Shillong, the Scotland of the East:

The beauty of Falls.
The beauty of Falls.
The clouds in the sky of Shillong.
The clouds in the sky of Shillong.
The scenic beauty of Shillong.
The scenic beauty of Shillong.
The modified houses of the City in the 20th century.
The modified houses of the City in the 20th century.
A view of Elephant Falls from Top.
A view of Elephant Falls from Top.
A view of Elephant Falls in front.
A view of Elephant Falls in front.
The Traffic Station at Police Bazaar in Shillong.
The Traffic Station at Police Bazaar in Shillong.
A typical home of Shillong.
A typical home of Shillong.
A view of nearby Lake of Shillong.
A view of nearby Lake of Shillong.
The Cathedral Church at the center of Shillong City.
The Cathedral Church at the center of Shillong City.
The scene of boating in the Lake of Shillong.
The scene of boating in the Lake of Shillong.
The busy market place of Shillong at Police Bazar
The busy market place of Shillong at Police Bazar
The Garo Girls in their traditional dresses.
The Garo Girls in their traditional dresses.
An open market in Shillong Area.
An open market in Shillong Area.
The view of Shillong from Shillong Peak.
The view of Shillong from Shillong Peak.
A scenic beauty from a Hill Top.
A scenic beauty from a Hill Top.
The newly built Civil Hospital in Shillong.
The newly built Civil Hospital in Shillong.
The scenic appearance of Cherrapunjee, the worlds wetted place.
The scenic appearance of Cherrapunjee, the worlds wetted place.

Shillong is a place of beauty and Comfort:

Shilling, a place in the north- eastern India, is a hilly strip and once the place was the capital of Assam in British Raj and the best choice able place for the British families who were residing in India during British administration. The natural beauty of the place with Pine Tree, the lake, the natural cleanliness of the roads, the falls, the Shillong peak, the highly standard schools, colleges, Shillong club and above all the most comfortable climate throughout all seasons of the year had made the place all attractive. Today it is the capital city of newly formed state Meghalaya ( Jan.21, 1972) of India.

Shillong, the Summer Capital of Eastern Bengal and Assam during British Raj:

Meghalaya, one of the smallest states in India is situated at an average altitude of 4,908ft (1,496 m) above sea level with about 22 lakh people. It was once a small village in the forest region at such a height. But it attracted the sight of British Rulers. In 1864, the place was made as the Summer Capital of Eastern Bengal and Assam for many years. After the formation of Assam, in 1874, it was made the head quarter of new administration because of its convenient location between the Brahmaputra and Summa Valley and more so because of the climate which was much cooler than tropical India. The pleasant, pollution-free city surrounded by hills was a place of attraction for tourists local and abroad.

Shillong, a place of Tourist attraction:

Shillong is a place at the height of 1496 meter above sea level. Police Bazar is the central point of the city where number of hotels big or small is there for tourists. Shillong has no rail connection but the place is well connected with the surroundings with motor able roads. It is about 3hrs journey from Guwahati to Shillong by road. There is no dearth of Buses, Taxies and Vans. There is air connection with a small airport at Umroi, 30 km away from Shillong. One can prefer a journey via Guwahati which is well connected by major air-port at Borjar and railway station at Guwahati. Shillong receives heavy rainfalls during Monsoon. It must be known to the visitors that an Umbrella is a must in the rainy season. It is a place of Fashion. All kinds of dresses including the top quality brands from India and abroad are available in all standard shops. Traditional tribal dresses are available in Shillong.

Places to Visit in Shillong:

The resting at Shillong itself is a comfort of pleasure. The fresh air and smoothing climate make a person bright and fresh. A beautiful fall was created by broken rocks in Upper Shillong; the British named it Elephant Falls as because the broken rocks resemble an elephant. One should see the Elephant Falls in the upper Shillong although outing is hardy due to climbing of 250 steps to reach the top apart from the smooth stroll in the Police Bazar area and Shillong Lake area. One should not miss the visiting of Shillong Peak, the highest point at a height of 1965m above sea level. The city at night from Shillong peak is a view of unforgettable site. During day time visitors can venture if they wish to the forest regions. The forest regions of Shillong are different than other forest regions. There is no large or dangerous animals instead forest is full of rare and exotic plants – Orchids, pines and others including the famous insect eating pitcher plant. Pubs and Clubs are there for recreation but the night life of Friday and Saturday is enjoyable. It is a place of drinker’s paradise because the cost of drink is lowest here due to tax structure of alcohol in this state. A person of academic interest can make a visit to State Central Library, located near Dhankheti, a library established at the time of British Raj that holds many rare books and almanacs.

