Travelling to Shillong on motorbike was my dream which came true in January this year when I was on a road trip of North East. It was a dream driving on the butter smooth highways of Meghalaya all the way to Shillong. I crossed scenic Khasi villages on the way, and saw villagers selling fruits and vegetables along the highway before arriving in Shillong by evening.
I only had a long weekend to explore, and here are the best places to visit in Shillong –
- Umiam Lake – This iconic man-made lake which is approximately 15 km before Shillong was made in 1960s over Umiam River. Today it is surrounded by dense green forests, and there are many water sports in this pristine lake like water-skiing, kayaking, water cycling, sailing and rowing. However, I wanted to start my tour of Shillong slowly and chose a quiet place under a tree overlooking the lake to spend my time.
How to reach: Umiam Lake is 20 minutes away from Shillong by car which you can easily hire at Police Bazaar
- Iewduh market – I am fond of exploring the local life wherever I go, and could not miss the Iewduh fruit and vegetable market where local farmers come every morning. It was a treat to my eyes as I walked across its narrow lanes with my camera. Everything including fruits, meat and vegetables was being sold. The market itself appeared to be like a celebration. The sellers were chatting with each other, eating betel nuts and having a gala time.
How to reach: Lewduh market is only 1 km away from Police Bazaar
- Don Bosco centre for indigenous cultures – Meghalaya is home of Khasi, Garo and Jaintia tribes. And the culture of these tribes excites me a lot. Don Bosco centre for indigenous cultures showcases heritage not only from Meghalaya, but also from other states of North East India. It has seven floors showing ancient dresses, weapons, rare photographs, utensils and much more that belong to various tribes of North East India. During the city tour of Shillong, I could easily spend a full day at this museum if I had more time.
How to reach: Many taxi drivers offer day tours of Shillong which includes Don Bosco centre for Indigenous cultures
- Police bazaar – This is the bustling center of Shillong which has street food, cafes, and shopping centres for those who want to do budget shopping. I even stayed in Police Bazaar as there are many hotels available within every budget. I am not much fond of shopping, but I can imagine how much a shopaholic would love being here all day. Apart from the cafes, there were South Indian, Chinese and Bengali restaurants also which was a surprise for me in this part of India.
How to reach: All taxis from Guwahati end at Police Bazaar as it is the center of Shillong.
- Shillong cathedral – The Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians was a magnificent blue building in the heart of Shillong. The present day structure was built by German missionaries over older wooden building which was destroyed by fire on 10 April 1936 on Good Friday. There were many art works inside the church which depicted scenes from the life Jesus Christ.
How to reach: Many taxi drivers offer day tours of Shillong. I recommend hiring a taxi that will also take you to Shillong Cathedral
Shillong is undoubtedly an ideal city for a weekend or a long weekend break. Let us know in comments below about other interesting places you explored in Shillong.