An ideal picnic spot, 1965 metres above sea level and 10 kms from
the city, offers a panoramic view of these country side, and is
also the highest point in the State. Obeisance is paid to U Shulong
at the sanctum at the peak's summit every springtime, by the religious
priest of Mylliem State. In the evening the city lights below appear
like a star-studded abyss.
1,343 meter, 20 Kms from Shillong, regarded as sacred by the
Hynniewtrep people, is set amidst a beautiful scenic view against
the backdrop of a sacred forest. This 'Navel of Heaven' as per Khasi
mythology is a heavenly peak, which offers to fill the spiritual
void and emptiness, to those who seek and desire solace and peace
Ward's Lake is century old picturesque lake also known as Polok
Lake. Located in the heart of the city, popular for short garden
walks and boating. The local people however prefer to call it Nan
Polok (Polok's Lake) after an executive engineer named Mr. Pollock.
It has a most pleasant, winding walk-a-way all around its parameter
set in cobbled sand stones, in the midst of picturesque, rolling
flower beds and fairyland lighting. The lake has a striking arched
bridge over it.
A secluded but captivating spot with a plethora of indigenous
and exotic plants and is located just below the Ward's Lake. It
also houses a mini-aviary with rare and colourful species of birds.
The secluded setting of the Botanical Garden with its well-laid
paved walks makes it a favourite resort for city dwellers as well
as tourists who desire to exercise their limbs.
Lady Hydari Park, stretching over a km is replete with roses
and blossoms of exquisite hues and colours, is a feast to eyes.
Owes its existence to Lady Hydari, the wife of an erstwhile Governor
of Assam. It has an excellent mini zoo cum deer park.
Shillong Golf Course is considered to be the "Glen-eagle
of the East" at the United States Golf Association Museum.
The site where the Golf Course is located provides a scenic view.
It was set in an undulating valley covered with thick groves of
pine and rhododendron trees at an altitude of 5200 ft in 1898 as
a 9 (nine) hole course and later converted into a 18 (eighteen)
hole course in 1924 by Captain Jackson and C. K. Rhodes.
The State Museum is located in the state central library premises
with a good collection of artifacts of North Eastern India in general
and Meghalaya in particular.
As if to justify the desire of the British founding fathers
of the city of Shillong to make it a little England, churches and
cathedrals, large and small, have come up everywhere in the city.
Some of these churches and cathedrals are so spacious and large
that they can be easily accommodate a few thousand worshippers,
at a time. Among such large churches of Shillong, mention can be
made of the Shillong Cathedral, the Mawkhar Presbyterian Church,
the jaiaw Presbyterian Church, the Laitumkhrah Presbyterian Church
and the All Saints' Cathedral, as prominant landmarks of the City.
Churches of Shillong - a measure of the religiosity of the Shillongites
Located to the west of the Shillong plateau, Diengiei Peak
is just two hundred feet lower than Shillong peak. The peak presents
a spectacular view of green mountainous hills. The captivating hills
are dotted with tiny shining villages. Diengiei Peak is accessible
by the Umiam-Union Christian College-Mawmaram motorable road which
takes off from National Highway-40 at Umiam. Atop Diengiei, a visitor
is greeted with a commanding view of the Umiam lake with the city
of Shillong in the background. On the top of Diengiei, there is
a huge hollow, shaped like a cup, which some geologists believe
could be the crater of an extinct pre-historic volcano.
An enigmatically beautiful pool with wide, rocky sand banks
located on a stream alongside the Umroi-Bhoilymbong Road is known
as Dwarksuid or Devil's doorway. Its lotus-like rock formations
are captivatingly scenic and unforgettable.
Umiam Water Sports Complex:
The Water Sports Complex has been developed upon the mighty
reservoir of the Umiam Hydro Electric
Project, at Umiam, 16 kilometres before reaching Shillong. The campus
consists of a beautiful Orchid Lake Resort, the Nehru Park. Besides
it offers a wide choice of exciting water sports activities with
row-boats, paddle-boats, cruise-boats, sailing-boats, water-scooters,
speed-boats and a floating restaurant with ferry services.
Located about eleven kilometres off Mairang, is a steep dome
of red granite rising to an elevation of about five thousand and
four hundred feet above sea level. According to geologists, the
hard red granite rock is several million years old. The rock is
accessible from its northern and eastern flanks, but inaccessible
from its southern flank where its slope exceeds 800 over an incline
of about six hundred feet. The southern side of Kyllang Rock is
encumbered with enormous detached blocks of rock, while its northern
side is clothed with dense forests, containing age-old red Rhododendron
trees and oaks besides bushy, white Rhododendron trees which are
not found elsewhere.
own Museum - Sacred Forest Mawphlang: Only 4 km from Shillong, close
to almost all large Khasi and Jaintia villages of yore, one finds
a Forest-Grove variedly known as Ki Law Kyntang (Sacred forest),
Ki Law Adong (Prohibited forest), Ki Law Shnong (Village forest)
and Ki Law Kynti (Private forest).
sacred-groves which have been preserved since time immemorial, are
in sharp contrast to their surrounding grasslands. These groves
are generally rimmed by a dense growth of Castanopsis kurzii trees,
forming a protective hedge which halts intrusion of Pinus kasia
(Khasi pine) which dominates all areas outside the sacred groves.
