Shillong, India

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Shillong, India

Region: Meghalaya


Geographic Coordinates: 25.574400, 91.878900
Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 25.0°C (50°F to 77°F)
Climate: Seasonal climate patterns in Shillong, India include a monsoon season from June to September and a dry season from October to May. Temperatures range from 8°C to 24°C throughout the year.
Population: 143229
Language: Khasi

Shillong, Also known as the Scotland of the East, Is a hill station located in the northeastern part of India. It is the capital city of Meghalaya, One of India’s smallest states. The town is situated at an altitude of 1, 496 meters above sea level and is surrounded by hills on all sides. The city’s name comes from Lei Shyllong, A deity worshipped by the Khasi tribe who are indigenous to this region. The Khasi Hills provide a stunning backdrop to this picturesque town that has been attracting tourists for decades.

One of Shillong’s most famous landmarks is Ward’s Lake, Which was constructed in 1894 by Sir William Ward, Then Chief Commissioner of Assam. The lake covers an area of 61 acres and has a beautiful garden surrounding it that makes it an ideal spot for picnics and boating. Shillong Peak stands at an altitude of 1, 965 meters above sea level and offers panoramic views over Shillong and its surroundings. Visitors can reach the peak via a winding road that takes them through pine forests and past waterfalls.

Another must-visit attraction in Shillong is Elephant Falls consisting of three waterfalls cascading down from different heights into pools below. Visitors can get close to these falls via stairs leading down to their base where they can take pictures or simply admire their beauty. Shillong also boasts several museums showcasing its rich cultural heritage such as Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures providing insights into tribal life across Northeast India while State Museum showcases artefacts related to Meghalaya history & culture .

There are numerous markets selling local handicrafts like shawls made from Eri silk or bamboo products along with street food options like momos (dumplings) or jadoh (rice dish). Overall, Shillong offers visitors a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural diversity that is hard to find anywhere else in India. It is a destination that should be on every traveler’s list who want to experience the best of Northeast India.



Important Landmarks

  1. Shillong Peak
  2. Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures
  3. Ward’s Lake
  4. Elephant Falls
  5. Umiam Lake
  6. Lady Hydari Park
  7. Laitlum Canyons
  8. Mawphlang Sacred Forest
  9. Golf Course Road
  10. Shillong Cathedral

Primary Industries

  1. Tourism: Shillong is a popular tourist destination known for its natural beauty, waterfalls, and pleasant climate.
  2. Education: Shillong is home to several prestigious educational institutions such as North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Indian Institute of Management (IIM), and National Institute of Technology (NIT).
  3. Agriculture: The surrounding areas of Shillong are known for their fertile land suitable for cultivation of crops such as rice, maize, potato, and vegetables.
  4. Handicrafts: The local artisans in Shillong produce traditional handicrafts such as bamboo baskets, cane furniture, hand-woven shawls and textiles.
  5. Small scale industries: There are several small scale industries in the city which include manufacturing units for food products like pickles and jams; beverages like tea; garments; leather goods etc.
  6. Banking & Finance: Major banks like State Bank of India (SBI), HDFC Bank etc have their branches in the city which cater to the financial needs of the people living here.
  7. Healthcare: There are several hospitals in the city that provide quality healthcare services to its residents as well as patients from neighboring states.

Noteable History

  1. Shillong was originally a small village called Sohra, but it became the capital of Assam in 1874 and remained so until 1972 when Meghalaya was formed as a separate state.
  2. The British colonial government established several institutions in Shillong, including the Assam Secretariat, which served as the administrative headquarters of Assam.
  3. The famous Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore visited Shillong several times and wrote some of his most memorable poems here.
  4. The Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya has been home to numerous tribal communities for centuries, including the Khasis, Jaintias and Garos.
  5. In 1947, India gained independence from British rule and Shillong became part of the newly-formed state of Assam.
  6. In 1972, Meghalaya was created as a separate state with its capital at Shillong.
  7. Some notable people associated with Shillong include former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam who worked at the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) satellite launch station in Upper Shillong during his early career; musician Lou Majaw who is known for his annual Bob Dylan tribute concerts held in Shillong; and athlete PT Usha who trained at the North East Hill University stadium in Shillong during her early career.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures
  2. Shillong Peak
  3. Elephant Falls
  4. Ward’s Lake
  5. Lady Hydari Park and Zoo
  6. State Museum
  7. Butterfly Museum
  8. Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians
  9. All Saints Church
  10. Laitlum Canyons


