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Have you been to the Scotland of the East? Here is a list of things to see in Shillong

NITN | @notintownlive | 30 Jun 2021, 04:48 am

Have you been to the Scotland of the East? Here is a list of things to see in Shillong Shillong

Undulating verdant hills, misty weather, and a serene golf course has earned Shillong the title of ‘Scotland of the East’. The state capital of Meghalaya, it can be easily reached from Guwahati (in neighbouring Assam), which is about 100km away by road, and the most convenient air and rail link.

Note: Meghalaya has implemented strict pandemic travel norms, so check before planning.

Shillong can be visited any time round. But monsoons can be heavy and disrupt transportation. It is also the base for exploring the many beautiful locales of Meghalaya. Before that, here is a list of things you should not miss while visiting Shillong.

Ward’s Lake

Image credit: Meghalaya Tourism/Facebook

Surrounded by verdant slopes, this more than a century old lake, was named after British Chief Commissioner William Ward. Follow the stone path around the lake, a walk on the bridge, and rest by the flower gardens. If you have kids in tow, let them feed the fish by standing on the bridge. Pedal boats are available for hire. There is a cafeteria if you are looking for something to munch on. If you are curious about the trees of the area, do not miss the Botanical Garden next door.

Don Bosco Museum

Image credit: Meghalaya Tourism/Facebook

The Don Bosco Technical School, Shillong (DBTS) was founded in 1923 to impart training to the youth of the north eastern states. According to past pupils, the school has played a significant role in imparting education in the region. Apart from its educational activities, the school has established a museum which highlights the culture of the region through myriad artefacts, figures, old photographs, etc. The pre-history gallery showcases the origin and the migration of the tribes in the region. There are galleries showing the varied attire of the tribes, their livelihood and food, art and music, etc.

Phan Nonglait Park

Image credit: Meghalaya Tourism/Facebook

Another verdant corner of Shillong, it consists of a manicured lawn, pockets of seasonal flowers, and a small lake, with a resident population of pelicans. There is also a mini zoo attached to the park. In season, you will find scores of food kiosks lining the entrance.

Golf Club

Image credit: Meghalaya Tourism/Facebook

It is this over a century old golf club which is often compared with the Glen Eagles golf course of Scotland. According to records, golf was introduced to Shillong in 1898 and the present 18-hole golf course with its charming club house was inaugurated in 1924. According to golfers, the sixth hole at 594 yards is one of the longest in India.

Wankhar Memorial Museum of Entomology

Located about two km away from Police Bazar, this museum showcases a large private collection of  butterflies, moths, spiders and beetles species from all across the country.

Police Bazar

This popular neighbourhood in the heart of the town is the nerve centre of Shillong. A busy market area with shops ranging from traditional to malls, it is dotted with hotels, restaurants and pubs. It is here that you will find some of the best musical performance of Shillong. A good place to shop for souvenirs. However, best avoided if you are not fond of crowds.

Elephant Falls

Image credit: Meghalaya Tourism/Facebook

About 12km away by road from the town centre, the Elephant Falls is just a hint of what you can expect as you move into the interiors of the state. Although the stone shaped like the back of an elephant got destroyed in an earthquake long back, the name has stuck. Locally, it is called Kshaid-Lai-Pateng. The waterfall has been created by a mountain stream which jumps down across multiple ledges through the forested slopes. A railed walkway has been built for visitors along the length of the waterway. You may also wade into the pool at the bottom. But do be careful.

Excursion

Image credit: Meghalaya Tourism/Facebook

Although Mawsynram (about 60 km from Shillong) is said to be the wettest place on earth, it was Cherrapunji (or Sohra) which held the record earlier. While during the dry months, you may go trekking into the verdant hills of Sohra, post monsoon is the time to observe the many waterfalls that dot the area. Some of the popular waterfalls here are the Dainthlen, Wei Saw Dong Falls and the Noh Ka Likai. If you are adventurous by nature (and physically fit), you may explore the Mawsmai and the Arwah caves.

Image credit: Meghalaya Tourism/Facebook

If you are not in a hurry, then budget some time for the root bridge of Nongriat, off Sohra, and about 65 km from Shillong. Root bridges are natural bridges over fast flowing mountain streams. These are often shaped by the local people by various means, guiding the roots to intertwine to form the bridge. About 3000 steps though a deep forest leads to the double decker root bridge of Nongriat. However, the trek route is not easy.

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