Shillong and Cherrapunjee – Two beautiful towns of Meghalaya
If you have never been to any of the north eastern part of india, then I recommend that you start your journey with Shillong first. It was also my first trip to Shillong although I had stayed and visited other places like Arunachal Pradesh and Assam before.
The culture, food and lifestyle is very simple and different from the rest of India and one should definitely try once.
My wife and I were on a 9 day trip covering, Kaziranga, Shillong and Cherrapunjee. To be honest, each of these places requires 3 days at least but we didn’t have that much time. A lot of time went in travelling from one place to another and was slow because of the hilly roads.
Shillong is one of the most beautiful places in the North Eastern part of India and the capital of Meghalaya. It is also known as the fashion capital of north east.
Actually we were little short of time so couldn’t cover as many places as we wanted but none the less we did see some beautiful bits of Shillong.
There are many ways to reach Shillong but the cheapest and most preferred way to reach is via railways and bus/shared taxis. The nearest railway station is Guwahati which is around 100 kms from the city. Guwahati is also well connected to all major indian cities so can reach by flight as well.
The bus ride from Guwahati to Shillong takes about 3-4 hours and will cost around 170 rupees whereas a shared taxi will cost 450 rupees. If you want to experience travelling with the locals, then buses are good but usually crowded. Otherwise shared taxi is an equally good option. You can also book a taxi just for you between 2000 -2500 rupees. To pre book the bus you can use redbus or Assam State Road Transport Corporation (ASTC) (click here for Google App) and for taxis makemytrip. Apart from this local taxis are available outside the railway station.
As we had gone to Kaziranga first and then to Shillong it was an even longer journey for us. We started from Kaziranga around 10am and reached Shillong by evening 5pm covering approximately 260kms.We had stopped at a few places on the way for lunch and other breaks. Since it was winter, it grew dark very early around 5pm.
We had booked a hotel called the Silk Route. It’s a decent hotel but more importantly its near the town center. We visited Shillong during the month of Christmas so the whole town was lit up 🙂
Shillong is a small city and the best way to experience it is on foot. Walking around the city, exploring the local food and culture, talking to the locals could be life time memories for you. Few must visit places are at a distance and can be covered either by shared taxi or bus.
Street food is a must try especially during night around the city center. We tried Momo’s, Grilled Meats, Noodles etc..
Climate is really really chilling and nice but note that temperature can drop suddenly during the evening. One of the funny things that happened was that Anjali thought there is no need of jacket when we stepped out during the evening but had to rush back to the hotel to wear the jacket. If you don’t have any warm clothes then Shillong is a good place to buy some because you can get it for a good price.
After having a good evening – walking around the streets of Shillong and trying some local food we headed back to our hotel to get some sleep.
Woke up around 7ish in the morning and it was really cold outside. Quickly got ready as there was so much to cover in a day. Finished our breakfast and started our site seeing 🙂
Its around 12 km from Shillong and one of the most popular tourist attractions. This waterfall is called ‘Ka Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew’ (three stages waterfalls) by the Khasi locals due to the way the waterfalls in three stages. The waterfalls are surrounded by greenery which makes the place even more beautiful.
Nohkalikai Falls – Cherrapunjee
Magnificent falls splashing down a thousand splendid feet. They are also called the seven sister falls which symbolizes the seven states in northeast namely Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram and Meghalaya. Because of the high rain records, this place is usually misty and foggy but we were lucky to be there on a clear afternoon.This place has a beautiful view of the mountains. The visibility of the waterfall is highly dependent on the weather. Visiting here on a foggy day will be a bad idea The drive from the city to this place is equally interesting and beautiful. The best time to visit this place will be during mornings.
Don Bosco Museum
One of the must visit place in Shillong. This is sometimes referred to as Asia’s largest Museum of Indigenous Cultures. The Don Bosco Museum is a collection of the beautiful culture and tradition of North East India. It’s a very informative museum and there are seven floors to see everything so there is a lot of walking to do.
The museum remains open on all weekdays, from Monday to Saturday and entry is allowed from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during summers while during winters, it is 9:00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. The Museum remains closed on Sundays.
- Elevators for the elderly and sick people
- Interactive computer area
- Media and conference hall
- Touch Screen Computers
- Mini Museum for Kids
- Sensor Lighting System
- Wi-fi Connection
- Drinking Water
- Parking Lots
The center exhibits different cultures, habitats, occupations, history, language, religion, trade, technology, weapons and music etc. through the medium of different galleries, cultural artefacts, paintings that depicts various dimensions of life in North East. These galleries are arranged thematically from floor to floor. The different galleries are:
- Agricultural Gallery
- Alcoves Gallery
- Art Gallery
- Basketry Gallery
- Costumes and Ornaments Gallery
- Hunting and Gathering Gallery
- Food Gallery
- Housing Pattern Gallery
- Introductory and Prehistory Gallery
- Lands and Peoples Gallery
- Language Gallery
- Mission and Cultures Gallery
- Musical Instruments Gallery
- Our Neighbor’s Gallery
- Photo Gallery
- Religions and Cultures Gallery
- Traditional Technology Gallery and Weapons Gallery.
Besides galleries, the center also carries out research, publications and hosts a well-stocked library for the benefit of visitors, students and scholars.
This is one of the natural caves among many others in Meghalaya. The cave is lit and has impressive formation of passages and chambers made of limestone.It’s at a stone’s throw away from Sohra (Cherrapunjee) and around 60 km from Shillong in the little village of Mawsmai. There is plenty of flora and fauna within the cave to catch one’s attention. The length of the cave is just 150 meters which is not the longest compared to the other caves in the region but it surely provides one a glimpse of life in the underground.
Sadly, we were short of time so couldn’t visit many other places, but will definitely visit them as well at some point of time.
North East and specifically Meghalaya has freshness in the air and will make you fall in love with this state.
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