Posted 25 August 2022

Love the monsoons? Here’s why Shillong is the perfect rainy getaway 

Shillong, Meghalaya's capital, is unquestionably one of India's most picturesque hill stations.Shillong is known as the ‘Scotland of the East’ because of its many waterfalls, parks, lovely lakes, and undulating hills. The locations to visit in Shillong are surrounded by lush green hills and pine trees and have a very tranquil environment. They are full of scenic beauty and calm surroundings. The tourist attractions here are diverse, ranging from small monasteries to undulating hills. If you want to spend some time in peace, go to Umiam Lake or Elephant Falls. Both locations are known for their breathtaking natural beauty. If you want to sample the local cuisine while browsing for handicrafts, head to the Police Bazaar and have an evening to remember.

Here are some of the best reasons why you should visit Shillong:

Shop away while strolling in Police Bazaar

Shillong's most colourful area is the Police Bazar. It is Shillong's one-stop bazaar for all types of tourists. There are modern shops as well as a variety of traditional businesses selling wonderful Meghalayan handicrafts. Some eateries serve both vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine. Also, don't miss out on the Police Bazar's street food.

Living with the Living root bridges 

The Khasi tribesmen have conserved the Living root bridges, which are natural wonders. These root bridges can be found deep within the tropical woods of Meghalaya, which are shrouded in rain and fog. These are the roots of ancient rubber trees, also known as Ficus Elastica, which the Khasi tribesmen have grown in a tangled mess. The roots were then interlaced to create single and double-decker root bridges. The Double Root Bridge is in Cherrapunjee, and the Single Root Bridge is in Mawlynnong's Riwai Village.

Asia’s cleanest village

This community in Meghalaya was previously known for being the cleanest village long before the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan became popular. Mawlynnong is known as Asia's cleanest village and is situated in a picturesque setting. God's Own Garden is another name for Mawlynnong Village and has good reason. Discover India named Mawlynnong the cleanest village in Asia in 2003. Aside from cleanliness, the hamlet has accomplished a great deal, such as a 100% literacy rate and a women empowerment scenario that the rest of the world can only dream about. Mawlynnong has good weather throughout the year. Monsoon is still the ideal time to visit Mawlynnong, Meghalaya. The hamlet and its surroundings turn lush green and breathtakingly lovely during the rainy season.

Some of the major festivals held in and around Mawlynnong Village include Behdienkhlam in July, Wangala between September and December, as well as Nongkrem Dance Festival in October or November.

The nicest part about the meals in Mawlynnong is that it's all made with organically farmed ingredients. Even the meat comes from birds and animals that have been reared in-house.Choose from pork mixed in bell peppers and greens, freshly-cut and smoked banana-flower, Jadoh (meat and rice-based treat), and Tungrymbai (a scrumptious mesh of fermented soybeans, bamboo leaves, and local spices) among a broad array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes to taste.

Listen to the incredible Khasi folk tales

Khasi tribes cherish their folk stories, and Shillong is the land of Khasi tribes. Originally, the Khasis was a nature worshipper, and practically everything that has to do with nature has a fascinating folk tale attached to it. You can learn about the animal market and the gigantic serpent that subsequently formed the waterfall by listening to the tale.

Laitlum Canyons

Laitlum Canyons, located 45 minutes from Shillong, is one of nature's most valuable gifts to the region. The only path between the town and the nearest market is this 3000-step stairway, which travels past expansive bamboo fields and colourful bursts of orchids. The name Laitlum roughly translates to 'The End of Hills,' and the panoramic views you can get from here certainly live up to the term. The picturesque hill slopes of Laitlum are known as Meghalaya's amphitheatre. They are painted in a variety of hues – from earthy browns and verdant greens to blushing reds at dawn and twilight – and stretch as far as the eye can see. Several modest slate-roofed cottages placed at high heights of the canyon, each with its picture-perfect outlook, are reached by narrow and steep rocky routes. The local’s farm on the cliffs' brink, which tumbles precipitously into the valley below, shrouded in mist. The flat grassy hilltop that overlooks the quiet and calm valley is the ideal spot for soaking up some mountain sunshine. 

