David Scott Trail
Lady Hydari Park
Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Culture
Welcome to Shillong (East Khasi Hills),
Shillong is the capital and hill station of Meghalaya state. It is also known as 'The Abode of Clouds'. It is the headquarters of the East Khasi Hills. It is situated at an average altitude of 4,908 feet (1,496 m) above sea level, with the highest point being Shillong Peak at 6,449 feet (1,966 m). It is said that the rolling hills around the town reminded the European settlers of Scotland. Hence, it is also known as the 'Scotland of the East'.
Some of the famous places are Shillong Peak, Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Culture, Laitlum Canyons, Elephant Falls, Mawjymbuin Caves, Lady Hydari Park etc. Located on Khasi Hills, the colorful city offers adventurous outdoor activities such as rock climbing and boating as well.
ture. There are masses every day, but on Sundays many believers come here to attend morning mass.
Beadon Falls is one of the two waterfalls flowing through a cluster of hills at an altitude of 1,496 metre. The site is located amidst a dense forest, which is a habitat to wild animals like leopard, langurs, wild cats, deer and bird species. Maintaining a good flow throughout the year, the waterfall runs down in disjoint cascades of almost 100 feet to crush rocks beneath. Tourists can witness crystal clear water of the falls flowing through. It also provides an opportunity to the tourists to trek in the valley. Beadon Falls along with Bishop Fall roll down the same ridge to a deep valley.
The Bishop Falls, twin of Beadon Waterfall, origins from the river Umshyrphi. The Bishop streams down to the left of Beadon into a deep gorge. The site is also called 'Sonapani' after a native committed suicide at the site. The three-step waterfall falls from an altitude of 135 metre along with the other fall. The fast stream of water has created a wide pool at the bottom. Tourists visiting the location engage themselves to trek up or down along with the stream. The site also has a Grid Sub-Station of the Electricity Board at the bottom of the falls.
Situated off the Guwahati road at Mawprem, travellers can take a road to Mawlai to the view point from where both falls can be spotted together. The site is easily approachable from the city with at a distance of 2 km from Bara Bazaar, the hub of Shillong.
Botanical Garden is located along with Ward Lake in the midst of Mawphlang Sacred groves or virgin forest. Among popular tourist sites in the city, the garden has a rare collection of orchids and plantations. The spot delights nature lovers with ampleness of indigenous and exotic plants. To preserve the forest and flora of the area, a religious myth is associated with the place. As per the myth, all the plantation is considered sacred.
Located in a remote area on the outskirts of the city, Botanical Garden also features an orchid house that has an amazing collection Orchids. Besides, there is a mini aviary with a collection of rare and colourful species of birds. For the visitors, there is a well-laid pavement to stroll through the garden. Situated at the centre of the city, the site can be accessed from all corners of the city.
The Entomological Museum, established in the 1930s, is more popularly known as the Butterfly Museum. It is a private property owned by M/s Wankhar, Riatsamthiah, Shillong. It is the sole museum in India which is dedicated to preserving the species of butterflies and moths. This colourful museum, with 1,600 species of butterflies, insects and moths, is a veritable treat for visitors. The museum remains open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
For those interested in ethnic tribal culture and tradition this Govt. Museum under the control of Art and Culture Department offers insights to the lifestyle of the people. This museum is in the State Central Library complex where monuments for the great patriots of the state had been erected besides the statue of Smt. Indira Gandhi and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
With Christianity being a dominant religion in the city, there are many beautiful churches in Shillong. Among them the most popular is the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians, which is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Shillong. The cathedral is earthquake resistant and on a clear day one can see the River Brahmaputra and the peaks of the Himalaya Mountains from here.
Cherrapunji or Sohra is a subdivisional town in the East Khasi Hills district in the Indian state of Meghalaya. It is credited as being the wettest place on Earth, although nearby Mawsynram currently holds that record. Cherrapunji still holds the all-time record for the most rainfall in a calendar month and in a year: it received 9,300 mm (366 in) in July 1861 and 26,461 mm (1,041.75 in) between 1 August 1860 and 31 July 1861.
Crinoline Fall attracts visitors from across the world owing to its picturesque beauty. The fall is marginally covered with green bushes at the falling point at an altitude of 13 metre. The blend of sound of the water stream and bird chirping is a pleasant experience. At the foot of the Crinoline Fall, there is a large swimming pool surrounded by beautiful Orchids, which lures tourists to take a dip in the cold water. Along with the waterfall, there is a restaurant offering a wide choice in cuisines like regional, Indian and continental. Besides, the tourism department of Meghalaya hosts occasions and festivals at the bank of the swimming pool. Moreover, there is a small zoo run by the administration of the Crinoline Fall.