The Legacy of British Raj is still visible:

The house architecture and food habit of people is still comparable with that of British people. The Assam style houses with wooden floors was a typical comfortable art of house used by British in Shillong what is still used by the majority people in Shillong. The majority people of the City of Shillong belongs to Khasis community though a significant number of Bengali, Nepali, Assamese, Biharis and Marwaris are a part in making it a fairly cosmopolitan City. Besides these all other North-East Indian tribes are also present in the city. Christianity is the dominant religion of the city. An interesting aspect of the khasis is that they are matrilineal society- the mother is the head of the family, youngest daughter owns the whole property and mother’s surname is passed on to children. The Shillong Golf Course is the oldest Golf Course in India. Its unique location has made it so beautiful that it is compared with the “Glen Eagle Course” of the United States.

A Visit to Cherrapunjee is an Adventure:

Cherrapunjee is 56 km away from Shillong. It is the world’s wettest place. It is worth while to make a journey to Cherrapunji to get accustom with the clouds at the surface of the earth. Besides these, the motor able journey from Shillong to Cherrapunjee is full of thrill and excitement. The whole path of journey passes through a scenic natural beauty. The journey is adventurous and thrilling as it passes through a road sometimes covered with snow between the foothills and a canal below 200ft running parallel to jig jug road.

Visitors Comment:

How the visitors like the place is reflected in their comments. Few of the comments are noted below:

(i) We had a great holiday trip to North-East. It was through LTC concession Scheme and this was the first time that we went to the North-East. The hotels are good, the rooms are clean, the food was good and the buffet breakfast was ok. It was foggy when we went to Cherrapunji. We enjoyed.

(ii) I visited Shillong during Second week of August. Shillong is such a nice place to be. The weather is very nice, low levels of pollution. Lush green all around. I stayed in Polo Towers. I booked it online and contacted them on phone for my pick up from Air-port. They arranged it very well. Rooms are quit well. [ Polo Grounds Oakland Road, Shillong].

(iii)  A summary of a Visitor from Bangalore:

Hello folks, this is a post long over-due. A post about a trip that I made in the first week of May. And, the delay is much more manifested when I announce that it was the first ever air trip that I had made. In the first week of May, I went on a journey to the gateway of North East India, Guwahati. A rare opportunity that I got since my father is now working there. I visited Guwahati, Shillong and Cherrapunji during that trip.

I have only heard about those places from my friends from North-East at college and I was happy to go on a vacation there. More so because, for the first time I boarded a flight. A direct one from Bangalore to Guwahati, with a stop at Calcutta. Guwahati welcomed me with a fierce thunderstorm and after that day, it was scorching days until I left the place. Again, on the day I left, there was heavy rainfall.

In all, I spent about 10 days there with my parents.  Before I dump a heap of information on the places I visited, I wish to share a piece of info. May be I might be a little late in knowing this, but just to let others know, the NE India has a great many beautiful places to be visited, and only a few of them are popular outside of those states.

I visited Shillong and Cherrapunji. Shillong is about 3-4 hrs drive from Guwahati. There are lots of shared cars/Gypsies available from a place called “Khana-Para”. Also, it is worth noting that Guwahati houses the inter-state bus stand of the seven states of NE India. We hired a cab and went on the journey. All along, the route was surrounded by hills, since the NE India is a part of the sub Himalayan terrain. May be something of a custom, every body going through that route (apart from the regulars) stop at a place called Jorabat to offer a prayer to lord Ganesha there. Jorabat is at the Assam-Meghalaya border. From there, we reach Shillong, capital of Meghalaya, via Nongpoh, the major town en route. Also, mid-way, we stopped to take a few snaps of “Bara Pani”.

