Weather :

Timings : Lake is open at all times. Water sport activities are open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : Pedal boat/canoe/kayak (30 mins)- INR 20,
Skiing- INR 200,
Scooter- INR 50,
River bus- INR 50,
Yachting- INR 100

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Umiam Lake, Shillong Overview

Umiam Lake, a mesmerizing man-made reservoir, is located at a distance of 15 kilometres 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 scenic Umiam Lake is encircled by lush green East Khasi hills that form one of the best panoramic sights for nature-lovers in the country. The sunrise at the lake is a treat to watch and shouldn't be missed. The Umiam Lake has a park adjoining it which is a hotspot for picnics and frequented by locals for a getaway from their busy schedule.

The serene lake or the reservoir is surrounded by thick coniferous forests and expands over an area of about 222 square kilometres. Students and nature-lovers can admire the flora and fauna at Umiam Lake as they study the science behind the dam, children can spend some time in the park with their parents, visitors can take a long boat ride in the lake, and adventure lovers can enjoy boating and various water-sports. Apart from the tranquillity that Umiam Lake has to offer, one can also observe the daily life of the natives who come to the lake in search of twigs and grass or the fishermen canoeing in the still waters. In summers, the shores are adorned by beautiful Gulmohar trees while in winters, the water level recedes and turns azure.

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Legend of Umiam Lake

The name 'Umiam' means 'water of tears' in Khasi, and there's a fascinating story around it. According to the fable, there were once two sisters who began their journey from heaven to descend to Meghalaya, the beautiful abode of clouds. The younger sister lost her way during the journey. The grief of not being able to find her sister was unbearable for the elder sister, and she shed tears continuously. The tears thus formed the Umiam Lake.


The Umiam Lake is a reservoir formed after a dam was built on River Umiam in 1965. The dam was constructed as part of north-east India's first hydel power project, the Umiam Untru Hydroelectric Power Project. The power plant was built by the Assam State Electricity Board. The dam and the reservoir hence formed, stored enough water for the generation of hydroelectric power in the area.

Umiam Lake Dam

The Umiam Dam is built on River Umiam, on the Brahmaputra River basin in seismic zone-V. It is a Gravity and Masonry type of Dam and was constructed in 1965 for the purpose of generating Hydroelectric Power in the region. The dam stands about 74 metres above the foundation and has a length of 175 metres.

The design flood is about 28 cubic metre per second, and with two spillway gates, the spillway capacity of the dam is 1850 cubic metre per second. Each spillway gate measures 12.12 x 12.12 metres. To the north of the lake is the Umiam Stage I powerhouse. This powerhouse has 4 Francis type of turbine generators that generate 9 MW of energy each. This means the powerhouse can create a total of 36 MW of electricity.

Things To Do at Umiam Lake

Boating at Umiam Lake 
A leisure boat ride should never be missed at Umiam Lake. The sight of the serene waters of the reservoir, the lush green forests that surround the lake under the enchanting skies is truly exhilarating.
Boating is one of the most preferred activities in the region and visitors can choose between Group, Family, Couple and Solo boat rides between 9:00 AM and 05:00 PM at costs starting from INR 20.  

Water Sports
Water sports are highly recommended in the lake waters. Adventure seekers can satisfy their craving for adventure sports at the Water Sports Complex by the Umiam Lake that has provisions for Solo boating, Angling, Kayaking and Water Skiing.
Timing of the Water Sports Complex - 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Every day of the week
Cost per person-
Pedal Boating/ Canoeing/ Kayaking - INR 20
Water Scooter Ride (5 minutes) - INR 50
Cruise Boat (10 minutes) - INR 10 
Speed Boat (5 minutes) - INR 75
River Bus Ride (20 minutes) - INR 50
Yachting (60 minutes) - INR 100 
Water Skiing (5 minutes) - INR 200 

Trekking and Camping 
Trekking and Camping at Umiam Lake is a marvellous idea for serious trekkers. They can trek through the dense forests and camp at the Lumpongden Island which is an isolated piece of land in the reservoir. The entire process of building camping tents to campfires and cooking food is a wonderful experience and should be had at least once in a lifetime.

Fishing at Umiam Lake 
Fishing freaks can go fishing in the Umiam Lake. The enormous area of the reservoir is home to a variety of fishes like Carps and Catfishes. Locals frequent the lake for fishing every day.

Umiam Lake Boathouse

Umiam Lake is famous for its lovely little Boathouse by a lake island, the Lumpongden Island. Visitors have to book the Boat House in advance. Only one group of people (6 people maximum) can stay at the Boat House at a time, so the ones needing peace and privacy away from the crowds frequently book this place. Most travellers book overnight stays and carry necessary supplies including food and water, However, while booking, you may check with them if they can arrange for these supplies. It may cost a bit more, but it will be worth it.

Once at the lake, the visitors have to take a boat ride to this island. They can rent a ride of their choice at the Water Sports Complex which costs around INR 1200 (to and fro), and the Boat House rent is around INR 3500, including cooking and tips (excludes the cost of the supplies). Cooking and everything else is taken care of by the caretakers and visitors only have to relax and enjoy their stay.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to Visit Umiam Lake is between March and June as the weather is pleasant to explore the region.


1. Visitors have to walk or trek some distance to reach the lake.
2. There are some shops that sell snacks; however, it is recommended that you carry enough water and snacks for the trip.
3. There are some toilets for visitor's convenience.
4. Do not litter or pollute the region.

How To Reach Umiam Lake

One can take a taxi or a cab ride from Shillong and reach the beautiful lake via the scenic NH6 route. It is a short one hour drive from any area in Shillong.  

The Shillong Airport is the closest airport to Umiam Lake. One can take a cab ride and reach the picturesque lake in about 25 minutes via the Shillong Bypass Road.

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