Travelling in the North-East in the summer of 2006
Guwahati >> Eaglenest >> Tawang >> Nameri >> Kaziranga >> Shillong >> Cherrapunjee
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As soon as you enter Meghalaya on the way to Shillong from Guwahati, you start seeing greenery all around. Most of the road from Guwahati to Shillong took me through green and beautiful hills, and the large Umiam lake – an artificial lake created by building a dam.
Birds eye view of the town, on the way to Shillong Peak
The town itself, like many other hill stations today, has two parts – the old town in the center which is clean, beautiful and well maintained, and the extensions which have grown haphazardly in an ugly manner all around the old town. “Shillong is nice place”, the owner of the angling camp at Nameri had told me, and it indeed seemed beautiful.
Shillong has many of these pretty and ancient buses!
On the days I was there, we had clear blue skies, and the weather was just how I wanted – slightly colder than normal. There were quiet lanes with lot of trees and a few ancient looking bungalows around the town center. The Ward’s lake and the golf course were the celebrated landmarks and were worth taking a walk to. The roads and the places around Shillong Peak, just outside the town are quiet and wooded and offered some pleasant walks. My guidebook suggested a visit to barabazaar or lewduh, a market close to the city center, where I did go to. But it looked no different than the old chaotic markets that you get to see in any town in India.
Ward’s Lake is right in the center of the town
I spent the days in Shillong walking around its parks and green avenues, and the evenings sitting and lazing near the Ward’s lake. For the size of the town that Shillong is, I was surprised to see that it hosted a few discos. Many shops and restaurants also had posters of rock concerts by local stars, which seemed to happen pretty often.
Who said traffic jams happen only in big cities?!
Shillong is a pleasant town and is one of the well known hill stations of the North East. The best thing to do when you are there is to spend time leisurely, enjoying the weather and without bothering to do too much moving around and sightseeing. But nearby Cherrapunjee is not to be missed. The well known sightseeing places around Shillong are the beautiful Shillong peak and Ward’s Lake. There are a few waterfalls located around the town. A short drive from the town on the way to Guwahati is the large artificial lake – Umiam Lake, also called Barapani.
You can reach Shillong by buses or shared taxis from Guwahati, which is takes approximately three hours. Shillong also has an airport and you can fly in from Kolkata. There is also a helicopter facility from Guwahati to Shillong.