Masses of green fortified by towering peaks, India’s ‘Scotland of the East’ is nothing short of a heavenly abode. Shillong isn’t merely a heavenly destination. Its locale allows you to recuperate every facet of your being- mentally as well as physically. Whether it’s the adventure you’re looking for or some much-needed solitude, Shillong’s landscape accords for both. Tourist attractions in Shillong are majestic, from the living root bridge, the cleanest village in India and more.
Tourist attractions in Shillong
If you’re a rambler of sorts, then a trek comprising of 7000 steps leading to the Double Decker Living Root Bridge in Cherrapunjee is the route for you. This bridge is solely made of up of living tree roots –an amalgamation that has, over the years, entangled to create a bridge over a stream. Tourists usually spend an entire day trekking, taking in all the sights and sounds. However, if you want a similar experience minus all the physical ache that comes along with it, the (single, the other being a double-decker) Living Root Bridge adjacent to the Mawlynnong Village (voted Asia’s cleanest village as of 2003) is a sight in itself – equally awe-inspiring. When it comes to waterfalls, there is an abundance, the most famous being the Elephant Falls and the Seven Sister Falls, a major tourist attraction. However, if you want something a little more thrilling, halt at the Mawkdok Dympep Valley and indulge in an adrenaline rush – zip lining – right across the valley. Now because zip lining isn’t something everyone can stomach, there are a number of local restaurants that can do a better job. Momos, soupy noodles and an assortment of beverages are the menu’s most liked items. Furthermore, there are steps that lead down to the valley, so if you don’t want to zoom over it, you can always walk towards it, at your own pace. Boating too is highly recommended – Dawki, Umiam as well as Wards Lake offer a range of water-centric activities ranging from Jet Ski rides to relaxing cruises. And if you feel like going beyond, a boat ride towards the lumpongdeng island (from Umiam) is ideal. In fact, the island even has a houseboat that people can rent for an outstanding tariff of Rs.2500 per night for four adults! Cave exploring is another ‘must do’ in Shillong. The Arwah Lumshynna Caves, as well as the Mawsmai Caves, are spectacular sights. Showcasing a variety of fossils, the former has fossils of aquatic life ranging from snails and fish to octopuses and crocodiles! Guides are a must for they know the caves in and out and show you exactly all the spots you shouldn’t miss including the “DO NOT GO BEYOND” area brimming with quicksand!
Other, more sober sites include museums the likes of the Don Bosco Museum and the Air Force Museum. The former gives you a seven storey glimpse of the culture of the North East with a (literal) focus on Meghalaya (particularly due to the skywalk) whereas the latter exhibits colossal military assemblages (fighter jets, helicopters, bombs, etc.) as well as the attire of and miscellaneous awards accorded to various personnel. And if you’re traveling with kids, the Lady Hydari Park, Eco Park, and Shillong Peak are areas you shouldn’t leave out. While the Lady Hydari Park is a mini zoo, the Eco Park and the Shillong Peak enable you to witness the magnificence of the whole of Shillong (and parts of Bangladesh) through the naked eye as well as through a telescope. Additionally, if you want to get a glimpse of the daily life of the locals, the Police Bazaar and the Cathedral Church (Christianity being the dominant religion in the North East) pretty much sum it up. The bazaar offers a variety of goods ranging from clothes and shoes to fruits and vegetables. You can get all of this and so much more on just a single street!
So whether you’re a wanderer or a dreamer, this is the destination for you. Shillong’s culture radiates the richness that the North East is renowned for. Be it the hamlets on the hills, or the brooks in the valleys, this sister (one of the Seven Sister States of India) certainly knows how to show you a good time.