Top 10 Must-Visit Places in Shillong

Top 10 Must-Visit Places in Shillong. Nestled among the clouds and the lush greenery of Meghalaya, Shillong stands as a testament to the beauty and mystery of the Northeast of India. Often referred to as the “Scotland of the East,” this picturesque hill station is a haven for travelers seeking solace and adventure alike. In this article, we’ll take you through the top 10 must-visit places in Shillong that promise an unforgettable journey through the heart of Meghalaya.

Introduction to Shillong: The Heart of Meghalaya

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Top 10 Must-Visit Places in Shillong

Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya, is a mesmerizing blend of cultural heritage, natural beauty, and modern life. Its unique climate, scenic vistas, and vibrant local culture make it a perfect destination for all types of travelers.

1. Umiam Lake: The Gateway to Shillong

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Top 10 Must-Visit Places in Shillong

Umiam Lake, often referred to as the “Gateway to Shillong,” is a picturesque reservoir located approximately 15 kilometers north of Shillong, the capital city of the Indian state of Meghalaya. This stunning lake is formed by the damming of the Umiam River and is surrounded by lush greenery, rolling hills, and dense forests, making it a popular tourist destination and a serene getaway for locals and visitors alike.

The lake, also known as Barapani Lake, was created in the 1960s as part of a hydroelectric project, and it serves as a major source of hydroelectric power for the region. Its calm and tranquil waters, spread over an area of about 220 square kilometers, offer opportunities for various water-based activities such as boating, kayaking, and water skiing. Visitors can also enjoy leisurely walks along the lakeshore, taking in the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Umiam Lake is not only a scenic spot but also an important hub for adventure sports enthusiasts. The nearby hills and valleys provide excellent terrain for activities like trekking, rock climbing, and zip-lining, attracting adventure seekers from far and wide.

For those looking to unwind and relax amidst nature’s beauty, Umiam Lake offers several accommodation options ranging from luxury resorts to budget guesthouses, allowing visitors to extend their stay and fully immerse themselves in the tranquility of this natural wonder.

Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, Umiam Lake truly lives up to its reputation as the “Gateway to Shillong,” welcoming travelers with open arms to experience the enchanting beauty of Meghalaya’s landscapes.

Activities at Umiam Lake

Umiam Lake, a man-made reservoir, offers breathtaking views and a wide range of activities such as boating, kayaking, and water cycling. This serene lake is surrounded by rolling hills, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers and photographers.

2. Elephant Falls: A Spectacular Natural Wonder

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Top 10 Must-Visit Places in Shillong

Located just a short drive from Shillong, Elephant Falls is a three-tiered waterfall that mesmerizes visitors with its beauty. The final cascade, visible from a vantage point, is a sight to behold, especially during the monsoon season.


Elephant Falls, located just outside the city of Shillong in the Indian state of Meghalaya, is a spectacular natural wonder that captivates visitors with its breathtaking beauty and serene surroundings. Named after a local legend involving an elephant-shaped rock at the base of the waterfall, this majestic cascade is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region.

The falls are formed by three successive tiers, each cascading down from varying heights amidst lush greenery and rocky outcrops, creating a mesmerizing spectacle of water and nature. The sound of the rushing water echoing through the dense foliage adds to the enchanting ambiance of the place.

Visitors can access the falls via a well-maintained pathway that winds its way through the forest, offering glimpses of the cascading waters at different vantage points. Along the way, colorful butterflies flutter around, adding to the charm of the journey.

Upon reaching the base of the falls, visitors are greeted by a picturesque scene of the water plunging into a natural pool below, creating a tranquil oasis where one can relax and enjoy the soothing sounds of nature. The surrounding rocks provide ideal spots for picnics or simply soaking in the serene atmosphere.

For those feeling adventurous, there are opportunities to explore the area further by trekking along the trails that lead to higher viewpoints or venturing into the nearby caves and gorges.

Elephant Falls is not only a natural wonder but also holds cultural significance for the local Khasi people, who consider it a sacred site. Visitors can learn about the legends and folklore associated with the falls, adding a cultural dimension to their experience.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply someone looking to unwind amidst the beauty of the natural world, Elephant Falls offers an unforgettable experience that will leave you awe-inspired and rejuvenated.

3. Shillong Peak: The Highest Point in Shillong

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Top 10 Must-Visit Places in Shillong

Offering panoramic views of the city and beyond, Shillong Peak is a must-visit for anyone who wants to see the city from a different perspective. It’s also an important site for the local Khasi people.


Shillong Peak stands proudly as the highest point in the charming city of Shillong, Meghalaya, India. Rising to an elevation of approximately 1,965 meters (6,447 feet) above sea level, this majestic peak offers visitors panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, making it a must-visit destination for tourists and locals alike.

