In the Abode of Clouds

In-the-Abode-of-CloudsWith its temperature ranging from 15 degrees to 24 degrees, the former British capital and the current capital city of Meghalaya is best visited between September and May. With picturesque sights and sounds and flashes of colonial era, the hill station has several tourist attractions and can serve as a good summer retreat.
Here are a few places to visit while in Shillong
Let’s start with the Don Bosco Museum that showcases the indigenous tribal artifacts; objects from daily life, musical instruments, dresses, jewellery etc among other things tucked away in the seven-storied museum building.
Then there is the Ward’s lake with its boating and attractive landscaping. The ornamental bridge adds to the scenery. The lake is flanked on one side at a short distance (a short walk away) by the Shillong Golf Course surrounded by pine trees and a quintessential club house.
Pinewood hotel situated in central Shillong is a window into past with its beautiful colonial architecture. It used to be a tea retreat in the 1920s and has accommodation facility. However, there are also other hotels and stays that offer various facilities and have become popular with the tourists.
While in Shillong one must surely visit the beautiful vintage churches – the pretty Anglican church, and the 100-year old All saints Cathedral. Most of Shillong could be covered on foot. A relaxed walk through the market place, a visit to the Shillong peak that offers an amazing view of the town at 1965 metres above sea level, the Elephant Falls, Lady Hydari Park, the Butterfly museum, yet another ancient structure of the State Central Museum and some shopping of bamboo and wooden handicrafts, woollen shawls and traditional Naga clothes are all must dos while here.
In the East Khasi Hills, are tucked away many natural treasures. The sacred forest, for one, believed to be protected by the Khasi tribe for its multiple monoliths considered to be the worship places of the ancestors is small, yet scenic. This is 35 km from Shillong and a picnic place where you can rest amidst plants and orchids. Further away (90 km from Shillong) there is the cleanest village of India, Mawlynnong that offers several natural wonders and sights.
A little away in the hills on the west side are the hot springs, and other attractions of Megahlaya if you have the time and initiative. The Jakrem Hot spring has sulphur in the water and hence is said to be curative in nature. The area has health resorts and is a good place to relax, have bath and enjoy.
What more, if you are quick to make your plans and visit Shillong in April, you can witness the Weiking dance, popularly known as the Shad Suk Mynsiem, the rich annual traditional dance of the Khasis. Silver jewellery clad men in rich attire and silk garment clad women wearing gold jewellery dance to music.
While here, one must surely try the local specialities – Momos, pork ribs and street food like Chicken cutlet at Police Bazaar. You can also try some Khasa specialities at Jadon, named after the famous North eastern Kichdi, on Don Bosco Square.
There are package tours available for Guwahati, Shillong and Chirapunjee, which is 60 km away from Shillong with tour operators. However with limited time; the only way to relax is to book into a good hotel in Shillong, and enjoy the nearby attractions at a leisurely pace.

Ward Lake

Medaram Jathara

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