Inside the outer rim, the sacred groves are virtually Nature's Own
Museum. The heavily covered grounds have a thick cushion of humus
accumulated over the centuries. The trees in every sacred groveare
heavily loaded with epiphytic growth of aroids, pipers, ferns, fern-allies
and orchids. The humus-covered grounds likewise harbour myriad varieties
of plant life, many of which are found nowhere else.
of the most celebrated sacred-groves of the State is the grove at
Mawphlang about 25 kilometres off Shillong. This particular grove
has for long years been a reservoir of interest for eminent and
internationally known botanists.
sacred-groves which make a unique contribution to the flora of the
State are undoubtedly of immense interest to all naturalists.
Better known as Sohra, Cherrapunji is one of the most visited
tourist spots of North Eastern India. Situated 56 Kms from Shillong
and 1300 metres above sea level, known all over the world as the
rainiest place on the planet. A pleasant drive to see roaring water
falls leaping into deep gorges, including the famous Nohsngithiang
falls is certainly an ever memorable visual treat. The lovely town
is also famous for its limestone caves, orange, honey, a headquarter
of the Syiem of Sohra and a Centre of the Khasi Culture and literature.
The oldest Theological College in this region is located here, established
by the Welsh Presbyterian Missionaries in 1888, known as Cherrapunji
Theological College. Extensive limestone caves abound, with a large
number of stalagmites and stalactites inside, the full length and
breadth of the caves has not been adequately explored. In addition,
the natural beauty is complemented by springs and sacred forests.
12 Kms from Cherrapunji is situated a beautiful Park 'Thangkharang'.
Besides housing a bird sanctuary, the spot commands an imposing
almost 180 degree view of the plains of Bangladesh. The ideal time
to visit is during the monsoons when the gorges become resplendent
with several seasonal waterfalls.
56 Kms from Shillong and is known for the Giant Stalagmite
formation shaped into a "Shivalinga" and found inside
a cave known locally as 'Mawjymbuin' One and half Kilometres off
the right hand side of the Shillong Mawsynram - Balat - Ranikor
Highway, very near Weiloi Village, once comes across a unique geological
formation called "Symper Rock". It is an almost flat topped
loaf-shaped rocky dome, which rises sharply from the midst of the
From its base, one has to take an exciting uphill trek to reach
the summit of the rock. From the top of the hill one can see the
gorgeous surrounding hills and valleys and the plain and fast moving
rivers of Bangladesh.
64 Kms from Shillong, a potential health resort having gushing
hot-spring of sulphur water, believed to have curative medicinal
properties. People from all parts of the region flock to the hot-spring
at Jakrem for bathing themselves in its waters. A well kept secret
140 Kms from Shillong, a place of scenic beauty. Ranikor is
one of Meghalaya's most popular spots for angling, with an abundance
of carp and other fresh water fish. Huge golden mahseers, the pride
of the anglers are available here.
96 Kms from Shillong, is a border town, where one can have
a glimpse of the neighbouring country of Bangladesh. The colourful
annual boat race during spring at the Umngot river is an added attraction.
Island - the hidden beauty of the west
Nongkhnum Island is the biggest River Island in Meghalaya and
the second biggest island in Asia, after Majuli Island in Assam.
Located about 14 Kms from Nongstoin, the district hqs. of West Khasi
Hills, it is 20 to 25 sq. kms in area. Travelling on foot from Nongstoin
through the villages of Lawse, Mawduh and Mawthar, it takes about
two and a half-hours to reach the Island. There is a wooden bridge
over the Weinia Fall to enter the Island.
The Island is formed by the bifurcation of Kynshi River into the
Phanliang River and the Namliang River. At the point of divergence,
there is a beautiful sandy shore about 100 sq. meters in area. The
Phanliang River forms a beautiful lake adjacent to the sandy beach.
This lake is about 400 to 500 sq. meters. The River then moves along
and before reaching a deep gorge, forms a pretty fall about 60 meters
high, called Shadthum Fall. At the bottom of the fall, there is
a beautiful pool where a variety of fishes can be found. It then
continues its journey and finally reunites with the Namliang River,
near a place called Thongrin.