The journey to Shillong Peak takes travelers through winding roads bordered by lush greenery, offering glimpses of the scenic beauty that Meghalaya is renowned for. As visitors ascend the peak, they are treated to breathtaking vistas of the city below, with its cluster of buildings nestled amidst rolling hills and verdant valleys.

At the summit, a viewing platform provides an unobstructed 360-degree panorama, allowing visitors to take in the sweeping vistas of the Khasi Hills, the shimmering waters of Umiam Lake, and the distant peaks of the Himalayas on clear days. The ever-changing play of light and shadow across the landscape adds to the enchantment of the scene, making it a favorite spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts.

Aside from the stunning views, Shillong Peak also offers opportunities for leisurely walks amidst the serene surroundings. Visitors can explore the lush forests that cloak the slopes of the peak, listening to the melodic chirping of birds and the rustle of leaves in the gentle breeze.

For those seeking a deeper connection with nature, Shillong Peak is also home to a sacred grove revered by the local Khasi people, who believe it to be inhabited by benevolent spirits. Visitors can experience the tranquility of this sacred space and learn about the cultural and spiritual significance attached to it.

4. Lady Hydari Park: A Tribute to Nature and Wildlife

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Top 10 Must-Visit Places in Shillong

This well-maintained park, named after the wife of a former Governor of Assam, is a beautiful space filled with roses and orchids. It also houses a mini zoo, making it an ideal spot for families.

Lady Hydari Park, nestled in the heart of Shillong, Meghalaya, serves as a beautiful tribute to nature and wildlife. Named after Lady Hydari, the wife of Assam’s Governor in the early 20th century, the park is a serene oasis amidst the bustling city, offering visitors a tranquil retreat surrounded by lush greenery and colorful blooms.

Spread across acres of manicured lawns and shaded pathways, Lady Hydari Park is a paradise for nature lovers and enthusiasts. The park’s well-maintained gardens are adorned with a variety of indigenous and exotic plants, including vibrant flowers that bloom throughout the year, creating a riot of colors that delight the senses.

One of the highlights of the park is its collection of orchids, showcasing the rich biodiversity of the region. Visitors can admire the delicate beauty of these exotic flowers, which come in a dazzling array of shapes, sizes, and hues, adding to the park’s charm and allure.

In addition to its botanical treasures, Lady Hydari Park is also home to a small zoo that houses a diverse array of wildlife native to Meghalaya and the surrounding region. Visitors can encounter species such as deer, Himalayan black bears, leopards, and various species of birds, offering a glimpse into the rich fauna that inhabits the state’s forests and mountains.

For families and children, the park offers recreational facilities such as playgrounds, toy trains, and boating facilities, making it a popular destination for picnics and outings. Visitors can enjoy leisurely strolls along the park’s winding pathways, taking in the sights and sounds of nature while basking in the serenity of the surroundings.

Lady Hydari Park stands as a testament to the importance of conservation and environmental stewardship, providing a sanctuary where visitors can connect with nature and appreciate the beauty and diversity of the natural world. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a wildlife lover, or simply someone seeking a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, a visit to Lady Hydari Park is sure to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul.

5. Don Bosco Museum: A Glimpse into North Eastern Culture

Dedicated to the indigenous cultures of North East India, the Don Bosco Museum is a seven-story building that showcases a vast collection of regional artifacts, attire, and artworks, offering insight into the rich cultural tapestry of the area.

6. Wards Lake: A Serene Getaway in the Heart of the City

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Top 10 Must-Visit Places in Shillong

Wards Lake is a man-made lake known for its cobble-stoned walkways, ornamental bridge, and lush garden. It’s a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a boat ride on a sunny day.

Wards Lake, located in the heart of Shillong, Meghalaya, is a serene getaway that offers visitors a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Surrounded by lush greenery and adorned with colorful blooms, this picturesque lake is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, seeking a peaceful retreat amidst nature’s beauty.

The lake, originally known as Pollock’s Lake, was built in the late 19th century by the British as a reservoir to supply water to the city. Today, it serves as a scenic oasis where visitors can unwind and reconnect with nature. A winding pathway encircles the lake, offering leisurely walks with idyllic views of the shimmering waters and the verdant foliage that lines its banks.

At the center of the lake, a charming wooden bridge spans the water, adding to the romantic ambiance of the setting. Visitors can stroll across the bridge, pausing to admire the tranquil scenery and perhaps catch a glimpse of the colorful fish and waterfowl that inhabit the lake.

Surrounding the lake are well-maintained gardens and landscaped lawns, perfect for picnics, leisurely strolls, or simply lounging amidst the beauty of nature. Benches and gazebos provide quiet spots for relaxation and contemplation, allowing visitors to soak in the serenity of the surroundings.

