Are you tired of the same old touristy destinations? Want to explore a place that's off the beaten path? Then let me introduce you to Shillong - the land of clouds, music, and unexpected adventures!

Shillong - a small hill station tucked away in the northeastern part of India - is like that quirky friend who surprises you with their wit and humor. It may not be as well-known as other cities in India, but it has a charm that's hard to resist.

From its mesmerizing waterfalls to its vibrant music scene, Shillong offers something for everyone. And if you're a foodie, get ready to indulge in some lip-smacking local delicacies like Jadoh and Dohneiiong.

But what makes Shillong truly unique is its people. The Khasi tribe, who are the dominant ethnic group in this region, are known for their warm hospitality and love for music.

In fact, Shillong is often called the "Rock Capital" of India because of its thriving music scene. Many famous musicians like Lou Majaw and Soulmate have come from this region.

But don't let the peaceful vibe fool you - Shillong can also surprise you with its adventure sports like ziplining, caving, and even rock climbing.

So why not pack your bags and head to Shillong for your next vacation? Trust me, it'll be an experience like no other!

Table of Contents

History and Culture of Shillong

Shillong is a beautiful hill station located in the state of Meghalaya, India. The city has a rich history and culture that dates back to the colonial era. The British established Shillong as their summer capital in the 1860s, and since then, it has been a popular tourist destination.

The locals of Shillong are known as Khasis, and they have their unique customs and traditions. They follow a matrilineal system where property and wealth pass through the female line of the family. This system is quite fascinating and has led to women having more power and influence in society.

Shillong is also famous for its music scene, with many local artists making a name for themselves on the national stage. The city hosts an annual music festival called NH7 Weekender, which attracts thousands of music lovers from all over the country.

One of Shillong's most iconic landmarks is Shillong Peak, which provides breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and valleys. Visitors can also enjoy boating at Umiam Lake or explore the local markets for traditional Khasi handicrafts.

The city's cuisine is unique too, with local delicacies such as Jadoh (rice dish), Dohneiiong (pork dish), and Tungrymbai (fermented soybean dish) being popular among tourists.

In conclusion, Shillong's history, culture, music scene, cuisine, and natural beauty make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to India. And if you're lucky enough to visit during NH7 Weekender, get ready for some serious fun!

How to Reach and getting around Shillong

There are several ways to reach Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya. One can choose to travel by air, train, or road depending on their convenience and budget.

  1. By Air: The nearest airport to Shillong is the Umroi Airport, located about 40 kilometers away. One can take a taxi or hire a car from the airport to reach Shillong. Another option is to take a flight to Guwahati Airport and then take a bus or taxi from there to Shillong.

  2. By Train: The nearest railway station to Shillong is Guwahati Railway Station, which is well-connected to major cities in India. From there, one can take a bus or hire a car to reach Shillong.

  3. By Road: One can also opt for a road trip to Shillong through the picturesque hills of Meghalaya. Several private buses operate from Guwahati and other cities in the region. It takes around 3-4 hours to reach Shillong from Guwahati by road.

If you are an adventure enthusiast, you can also trek your way through the scenic routes of Meghalaya that lead up to Shillong. The trekking routes are dotted with waterfalls, caves and lush green forests that make for an exhilarating experience.

Lastly, if you want a unique experience while reaching Shillong, you can opt for a helicopter ride that operates from Guwahati airport and takes around 20 minutes to reach Shillong. It gives you a breathtaking bird's eye view of the mesmerizing landscape below.

No matter what mode of transportation you choose, your journey towards Shillong would be filled with scenic beauty and adventure at every turn!

Weather of Shillong

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Extreme Winters
Mild Winters
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Cool and Pleasant

Shillong, also known as the Scotland of the East, is a beautiful hill station located in the state of Meghalaya in India. The weather in Shillong is pleasant throughout the year, making it an ideal destination for tourists.

The monsoon season in Shillong begins in June and lasts until September. During this time, the town receives heavy rainfall and can be prone to landslides. Hence, it is not the best time to visit Shillong.

The winter season in Shillong begins in December and lasts until February. During this time, the temperature can drop to as low as 2°C. However, if you enjoy cold weather and want to witness snowfall, then this is the best time to visit Shillong.

The summer season in Shillong begins in March and lasts until June. The temperature during this time ranges from 15°C to 24°C, making it an ideal time to visit Shillong. The town is lush green during this season with blooming flowers and pleasant weather.

Overall, the best time to visit Shillong is from March to June when the weather is pleasant and perfect for sightseeing and outdoor activities like trekking and camping. So plan your trip accordingly and enjoy everything that this beautiful hill station has to offer!

