Tucked away in the middle of the Khasi hills in the state of Meghalaya in north-east India, Shillong is a tourist getaway that is often called the ‘Scotland of the East’, and for good reason. Far removed from the maddening crowd of the plains, Shillong is a small, quaint township that is a perfect escape for everyone who wants to return to nature.
The best way to reach Shillong is to rent a car from Guwahati, a city in Assam that is about 100 kilometers away. The wide, plain roads surrounded by the green hills of Meghalaya make the ride to Shillong an enjoyable experience. There is an airport near Shillong that operates flights to and from Kolkata a few days a week but it would deprive you of the experience that the 2 hour drive would give you.
Once you reach Shillong, you are most likely to be struck by its distinctive old world charm. This little township is like a painting frozen in time, complete with houses with slanting roofs and wooden floors to combat the heavy rainfall and the seismic disturbances that take place.
Meghalaya is possibly the wettest state in the country and the monsoons last for longer than they do in the rest of the country, so you would do well to pack an umbrella if you plan to visit Shillong. This hill station is hardly as picturesque in the dry seasons as it is when it rains. The city is sparklingly clean and the wet roads coupled with the greenery of the hillside exude a liveliness that is hardly present during the rest of the year.
Make your way up to the Shillong Peak, the highest point in Meghalaya, for a panoramic view of the whole township. The Elephant Falls, which is about a 10 minute drive from Shillong Peak, is a series of falls which is in its full splendor during the monsoons and is worth a visit.
The Shillong Cathedral is also a tourist hotspot as it is the most important church in this Catholic township. A trip to Shillong is never complete without shopping at Police Bazaar. A street shopper’s haven, Police Bazaar is easy on the wallet and has a variety of goods to satisfy everyone’s needs.
The mountains always provide with the perfect escape into the world of peace. With the rest of the Himalayas swarming with tourists from all over the word, Shillong is the answer to one’s search for a bit of peace and quiet that doesn’t dwell in obscurity.