Wards Lake also features a boathouse where visitors can rent paddleboats and rowboats, allowing them to explore the lake at their own pace while enjoying the cool breeze and the peaceful ambiance. For those seeking a culinary delight, the lake is also home to a charming café where visitors can enjoy refreshments amidst the scenic surroundings.

7. Laitlum Canyons: The Edge of the World

Laitlum Canyons offer a dramatic view of the rolling hills and valleys of Meghalaya. It’s an ideal destination for trekkers and nature enthusiasts looking for peace and solitude.


Laitlum Canyons, often referred to as “The Edge of the World,” is a breathtaking natural wonder located near Shillong, Meghalaya. Perched atop the East Khasi Hills, this picturesque destination offers panoramic views of deep gorges, verdant valleys, and rolling hills, creating a scene that seems to stretch endlessly into the horizon.

The name “Laitlum” translates to “end of hills,” and true to its name, the canyons provide visitors with a sense of standing at the very edge of the world, with nothing but vast expanses of sky and rugged terrain stretching out before them.

The journey to Laitlum Canyons is an adventure in itself, with winding roads that snake through dense forests and quaint villages, offering glimpses of the natural beauty that Meghalaya is renowned for. As visitors ascend to the summit, they are rewarded with breathtaking vistas that unfold at every turn, showcasing the sheer grandeur of the landscape.

Upon reaching the canyons, visitors are greeted by a spectacle of immense beauty and tranquility. The steep cliffs drop away dramatically, revealing layers of lush greenery cascading down into the valleys below. The air is crisp and invigorating, and the only sounds are the gentle rustle of leaves and the distant calls of birds.

For adventurous souls, there are opportunities to explore the rugged terrain on foot, with trekking trails that lead to hidden viewpoints and secluded spots offering unparalleled vistas of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can also interact with the local villagers, who inhabit the nearby hamlets and carry on their traditional way of life amidst the stunning natural backdrop.

8. Mary Help of Christians Cathedral: A Spiritual Sanctuary

This beautiful cathedral, with its stunning stained glass windows and high arches, is a place of worship and solace. It reflects the significant Christian influence in the region.

9. Mawjymbuin Cave: An Adventure into the Earth

Mawjymbuin Cave is known for its stalagmites and the naturally formed Shivalinga. It’s a fascinating spot for those interested in geology and natural wonders.

10. Police Bazar: The Shopping Heart of Shillong

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Top 10 Must-Visit Places in Shillong

No visit to Shillong is complete without a trip to Police Bazar. This bustling market is the go-to place for shopping, with stalls selling everything from local handicrafts to delicious street food.

Police Bazar, often dubbed as the “Shopping Heart of Shillong,” is a bustling commercial hub located in the heart of the city. This vibrant area is a favorite among locals and tourists alike, offering a wide array of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

The streets of Police Bazar are lined with a diverse mix of shops, boutiques, and markets, where visitors can find everything from traditional handicrafts and souvenirs to fashionable clothing and accessories. Whether you’re in search of locally woven shawls, intricately crafted bamboo products, or trendy apparel, Police Bazar has something to cater to every taste and budget.

In addition to shopping, Police Bazar is also a culinary delight, with numerous eateries, cafes, and street food stalls offering a tantalizing variety of cuisines. From authentic Khasi delicacies to popular North Indian, Chinese, and Continental fare, visitors can indulge their taste buds in a gastronomic adventure.

The vibrant atmosphere of Police Bazar extends well into the evening, with lively street performances, cultural events, and music concerts often adding to the buzz of the area. Visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture and enjoy the pulsating energy of the city’s nightlife while exploring the bustling streets and alleys of this vibrant district.

Aside from shopping and dining, Police Bazar also serves as a convenient transportation hub, with easy access to taxis, buses, and other modes of transportation, making it a convenient starting point for exploring the rest of the city and its surrounding attractions.

Conclusion: A Trip to Remember

Shillong is a city that has something for everyone, from breathtaking natural wonders to rich cultural experiences. Each of the top 10 must-visit places in Shillong offers a unique glimpse into the beauty and diversity of Meghalaya. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or a culture enthusiast, Shillong promises an unforgettable journey.

FAQs

  1. What is the best time to visit Shillong?
    • The best time to visit Shillong is between September and May when the weather is pleasant and conducive to exploring the outdoors.
  2. How do I get to Shillong?
    • Shillong is well-connected by road, and the nearest airport is in Guwahati, Assam, which is about 100 kilometers away. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to Shillong.
  3. Are there any entry fees for the attractions in Shillong?
    • Some attractions in Shillong may have a nominal entry fee, while others are free to visit. It’s best to check the latest information before planning your visit.
  4. What are some must-try foods in Shillong?
    • In Shillong, don’t miss out on trying local delicacies such as Jadoh, a Khasi rice and meat dish, and Tungrymbai, a fermented soybean paste served with pork or fish.
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