Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya is synonymous with enriching natural beauty and picturesque landscape. There are a number of things to do in Shillong that attract a large tourist influx all through the year. From trekking to mountain climbing, sightseeing and angling, there is no dearth of activities or things to do in Shillong. The place is also replete with churches boasting of striking architecture that you can visit. In addition to that, there are several museums, parks and market spaces. Have a look at the elaborate list of things to do in Shillong given below!
Here is the list of 24 Things to do in Shillong for a Fulfilling Vacay Experience
Umiam Lake, a mesmerizing man-made reservoir, is located at a distance of 15 kilometers north of Shillong which is the capital of the north-eastern Indian state of Meghalaya. The lake was formed after a dam was constructed to generate hydroelectric power. The area of this lake is four times the size of San Marino or Bermuda. The picturesque location and the serene beauty of the lake attract tourists from all over the world. The sunrises are a treat to the eyes and shouldn't be missed. Another must try activity the lake is boating which is also one of the best things to do in Shillong.
Named after an Elephant like stone at its foot, the Elephant Falls are amongst the most popular falls in the North-East, situated next to Shillong. It is a tourists' paradise with three layers of the falls accessible to the layman from different vantage points. The Britishers named this fall so owing to the presence of an elephant-shaped rock on one side of the fall. At Elephant Falls one can get very close to the falls and enjoy its serenity and might. This is also a superb place for spending some time in the midst of nature while capturing the incredible moments for your keepsake. Visiting here is one of the topmost things to do in Shillong.
At the height of 6449 ft and 1965 m above sea level, this is the highest point of Shillong. It offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the entire city, the Himalayas, its waterfalls as well as of the Bangladesh plains. A telescope is available for tourists to get a bird's eye view. Trekking up to this semi-circular peak is highly recommended for the best views but it is often bounded by heavy fog. Undertaking this activity is one of the prime things to do in Shillong.
Another popular attraction in Shillong is the Don Bosco Museum. It is themed museum with collective information on the entire North Eastern stated of India, which exhibits a wide collection of regional artwork, attires, accoutrements, handicrafts, ornamentation, photographs and weapons. The museum consists of a seven storey building with seventeen galleries. If you are a history enthusiast, be sure to include this in your list of things to do in Shillong.
Ward's Lake is an artificial lake surrounded by gardens which is an ideal evening get away! Also known as the Polok Lake, it is usually flocked by couples, picnickers and locals. Boating and fountain dancing are big activities of this place. The complex also has a cafeteria and a Botanical Garden. the lake is located beneath the Governor's residence. Among the top things to do in Shillong, visiting here definitely tops the charts.
Most popular trekking routes of Meghalaya, this path was originally laid by David Scott, a British officer as early as in the 1800s. It is still used to commute between Assam and Bangladesh. A 16km stretch covers horse tracks, waterfalls and the beautiful terrain of the East Khasi Hills. This 4 hour trek is best enjoyed in a group. October and November are the best months for this trek. If you are an adventure enthusiasts, this is definitely one of the best things to do in Shillong, for you.
One of the most famous tourist spots of Shillong, the park is dedicated to the first lady of the province - Lady Hydari. This sprawling park encompasses a wide variety of flora along with a cute mini zoo housing 73 species of birds and over 100 reptiles. The beautiful bed of roses is the highlight of the park. A special play area is a part of the park as well. Visiting here is one of the top touristy things to do in Shillong.
Situated on the western side of Shillong, is 6200 ft in altitude, this peak is just 200 ft shorter than the tallest peak in Shillong, Shillong Peak. For a height of about 1000 ft, the gradient of this peak is very steep and precipitous which makes for excellent mountain climbing. Other adventurous sports like rock climbing and rappelling can be done here. If you are an adventurist, visiting here should be on top of your list of things to do in Shillong.
Police Bazar is the most tourist friendly market of Shillong. In addition to an array of restaurants, hotels and big brand stores, the bazaar also has a flea market section which is pocket friendly and draws maximum number of tourists owing to its traditional handicrafts stores, exquisite Meghalaya merchandise, regional apparels, junk jewellery and the like. Browsing this market place for souvenirs and knick knacks is one of the top touristy things to do in Shillong.
A small border town in the Jaintia Hills, Dawki and its famed river Umngot is a must visit if in Meghalaya. Sandwiched between India and Bangladesh, Dawki is a major center of trade between India and Bangladesh. The city becomes a hotbed of tourist activities especially during the spring months as it hosts the boat riding competition on the Umngot River. The surrounding greenery, the cold water of the river and the beautiful suspension bridge on the River Umngot make Dawki a place worth a visit. Angling is another popular activity to try at Dawki.
Also known as •Sit Valleyê by the locals, Laitlum Canyons means •end of the worldê or •end of hillsê. The exotic tourist spot is perched atop the East Khasi Hill in Shillong and nestled amidst majestic mountain peaks and verdant forests. The mountain top offers sweeping panoramic vistas of the valley below. Visiting here is one of the most thrilling activities and one of the topmost things to do in Shillong.
