Nestled in the East Khasi Hills District of Meghalaya, Shillong is one of the most enchanting hill stations in North East India, blessed with a captivating scenic charm of rolling hills, tranquil lakes and soaring pines. No wonder, it is often referred to as the “Scotland of the East”, inviting hordes of nature lovers, adventure aficionados and soul seekers alike. The quaint hill town is also a honeymooner’s paradise, offering the romantic hearts the much-needed cosy time amidst serene settings of nature.
When it comes to tourism in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya is endowed with innumerable tourist attractions, which count amongst the key reasons why people plan a holiday here. Of all the notable places to visit in the town, the majestic Shillong Peak makes for the prime destination, and gives a challenging time even to the seasoned hikers. The breathtaking views of the Himalayas and the city from the peak are something magical, and the views that greet the eyes are a photographer’s delight. Besides, Shillong is home to numerous waterfalls, lakes and parks; Umian Lake, Ward’s Lake, Elephant Falls, Spread Eagle Falls, Sweet Falls and Lady Hydari Park sit as some of the town’s most captivating sites that attract countless tourists and locals alike. Well, if you are someone who loves exploring the culture and history of the place you are travelling to, Shillong has plenty of museums to leave you with an insightful treat. Amongst them all, the Rhino Heritage Museum, Air Force Museum, Butterfly Museum, Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures and the very popular, Meghalaya State Museum happen to be the most recommended and must visit sites.
Shillong has made it to the list of popular tourist attractions to be visited in Meghalaya because of numerous reasons – the unsurpassed wealth of natural wonders, serene & tranquil vibes and a fascinating tribal culture. Everything combined together makes it an idyllic retreat to rekindle love, romance or seek relaxation away from the city chaos.
Best Time to Visit Shillong
Plan your trip anytime between September and May, when the weather is salubrious and the ambience calm and enjoyable for the outdoor activities.
Top 10 must visit places & attractions that make Shillong a top tourist destination in Meghalaya-
- Umiam Lake
- Ward’s Lake
- Elephant Falls
- Sweet Falls
- Shillong Peak
- Shillong Golf Course
- Lady Hydari Park
- Cathedral Catholic Church
- Williamson Sangma State Museum
- Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures
The top-most activities you should experience in Shillong Meghalaya Tour are-
- Village Walk
- Staying in a treehouse
- Water Sports Activities
- Forests Walk
- Cave Visits
Get upto 30℅ of early discount on all our Shillong Meghalaya tour packages. Reach us for more details / bookings – +91-7668130655.
|Package Name||Duration||Starting Price|
|Best of Meghalaya Tour||5 Nights 6 Days||INR 14,999/PP|
|Shillong Meghalaya Honeymoon Tour||5 Nights 6 Days||INR 15,999/PP|
|Best of North East India Tour||10 Nights 11 Days||INR 24,000 /PP|
|Shillong Kaziranga Tour||5 Nights 6 Days||INR 16,999/PP|
|Guwahati Shillong Tour||4 Nights 5 Days||INR 13,000/PP|
The starting point of the Shillong sightseeing tour, Umiam Lake is located on the Guwahati-Shillong Road. Considered the hub for water activities, it is also an epitome of nature. The lake is locally known as Dam Sait and is situated in the hills, on the northern side of Shillong. Umiam Lake is a part of Umiam Dam, which was created for a hydel power project in the early sixties.
The dam along with the catchment area of the lake spread over an area of 225 square kilometres. It is flanked by lush green hills on every side and enclosed by striking bridges. Tourists mainly choose to visit Umiam Lake for experiencing several water adventure activities like scooting, water cycling, boating and kayaking. There is also a place for refreshments and enjoying the scenic beauty of the place with stunning views. You can visit the government-owned resort here and can enjoy swimming.
After visiting Umiam Lake you should explore its nearby places like All Saints Church, Elephant Falls, Sweet Falls, Ward’s Lake and Lumpongdeng Island. Like Umiam Lake there are several must-visit places in Shillong that you should add to your itinerary. Some of the places are Mawsynram, Dawki, Mawlynnong, Balpakram, Williamnagar, Jowai, Nongpoh, Sohra and many more. Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya and you can start your sightseeing from there.