The moment we enter Meghalaya, we can realize why it was named so (Meghalaya => Megha(clouds) + Alaya(abode) => Abode of clouds). Though it was officially the peak of summer, the temperature was about 25-270C. And there was always an occasional drizzle. No wonder why the British choose Shillong as their HQ for Air Force. Even now, the Govt. of India has its Eastern Air Command (EAC) at Shillong. Actually, it is not an overstatement to mention that EAC forms half of Shillong. And not really surprisingly, found a Tricky guy running a hotel providing pure Madras style food. Learnt from him that there is considerable size of Tamil population in what he calls the Upper Shillong, where my father heads a BSNL office at Late Kor.

Places to see at Shillong are mostly “View points”. The viewpoint at Lire Kor, which you would reach by driving along the entire EAC region, is the highest point of Shillong. There is always a mild drizzle three and from that point, you can practically view the whole of Shillong. For those interested in geography, the state of Meghalaya has three major hills, with one major city atop each of them (IIRC). Shillong is at the East Khasi hills; then we have the Gharo hills and Jaintha hills, with WilliamNagar/Tura and Jowai as the major places. Other places at Shillong are the Air Force Meuseum, en route from Shillong city to the litekor peak and the lake at Shillong. Went for boating there.

Then, visited Cherrapunji, officially called Shora. It was the place with highest rainfall until recently. Now, that record is held by Mawsynram, a place a few kilometers from here. Cherrapunji also has a great deal of view points, one being very famous for you can see the villages of Bangladesh from there. All along from Shillong to Cherrapunji, there are lots of places with breath taking scenic beauty. The govt. of Meghalaya has done a good job by creating/constructing “view points” where ever possible.

A few places of importance en route Shillong to Cherrapunji and in and around Cherrapunji are: “The elephant falls”  and the “ Mawsmai caves”  A visit to the Mawsmai caves will really test the flexibility of one’s body, if we are to take the 100 m walk inside the circular cave. The beautiful sight of the Elephant falls where we can see the water rushing from the heights of mountain peaks and falling into the abyss of the gorges is really breath-taking.

Over all, it was a great trip that I really enjoyed. Also, at the same time we should think something really serious. At least, in these parts of India, we still have the nature and its resources intact and undisturbed (They have already started to bulldoze some parts of hills to lay roads). We need to preserve them. In these days, where there are equally loud cries both for infrastructure development and for “Going Green”, we need to be very careful. Natural resources are really a gift and we should preserve them for an eternity.

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Comments 23 comments

JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

JYOTI KOTHARI 7 years ago from Jaipur


Nice article. Nice pictures. I rated this up and posted in blog Hubbers India.


Jyoti Kothari

H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 7 years ago from Guwahati, India Author

Hi Kothari,

Thanks, thanks a lot for compliment.

T. Sanz 6 years ago

H P Roychoudhury,

Hi.. I am a local of Shillong... Whatever mentioned above in your article is mostly correct.. Though , I would like to make one correction: The Girls wearing blue and dancing are not Khasi girls.. They are Garo girls. Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya and Khasi , Jaintia and Garos are the tribes who stay in this state.

Kindly make this correction.

Thank you.

H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India Author

Hi T.Sanz,

Having being a local you have rightly pointed out the right words for the beautiful dresses of the Garo girls. But the Khasi Girls are found equally well dressed in the market and streets of Shillong. Of course as a man of plane people I have mistaken to identify even though I passed a glorious part of my life in Shillong serving in St Anthony College when Father Joesph was the Principle. The memory of the past still reminds me the police Bazar of Shillong area where we could see the beauty of Shillong and the beautiful seen of floods of local people and people of far off places. Thanks for reading my articles and placing a corrective note. I have corrected it now by replacing Khasi by Garo.

Anamika S profile image

Anamika S 6 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

Wonderful Post! I agree with you. I was born in Shillong and have visited the place several times. This place still fascinates me and I do not think that I would ever get bored of going there.

Amit 6 years ago


May I point out the name of the Hospital under 17th Photograh? If allowed it is to be NEIGRIMS, newly built a research Center as well as Hospital.

