Shillong is the capital of Indian North Eastern State Meghalaya. It has European connection who gave it the sobriquet of ‘Scotland of the East’ may be to get rid of some home sickness, who knows? Since I myself come from a hill station, similar in many respects, a visit to Shillong gave very homely vibes to this mountain child.I
am a basic traveller so I have this very nature of enjoying every thing, every twist and turn during a Journey. Instead of flying, we chose AC Train tickets from Delhi to Guwahati. Reason, a hunger for more! In the back of mind, I had the planning to capture all the journey in my 6/6 visioned retina, and the goal was quite achieved. Moreover a journey by train is unique in itself; you get to see a different kind of India!
For a hill person like me, the long stretched rice fields were also a different thing to see; I was habitual to the terraced land, you see. It was unusual to meet countless sparkling water bodies of various sizes; ponds, lakes, rivers and ultimately the mighty Brahmaputra.
I stood near the door all through the bridge which was like a kilometre long or so. It was September. Guwahati welcomed us with a mild shower. No problem; we hadn’t taken bath for like two days! And not to forget that helpless sitting time on Newspapers at the New Delhi Railway Station platform, when our train was supposedly late, and nobody knew the truth; all sophistication said buh-bye soon!!!
So, Shillong is some 100 km from Guwahati. An interesting man ‘Cocktail’ drove us to NEHU. It was dark. He told about the peculiar culture prevalent over there. The one which caught my attention was that the youngest daughter is the legal heir of the family; she gets it all! A…mazing. Later on I realised that these people were very advanced; They have adopted western culture in a way much better, preserving their own at the same time. Isn’t it commendable?
Every street seemed drenched in music there (Non Veg). The Sun rose really early, and went down equally soon. We had prepaid mobiles which were therefore good for nothing. STD was used to call home in morning, just to wake our families from sleep. They were like,’ what has gotten into you? How you woke up so early?’ They forgot ‘we were in the Easter part of the country, and Sun rises first there!
Trip was memorable, visited many excellent places. Some pictures are being shared.
Ward’s Lake: Also known as Pollock’s Lake. Located in the mid of the city. It is named after the then Chief commissioner Of Assam, Sir William Ward. Timings:
November -February: 8.00 am till 5.30 pm & March- October; 8.30 am till 7.00 pm
Shillong Golf Course: One of the oldest, largest, and finest natural golf courses in the world. Entitled as GLENEAGLE OF THE EAST. Located at an altitude of 5200 ft, initially it was 9-hole course, but was made 18-holed in 1924.
Lady Hyadari Park: Japanese styled garden with a mini zoo.
Cathedral Catholic Church also Cathedral of Marry Help of Christians
Opens 7.00 am to 6.30 pm summers & 8.00 am to 6.30 pm winters
Elephant Falls: It’s a three-step water fall. some 12 km from the city.
We travelled back in early morning, and The Umiam Lake was all covered by fog. We didn’t make a stop here.
Later, did some sight seeing in Guwahati. Journey to North East culminated with the blessings at the Kamakhya Temple. Godess was glad to have us there. May be that’s why she arranged for a shortcut. We were awestruck; the line was endless, otherwise.
One thing more. You can do a lot of shopping for exotic things like apparels, bags, shoes etc since the state shares international borders, and this November, Shillong is hosting the India’s first International Cherry Blossom Festival. Need more reason to go?