David Scott Trail is one of the most popular trekking routes in Meghalaya. Originally this trekking trail was a bridle path established by David Scott, a British officer, in the early 1800s, and was used by people to travel from Assam to Bangladesh. Though the entire route extends for over a 100 km and takes about five days to trek, the best known existing portion of this horse track is located between the villages of Mawphlang and Lad Mawphlang. The trek takes you across the beautiful terrain of East Khasi Hills and covers around 16 km. During this four hour walk you will cross streams, dodge waterfalls, trudge through meadows, pass through sacred groves, valleys and Khasi villages. One can also set up camps on the way and enjoy the captivating beauty of the green rocky cliffs in the Umiam valley.
Diengiei Peak, situated on the western side of Shillong, is 6200 ft in altitude, just 200 ft shorter than the tallest peak in Shillong, Shillong Peak. Known for its panoramic views of Shillong, Diengiei Peak paints a perfect portrait. Being one of the highest peaks here, it is often surrounded with fog.On top of the peak there is a huge hollow crevice shaped like a cup. Geologists believe that the hollow cup shape could be the remains of an inactivate volcano. The best time to visit the Diengiei Peak is from November to June. Known for its beautiful surroundings, numerous photographers visit the peak. One can also get spectacular views of the Umiam Lake surrounded by the city of Shillong from the peak. For a height of about 1000 ft, the gradient of this peak is very steep and precipitous which makes for excellent mountain climbing. Other adventurous sports like rock climbing and rapelling can be done here.
The museum gives you a clear insight into the history and culture of the tribes who lived here in the ancient times. The seven storied building has many galleries that highlight the different faces of the city. The galleries here are about Prehistory of the tribal world, culture, art, musical instruments and tools used in the past for fishing and hunting.
With seven stories, 56,000 square feet of floor space and 15,154 square feet of display wall space, it ranks among the top 36 or so cultural centres of its kind in the Salesian world. Museums/ Cultural Centres in practice appear to be a significant aspect of the Salesian mission.
Elephant Falls, the Three Steps Waterfalls as it is originally called, is located 12 km from the capital city. The three steps in which the water falls earned it the name as Three Steps Waterfalls, which was later called as Elephant Falls by the British. The stone that resembled an elephant near the beautiful falls inspired the British to name the falls. The rainy season brings more life to the already energetic waterfalls and you will see the falls in full vigor. You may combine your visit to Shillong Peak and Elephant Falls on a single day as both are just a few minutes away from each other.
The Lady Hydari Park, a children's themed park, derives its name from the wife of the first Governor of Assam, Lady Hydari. Established and maintained by the Forest Department, this park incorporates a mini zoo, a deer park, and an open area for children to play. The vast stretches of rose-beds make it strikingly beautiful. The park has been designed in a Japanese style, as there are several elements like rhododendron plants, small ponds and willow trees which remind one of the garden style of Japan.
There is also a museum in a small house located inside the park. The rich biodiversity of Meghalaya has been showcased in this museum, which includes photos of rare species, stuffed leopard, dried skin of python, and skulls of elephant.
A paradise by every definition, Laitlum canyons in the Khasi Hills gives you panoramic views of the hills and valleys. A place that is not much explored gives you an experience of a lifetime - naturally so, considering the fact that Laitlum means 'end of hill'. You will have breathtaking views of valleys and surrounding hills from here. Trekkers are in for great exercise and even if you are not one, you are going to love every minute of it.
Believed to be about 150 years old, the Mahadev Khola Dham is a cave temple popular with Shiva devotees. It is believed that the shiva lingam placed here was discovered by the Subedhar Major of the 8th Gurkha Rifles when he was exploring the area after he saw it in a dream.
Marai Cave, also known as 'Krem Marai', is an intriguing cave and is associated with mythological stories. As per the locals, the descendants of the Syiems of the kingdoms of Mylliem and Khyrim dug the cave and came through it. Another story is linked with the cave as per which only daughter of the reigning deity of the sacred peak of Shyllong, known as U 'Lei Shyllong, lived there. The cave is located at a distance of 16 km from city on the way to Jowai. There is a steady climb of 20 minutes along with the vegetation belt, rocks and cultivated land to reach the cave.
Mawjymbuin Caves, one of the leading attractions of Shillong, is located 56 km from the city. The natural caves are situated on the world's wettest place, Mawsynram. You will be required to do some stretching, squeezing and at times go on all fours as you explore the caves. The spectacular stalagmites seen in the caves are amazing. One such huge stalagmite is in the shape of Shiva Linga on which drops of water fall steadily from a stone above. Exploring the naturally formed caves is a thrilling experience, which words fail to describe.
It's a great experience to make it to Mawlynnong and Dawki from Shillong. You can enjoy the Indo Bangla border at Tamabil. The serene boat ride in Dawki Umngot River and of course the living root bridge of Mawlynnong.
