Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya. Its picturesque setting and
salubrious climate were considered suitable for sanatoriums and
holiday homes for British civilians, suffering from the sweltering
heat of the plains. It is described as 'Mini London'. There are many
legends surrounding the name Shillong. One says that it originated
from the name of a handsome youth called Shyllong.
Shillong's Golf Course is considered one of the best in India. It is
situated in the center of the city, close to the polo ground. It was
established in 1898, by a group of British Civil Service officers.
Golfers from all over the world come here to test their skills.
Lady Hydari Park
Lady Hydari Park was named after the wife of Sir Akhbari Hydari, the
first Indian Governor of Assam who assumed charge on the eve of
independence. It has a very attractive garden and the best months to
see the flowers in bloom are April to October. Next to the park, is a
mini zoo, where many species of birds and animals are kept.
Museum of Entomology
This place is a treasure house of various kinds of exquisite
Meghalayan butterflies and insects, some of which are bred and reared
by naturalists and then preserved. The most beautiful and sought after
Meghalayan butterfly is 'Kaiser-I-Hind'.
Forested Shillong Peak, at 1,965 metres above sea level, acts as a
vast catchment area. A steep winding road goes right to the top of the
peak. On a clear day, you can see the Himalayan peaks and plains of
Sylhet from the summit.
This artificial lake located in Shillong received its name from Sir
William Ward, Chief Commissioner of Assam in 1893-94, because he took
a personal interest in beautifying it.
In and around Shillong, there are numerous waterfalls, especially
during the monsoon when they run in milky white torrents: Bishop
Falls, Elephant Falls, Spread Eagle Falls, Sweet Falls, Crinoline
Falls and Beadon Falls are best known. Bishop or Suna Pani Falls are
located west of Mawprem in Shilong. They are 135 metres high and
particularly impressive in monsoon. The beautiful Elephant or
Umdiengpun Falls are enroute to Sadew, 12 kilometres from Shillong
Cherrapunjee has a rich historical
heritage and was the first British outpost in this part of the
country. Sohra is the original Khasi name for Cherrapunjee. It is 1300
metres above sea level and 56 kms from Shillong. This place is one of
the rainiest rain-belts in the world. A pleasant drive to see roaring
waterfalls leaping into deep gorges, including the famed Nohsngithiang
Falls. The lovely town is also famous for its limestone caves and
orange honey. Centre of Khasi culture and literature, it also has the
oldest Presbyterian Church and also an establishment of the
56 Kms from Shillong, it is known for the giant stalagmite formation
shaped into a Shivalinga, called locally as 'Mawjymbuin'.
64 kms from Shillong, a popular health resort having hot-springs of
sulphur water, believed to have curative medicinal properties.
Monoliths in Khasi Hills
In the Khasi Hills are a number of ancient monoliths and table stones,
which are either memorials where the ashes of the dead are deposited
in cairns or cenotaphs, commemorating memorable events. The upright
stones represent men generally and are of considerable size, sometimes
projecting 6 metres (20 feet) or more above ground.
Jowai in Jaintia Hills
The most important town in the Jaintia Hills district is Jowai, 1,380
metres above sea level, situated 64 kms from Shillong. The annual
festival of Behdeinkhlam is celebrated in great style in Jowai.
En-route from Shillong to Jowai, one passes through grassy meadows,
colourful graveyards, rice terraces, woods of oak or whispering pine
and the meandering Myntdu River.
This is located in the Jaintia Hills about 65 kms from Shillong and 24
kms from Jowai. There are clusters of monoliths in Nartiang that are
among the tallest anywhere in the world.
Tura in Garo Hills
The district headquarters of the West Garo Hills is Tura, which is
situated 657 metres above sea level. Tura has a picturesque landscape
of hills overlooking the sweeping curves of the mighty Brahmaputra
River on the plains below. The Tura Peak is very close to town and it
is the ideal place for rock climbers, hikers and naturalists.