Shillong, the capital of the state of Meghalaya, is a must-visit place in India. Shillong was used to be a small village peacefully settled in the mountains and now it is a picturesque hill station surrounded by aromatic pine trees, enchanting waterfalls, ancient megaliths, mesmerizing forests, all in a dreamy landscape. We often refer Shillong to the ‘Scotland of the East’ because of its incredible scenic beauty. Shillong has its own ancient culture and heritage and is a fascinating place to explore. And while there are several places one can visit in Shillong, let’s check out the 7 must thing to do and see in Shillong
7 Things to Do and See in Shillong
Whenever you get the scope to visit Shillong, the first thing to do is to visit the following places:
- Don Bosco Museum at Mawlai
Don Bosco Museum is an acclaimed museum in Asia for the promotion of indigenous and tribal cultures. It is also a major tourist attraction that provides a glimpse of the rich and multi-cultural lifestyles, history and traditions of the indigenous peoples of North East India. The Museum, showcasing several galleries, gives an insight into the beautiful and diverse cultural richness of the seven states of India’s North-East under one roof. The Museum, run by the Salesians of Don Bosco of the Catholic Church, houses and documents the various indigenous cultures, with tools, clothing & artifacts on display.
- Umiam Lake (Barapani)
Umiam Lake is a mesmerizing man-made reservoir which is located in Nongpoh at a distance of 15 km from the heart of Shillong. The serene lake, also known as Barapani, is surrounded by thick coniferous forests and spreads over 10 square km. This scenic lake is enriched by lush green East Khasi Hills that form one of the best panoramic sights for nature-lovers. The sunrise at the lake is a treat to watch and should not be missed. The lake has a park adjoining it which is a hotspot for picnics and has various water sports enjoy kayaking, skiing, rowing, and boat riding. In summer, the shores are adorned by beautiful Gulmohar trees and in winter, the water level recedes and turns azure.
- David Scott’s Trail
We consider this to be the best place for trekking in Meghalaya where you could feel the real charm of this ever-enthusiastic adventure activity. It is a beautiful-day trek starting from Mawphlang and ending at Lad Mawphlang with a stretch of 16 km. The trek passes through cascading waterfalls, sprawling meadows, tropical trees, tribal villages and breath-taking valleys, which seems to be a part of wonderland. The scenery that you come across is stunning. There is a sparkling river that moves with you, sometimes disappearing, and then again coming to the fore at regular intervals.
- Bara Bazaar in East Khasi Hills
Also known as ‘Lewduh Market’, Bara Bazar is one of the oldest and largest traditional markets and trade center in the whole of North East India. Most of the shopkeepers here are women and there are several monolithic gods and goddesses out there. From betel nuts and betel leaves to local handicrafts, you will find it all here. The best thing you can shop from here are flat bamboo items such as mats, hats and other decorative. There are chances that you will witness some varieties of vegetables and fruits indigenous to this part of the country only. This is a must-visit bazaar to discover more concerning the culture of Shillong.
- All Saint’s Cathedral
One of the oldest and most visited churches in Shillong, All Saint’s Cathedral was built during the British Raj. The British were fond of the greenery, waterfalls, hills, and forests of Shillong. Boasting of wooden colonial-style architecture, the church originally was built on Kacheri road but was completely damaged in the year 1897 after an earthquake. Later, a new church was constructed in 1902. This church is located opposite to State Central Library and is the perfect place to spend some peaceful moments.
- Café Shillong
Situated in the beautiful Shillong hills, Café Shillong is a charming boutique bungalow. It is an ideal place for travelers who love the typical old style of architecture and simplicity. The incredible interiors and breathtaking views from the rooms along with legendary hospitality ensure a memorable experience. A very short walk away is Café Shillong Street, the trendy cafe that has re-defined coffee culture in the hill stations. I advise tourists searching for the pulse of modern Shillong to drop in for coffee a conversation.
- Elephant Falls
Named after an Elephant like a stone at its foot, this dramatic, multi-tiered waterfalls in picturesque surrounded with easy walking trails and stairs, are amongst the most popular falls in the North-East. It is a tourist’s paradise with three layers of the falls from different vantage points. This is a superb place for spending time amidst nature while capturing the incredible moments for your souvenir. Located at around 12 km away from Shillong this is one of the most visited falls in the beautiful state.