Namliang River first flows towards the north and then changes its
course towards the west. It then reaches a gorge and forms two narrow
falls. The first one is called Riatsohkhe fall and is near Mawthar
village. The second one is the wonderful and beautiful Weinia fall,
which is about 60 meters high. The River then flows further west
till it reunites with the Phanliang River on the western rocky shore
and then flow towards the west. After a distance of about 10 kms
from the Island, it reaches the deepest gorge and forms the longest
fall in the region of about 335 to 340 meters high, called Langshiang
area surrounded by the two Rivers, i.e. Phanliang and Namliang forms
the Nongkhnum Island. Within the Island, there are big trees and
areas of grassland and natural playground suitable for playing football
and golf and even for landing a helicopter. There are plenty of
fishing pools, especially near the sandy shore, called Wei-Phanliang.
Angling is the only way to enjoy as well as protect the fishes.
Places in Jaintia Hills
Jowai, the headquarters of the Jaintia Hills district is situated
64 Kms away from the national highway. A picturesque town circled
by the majestic Myntdu River.
56 Kms from Shillong. According to legend this lake was dug
with the ends of bows by members of 290 clans of U Sajiar Niangli,
a rebel general of Jaintia Raja, to commemorate the great exodus
of the clans. It is a historical lake and a beautiful spot for outing,
boating and picnic.
Megalithic Remnants- Nartiang: 65 Kms from Shillong, was the summer
capital of the Jaintia Kings, of Sutnga State. Huge monoliths, form
the striking landmark of the village, said to be erected by Mar
Phalyngki, a Goliath of yore. The Nartiang menhir measures 27 feet
6 inches in thickness. The monoliths represent the megalithic culture
of the Hynniewtrep people. It is literally the Stonehenge of the
Northeast of India. A 500 years old temple of Durga is another attraction
An important village of Jaintia Hills which is famous for a number
of caves and caverns in the limestone-borne area, used as hide-outs
during war times between Jaintia Hills and foreign intruders.
Ksiar: Syntu Ksiar, which means 'golden flower' is a vast pool of
calm water, where the river Myntdu which almost encircles Jowai,
appears to come to a sudden halt. At Syntu Ksiar, the Myntdu provides
a memorable scene of remarkable beauty as it seemingly disappears
for rest into thecalm of the mighty pool, and then, as if aroused
from a momentary invigorating slumber, it runs its ever vibrant
Places in Garo Hills
Garo Hills known for its abundance of wildlife should interest
naturalists and photographers to capture the variegated facets of
life of a unique range of flora and fauna. Two mountain ranges -
the Arabella range and the Tura range, pass through the Garo Hills,
forming the great Balpakram valley in between. The headquarters
town of Tura is 323 Kms via Guwahati, at an altitude of 657 Kms.
The highest point is Nokrek Peak with elevation of 1412 metres.
The highest point of the Garo Hills region of the State, Nokrek
Peak stands fourteen hundred and twelve metres above sea level.
A virgin canopy of thick, tall and lush green forests cover Nokrek
and its environs. The mother germo plasm of Citrus-indica have been
discovered by science researchers within Nokrek Range. This discovery
led to the establishment of the National Citrus Gene Sanctuary-cum-Biosphere
Reserve at Nokrek covering an area of forty seven square kilometres.
can be reached from the Tura-Asanangre-Daribokgre Road. A comfortable
three and a half kilometre trek from Daribokgre village leads a
visitor to Nokrek Peak. Abundant wildlife including herds of wild
elephants, rare varieties of birds and pheasants, besides rare orchids
abound in the sanctuary.
A majestic hill stands on the eastern flank of Tura, the largest
town in the Garo Hills region of the State. It peaks eight hundred
and seventy two metres above sea level over looking Tura. A tourist-bungalow,
an observatory and a Cinchona-plantation are located at Tura Peak
and its environs. A magnificent view of the lower Brahmaputra Valley
as well as the golden yellow plains of Bangladesh is available all
year round to viewers on Tura Peak.
A waterfall of immense visual beauty is to be found close to
the Tura-Chokpot Road in West Garo Hills district. The stream on
which it is located, flows through a deep, narrow winding bed of
crevice rocks till it suddenly emerges on to a broad wide opening
and cascades in a thick, wide formation, over a broad chasm, creating
an electrifying waterfall of unique beauty. The deep, wide pool
at the bottom of the fall with its wide and expansive surroundings
make it an exciting swimming pool, full of fish of varied size and
colour, besides being an ideal picnic spot.
A National Wildlife Park, located in South Garo Hills and 167 Kms
from Tura. The literal meaning of Balpakram is the "land of
perpetual winds". There is a great precipice or deep gorge
in Balpakram and is popularly compared to the Grand Canyon of U.S.A.
It is believed that here, the spirits of the dead dwell temporarily
before embarking on the final journey. It is home to the rare Lesser
Panda, the Indian bison and the Stag like Serow. A variety of medicinal
herbs locally called "dikges" grow abundantly in Balpakram.
Located at a distance of 112 Kms from Tura, ideal for fishing and
bird watching with the river Simsang flowing nearby.
Caves: The famous limestone caves of Siju are located near Naphak
Lake and the Simsang stalactites in these caves resemble those of
the Blue Grotto in the Isle of Capri. For more details, please see
the section on caves below.