Elephant Falls To Shillong Peak: 5 Best Places To Visit In Shillong
Shillong: A Charming Hideaway in the Hills of India
Nestled amid the gorgeous East Khasi Hills, Shillong offers visitors an enchanting gateway into the wilderness and indigenous hill cultures that define alluring northeast India.
From cascading waterfalls tucked within lush ancient forests to museums decoding Meghalaya's soulful cultural flavours and scenic peaks framing panoramic cityscapes let Shillong's beauty overwhelm your senses and spirit!
Here are top 5 attractions revealing her true charm.
1. Elephant Falls: Cascading Natural Wonder Veiled in Rainforest Charm
On the outskirts of Shillong lies the three-step cascading natural wonder locally called Elephant Falls with water plunging down dramatically from forests above through three successive sections evocatively named after fallen elephants in folklore abandoning the trail formerly.
The wild beauty heightens during monsoon when water strikes smoothened rocks furiously spraying silver mists, rainbows forming occasionally amid verdant woods making it a photographer's delight!
Don't miss the lovely handicrafts emporium beside falls to shop regional specialty tribal weaves and souvenirs too.
Top tip: Early mornings or just before sunset afford pristine views undisturbed by most visitor crowds.
2. Mawphlang Sacred Forest: Walking Where Divinity Meets Nature
Just 25 km away lies Mawphlang dense tropical forest harbouring century old monoliths and gigantic Khasi pine trees shrouded intriguingly in little folktales and magic as one of few remaining sacred groves where nature and divinity mingle unobtrusively.
Stroll discovering exotic orchids flowering wildly, unique mushrooms sprouting on trunks, birds calls echoing faintly over haunted ruins and megaliths hinting silently their hoary significance from prehistoric times still haunting imaginatively to date.
Such precious hidden tranquil natural gems await soulfully those yearning for trysts off trodden tourist trails!
3. Don Bosco Museum: Tribute to Northeast Culture and History
Run passionately by Don Bosco priests lies Shillong's charming seven-storey state-of-art museum dedicated to showcasing Northeastern India's glorious history through extensive galleries of tribal artefacts, artistic heritage and lifestyle insights into indigenous communities galore.
Admire rare ancient carvings, musical instruments, handicrafts, photography and publications over 4000 artefacts as the region's cultural treasure while descending floors listening to lovely oral folktales, understanding weaving traditions through interactive displays and watching tribal dance performances on site.
Truly a hidden wonder-museum!
Top sight: Intricate tribal headgear displays at Living Root Bridges gallery.
4. Umiam Lake (Barapani): Picture Postcard Allure Amid Hills
Glistening beside capital lies placid mesmerising man made reservoir Umiam Lake enveloped charmingly amid verdant hills often veiled mysteriously in cotton clouds and mist during colder climes!
Revel in these gorgeous emerald settings boating on the vast freshwater body watching tiny islands glide by, trying water sports, eating juicy pineapples from nearby orchards before catching a peerless sunset over the hills with xylophone music playing faintly in distance.
A lush paradise just 15 km away with orchid lake resorts and restaurants promising visitors visual soul therapy round the year!
Top tip: Best visited from October till early March avoiding monsoon fury though every season carries unique charm.
5. Shillong Peak: Soaring Panoramas with City and Beyond
True to its name, Shillong Peak located 1965m above sea level serves as the highest vantage point in capital city itself to relish sweeping vistas of town s pretty clusters of colonial cottages and churches framed by scenic hills, waterfalls, Himalayan ranges with contrasts like no other!
Witness scenic beauty unfolds while sipping local tea as native kids fly colourful kites against blue skies by viewing towers occasionally obscured by passing clouds.
For intrigued souls, Air Force Museum and in-site shrines add extra discovery dimensions making it a city highlight sans frills!
Top tip: Clear days after monsoon offer the most stunning views across Meghalaya region.
Lose yourself sampling world's best tea estates touring picturesque Mawlyngbna village or walk reverently past 19th century Beadon Falls hydroelectric power plant marshalling rivers once powering entire city decades ago for fuller insider perspectives to Shillong's character that entrances eternally like first love!
Because around mesmerising hills lie countless gems still inspiring new tales for the taking through uncharted countryside meant for you to explore next!