Cathedral Of Mary Help Of Christians is the cathedral of Roman Antidiocese of Shillong and is the chief praying place of the Christians of East Khasi Hills and Ri-Bhoi. Constructed in the Gothic style of architecture amidst sprawling green lawns, this is one of the most ancient places of worship in Shillong. The church is also designed to absorb shock-waves. Among the top things to do in Shillong, visiting here definitely tops the list.
Plunging from a height of 315 meters, Nohsngithiang Falls are another wonder that Cherrapunjee has to offer to its visitors, 53 kms from Shillong. Also known as the Seven-sisters falls, Nohsngithiang is an absolutely amazing sight to behold and not to be missed if you find yourself in the area. Like Nohkalikai Falls, Nohsngithiang falls are a pride of Meghalayan tourism and make for a wonderful place to visit and one of the best things to do in Shillong. Surrounded by thick covering of rainforests with clouds hovering around its peak, Nohsngithiang Falls are quite a spellbinding view.
Situated in the Upper Shillong area, Air Force Museum is a brilliant display of the countryês defense forces. The museum has aircraft models, uniforms of pilots, miniature models of missiles, rockets, machinery, technology demonstrations of the Indian Air Force- Eastern Command along with pictures of Indo-China war and Indo-Pak war. Making a visit to this museum is among the top touristy things to do in Shillong.
All Saints Church is constructed on the Kacheri Road in Shillong. One among the oldest churches in the city, this was built during the British Raj and boasts of colonial style architectural finesse. The church was a whole wooden structure and is busiest during the routine Sunday masses. The church remains especially crowded for the Sunday Mass.
One of the steepest and the most mesmerizing falls of the country. The sound of gurgling water, chirping birds, the feel of the falling water and the lush greenery - all together just take your breath away. There are no barricades for safety - so your life is in your own hands. the Sweet falls are near the Happy valley! it is a famous picnic spot. A butterfly museum is a part of the complex as well.
Shillong fosters the flavours, colours, elements and popular dishes of an authentic Meghalayan cuisine. Do try the local preparations such as Tungtab which is a preparation of fermented dry fish, a wide variety of Momos, Tarumbai, which are fermented beans as well as the very popular Dohneiiong, a preparation of pork using local spices. You must also indulge in Kyat which is a beverage prepared from rice. A traditional and refreshing item is the Kwai prepared from betel nuts. Other than these Shillong's restaurants have enough choices from Chinese, Indian and Tibetan cuisines.
Some 78 km away from Shillong, a unique giant rock made out of red granite, Kyllang Rock is a giant dome placed in the West Khasi Hills of Meghalaya. The Rock which is 5400 ft above sea level and has a width of around 1000 ft is a mammoth block of granite which is part of the Khasi folklore and seems beautiful in its shape. A hike to the top of the dome allows you to treasure the marvelous landscape of the surrounding area.
Named after the Khasi tribe of Meghalaya, the Khasi hills are part of the larger Patkai hill range, a series of hills found across the Indo-Myanmar border in the northeast region of India. With deep lush valleys and conical peaks, these hills are famous for housing the Sohra or Cherrapunjee scarp, one of the regions with highest annual rainfall in the world, and the prevalent use of living root bridges seen in this region. The dense forests mingling with tributaries that eventually drain out into the holy Brahmaputra, combined with the rich biodiversity of the region has earned the hills the title of 'Scotland of the east'.
Mawjymbuin Cave is situated in Mawjymbuin village in Cherrapunji and is thronged by naturalists, geologists, photographers, pilgrims and tourists alike. It has a thin stream flowing towards the eastern end of the cave. A rock shaped structure arising from the earth, shaped like a shivalinga is the primary attraction of the cave and is highly revered by Hindus. Located just 60 kms from Shillong, undertaking this expedition is one of the prime things to do in Shillong.
Also known as Entomological Museum, Butterfly Museum in Shillong is one of the most popular tourist attractions of the city. Situated on the Riatsamthiah Jaiaw, near Christian Academy School, the museum houses an extensive collection of vibrant butterflies, moths, beetles and other insects. The museum also cultivate butterflies for commercial purposes.
Mawlynnong is a small village in the East Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya, the abode of changing clouds. Mawlynnong is famous for its matrilineal society as well as having been declared Asia's cleanest village which comes under the Pynursla community development block and legislative assembly constituency. Boasting of surreal beauty and stunning landscape, visiting this tiny village is definitely among the list of top things to do in Shillong.
Currently the wettest place on earth (tough competition with Cherrapunjee), Mawsynram receives 12m of rain annually. The generosity of mother nature can be easily seen and experienced with the fresh air, blue skies waterfalls and lush greenery. The place seems like it has just come out of a fairy land with surreal setting and a beautiful landscape. If you have time at hand, you should definitely include visiting here in your bucket list of things to do in Shillong.
Mawphlang is a beautiful village situated 25 kilometres away from Shillong, the capital city of north-east Indian state of Meghalaya. The village lies in the district of East Khasi Hills and is famous for its sacred groves. Tourists come here to experience the true essence of Meghalaya. The village is named Mawphlang as it is one of the several monoliths in the Khasi Hills. It is home to the Khasi Heritage Village which was built to showcase the traditional lifestyle of the Khasi Tribes. For the ones who want a glimpse of the tradition, culture and lifestyle of the Khasis that is fading away in the modern world, this is the place to be.