Among the city’s top attractions, the Ward’s Lake is believed to be roughly 100 years old. Also referred to as Pollock’s Lake, the artificial lake is situated in the heart of the city. Former Chief Commissioner of Assam, Sir William Ward, planned for the establishment of this lake and gave it its name. Eventually, in 1894, Colonel Hopkins constructed the lake and the surrounding lush gardens.
Visitors will find here many cobble stone walkways for their leisurely walks and vibrant floral beds across the garden. The Ward’s Lake is extremely popular among tourists and locals alike. The nearby botanical garden boasts a number of varied flowers including orchids. The aging wooden bridge in the middle of the lake is the perfect spot to enjoy panoramic views of the lake. Visitors can indulge in boating and even feed the fishes found here.
An ideal picnic spot, the lake also has a cafeteria which serves a range of beverages and refreshments. The Ward’s Lake is easily accessible via road and draws the most crowds during the months of June and July owing to pleasant weather. Visitors can visit the lake from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM during winters (November to February) and from 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM during summers (march to October).
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Locally known as Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew, the Elephant Falls got its name from an elephant shaped huge rock which was formerly found here. Located in Upper Shillong, roughly 12 kilometres from the city centre, the multi-tier waterfall cascades down three-steps and is accessible via numerous walking paths and bridges. The waterfalls are nestled in the picturesque greenery of the region and attract many visitors.
Breath-taking vistas make the Elephant Falls an extremely popular picnic spot for residents of Shillong as well. Adventure seekers can opt for a steep hike or a cool swim in the pool. Photography enthusiasts have much to photograph here with its distinct rock formations and gushing water. The Elephant Falls are open to visitors from 10 AM to 6 PM every day and the best time to visit is from February to September. On-site parking is available for the comfort of visitors.
With a drop of roughly 96 metres, Sweet Falls is arguably the most beautiful waterfall in Shillong. Locally known as Weitden, the waterfall is located nearly 5 kms from Happy Valley amidst extensive greenery. The gushing waterfall is in stark contrast to the dense pine forest and makes for a scenic panorama.
Sweet Falls is accessible via road and the drive is simply gorgeous. It is important to note that tourists are not allowed to go near the waterfall itself owing to the poor state of the path. Visitors come here to gaze at the mesmerizing beauty and unwind in the lap of nature. There is a small zoo and butterfly museum in close proximity for the visitors to explore. The backdrop of the waterfall makes for impressive photos and draws several photography enthusiasts.
As the name suggests, Shillong Peak is the highest point of the city. At a staggering height of nearly 6550 feet, the peak offers stunning panoramic views of the city and the surrounding hills. Located 10 kilometres from the city centre, the Shillong Peak draws visitors who come here to admire the breath-taking bird’s eye view. Telescopic services are also available here.
Many adventure seekers opt for a day trek to see the sunset at the Shillong Peak which is often enveloped by heavy fog. Legend dictates that the city is named after the Shillong Peak and that ‘Leishyllong’ (the patron deity) resides here to protect the city from all doom. Visitors will find here a holy site dedicated to U Shulong and come every spring; obeisance is paid at the site.
Visitors can access the peak from 9 AM to 5 PM.
Please note that the Shillong Peak is located at the regional air force base which houses the Indian Air Force’s radar station. Hence, the security is stringent, and checking is carried out at the gates. Visitors are not allowed to carry their cameras with them to the peak.
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Shillong Golf Course
Established in 1898 by the British as a 9-hole course, the Shillong Golf Course ranks among the oldest and finest golf courses in India. In 1924, C.K. Rhodes and Captain Jackson modified it to become an 18-hole course making it extremely popular among golf enthusiasts. Professional golfers from all over India compete in the tournaments held at the Shillong Golf Course throughout the year.
With no entrance fees, the golf course is a top tourist attraction in the city. Nestled in a scenic valley which is dotted with pine trees, at an altitude of 5200 feet, the Shillong Golf Course offers pristine views of the valley. Visitors can also come across several migratory birds during the winter months. The United States Golf Association and Museum gave the golf course the title of ‘Gleneagle of the East’ owing to its beautiful setting.