H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India Author

Hi Anamika- I praise your love for shillong. Amit is great to me for the addition of NEIGRIMS,a new Center of Medical Science.

apsara marwein 5 years ago

HI...shillong my mother land,shillong is the place where i was born and grow up there.....i cn't survive without shillong,its just take my breat away when i remember my hometown.As,a young girl who stay away from her hometown i would to share my experience,eventhough being as a tourism student ,i have been travel all over India but rarely that i'll get the same sensation like shillong.....its just amazing ,uncomparable,unique with pleasant weather.I miss shillong "THE LAND OF GOD" KHUBLEI

H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 5 years ago from Guwahati, India Author

Hi apsara Marwein,

I fully agree with you. I visited many hilly places of India but to me Shillong is exceptional.

Levi w.pahsyntiew 5 years ago

Hi, i fully agree you'l never find a place like khasi hills.Its hard to deny that shillong is a gorgeous place.GOD BLESS SHILLONG

H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 5 years ago from Guwahati, India Author

I feel proud of myself for your rich comment. I spent my early life in Shillong; the beauty which had inscribed in my mind is never forgotten. To me it is heaven.

Abinn 4 years ago

Mr Roychoudhury,

Thank you so much for this article. My girlfriend is from shillong and I am visiting this heaven for the first time with her. I am sure this post is going to help me alot to know the place better.

Thanks again,


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 4 years ago from Guwahati, India Author

This article is no matter when your girl friend is with you, she being hailed from Shillong, the queen of the land, how lucky the chap you are.

subhabrata deshmukh 4 years ago

Thank you very much for loading the beautiful pictures of Shillong. Now I am at Delhi but my native village is at near Silchar.When I go their (village) I always cross the Meghalaya hills by bus from Guwahati.It is the beauty of heaven.



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H P Roychoudhury 4 years ago from Guwahati, India Author

Hi Deshmukh,

Thank you very much.

sai 4 years ago

I heard that hotel manager are quite manarless in shillong.. If you come with a girl they start their KBC RROUND

Palei 4 years ago

Indeed it is! Shillong !...ah..."scotland of the east" i miss its fresh breeze in the morning, cold winds during winter, cool weather in summers and above all the land, my land, my "Ri Khasi"...the place i love the most, so serene, so unique, so beautiful and unexpressable, unexplainable...!!! Missing you my homeland :(

H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 4 years ago from Guwahati, India Author

Palei- My writing as well as my feeling had been enriched by your beautiful comment, you being a Native of the Land.

Deepika Arun profile image

Deepika Arun 4 years ago from Chennai, India

Thanks for the interesting and informative hub! Voted Up and Interesting!

We are planning to visit Shillong this December. Is December the right time to visit Shillong and Cherrapunji? How about the weather conditions?

What was your total expenditure for your tour? Is vegetarian food available there?

Thanks in advance for your kind guidance!

H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 4 years ago from Guwahati, India Author

HelloDeepika Madam,

I am glad to see your comment in reading my article. To answer your question I should say December is good to visit to enjoy the bitterness of cold. Of course you should carry warm cloth. Cherrapunji journey is wonderful to see full of thrill and fear where the jig-jug road will be full of snow. Expenditure depends upon choice of Hotels and place. If you move away from Police Bazar like Laitumkhrah or Beat House Hotel Expense will be less. You can phone - 0364-2226561 (Hotel Prakash - medium facility- Hotel Prakash) in Laitumukhra Area. Good Luck - Happy journey.

travelholidays profile image

travelholidays 3 years ago from India

From the pictures itself we can realize why Shillong is called Scotland of East. Amazing Hub. Thanks for sharing :)

K.L.Khanna 3 years ago

Here is a quote from my forthcoming novel. The quote is made to signify the state of the protagonist who visits Shillong Peak (the original Ley Shillong . Period: Sometime in 1974) :-

“It was love in its pristine, archetypal form.

Love felt him.

Quiver of a beloved footfall touched the listening spaces of his soul.

He burst into tears as a cloud hung over him.

He stood on the continuum of nature and time. It was an emerald word of wisdom that he received in that state. Beyond the human art of reason, language or sign.

Silence that had immensely soft force about it.

Slowly, in a measure of time that he became oblivious of; the sunshine returned fold by fold. The sentinel pines stood like friendly witnesses to his presence there. The insuperable experience of the abode of clouds was on him; permanently stamped on his soul and heart. Sunshine above the Shillong Peak.”

And, another one:-

" Slow pure breeze blew near the forest and the fall. It carried a sharp scent of pine that was restorative. Rohan felt good.