Meghalaya State Museum is a frequented tourist site that exhibits vast collection of artefacts of tribal era and a collection of ancient scriptures. The museum houses a habitat section displaying living places of tribes, instruments used for day-to-day activities such as hunting and fishing. Travellers can also witness weapons, transportation equipment, agricultural tools and household articles like pots, spoons, water jug, tobacco box, baskets. Meghalaya State Museum displays lifestyle and cultural diversity of various tribes, especially the Khasi tribe in various sections. Furthermore, visitors can gather information regarding history, culture and social structures of the ancient tribes.
Motphran, meaning the 'Stone of France', is a monument dedicated to the memory of the 26th Khasi Labour Corps, who had fought for the British in France during WWI. There is an inscription in Latin by Horace, the famous poet, which reads 'Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori'. The phrase can be translated to mean 'It is sweet to die for one's country'.
Nongkhnum Island is the biggest River Island in Meghalaya and the second biggest island in Asia, after MajuliIsland in Assam. Located about 14 Kms from Nongstoin, the district hqs. of West Khasi Hills, it is 20 to 25 sq. kms in area. Within the Island, there are big trees and areas of grassland and natural playground suitable for playingfootball and golf and plenty of fishing pools.
Shillong has one of the largest golf courses (the world's wettest) in Asia: Gleneagles of the East. It enjoys the rare distinction of being one of the few natural golf courses in Asia. Not only is the Shillong Golf Course scenic and enjoyable, it is also challenging. The course is set in a valley covered with pine and rhododendron trees. The present 18-hole course was inaugurated in 1924. The longest hole is the 6th, which is a gruelling 594 yards.
Situated 10 kms from the city, Shillong Peak offers spectacular views of the city from an impressive height of 1965 m above sea level. Being the highest point in Shillong, it offers stunning views of lush greenery and cascading waterfalls. If you are here on a day when clouds do not play spoil sport, you will be able to view the majestic Himalayan peaks and the Bangladesh plains from here. Indian Air Force has its radar station here.
Sohpetbneng Peak is an ideal site for solitude seekers that stands at an altitude of 1,343 metre from the sea level. The location provides a mesmerising bird's eye view of the dense forest and the city of Shillong. The peak is associated with mythological tales and is revered by the Hynniewtrep community. It is believed that Hynniewtrep tribe of Meghalaya grew a tree at the peak, which acted as a ladder between them and God. In course of time, the Hynniewtrep tribe comprising Khasi, Jaintia, Bhoi and War tribes migrated from the highlands. Due to this, the religious significance of the site faded over the years. Sohpetbneng, meaning the 'navel of heaven', is known for divine essence and is transformed to tourist's site. Tourists can reach the heavenly peak point which is 20 km from Shillong.
Located within the Shillong Cantonment, on the outskirts of the city, lies a sparkling waterfall which looks like an eagle with wings spread. Hence the name Spread Eagle Falls. The falls is locally known as Umkaliar or the falls into which Ka Liar slipped. A soothing setting amidst the calmness of nature - a treat to the eyes.
Situated near Happy Valley at a distance of about eight kilometers from Shillong. It resembles a straight pencil of water emerging from a large size water pipe, as it drops vertically over a distance exceeding two hundred feet. Most suitable for a day's outing and picnic, Explore it!
The Umiam Lake, located in the north of Shillong, combines beauty and adventure facilities. It is also famous as Barapani or Big Water. It is an admired tourist destination for water cycling, kayaking and boating. The lake also provides a number of ecosystem services, like storing water for electricity generation and downstream irrigation.
Wankhar Entomology Museum, situated in Shillong, has a vast collection of different species of butterflies, moths, rhinoceros beetles and other stick-insects of different patterns and colors. Established in the 1930s by the Wankhar family, it is locally known as the Butterfly Museum. Around 1600 species of butterflies and moths which have been collected from all over the world are displayed here. This museum has the honor of being the only known museum in India devoted to moths and butterflies.
A beautiful manmade lake named after Sir William Ward, the then, Chief Commissioner of Assam. A beautiful little lake with short garden walks and boating facilities - this is a popular spot for both local and visiting tourists.
- Air Force Museum, Anthropological Museum, Rhino Heritage Museum, Zoological Museum, Arunachal State Museum, Anglican Cemetry, etc.
- Mawsynram, Mawphlang Falls, Jakrem, Dwarksuid, Kyllang Rock, Kshaid Dain Thlen Falls, Cheerapunji, Upper Shillong, Pohkseh Presbyterian Church, Lumpongdeng Island, Khasi Heritage Village, The Grand Madina Masjid, Sohliya Strawberry Farm etc.