Places to Visit in Shillong

  • Ward's Lake - A beautiful artificial lake in the heart of Shillong, surrounded by lush greenery and walking trails. Visitors can enjoy boating, birdwatching, and picnics in this serene location.

  • Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures - A museum dedicated to preserving and showcasing the diverse indigenous cultures of Northeast India. The centre has several galleries with interactive exhibits, art installations, and traditional artefacts.

  • Shillong Peak - The highest point in Shillong, offering panoramic views of the city and surrounding hills. Visitors can drive up to the peak or trek through the forested trails to reach the summit.

  • Elephant Falls - A popular tourist spot located on the outskirts of Shillong, featuring a cascading waterfall surrounded by rocky cliffs and dense foliage. The falls are named after an elephant-shaped rock near the site.

  • Laitlum Canyons - A scenic canyon located about 15 km from Shillong, known for its steep cliffs, misty valleys, and panoramic views of the Meghalaya plateau. Visitors can hike down to the bottom of the canyon for a closer look.

  • Mawphlang Sacred Forest - A preserved forest area located about 25 km from Shillong, known for its rich biodiversity and cultural significance to the Khasi tribe. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about the forest's flora and fauna.

  • All Saints' Cathedral - A historic Anglican church located in central Shillong, known for its Gothic architecture and stained glass windows depicting scenes from the Bible.

  • Police Bazar - The main commercial hub of Shillong, where visitors can shop for local handicrafts, clothing, food items, and souvenirs at affordable prices.

  • Umiam Lake - An artificial reservoir located about 17 km from Shillong that offers boating, kayaking, fishing and other water-based activities amid scenic surroundings.

  • David Scott Trail - A popular trekking route that follows an ancient trail used by British explorer David Scott during his travels across Meghalaya in the 19th century. The trail covers a distance of about 16 km through picturesque villages and forests with several viewpoints along the way

Adventures Activities
  • Paragliding in Shillong
  • Meghalaya Kayaking
  • David Scott Trail
  • Romantic Places
  • Shillong
  • Cherrapunjee
  • Dawki
  • Relaxing Retreats
  • Shillong
  • Spread Eagle Falls
  • Crinoline Falls
  • Hilly Regions
  • Shillong
  • Jowai
  • Cherrapunjee
  • Food Options and Local Cuisine of Shillong

    Local Cuisine in Shillong

    Shillong is a paradise for food lovers, offering a wide range of local delicacies that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. The cuisine of Shillong is predominantly influenced by its tribal culture and the availability of local ingredients. Some of the must-try dishes include:

    1. Jadoh: A popular rice-based dish made with pork or chicken and a variety of local herbs and spices.

    2. Doh Khleh: A spicy pork salad made with diced pork cooked in ginger, onions, and chillies.

    3. Tungrymbai: A fermented soybean dish that is commonly eaten as a side dish with rice.

    4. Pukhlein: A sweet snack made from rice flour and jaggery.

    5. Doh Neiiong: A creamy chicken curry made with black sesame seeds.

    These dishes are available at most restaurants and street food vendors throughout Shillong.

    Dining Options in Shillong

    If you're looking for some great dining options in Shillong, here are three places you should definitely check out:

    • City Hut Dhaba: This popular restaurant serves delicious Indian and Chinese cuisine, along with some local specialties like Jadoh and Doh Neiiong. The prices are reasonable, and the portions are generous.

    • Café Shillong: Known for its cozy ambiance and mouth-watering cakes, Café Shillong is a must-visit for coffee lovers. They also serve sandwiches, pasta, and other light meals.

    • Trattoria: If you're craving Italian food, Trattoria is the place to be. Their wood-fired pizzas are a hit among locals and tourists alike. Don't forget to try their Tiramisu for dessert!

    Best areas for accommodation in Shillong

    Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, is a beautiful hill station in Northeast India. It is known for its scenic beauty, pleasant climate, and colonial architecture. Shillong has several areas that are ideal for accommodation depending on your budget and preferences.

    Laitumkhrah is one of the most popular areas for accommodation in Shillong. It is a bustling commercial hub with several restaurants, cafes, and shops. The area has several mid-range and budget hotels and guesthouses.

    Police Bazar is another popular area for accommodation in Shillong. It is the main commercial center of the city and has several hotels, guesthouses, and homestays. The area is well-connected to other parts of the city by public transport.

    Upper Shillong is a quieter and more scenic part of the city that offers stunning views of the hills. The area has several resorts and homestays that offer a relaxing stay amidst nature.

