A travel Guide to Shillong

Shillong Tourism

Shillong, India, is a city widely known as the "Scotland of the East". The name of this city comes from a local deity called Shyllong, who’s an idol worshipped at the Shillong Peak. This city is standing at an elevation of 1,525 meters above sea level with a climate so soothing that it's a perfect escape from other humid regions in India. Shillong tours are also a gateway to Meghalaya, the state with the heaviest rainfall in India.

Shillong tourism is in the limelight for the jovial people and a touch of western culture, giving a very young feel to the visitors. The drizzles and gentle wind is very soothing while you explore the city. The famous Shillong tourist places include waterfalls, mountain peaks, lakes, museums, and the zoo. The traditions and sights in Shillong are mind capturing. The descendants of many tribes, including Khyrim, Maharam, Mylliem, Bhowal, Mallaisohmat, and Langrim, can be found in Shillong. Many lively music events happening throughout the year are famous Shillong tourist attractions.

You can visit this place with your friends, family or alone to get relief from the heat across the country. The hotels in Shillong will give you amazing views. You’ll find a wide range of experiences from natural beauties to museums. This Shillong travel guide will give you all the information you’ll need.

Places to visit in Shillong

1. Elephant Falls

This three-layer waterfall near Shillong descends through three successive falls set in a valley of rocks covered with fern. The broad first fall is hidden among dense trees, the second fall is in thin strands due to receding water levels, and the third fall is the most visible one with crystal clear water flowing over the dark rocks. This waterfall is one of the most visited and popular waterfalls in Shillong tours.

2. Umiam Lake

Umiam Lake is a man-made reservoir that is situated at a distance of 15 km north of Shillong. The lake is encircled with lush green East Khasi hills and thick coniferous forests. There is a park adjoining the lake, which is a perfect getaway for a picnic with your family. If you visit this place, you can enjoy boat rides, flora and fauna at this lake, and observe the daily lives of the fishermen canoeing in the lake. Due to the scenic beauty of this lake, it's often compared with mesmerising lakes of Scotland.

3. Shillong peak

Shillong peak is the highest point in Shillong, with a height of about 1970 meters above sea levels. This place is a highlight of Shillong tourism and offers a wide view of the entire city, the waterfalls and the surrounding Meghalaya as well. This semi-circular peak is often bounded by fog due to its high altitude. This place is a paradise for photographers and nature lovers. If you wish, you can also trek up to the top. Situated at a distance of 10 km in the south of the main city, this place has the radar station of the Indian Air Force.

4. Laitlum Canyons

Even though Laitlum Canyons is among the lesser-known places in Shillong, it’s quite popular among photographers and trekkers. Resting at the top of the East Khasi Hills, this is among the most amazing Shillong tourist places. The panorama view of Meghalaya from here is fascinating. The mist and fog enveloping this place create a peaceful and calm atmosphere.

5. Don Bosco Museum

Don Bosco Museum is among major Shillong tourist attractions. It's the best place to understand the tribal culture and history of Meghalaya. There are seven floors in this museum, encompassing 17 different galleries with many artefacts, paintings and sculptures on display. You can explore impressive collections of artefacts and indigenous articles depicting the cultural richness of North East India. This place also organises workshops, courses, and seminars for better knowledge. Visitors get to learn about Indigenous cultures with the help of multimedia facilities.

Things to do in Shillong

With so many Shillong tourist places for you, there are also many things to do in Shillong. This Shillong travel guide has a list of the most fun things to do when in Shillong.

Shopping at Police Bazar

Shopping is an essential part of every trip. It’s a place that will cater to your every need, from delicious local and international delicacies to finding affordable hotels. Police Bazar is among the busiest places in Shillong since it attracts locals as well as tourists. It's one of the most famous Shillong tourist attractions due to the wide variety of items available here. Here you can find traditional items, clothes, local handicrafts, and souvenirs.

Camping

Shillong tourism offers promising experiences in camping with untouched, easily accessible locations and adventures. There are many campsites in Shillong like Umiam Lake, Dawki, Shnogpdeng, Cherrapunjee, and Krangsuri. Among these, Umiam Lake and Dawki are best for solo camping. Along with tent staying, you can also participate in adventurous activities like boating, kayaking, scuba diving, cliff jumping and snorkelling. Shnogndeng and Dawki are also famous campsite spots for performing adventurous activities.

Trekking

Trekking is among the major Shillong attractions. There are villages in Khasi and Jaintia Hills, underground caves, and few trails on the road to Cherapunji. David Scott's trail is one of the most famous trekking destinations in Shillong. The route here is historic and surrounded by lush greenery. For visitors looking for easy trekking, Living Root Bridge Trail is best. This place is tailor-made for the adventurers and there is no necessary need for guides and porters to help you here. Other places where you can trek are Smit Tail, Dawki and Umden village.

Snorkelling in Dawki

Dawki is among the famous Shillong tourist places for adventurers. The Umgot river in Dawki is known as Asia's cleanest river and is a perfect location for snorkelling. You'll be trained by professionals to dive in the freshwater with provided gear and equipment. This 45 minutes-long snorkelling will give you one of the best snorkelling experiences because of the crystal clear water. You'll get to see the aquatic life in the river. This activity is for you whether you're a beginner or a professional.

Best time to visit Shillong

The climate of Shillong is very cool and affected by frequent showers throughout the summer, monsoon, and autumn. Summer is the best season to visit Shillong for its pleasant weather. The winter season is chilli, pleasant, and relatively dry. Shillong can be visited pretty much the whole year due to its cool climate. Although, this city is prone to heavy rainfall during the monsoon season. So it’s advisable to avoid visiting this hill town during the monsoon season. The best time to visit Shillong is from October to February due to the dry and cold climate.

How to reach Shillong

This North-Eastern state is connected with the rest of the country via airways, roadways, and railways. Here is how to reach Shillong:

By Airways: You can board a flight to Shillong Airport in Umroi, which is a very small airport. There are regularly available flights to Shillong from Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Aizawl, Chennai, and other airports.

By Roadways: There are regular bus services from Guwahati to Shillong operated by the state transport corporation of Assam and Meghalaya. There are AC, sleeper, luxury, and Volvo services available to Shillong as well.

By Railways: Shillong is not very well connected with railways. The nearest railway station is Guwahati, which is 105 km away from Shillong. You can take a bus or taxi service from there to reach Shillong.

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