Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya. Lei Shyllong, an idol worshipped at the Shillong Peak is the reason for the placed to be named so. The exciting mountain peaks, clear lakes, golf courses, museums and the zoo are the key reasons for people to tour the state. Shillong also acts as the gateway to Meghalaya- the state famous for its heavy rainfalls, caves, tallest waterfalls, breath taking landscapes and amazing people and culture. Since many prominent musicians have hailed from this place, Shillong is also known as the music capital of India, Many musical events are conducted throughout the year turning it into a lively spot.
The Top Places to visit in Shillong are :
Jakrem is famous for its hot water springs of Sulphur, which is believed to have curative properties. It is located about 64 km from Shillong on the Shillong-Mawkyrwat road. The place has also now developed into a potential health resort.
The Elephant Falls: –
These Falls are a unique feature of Shillong, since the waterfall itself is made up of three mesmerizing falls in succession. The first one is hidden among the trees, the second one, tamed and controlled flows from a certain height, and the third, the fastest and biggest one, culminates in the stream below. These breathtaking falls is referred to as ‘Ka Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew’ by the local Khasi people which means ‘The Three Step Waterfalls’. The British owing to the presence of an elephant-shaped rock named this fall on one side of the fall. However, the stone were disintegrated and was washed away in an earthquake in 1897. The sheer natural beauty and serenity of these falls make it the most exquisite place to visit in Meghalaya. Elephant Waterfalls can be visited all the year-round.
Another place worth visiting in Shillong is the Shillong Peak situated at a height of 1965 metres from sea level. It offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the scenic countryside- the lofty Himalayan peaks, several cascading waterfalls, and the plains of neighboring Bangladesh. It is a true heaven for nature lovers, trekkers, adventure enthusiasts, photographers, and birdwatchers. The U Shulong site at the top of the peak is sacred and every spring, a ritual is organized there.
Lady Hydari Park
Located conveniently in the Laban area in Shillong, is the popular Lady Hydari Park, named after the first lady of the state and wife of the Governor of Assam, Lady Hydari. The park has been designed in Japanese style. One can catch a glimpse of the round-shaped hedges, willow trees with leaves touching the ground as well as many scattered small ponds. The museum and the mini zoo inside the park premises provide the tourist an interesting experience.
One of the steepest and the most mesmerizing falls of the country, the Sweet Falls is located about 5 km from Happy Valley in Shillong. At a height of 96 metres, it is often touted as the most stunning yet most dangerous waterfall. Unlike the tiered waterfalls of Meghalaya, the Sweet Falls, a thick rush of water falling from a great height, makes it impossible for anyone to stand beneath it or take a bath in the falls. The Sweet Falls is a popular picnic spot surrounded by verdant greenery and resonating with chirping birds. There is also a butterfly museum and a mini zoo near the waterfalls.
Situated on the western side of Shillong lies the Diengiei Peak, 6200 ft in altitude, just 200 ft shorter than the tallest peak, the Shillong Peak. The gradient of Diengiei Peak is very steep and precipitous for a height of about 1000 ft, which makes for excellent mountain climbing. Adventurous sports like rock climbing and rappelling can be done here.
Kyllang Rock is a giant dome placed in the West Khasi Hills of Meghalaya. The Rock which is 5400 ft above sea level and has a width of around 1000 ft is a mammoth block of granite and is part of the Khasi folklore. A hike to the top of Kyllang Rock affords the tourist to treasure the marvellous landscape of the surrounding area. Kyllang Rock is said to have a special magnetic field, ensures that people do not fall off it. Rock climbing lovers flock to Kyllang Rock to test their skills and enjoy some unhindered adventure.
Sohpetbneng Peak, situated on the outskirts of the city is one other definite destination to visit in Shillong owing to its aura and peaceful nature. Regarded as the ‘Naval of Heaven’ by the local people, it also has a religious significance for the Hinniewtrep Tribe At an altitude of 1343 metres above sea level, it offers breathtaking views of the forest all around it.
Lewduh Bara Bazar
Regarded as one of the largest traditional-style markets in northeast India, this hectic and congested market in the heart of Shillong is where local Khasi women come to sell their fresh produce and livestock. One can get some tasty local street food too.