    If you're looking for luxury accommodation in Shillong, Ri Kynjai Resort is a great option. It is located on the banks of Umiam Lake and offers stunning views of the hills. The resort features luxurious rooms, a spa, an infinity pool, and multiple dining options.

    For budget accommodation in Shillong, Hotel Barbareek Inn is a good choice. It is located in Laitumkhrah and offers comfortable rooms at affordable prices. The hotel also has an in-house restaurant that serves delicious local cuisine.

    If you're looking for a hostel in Shillong, check out Zostel Shillong. It is located near Police Bazar and offers dormitory-style accommodation at budget-friendly prices. The hostel also organizes various activities such as hiking trips, cultural tours, etc., making it an ideal choice for solo travelers or backpackers.

    Overall, Shillong has something to offer to every type of traveler - from luxury resorts to budget hostels - making it one of the best destinations to visit in Northeast India.

    Shopping in Shillong

    Shillong is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India known for its picturesque landscapes and vibrant culture. The city is also a shopper's paradise, offering a wide range of unique products and souvenirs. From traditional handicrafts to modern fashion accessories, Shillong has it all. In this article, we will discuss four things you can buy, three markets to visit, and four things to avoid while shopping in Shillong.

    Things to buy

    1. Handwoven shawls and stoles made of silk or cotton
    2. Bamboo handicrafts such as baskets, lamps, and furniture
    3. Traditional Khasi jewelry made of silver or gold
    4. Organic tea from the nearby tea estates

    Markets to visit

    1. Police Bazaar: It is the main shopping district in Shillong where you can find everything from clothes to souvenirs.
    2. Lewduh Market: Also known as the "Bara Bazaar," it is one of the oldest markets in Shillong famous for its local produce such as fruits, vegetables, and spices.
    3. Iewduh Market: This market is famous for its traditional Khasi handicrafts such as bamboo products and woven textiles.

    What to avoid

    1. Counterfeit products sold at lower prices than usual.
    2. Street vendors selling food without proper hygiene standards.
    3. Unlicensed taxi drivers charging exorbitant fares.
    4. Overspending on unnecessary items due to impulsive purchases.

    In conclusion, Shillong offers an excellent shopping experience with unique products that reflect the rich culture of the region. By visiting the recommended markets and avoiding certain things while shopping, tourists can have an enjoyable and memorable experience in Shillong.

    Nightlife in Shillong

    Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya, is known for its serene beauty and pleasant climate. However, the city has a vibrant nightlife that is worth exploring. The city offers a plethora of options for those who want to enjoy the nightlife scene. From bars to nightclubs to street food stalls, there is something for everyone in Shillong.

    1. Cloud 9 - This rooftop bar offers stunning views of the city and is perfect for those who want to enjoy a drink or two in a relaxed atmosphere. The bar serves an extensive range of cocktails and mocktails and also has a selection of snacks and finger foods.

    2. Tango - This nightclub is one of the most popular places in Shillong for partygoers. The club has an energetic vibe with live music performances by local bands and DJs. The club also serves a variety of drinks and snacks.

    3. Police Bazar Night Market - For those who want to experience the local culture, the Police Bazar Night Market is a must-visit. The market comes alive after sunset with vendors selling street food, handicrafts, clothes, and souvenirs.

    In conclusion, Shillong's nightlife scene may not be as vibrant as other cities in India but it has its unique charm that attracts visitors from all over the world. Whether you want to enjoy a quiet drink or dance the night away, Shillong has something for everyone.

    Outdoor Activities in Shillong

    Shillong is not just famous for its vibrant nightlife, but also for its amazing outdoor activities. The city is surrounded by lush green hills and valleys which make it an ideal destination for adventure enthusiasts. From trekking to camping, Shillong has it all.

    Trekking is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Shillong. The city has several trekking trails that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and valleys. Some of the famous treks in Shillong are David Scott Trail, Living Root Bridges Trek, Laitlum Canyons Trek, etc.

    Camping is another popular activity in Shillong. There are several campsites around the city which offer a unique experience of staying amidst nature. Some of the famous campsites in Shillong are Dawki Campsite, Umiam Lake Campsite, Mawlyngot Village Campsite, etc.

    Rock Climbing is also gaining popularity among adventure enthusiasts in Shillong. The city has several natural rock formations that are perfect for rock climbing. Some of the famous rock climbing spots in Shillong are Elephant Rock, Lum Sohpetbneng Peak, etc.

    Apart from these activities, Shillong also offers other outdoor activities like cycling, kayaking, canoeing, etc. With its scenic beauty and pleasant climate throughout the year, Shillong is a perfect destination for those who love to explore nature and indulge in adventure activities.

