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Shillong, Capital City of Meghalaya and Points of Interest

Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya is located around 103 km from the Guwahati railway station at an average altitude of 1,496 meters (4,908 feet) above sea level. It is about 128 km distance from Guwahati Airport, which is around four hours driving distance. Journey on the way to Shillong is very charming. The mountains of this region are slightly different from other hill areas in India. Sometime Shillong is called as the "Scotland of the East", due to its rolling hills around the city, just similar with the terrain of Scotland. Shillong is surrounding on a land area of 64.36 km2 and has a population of 143,007 according to the 2011 census.

In 1874, Shillong was chosen as the administrative headquarters for the Assam Province by the British Indian Government. The Charming climate of Shillong was one of the reasons to choose it as the administrative headquarters of Assam. After Indian Independence on 1947, Shillong serves as the capital city of undivided Assam and remain until 21st January 1972, when Shillong became the capital of newly formed Meghalaya state and the capital of Assam moved to Dispur in Guwahati.

There are hotels, restaurants, shops, shopping malls, bus terminals, taxi stops, tourism offices in the adjacent areas of the Police Bazar, which is situated in the centre point of Shillong city. Hire a car or book a conducted tour organized by Meghalaya tourism office for Shillong-centric City Tour.

Best Time to Visit Shillong:
Summer & winter is the best time to visit Shillong and other parts of the Indian state Meghalaya. It is between September and May when the weather remains pleasant and relatively less rainy. Monsoons between June and August are very difficult to plan a Shillong trip due to heavy rainfall. However, the beauty in monsoons is different for Shillong, when all waterfalls get its life.

Tourist Spots in Shillong

Umiam lake: Umiam Lake situated about 16 km ahead before you reach in Shillong from Guwahati. It is commonly known as Barapani Lake. The meaning of the word "Umiam" in Khasi language is "water of tears". Umiam lake is one of the main tourist attraction in Meghalaya. Several water sports and adventures like, kayaking, water cycling, scooting and boating are very popular activities on this lake. Stay in 'Orchid Lake Resort' of Meghalaya Tourism near the lake is a romantic experience for the tourists.

Elephant Falls: Elephant Falls is located near to the Shillong, about 12 km outskirts from the city. It is the largest and beautiful waterfall in Meghalaya. Elephant Falls has three cascading streams flows. To get the complete view of the Elephant Falls, you have to arrive at the downstairs. In the rainy season, the beauty of this beautiful falls increased by several times. The environments remain very pleasant throughout the year.

Shillong Peak: Shillong Peak is located about 10 km away from the main city. It is the highest point of Meghalaya with an altitude of 1,965 m (6,450 feet) above sea level, offers a fascinating view of Shillong city with different angles. Pine forest is surrounding the peak. A Watch Tower and a Viewpoint are also constructed on the top of the hill for the betterment of the tourist experience. Panoramic mountaineer views of the surrounding hills are also amazing from this view point.

Air Force Museum: Another destination of Upper Shillong is the Eastern Air Command Museum. Originally, some of the important historical information about Indian Air Force has been displayed here. Various weapons, photographs, and models are exhibits here. There are several fighter planes, old aircraft, helicopters, rockets, missiles and uniforms kept in the museum area.

Lady Hydari Park: Lady Hydari Park is the popular place to visit for local people. This well-decorated garden is known as a kingdom of flowers, where colorful butterfly has been flying on the flowers. There has a mini zoo adjacent to the park.

Wards Lake: Wards Lake, also known as Nan-Polok is another popular place in Shillong. It is just a walking distance from the Police Bazar. This century old artificial lake is magnificent place surrounded by flower gardens and forest. There has a wooden bridge for crossing the lake in the middle. A paved path encircled the lake. Boating facilities are also available in the lake water. Adjacent Botanical Garden to Lake has enriched with century old pine trees and rare orchids.

Entomological Museum (Butterfly Museum): Wankhara Butterfly Museum is a privately owned museum for insects, which has an innovative collection of insects and pests from various countries in the World. It was built in 1973 by M/s Wankhar, about 2 km from Police Bazar. It is astonishing to see the amazing collection of insects like butterflies, grasshoppers, moths, spiders, etc.