Lady Hydari Park
Named after the former first lady of Assam (wife of the first British Governor of Assam), Lady Hydari Park is situated in Laban near Crinoline Falls in the heart of Shillong. Lined with paved walkways, the aesthetically pleasing park is home to a number of attractions. The children’s park, manicured gardens, and butterfly park attract hordes of families, especially in the evenings. Animals such as Himalayan black bear, porcupine, hornbills, leopard, and jackal can be spotted at the Zoo whereas pelicans and ducks can be spotted at the lake. The museum here highlights the rich biodiversity of Meghalaya. Visitors will find here photographs and exhibits on multiple wildlife species.
Lady Hydari Park ranks among the city’s top attractions and is ideal for spending a lazy winter afternoon or a soothing summer evening. A leisurely stroll in the vast gardens, boating at the lake, and a picnic in the gardens make it the perfect day. Photography enthusiasts can also spend hours photographing the varied flora and fauna. Lady Hydari Park is closed on Monday and its hours of operation are from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
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Cathedral Catholic Church
Located between Laitumkhrah and Dhankheti, the Cathedral Catholic Church stands on the site of the first church of the city. Widely known as the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese Metropolitan Archbishop of Shillong and acts as the place of worship for over 300,000 Catholics in the area. The admirable cathedral belongs to the gothic architectural style with its towering arches. Cathedral Church houses a beautiful shrine and a bronze monument. Intricate stain glass windows from France add to the structure’s charm. Multiple terracotta stations and artworks depicting scenes from the Holy Scriptures and the life and sufferings of Jesus Christ can be found inside the cathedral.
Visitors will also find here an underground grotto church dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes. Devotees come to pay respect to Shillong’s first archbishop, Hubert D’Rosario, whose grave lies in the Cathedral as an homage to centuries old catholic tradition. In 1980, the cathedral received the status of a shrine in 1980. Since the structure stands on a hill, visitors can view panoramic views of the snow-clad Himalayan peaks as well as the Brahmaputra River. Entrance to the cathedral is free.
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Capt. Williamson Sangma State Museum
Located in East Khasi Hills District, the Captain Williamson Sangma State Museum houses an extensive collection on the local tribal culture. The government museum is managed by Meghalaya’s Art and Culture department. A part of the State Central Library complex, visitors will find here monuments dedicated to India’s notable personalities, freedom fighter, Subhash Chandra Bose and former prime minister, Indira Gandhi.
The state museum’s collection focusses on the history, lifestyle, and traditions of the regional tribes. There are two galleries here, the first one is associated with Khasis and Jaintias while the second one has displays on the Garos tribe. In the first gallery, visitors will find a plethora of tribal dresses, wooden craftworks, traditional weapons, instruments, utensils, ornaments, and much more. The Wein pottery, hand woven baskets, and Muga cloth are the highlights of this gallery. The Garos gallery has a varied range of artefacts as well. The highlights include bamboo hut models, Sephi and Selu (traditional weapons), Seng-Ki and Ringitok (ornaments), and tribal attire.
The museum does not merely act as a home for artefacts and display cases, it is a platform for preserving Meghalaya’s rich cultural heritage. The state museum is the ideal place for history and cultural enthusiasts who wish to learn about Meghalaya. Visitors may also shop for an authentic souvenir here.
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Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures
The Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures is a state-of-the-art institution located in East Khasi Hills district. Focussed on its aim of preserving and promoting North East India’s rich cultural heritage, the research and publication centre also includes a museum.
Housed in a towering seven storey building, the Don Bosco Centre is spread across 56,00 square feet and ranks among the top cultural centres in the Salesian mission. The seven storeys of the building represent the seven North East Indian states. This unique centre lays emphasis on the multicultural indigenous cultures in the region by depicting their traditions and lifestyle.
The museum has 17 galleries which have on display an array of artefacts as well as paintings. The galleries depict a wide range of subjects ranging from pre-history, agriculture, religion, language, to weapons, and hunting. The costume, photo, and art galleries are the highlights here. Visitors of all ages can engage with the interactive displays and learn more via museum tours as well as documentaries on view.
The Don Bosco Centre has a specialized library, conference hall, as well as a media hall, and regularly hosts seminars, workshops, and courses to enhance the conversation around the indigenous communities. Food enthusiasts can make their way to the centre’s Food Gallery and indulge in regional delicacies such as bamboo shoot, pork chops, momos, and much more, making the Don Bosco Centre a must visit for all.
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