“Shall we see the Falls, Trisha?”

“Yes” and she walked with Rohan.

“What happened on the way; why were you crying?” asked Rohan.

She didn’t say anything. She instead put her arm over his shoulders and threw some of her weight on him.

Elephant Falls are a multiple complex of four falls. But the noise of the falling water is a single continuous musical note.

On their right side was the nullah that fed the falls, on the left the deep sacred forest that was spread in miles till the next village. They walked in the grim, sad silence of the forest, broken by the placid lifeless waterfall. Rohan felt heaviness in his chest; Trisha no purpose at all. She was yet to know why she came with Rohan today, especially when she had known that she had abandoned her life that she had felt useful with Rohan.

She saw a track cutting into the forest on the left side. She stopped and abruptly, as if to dodge Rohan, took a turn behind him and walked on the track inside the forest. The sacred one by the animist tradition. Rohan was familiar with it. He had once gotten deep inside that.

“But we were going to see the falls; weren’t we?” he asked loudly.

“Let us go inside the forest. I want to get lost”, said Trisha and kept walking and shambling on the hidden stones.

They walked amidst thick and thin greens in the forest. Creepers ran from tree to tree. Primeval orchids of various colours and variety hung through the old trees. Some trees looked like more than a hundred years old. There was thick wood all around. Bushes and their green spread didn’t leave an inch of space anywhere on the ground. The track that Trisha followed ended by the root of a tree. They stood there abandoned.

Rohan turned around and felt that there was a small way beyond the undergrowth that had covered their track by the feet of the tree. He waded through the thick of a bush and got on to the strip. He recalled from his earlier visit. The track went straight on the roof of the cave that gobbled the small river after it passed through all the falls. He made through the bush and escorted Trisha back on the thin live strip in the forest.

After about twenty minutes of walking and forcing through bushes, Trisha felt a bit tired. She sat on the trunk of a tree that grew tangentially to the ground. Rohan stood by her. A pattern of sun and shade fell on them both. He held her hands and then spoke in a voice that carried a deep concern, “You wanted to talk to me a lot and I too. But you are saying nothing, Trisha!”

“Rohan, hug me and kiss me on my lips, please” said Trisha and stood up. " "

And another one from the penultimate chapter:--

" " As he reached the bus stand at Nongthymmai he instinctively went inside Kong Florence’s shop and sat silently on the stool in the corner without disturbing the order of business. Kong Florence knew about his new job and plans to leave Shillong. As he sat foiled on the stool he felt he was in the old beaten corner of hs father’s shop. He pulled his face down, his elbows on his knees. Someone gave him a cup of tea which he drank slowly. His mother came in the shop and took the cup away. The shop assistant started putting things back to close the shop. Kong Florence stood before him and knew the meaning of his posture.

Lights in the street and in the shop went off. Power cut, he heard. But, he could see his mother’s frame. A silhouette. She too could see him in the moon light. He pulled himself from the stool to embrace her, and sighed. They in the shop knew what it was. Kong said something in Khasi fast, “ …. Ki iai ong ia nga..” recounting perhaps some other defeats that she knew in her language. She patted his back in her cuddle and spoke nonstop in Khasi which Rohan had still not learnt but knew the meaning of. So many things! The words that came from her heart, which she knew he would not understand; and yet she hugged him, and said them, some in a mouldy anger some with a cry: .. “ Ki iai ong ia nga,… naba phi dei ka…khun.. khatduh phi hap ban peit ia ka iing..”

The words that he heard were of love, for love, on love- gone sour or calling for reprieve. In the vaster world of living humanity, he had a sister, who in her family was the youngest daughter and inheritor of the iing –the sacred home, a keeper of the flame of her matrilineal ancestory.. and would be bound to the iing. She shared his sorrow; or she her own with him, a dkhar! And then she patted his back repeatedly and said a few soft words- not in anger or in agony this time, but in assurance to the man who would leave her town soon, probably never to return.

16th April 1977.

From the next day, Rohan stopped going to Nina’s house. Only one week for him in Shillong.... " "

Michael 3 years ago

When is the novel coming to stands? Or is it out already? We haven't seen it anywhere yet. But it shows that the magic of Shillong was all over the author.

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