Shillong Golf Course: The golf course is the pride of Shillong city. It is the oldest golf course in India, located at an altitude of 5,200 feet from above sea level. It is the second largest golf course in Asia and the wettest golf course in the World. In 1898, it was a nine-hole golf course but since 1924, this is an eighteen- hole golf field and status as one of the hardest one. A Polo Ground is situated next to the Golf Course. Mountaineering range, green grass carpets, and pine & rhododendron forests – this is the Golf Course, a unique collage in Shillong.

Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians: The architecture of the Cathedral Church is the main attraction of it. There are extraordinary oil paintings by using various stories, epics, and events in the life of Jesus Christ.

State Museum: Meghalaya's history, heritage, and culture are displayed in the State Museum. Apart from displaying the social life of the tribes, there are historical materials and archaeological patterns in the State Museum.

Sweet Falls: Sweets Falls has located around 5 minutes away from the city. The water stream of this falls has jumped from 200 feet height. It is a quiet and relaxed environment.

Bishop and Beadon Falls: Bishop and Beadon are twin falls situated about 5 km from Shillong. These two waterfalls come down from the same hill. Beadon is to the left and Bishop is on the right of the hill. The beauties of the Bishop - Beadon, which come down from the green hills, are seen from the far distance. It became marvellous during the rainy season.

Brookside Bungalow: Rabindranath Tagore had come to Shillong for three times. In 1919, he stayed at Brookside Bungalow, when he wrote 'Shesher Kobita’. In April, May and June of 1923, Rabindranath Tagore lived at 'Jitbhumi Bungalow’ in the Rialband area for some days. And he wrote, “Raltakarobi” and “Shillonger Chithi” at here. Tourists have no permissions to enter inside the Bangalow, but can visit and watch from outside. Yet the passion of the Bengali tourists dragged them to the doorstep of the Bangalow. Last time Kabiguru Rabindranath visited Shillong in 1927.

Mawphlang: Mawphlang is a “'Sacred Forests” for local tribal people, is situated about 25 km away from Shillong. The tribal people believe that this forest is a sanctuary for their ancestors' soul. Mawphlang’s fame is for its orchid. There have some rare species of orchids, ferns and trees. This sacred forest is very carefully conserved.

How to reach Shillong?

Guwahati, about 100 km driving distance is the nearest railhead to Shillong. And Guwahati is easily accessible by railway and flights. Shillong itself has an airport at Umroi, but it has flights only from Kolkata. Busses and cars are available from Guwahati to reach in Shillong. Approximate rental for a reserved car from Guwahati station or airport to Shillong: small car INR indian rupee2,000, Tata Sumo (non-AC) INR indian rupee2,500, Innova INR indian rupee3,500. The Same fare may be applicable for Shillong and its surroundings sightseeing.


Hotel Pinewood of Meghalaya Tourism at European Ward, Rita Road, Shillong, Meghalaya-793001 (+91 364 222 -3116) is the best option for night-stay in Shillong. Twin-share standard room rent is INR indian rupee3,100, Twin-share Deluxe room rent is INR indian rupee5,800, Twin-share Super Deluxe room rent is INR indian rupee7,600, Twin-share Presidential room rent is INR indian rupee8,400, Presidential Cottage room rent is INR indian rupee10,000. Extra bed rent per night INR indian rupee500. GST will be charged extra.

Hotel Orchid of Meghalaya Tourism at Polo Road, Shillong - 793 001 (Phone: +91 364-250-0625, 222-2664) Double Occupancy Ordinary Room rent is INR indian rupee1,000, Double Occupancy Semi Deluxe room rent is INR indian rupee1,300 and Deluxe room rent is INR indian rupee2,500. Extra bed rent per night INR indian rupee250. GST will be charged extra.

Hotel Orchid Lake Resorts of Meghalaya tourism at Umiam, Ri Bhoi District, Meghalaya-793103 (Phone: +91 364-257-0258) is next to the Umiam Lake. Twin-share regular room rent is INR indian rupee1,083, Twin-share deluxe room rent is INR indian rupee1,500 and Twin-share Executive room rent is INR indian rupee2,333. Extra bed rent per night INR indian rupee250. GST will be charged extra.

There are numerous private hotels across the city. Rent may vary between INR indian rupee1,000 to INR indian rupee5,000.

For book a room, you may visit on the link Hotel Booking