Of Mystique, Music & Stunning Views: Add The Scotland Of The East To Your Travel Bucket List This Summer
With beautiful panoramic views, hugely popular cafes, a throbbing music scene and fashionable locals, Shillong is a modern hill station with all the trappings of a wonderful holiday getaway.
What Makes It Awesome
Shillong, aptly known as ‘Scotland of the East’ (because of its rolling hills and lush landscapes) retains the colonial-era charm while exuding modernity in every aspect of its culture. Also proclaimed as ‘India’s Rock Capital’ for its love of music, having played host to quite a few of India’s famous music festivals (Shillong Autumn Festival, NH7 Weekender (in 2015), Submerge Dance Project).
Go to any cafe or turn on the radio to find an electic mix of country, rock and hip hop playing. The weather, however, is not always as merry as the men here. It’s capricious to the extent that you might experience four different weathers in a single day as a misty morning would turn into a sweltering noon which would give way to a rainy evening and culminate into a chilly night!
There’s lots to explore in Shillong. Start your day by visiting the Shillong View Point to fire up your instagram with some awe-inspiring panoramas. Then head over to Ward’s Lake (another #gramworthy sight), which is an artificial lake set amidst lush green surroundings with an ornamented bridge, sloping walkways, rose beds, and boulevard of pine trees.
If you happen to travel with your tiny ones in tow, do not miss the Lady Hydari Park, a well-manicured garden with a mini zoo and children’s play area. Climb up steep steps to reach a rocky area from where the Elephant Falls gush down with full force into a deep wooded valley.
Feeling adventurous? Try waterfall rappelling at the Elephant Falls or go kayaking or water skiing at the Umiam Lake, another one of the major tourists attraction here. Don’t miss the Don Bosco Museum, a hexagonal shaped seven-storey building brimming with art & culture. We love how its facade grows to form a flame representing the strength that unity of different cultures can bring.
What Could Be Better
Not a fan of road journeys? Sadly, travel to Shillong is not feasable by air because it does not have an airport. The nearest one is around 35-40 kms away at Umroi. Nearest railway station is Guwahati. Shillong is perhaps the only hill station in the county that is approachable from all four directions.
This might not be on your ‘must see’ list while in Shillong, but do not miss out on visiting one of the oldest, largest and natural golf circuits in the world. So scenic and green is the Shillong golf course that it is referred to as the ‘Gleneagles of the East’.