The hill town of Shillong is a hidden treasure in the northeastern part of India and is the capital of Meghalaya. It is a popular hill station and tourist spot in India and is famously known as the Scotland of the East due to its striking similarity to the Scotland Highlands. Shillong was formerly the capital of Assam during the British regime till the separate state of Meghalaya was formed in 1972, and was the summer capital of Eastern Bengal and Assam for several years.
Shillong's majestic mountain peaks offer a mesmerising view of the city. Its crystal clear lakes and waterfalls define magnificence, and its sheer serenity will honestly calm your soul. Moreover, being the home of the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo hill tribes, you will also witness the city’s colourful lifestyle and cultural traditions.
If you are looking for a mental detox away from the monotonous city life, this heavenly holiday destination is a perfect escape for you.
Best time to visit Shillong:
Shillong has pleasant weather throughout the year and can be visited any time.
Let us take a look at the various seasons all year round to help you plan your trip better.
Most spoken languages in Shillong:
How to reach Shillong:
Along with the calmness around, you can witness fishermen canoeing and natives visiting the lake for twigs and grass. During summers, beautiful Gulmohar trees adorn the periphery of the lake, and in winters, the water turns azure.
Trattoria is a major hit among the locals who swear by its flavours. It offers the Most Authentic Khasi cuisine in town.
Its specialty lies in the creative presentation of local Khasi food. A tiny establishment, Trattoria is not the place to enjoy a laid back evening. The place is mostly crowded but worth the wait. So next time you are in Shillong, hit to Trattoria to enjoy traditional khasi meal and go home with a new experience!
Check out this cool café over the weekends for its live musical performances and tantalizing preparation of khauswey, steaks and thukpa.
Treat your taste buds with smoky meat curries, combo meals serving rice, salad, meat curry, chutney and vegetable at Jadoh.
Just like the name suggests, this place is a must visit restaurant. You will be welcomed by the aroma of great food coupled with friendly service. There is a wide array of dishes served at the restaurant along with a choice of seating. The restaurant has a dhaba-style ambience infused with contemporary dining experience.
Deja vu is frequented by youngsters for good music, food and celebrations. It has a calmly lit ambience creating a relaxing and soothing experience for visitors. Also get to try your hands on singing at the karaoke station at the lounge.
Collecting unique souvenirs makes for great travel memories. Shillong has plenty of places for a great shopping experience, and you will come across a wide variety of souvenirs to choose from. If you are enthused about decorating your home, the tribal art products made from bamboo and cane will catch your attention. Along with the aesthetic appeal, these items will add an eco-friendly dimension to your home. For those who prefer accessorising their wardrobes, you will find a whole new world of designs and fabrics to explore, from hand-woven shawls, ethnic jackets, traditional Khasi wear, and trendy headgears. Check out local food stores and bag some exclusive ingredients to experiment with in your kitchen!
Souvenirs popular among tourists include shyrmit (turmeric) powder, tiny red and green chillies, sohmirit (pepper), ryndiah (muga silk) shawls, Scottish cloth, organic products, bamboo handicrafts.
The Lewduh or Bara Bazaar and Police Bazar are also great for trying out popular tantalising street foods, including Tungrymbai, Jadoh, Dohn, and many more.
Every street in Shillong is brimming with the talent and passion of the locals for music. Every Saturday evening, locals and tourists gather to dance the night away to music by a local band or famous DJ.
The best places for good entertainment in Shillong are:
Ri Kynjai Serenity by The Lake Ri Kynjai literally translates into ‘Land of Serenity’. This Spa-Resort with cottages presides over the picturesque Umiam lake and has an architecture derived from the original Khasi thatch huts. Each cottage is equipped with a fireplace in the living/bedroom area and is a great value for the price paid
Café Shillong Bed and Breakfast Enjoy a cosy and comfortable stay at this boutique well-furnished more than 70 years old bungalow in Shillong.
Royal Heritage Tripura Castle Experience regal elegance coupled with an old world charm in the ambience of the Hotel. The Hotel is located on a hilltop surrounded with pine forests and boasts of the best view.
Aerodene Cottage A charming 60-year-old colonial heritage home in traditional Assam style made of wood and bamboo. It combines modern and heritage amenities.
Shillong’s rich cultural heritage, pleasant weather and scintillating landscape make it a perfect vacation spot for all age groups. It is the only hill station in India accessible from all sides, making it easy to reach. However, your trip will not be complete until you meet the rarest and friendliest tribes of Shillong. An interesting fact about the Khasi community is that they are a matrilineal society. Therefore, the mother's surname is passed on to the children, and the youngest daughter inherits the ancestral property. Make sure to add Shillong to your bucket list for a relaxing experience!
Along with the sprawling green hills surrounding the city, the local festivals at Shillong will leave you mesmerised! The Khasi community considers various festivals that focus on dance, like Ka Shad Suk Mynsiem, Ka Pom-Blang Nongkrem, and Ka-Shad Shyngwiang-Thangiap. The Garos tribe celebrates jhum cultivation and nature, and their main festivals are the Den Bilsia, Wangala, and the Rongchu Gala. Behdienkhlam, which includes the Laho Dance form, is an essential festival of the Jaintias tribe, for whom the preservation of cultural heritage and solidarity among people is a top priority.