian music scene. Shillong is also known for its vibrant nightlife, with many live music venues and bars.
The Khasi tribe celebrates a range of festivals throughout the year, which are characterized by colorful dances and traditional rituals. Some of the popular festivals include the Shad Suk Mynsiem, which is a harvest festival celebrated in April, and the Behdienkhlam, which is a post-harvest festival celebrated in July.
Shillong is also home to many museums and galleries that showcase the region’s art and culture. The Don Bosco Museum is a must-visit, as it houses a vast collection of artifacts and exhibits that illustrate the history and culture of the northeastern states of India. The State Museum, which is located in the heart of the city, is another popular attraction that showcases the art, culture, and history of Meghalaya.
In conclusion, Shillong is a city with a rich history and culture, shaped by the Khasi tribe and the influence of the British colonial era. The city’s love for music, dance, and festivals is evident in its vibrant cultural scene, and visitors to the city can explore its many museums and galleries to learn more about its fascinating past and present.
In conclusion, Shillong is a beautiful city in northeast India that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, adventure, history, and culture. From the stunning waterfalls and lakes to the exciting trekking trails and adventure activities, Shillong has something for everyone. The city’s rich history and culture, shaped by the indigenous tribes and the British colonial era, is evident in its vibrant cultural scene, music, dance, and festivals. Visitors to Shillong can explore the many museums, galleries, and historical sites to learn more about the city’s fascinating past and present. With its friendly people, delicious food, and warm hospitality, Shillong is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of northeast India. Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure seeker, history buff, or culture enthusiast, Shillong will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. So, pack your bags and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey to this charming city nestled in the hills of Meghalaya.