    Festivals and Events in Shillong

    Festivals and events are an integral part of Shillong's cultural heritage. These events offer a glimpse into the city's traditions, history, and lifestyle. They are celebrated with great enthusiasm and involve a lot of music, dance, and food. Here are some of the most popular festivals and events that take place in Shillong throughout the year:

    1. Shad Suk Mynsiem (April/May): This is a three-day festival that celebrates the harvesting season. It involves a procession that is led by young girls dressed in traditional attire, carrying parasols and flower baskets.

    2. Behdienkhlam (June/July): This festival is celebrated to ward off evil spirits and ensure a good harvest. A highlight of this festival is the 'Rath Jatra,' where a chariot carrying the deity U Symon is pulled through the streets.

    3. Nongkrem Dance (November): This is an annual dance festival that takes place at the Smit village, located near Shillong. The event features traditional dances performed by young girls and men.

    4. Cherry Blossom Festival (November): This festival celebrates the blooming of cherry blossom trees in Shillong. It features music concerts, food stalls, cultural performances, and other activities.

    5. Shillong Autumn Festival (October/November): This event showcases the best of Shillong's music, art, culture, and cuisine. It features street performances, exhibitions, workshops, and competitions.

    These festivals and events offer visitors an opportunity to experience Shillong's vibrant culture and traditions. They are also a great way to meet locals and learn more about their way of life.

    Tips for Travelers while travelling to Shillong

    1. Plan your trip during a festival: Shillong has numerous festivals and events throughout the year, such as the Cherry Blossom Festival, Shillong Autumn Festival, and Shad Suk Mynsiem. By planning your trip during one of these events, you can experience the unique culture and traditions of the city.

    2. Pack for all weather conditions: Shillong has a temperate climate, with rainfall throughout the year. Therefore, it's essential to pack for all weather conditions, including waterproof jackets and comfortable shoes for walking in rainy or muddy terrain.

    3. Explore local cuisine: Shillong is known for its delicious food, including Jadoh (rice cooked with pork), Doh Neiiong (pork curry), Tungrymbai (fermented soybean chutney), and Momos. Make sure to try these dishes at local eateries during your visit.

    4. Take a guided tour: To explore the city's hidden gems and learn about its history and culture, consider taking a guided tour. There are several tour companies that offer walking tours or private tours of attractions like the Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures, Elephant Falls, and Mawlynnong Village.

    5. Respect local customs: The people of Shillong are friendly and welcoming to tourists, but it's important to respect their customs and traditions. Dress modestly while visiting religious sites like the Laitlum Canyons or Nohkalikai Falls. Also, ask for permission before taking pictures of people or their property.


    What is Shillong known for?

    Shillong is known as the "Scotland of the East" due to its scenic beauty and pleasant climate. It is famous for its picturesque landscapes, waterfalls, and hills. The city also has a vibrant music scene and is often referred to as the "Rock Capital of India."

    What are some popular tourist attractions in Shillong?

    Some popular tourist attractions in Shillong include:

    1. Umiam Lake
    2. Elephant Falls
    3. Shillong Peak
    4. Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures
    5. Ward's Lake
    6. Laitlum Canyons

    What is the best time to visit Shillong?

    The best time to visit Shillong is between September and May, when the weather is mild and pleasant. During this time, visitors can enjoy outdoor activities such as trekking and sightseeing.

    How can I reach Shillong?

    Shillong can be reached by air, rail or road. The nearest airport is located in Guwahati, which is approximately 100 km away from Shillong. The nearest railway station is in Guwahati as well. Public and private buses also run between Guwahati and Shillong.

    What are some popular local dishes in Shillong?

    Some popular local dishes in Shillong include:

    1. Jadoh (rice cooked with pork)
    2. Tungrymbai (fermented soybean dish)
    3. Dohneiiong (pork curry)
    4. Nakham Bitchi (spicy dry fish chutney)
    5. Pumaloi (steamed rice cake)

    What are some cultural festivals celebrated in Shillong?

    Some cultural festivals celebrated in Shillong include:

    1. Nongkrem Dance Festival (celebrated by the Khasi tribe)
    2. Behdienkhlam Festival (celebrated by the Pnar tribe)
    3. Wangala Festival (celebrated by the Garo tribe)

    Is it safe to travel to Shillong?

    Yes, it is safe to travel to Shillong. However, visitors are advised to take necessary precautions while traveling alone at night or in deserted areas. It is also important to respect local customs and traditions while visiting religious places or attending cultural events.

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