SHILLONG
The Scotland of the East
SHILLONG
The Scotland of the East

Shillong is the capital city of the State as well as the District headquarter of East Khasi Hills District. Shillong is the only hill station in the country that is accessible from all sides. The name Shillong is derived from U-Shyllong, a powerful deity and is situated at an altitude of 1,491m above sea level. This beautiful city is 103kms. from Guwahati, the nearest air and train link. The presence of many well reputed educational institutions, many of them established by various missionary groups make Shillong the hub of education for the entire north-east.

Must visit spots in Shillong:

Lady Hydari Park:It is one of the well-known attractions in Shillong. The Park is frequently visited by locals and is a well-visited tourist spot of the region. Named after the first lady of the province, Lady Hydari, wife of the Governor of Assam, the Park is spread over an area of more than a kilometer and features a mini zoo that has about 73 species of birds, 140 species of reptiles and other mammals. Besides all this the park has a wide variety of local flowering plants and orchids, and is landscaped in Japanese style. Take a walk and enjoy watching deer that are present in the one corner of the park.

The Park is best known for beautiful bed of roses that blossom here in various colours. The park also has a butterfly museum a special play area for kids that offer swings like sea-saws, slips and other small rides for children.The Lady Hydari Park is very avidly maintained and is an ideal place to spend some peaceful time. You may sit in the green garden and relax while reading a book or just enjoying the beautiful nature around.

Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures

A three-in-one Institution combining a museum with a research and publication centre, for promoting and preserving the rich cultural heritage of North East India -a unique fusion of all the sister states under one roof.With seven stories, 56,000 square feet of floor space and 15,154 square feet of display wall space, it ranks among the top 36 or so cultural centres of its kind in the Salesian world. Museums/ Cultural Centres in practice appear to be a significant aspect of the Salesian mission

Even in terms of design the DBCIC is startling: built in hexagonal shape, its seven floors represent the seven states of North East India. The building rises to form a flame, expressing the reality that if cultures are understood well, they can form a communion of cultures for a better society.DBCIC contains seventeen galleries displaying cultural artefacts and paintings. It offers study and research facilities throughout its specialised library of 10,000 volumes, a media hall and a conference hall. It is frequented by school students and older research students and anthropologists, since this area of India is an anthropologist's paradise.

Ward’s Lake

Ward’s Lake is a refreshing pool surrounded by beautiful gardens in the heart of the city. The serene lake and the cool shades of trees around it, makes it a nice spot for sightseeing and boating. As the name suggest, it is a lake surrounded by patch of land with some exotic trees. In winter the park sheds most of its hues along with the leaves; except for the oddly rejuvenated cherry blossoms, which paint the park in lovely off-white pink.A stylish white wooden bridge suspended in the middle of the lake is the most recognizable feature of Ward’s Lake.

Kids love watching the fish swim up to the surface of the lake to feed on food thrown by visitors, especially puffed rice and pop corn sold outside. In spring, the lake slowly absorbed the warmth and the trees and plants begin to blossom again. The lake was named after a British officer, Sir William Ward, who was then the Chief Commissioner of Assam (Meghalaya was under the same administration). Though he was the one with the initial plan, it was Colonel Hopkins who oversaw the Lake completed in 1894. Since then, it has become a favorite with both locals and tourists. This man made lake is one of a kind in Shillong.

Elephant Falls

Elephant Falls was the British name of what the local Khasi people once referred to as Ka Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew (or "Three Steps Waterfalls") since the falls actually consisted of three sections in succession. The British renamed the falls because there used to be a rock resembling an elephant near the left side of the main falls (which I think was the bottommost one). However, that rock was destroyed in an earthquake back in 1897.

Of the three waterfalls (all of which were easily reached by the same short and easy walking path), the bottom tier was the most impressive. The walking path gently descended from the entrance, and it is practically almost completely paved with lots of stairs and a bridge traversing the stream between the 2nd and 3rd falls.

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