After completing our Guwahati Sightseeing Tour, Next day post breakfast we started for Shillong. Distance between Guwahati to Shillong is near about 100 km and it takes 3.5 hrs to reach Shillong from Guwahati. We reached late afternoon because we spent some time on the way. After reaching hotel we refreshed ourselves and took coffee and snacks. We thought till evening we would spend time loitering around but it started raining. We enjoyed rain from our glass window. It was awesome. Tomorrow will be hectic for us as we would cover Top 6 places to visit in Shillong.
Shillong is the capital city of Meghalaya state. Meghalaya means The Abode of Clouds. I spent 3 years of my early childhood in Shillong. I have visited Laitumukhrah, Police Bazar and Rabindra Bhawan many times with my parents. Though the city changed a lot. Now after 35 years I came to visit Shillong with my family. I found Shillong more crowded with huge traffic. I have got only one day to spend here. Because day after tomorrow we have to catch Kolkata bound flight from Guwahati in the evening. Next day after heavy breakfast we started our Top 6 places to visit in Shillong. First we went to
1. Shillong Peak
We reached Shillong Peak through Jowai Road after 15 km drive from our hotel. It is one of the highest points in the state which offers a magnificent bird’s eye view of the city. The Shillong Peak offers you one of the best views in the area. Mostly covered in fog, it stands at a height of 2000 m above sea level. The semi-circular peak looks stunning and resembles a crown placed on top of Shillong Hill. Tourists can either trek or drive to the top to see the serene views. On reaching the top, one would be exposed to a spectacular view of Shillong, the Himalayas and the plains of Bangladesh. A telescope is also available for tourists. This place is also an air-force base and has a radar station. We spent there nearly about 1 hour and started moving to Nohkalikai Falls.
2. Nohkalikai Falls
Nohkalikai waterfalls are one of the highest waterfalls in our country. Gushing down from a height of 1100 feet, this waterfall is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Cherrapunji. The panoramic view of the Nohkalikai waterfall, cascading down into a pool-like formation. From the viewing shed, tourists can not only enjoy a panoramic view of the waterfalls but also the lush surroundings. A fleet of stairs take you to other viewpoints.
There is a sad story behind the naming of this waterfall. It is believed that a woman named Ka Likai was a widow with a baby girl. She remarried so that her daughter can have the love of a father; on the contrary, her new husband hated the daughter as Ka Likai gave all her time to her little one. Once when she was away for work, he killed the little girl. When Ka Likai was back from work, she was astonished not to see her daughter around and found later her daughter has been killed by her husband. Filled with remorse, sadness and grief, she rushed to the cliff and threw herself down. And, therefore the fall was named after her, Nohkalikai waterfalls.
The regrettable legend must not stop you from visiting the falls since it is nature at its best. The monsoon months of June to September are the perfect time to visit Nohkalikai Falls, since the waterfall would be packed with water. December to February can be avoided since it is a dry season and the fall would have reduced amount of water. We then went to Nohsngithiang Falls.
3. Nohsngithiang (Seven Sisters) Falls
Nohsngithiang Falls was sometimes referred to as the Seven Sisters Falls due to the presence of several falls of cascades coming down in parallel. The water falls from a height of 1,035 ft and making it one of the tallest waterfalls in India.
The falls plunges over the top of cliffs of the Khasi Hills. The waterfalls get illuminated by the sun and the vivacious colors of the sun on the waterfalls make it gorgeous. Then we moved towards Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama at Cherrapunji.
4. Ramkrishna Mission Ashram at Cherrapunjee
At the peak of the hill in Cherrapunjee village, the museum of the Ramakrishna Mission has an interesting collection of Northeastern tribal artifacts from fish traps to fur hats, models and informations highlighting Meghalaya’s Garo, Jaintia and Khasi tribes.
Based on the foundation of the ideology and preaching of Swami Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Swami Vivekananda, Ramakrishna Mission Ashram is a famous ashram in Cherrapunjee district of Meghalaya. It is a place that serves the needy and teaches humanity. No visitor forgets to visit this place to attain peace of mind.
This ashram is known for its philanthropy. It serves the poor through various ways like providing them with three meals a day, educating the deprived, providing jobs to the deserving etc. This ashram provides education to the children that belong to the tribal groups of Meghalaya. From there we went to Mawsmai Cave.
5. Mawsmai Cave
Located around 7 Kms from Cherrapunjee, the Mawsmai Caves are a foremost tourist attraction that leaves tourists spellbound. These limestone caves have the merit of being the only caves in Meghalaya. Though the caves are long, only a distance of 150 meters is open for tourists, while the other part is closed. The stalactites and stalagmites caves have numerous forms, shapes and sizes inside leaving one to visualize as many life forms as possible.
The cave has a broad opening but it is soon squeezed into a small neck. If you enter from one end and then you have to come out at other end. There are places in the cave, where visitors need to bow and squeeze themselves out. This place is unusually stunning and adventurous. We then went to Elephant Falls.
6. Elephant Falls
At the foot of the falls due to a stone which looks like elephant, the name has been given by Britishers. Later due to earth quake the stone has been broken but the name remains unchanged. It is a tourists’ heaven with three layers of the falls accessible to the layman from different points. Elephant Waterfalls is an excellent place for spending some time in the midst of nature. Situated 14 km away from the capital city of Shillong, it is one of the most visited falls in the beautiful state.
A trip to these falls requires climbing of stairs. Hence, I should not recommend climbing to aged one who have a little difficulty in walking. The stairs might be slippery. So, make sure to wear comfortable shoes with a good grip. There are a few temporary shops selling cheap souvenirs and food items near the parking lot.
Then we came back to our Shillong hotel, packed our cloths and got ready to leave Shillong next day.