At the entrance to the enormous meadow, alone kiosk supplies succour in the shape of munchies and scalding hot chai for those who neglected to bring their lunch.The Hima Khyrim, a sub-tribe of the Khasis, have their historic seat of power in the village of Smit in Laitlum. The community also boasts a historic residence, King Shad, which is thought to be over 100 years old and belongs to the King of the Khyrim. 

The captivating Nongkrem dance is performed outside this royal home in the autumn.These beautiful canyons have recently piqued the fancy of several Bollywood producers, with the next film Rock On 2 being shot here. Despite its growing popularity, Laitlum Canyons is still a small slice of heaven that few have heard of, and even fewer have visited. Laitlum Canyons, one of Shillong's lesser-known tourist attractions, is an ideal escape option for anyone seeking serenity and isolation away from the city's blaring noise. This location is renowned among photographers and trekkers since it is perched atop calm East Khasi hills.

Umiam Lake

Umiam Lake is one of Shillong's most lovely spots to visit, surrounded by thick coniferous trees and the East Khasi Hills. This enormous man-made lake body, known as Badapani, was created by damming the Umiam River. The lake is dotted with a few small islands, and the Lum Nehru Park adjacent to it is a great location to wander and picnic. Umiam Lake is known for exhilarating water sports and recreational activities including kayaking, boating, water cycling, and scooting, in addition to its natural beauty. The Assam State Electricity Board established Umiam Lake in the early 1960s as a result of the dam that was erected on the Umiam River. The dam was built to store water for hydroelectric generating plants. Umiam Lake is one of Meghalaya's most popular tourist destinations. It is also well-known for its water sports and adventure activities. Kayaking, water cycling, scooting, and boating are popular activities for visitors.

Umiam Lake is located on the outskirts of Shillong and can be visited as part of a Shillong sightseeing tour or on your way to or from Guwahati. At Umiam Lake, you can go boating. Two types of boats can accommodate five or 10 passengers. To purchase boating tickets, one must wait until the required number of persons has gathered. The area is kept immaculately clean.

Read more about -Love the rain? These 6 Places in India are best experienced during the monsoons

Tips for travelling to Shillong

  • Spend at least five days in the city so that you can cover all the attractions. There are some magnificent views that the city has to offer so one should not miss out on anything.
  • Get your ILP (Inner Line Permit) for traveling to the state of Meghalaya. It is a must, if not done, there are hefty fines that would be imposed upon you.

How to reach Shillong?

  • By Rail: The nearest railway station is Guwahati, which is located 105 km far from Shillong. The city is well connected by rail to all of the country's major cities. Shillong is also served by taxis and buses.
  • By Road: Buses run from Guwahati to Shillong by the Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) and the Meghalaya Transport Corporation (MTC). Near the Guwahati railway station is the main interstate bus station. Shillong has reasonable bus costs for several buses like AC, luxury, AC Sleeper, and Volvo buses. Cherrapunji (55 km) and Jowai are two destinations nearby that you can visit (61 km).
  • By Air: Shillong Airport or Umroi Airport is located 30 km away from the city centre. The nearby airport of Guwahati, the state capital of Assam, is also close to Shillong. For reaching from Guwahati to Shillong, it takes nearly four hours by car via NH 40. IndiGo now operates a daily non-stop flight to Shillong from major cities.

Best time to visit and the weather conditions of Shillong

Shillong's temperature ranges from 15 to 24°C during the months from March to June. If you are an adventurous person, you should plan your trip during the summer because it is the best time for adventurous activities there. Tourists avoid the area during the monsoon season (June-September) and the winter season (October-February) because it is either too wet or too cold, but you can always take on a challenge since it is worth it regardless of the weather.

Not to mention, the place's culture and food are among the best. Shillong is also the country's rock capital. You don't need a cause to visit Shillong; yet, there are a few compelling reasons that can persuade you to do so. 

Conclusion

Apart from all the mentioned places to visit, Shillong has some amazing neighbours as well, places which are termed to be the hub of greenery and cleanliness, not to forget the delectable cuisine of Shillong. 

Related travel blogs

1600+ Daily flights
74 Domestic Destinations
26 International Destinations
300 million + happy passengers
278+ Fleet tall