Sports Teams

  1. Shillong Lajong FC was founded in 1983 and is a professional football club located in Shillong, Meghalaya. The team has participated in both the I-League and Indian Super League.
  2. Royal Wahingdoh FC, established in 1946, is one of India’s oldest football clubs. The team has won numerous state-level tournaments and also competed in the I-League.
  3. Langsning FC is a relatively new football club based in Shillong that was founded in 2012. The team has played successfully in the I-League second division and won various local tournaments.
  4. Malki SC, another popular football club located in Shillong, was established back in 1977. The team has achieved success by winning several local tournaments while playing regularly at the JN Stadium.
  5. The Meghalaya Football Association XI represents Meghalaya at various national-level tournaments such as Santosh Trophy, National Games etc., making it a regional team of significance.

Apart from these teams mentioned above, there are many other sports clubs operating across different disciplines like basketball, cricket, boxing etc., promoting sports culture among young people of Shillong and surrounding areas.



Cultural Events

  1. Shad Suk Mynsiem is a traditional festival of the Khasi community, celebrated every April. It is a thanksgiving ceremony to the gods for a good harvest and prosperity.
  2. Behdienkhlam Festival is another important festival of the Khasi community, celebrated every July. The festival involves a ritualistic war dance performed by men wearing colorful headgear and carrying long sticks.
  3. Autumn Festival is an annual cultural event held in October that showcases the rich cultural heritage of Meghalaya through music, dance, food, and handicrafts.
  4. Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual event held in November when cherry blossom trees bloom all over Shillong. The festival features music concerts, fashion shows, food stalls and other cultural activities.
  5. Wangala Festival is celebrated by the Garo tribe in November every year to give thanks to their deity for a good harvest season.
  6. Christmas Celebration: Many people celebrate Christmas with great enthusiasm in Shillong as Christianity has a significant presence there with carol singing, midnight mass and feasting on traditional dishes like plum cakes.
  7. Losoong Festival marks the end of harvesting season for the Sikkimese Bhutia community during December which includes colourful masked dances showcasing their traditions.

Cuisine

  • Jadoh: A traditional Khasi dish made with rice and pork, served with a variety of accompaniments such as pickles, chutneys, and boiled vegetables.
  • Bamboo Hut: A restaurant that serves authentic Khasi cuisine including smoked pork, bamboo shoot pickle, and tungrymbai (a fermented soybean dish).
  • Cafe Shillong: A popular cafe that serves a range of continental dishes along with local specialties like jadoh and momos.
  • Trattoria: An Italian restaurant located in the heart of Shillong that serves wood-fired pizzas and pasta dishes.
  • The Heritage Club – Tripura Castle: A fine-dining restaurant located in a heritage property that offers a fusion of Indian and European cuisines.
  • City Hut Family Dhaba: A casual dining restaurant that offers delicious North Indian food at affordable prices.
  • Dylan’s Cafe: Another popular cafe in Shillong known for its burgers, sandwiches, coffee, and desserts.
  • Dejavu Cafe & Bistro: This is another great place to enjoy some continental food while relaxing amidst the beautiful surroundings of Shillong city centre.

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Ward’s Lake is a well-known tourist destination and boating spot situated in the heart of Shillong.
    2. The Shillong Golf Course is one of the oldest golf courses in India and can be found in the center of Shillong.
    3. Lady Hydari Park is a stunning park that features a mini zoo, botanical garden, and play area for children.
    4. Elephant Falls is an attractive waterfall located on the outskirts of Shillong.
    5. Umiam Lake is a lovely lake surrounded by hills that provides an ideal location for boating and water sports enthusiasts.
    6. Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures serves as an interactive museum showcasing Northeast India’s culture and traditions.
    7. Mawphlang Sacred Grove is an ancient forest revered by the Khasi tribe, situated 25 km from Shillong.
    8. Sohliya Strawberry Farm offers visitors the opportunity to pick their own strawberries while enjoying scenic views during picnics on-site.
    9. Laitlum Canyons are spectacular canyons that offer panoramic views of Meghalaya’s hills, valleys, and waterfalls.
    10. Dawki River Bridge & Crystal Clear River Umngot are popular tourist spots known for their breathtaking suspension bridge over Dawki river as well as crystal clear river Umngot which has been touted as having some of India’s cleanest water.

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