Sunday, December 26, 2010

Shillong Hill Station

Shillong, a very famous hill station of India, is the capital of Meghalaya and is situated 56 kms from Cherrapunji, which is in turn famous for getting the highest rainfall in India. Situated in the North East of India at an altitude of 4908 feet, Shillong is a picturesque place with rolling mountains and reminds one of the old European settlements.

Shillong used to be the capital of undivided Assam before the new state of Meghalaya was created. Shillong was established by the British way back in 1964 as their administrative headquarters. It was built as a replica of Scotland and is popularly known as the Scotland of the East.

Elephant falls at Shillong
Elephant falls waterfall in Shillong
How to reach

By road
Shillong is well connected by road to nearly all major cities of North Eastern India via the National Highways. National Highway 40 connects Shillong to Guwahati and National Highway 44 connects it to Tripura and Mizoram.

By rail
Guwahati is the nearest major railway station connecting Shillong.

By air
Guwahati is also the nearest airport and there are frequent buses and cars plying between Guwahati and Shillong. Moreover, the more adventurous ones can avail the services of the Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd. to reach Shillong run by the Guwahati Government.

Places to see

Shillong Peak is just 10 kms away from the city and is an ideal picnic spot. During nighttime you can get a light studded view of the Shillong city spread underneath. Cherrapunjee , the Indian city famous for getting the heaviest rainfall, is about 56 kms away from Shillong. You can enjoy the roaring raining waters pouring down the mountain sides and also the limestone caves and orange honey for which the place is locally known for. Ward’s Lake situated in the middle of the city has to offer nature walks and boating rides. Umiam Khwan Lake that is situated 17 kms from Shillong has facilities for various sports and adventures such as sailing, motor boat rides, and water skiing. Sohpetbneng Peak is about 20 kms from Shillong and has religious association; and is also extremely picturesque with a thick forest as its background. There is also a Botanical Garden and a State Museum worth visiting. There are several waterfalls such as Bishop and Beadon Falls, Elephant Falls, Spread Eagle Falls, Sweet Falls, and Crinoline Falls.

Famous spots you must not miss
In addition to the major attraction of natural and local cave exploration you also have Cherrapunjee, Shillong Peak, Ward’s Lake, Umiam Khwan Lake, and Sohpetbneng Peak to cover.

Iewduh in Shillong is the biggest traditional bazaar or open-street market in the entire North East and is a retail market where you will get everything from fresh local fruits and vegetables to fish, honey, bamboo furniture, handcrafted shawls, bamboo shoot pickles, and even medicinal herbs and other exotic products.

Places to stay
You have quite a few good options such as The Shillong Club, Pinewood Ashok Hotel, Polo Towers Hotel, Royal Heritage, and Tripura Castle.

Best time to visit
The months from October to March is the best time for visiting Shillong.

Shillong usually has mild summers but the winters can be extremely cold. Weather usually remains pleasant but an umbrella can be handy as there are chances of frequent rainfall.

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