Shillong! The sudden spell of this place brings to fore scenic locations, pristine waterfalls, manicured parks, lush green surroundings, variety of roses and orchids blooming all around.
It’s the capital city of Meghalaya and one can explore nature’s marvels spread around in this city. Be it religious rhymes or nature’s wonder, this city won’t disappoint you either way. With awesome weather and magnificent views, it woos tourists with enduring charisma.
Although there are many beautiful places in this city, let’s discuss the seven most admiring locations which have been the hub for tourists from across the world.
1. Umiam Lake
This is a place to be for sports lovers as well as for those who vie for nature. With plenty of sports options available here, the water sports lovers can indulge in activities such as kayaking, water cycling, scooting and boating. The stunning and picturesque Umaim Lake lures many tourists with its virgin beauty. Those interested to cherish memories during their stay here can book a room in the Orchid Tourist home situated aside the lake.
Kudos to the Meghalaya Tourism Department for developing this place as a tourist spot.
It’s a man-made lake covering the area of 221 sq. kms. As it provides water to the people and is a rich source of fish, no doubt this lake acts as a lifeline for localities. The meaning of Umiam means ‘water of tears’. There is a legend behind naming this lake. There were two sisters interested to come down from heaven. One of the two sisters was lost, and the other sister cried in grief and it were her tears that formed this lake.
The lake is surrounded by dense coniferous forests and is a special getaway for those travelling to Shillong.
2. Mahadev Khola Dham
This is yet another place for Shiva devotees to visit. It is 150 years old and is a kind of cave temple which is thronged by many devotees all through the year. Stories say that Subedhar Major of the 8th Gurkha Rifles explored the area after he saw it in a dream. Then he discovered the Shiva lingam. The place is a focal point of attention for both the devotees as well as for those who love history. One can see a queue of devotees on Mahashivratri.
3. Shillong Peak
Want to try the highest point in Shillong? Try Shillong Peak which is situated at a height of 6,449 feet. Once you reach on the top, you can see the magnificent view of the hill station.
Located at a distance of around 10 km from the city, Shillong peak courts chunk of travelers. The entry gate is under continuous surveillance as it acts as IAF’s radar station. Prior to visiting here, the visitors need to submit their identification and get approval for entry.
4. Elephant Falls
A combo of three rivers, this place is sure to mesmerize you and leave you in awe of nature. The sound of gushing waters is something which makes you feel excited as you reach near the fall. As you come nearer, you can see silver streaks of water rising from the plateau. Spreading on rocks, it comes down as a fall. The Britishers named it as Elephant Falls as the stone from where the water fall looks like an elephant. Also the original name of this place was ‘Ka kshaid lai pateng khohsiew’ which means that water falling in three steps.
5. Lady Hydari Park
Located in the heart of the city, this place enjoys sheer nature’s blessing. Variety of plants and flowers leave the tourists speechless with their diverse colors and sweet smell. April and October are the best months to visit this place as the flowers can be seen in full bloom. A small house inside the park has a museum highlighting the biodiversity of Meghalaya.
6. Wards Lake
Situated at the center of the beautiful hill station, this lake is horse-shoe shaped and is surrounded by lush green garden. It is the best place for taking garden walks and boating. There is a story behind its name. A Khasi prisoner once requested a warden for doing something creative. The warden accepted his request and he made the Wards Lake.
7. Shillong Golf Course
Those experts in teeing off find this course as one of the oldest and one of the best natural golf courses in the world. This golf course is also termed as the “Gleneagle of the East” by the United States Golf Association and Museum. As it is set beside pine and rhododendron trees, it gives a scenic location. It is situated at an altitude of 5200 ft. When started in 1898, it had a 9 (nine) hole course and thereafter it was converted into an 18 (eighteen) hole course in 1924. The credit for this change goes to Captain Jackson as well as to CK Rhodes.
Hence, it’s clear that Shillong is blessed by nature. It restores its pristine beauty in the form of rich flora and fauna and is therefore thronged by tourists from across the world. The cascading waterfalls, transparent lakes, lush green ambiance is what makes this city special for those who love to bask in the glory of nature.