To be in Shillong and not visit Cherrapunjee is like returning hungry from a bridal feast! The place once received the highest rainfall in the world. (Now it is Mawsynram nearby that has the highest rainfall). It is just 56-km from Shillong, facilitating a trip to and back the same day. Locally known as Sohra, it is not awash with heavy rains everyday of the year as is generally believed. In Sohra, there is a mighty waterfall that is a heart pounding drop into the gorges and fascinating limestone caves and of course the orchids and orange honey.
Noh Kalikai Falls
A few kilometres to the west of Cherrapunjee, a clear bubbling stream emerges from its steep mountain bed to hurtle down a rocky precipice into a deep gorge, creating a captivating view of breathtaking beauty. A local legend is associated with the waterfall from which it has derived it's name.
Located near Cherrapunjee there exists another gentle but beautiful waterfall known as Dainthlen Falls or the falls where Thlen (Python) was butchered. Legend has it that once upon a time, the people in order to rid themselves of evil hunted down the Thlen and butchered it on the wide flat rocks overlooking a gentle waterfall. Ever since the waterfall at this place has been known as Dainthlen falls.
140-km from Shillong located on the bank of the river Jadukata, Ranikor stands on the beautiful sunny-sands of the river. A ferry service carries one across. Ranikor is an excellent fishing ground and the Jadukata has no shortage of huge golden Mahseers. The deeply forested environs of the place produce a scenic background of unique beauty. Its abundance of wildlife transformers the place into a wildlife lovers paradise.
64-km from Shillong, a popular health resort, having hot-springs of sulphur water, believed to have curative medicinal properties.
96-km from Shillong, is a border town, where one can have a glimpse of the neighbouring country of Bangladesh. The colourful annual boat race during spring at the Umgot River is an added attraction. An eye catching motorable suspension bridge spans the Dawki River connecting Khasi and Jaintia hills.
40-km from Shillong, capital of Nongkhlaw State, home of the legendary U Tirot Sing Syiem (Raja of Nonk\Gkhlaw), who spear headed a war against the British invaders to defend the territorial integrity and cultural identity of the Hynniewtrep people. He raised the battle cry on April 4, 1829, but was finally captured and died in captivity in Dhaka on July 17, 1855.
Mawsynram And Jakrem
Mawsynram, now officially the "world's wettest place", is just 12-km away from Cheerapunjee, but there is no direct transport the two - one has come back atleast as far as Upper Shillong. Mawsynram's main attraction is Mawjinbuin Cave, where a stalgmite in the form of a Lingam (also spelt as Linga) receives regular drips of water from a rock.
Jakrem, 21-km off the main road 44-km out of Shillong, has hot water springs, but is not as yet served by public transport.
The Jaintia hills in the east of the state are fairly easily accessible, with buses from Shillong's Bara Bazaar to Jowai, the main town of the region, makes a good base for visiting Narting, 29-km away from the town and 65-km from Shillong. This was the Summer capital of the Jaintia Kings, and features ancient monoliths - the tallest of which stands 8m high - dating back to the megalithic Hynniewtrep people. Nartiang also has a 15th century Durga temple.
To go back to the beginning, Shillong is indeed a coming together of experiences, each so individualistic and yet blending into a fine mélange. Or as the locals say, "Khublei" (God bless), it is indeed blessed by the Gods.
Air: The nearest airport is situated in
Guwahati (Borjhar) in Assam, 124-km away
Rail: The nearest railhead is situated at Guwahati , 100-km away.
Road: One can catch regular taxis and buses from the airport and rail station.
There is no dearth of hotels in Shillong. Most of the hotels are near the main taxi and bus stands. Touts are yet to make their presence felt here and so the choice is wide and open.
Best Season: April-May, before the onset of the
monsoon and September-November.
Climate & Clothes: Pack light woollens and rain gear. Rains are unpredictable throughout the year.
RESTAURANTS IN SHILLONG
Pinecone (Hotel Pinewood): Near Raj Bhavan (Governor's House)
La Galarie (Hotel Centre Point): Police Bazar
Polo Tower (Hotel Polo Towers): Near Polo Ground
Kimfa : Malki Point
Broad Way (Broadway Hotel): Police Bazar
Eee Cee : Police Bazar
Exclusive Restaurant (Hotel Alpine Continental): Police Bazar
The Unicorn (Hotel Pegasus Crown): Police Bazar
Blue Vada (Orchid Lake Resort): Barapani
The Host : Police Bazar
Yalana : Laitumkhrah
Bamboo Hut : Rap's Mansion
MARKETING CENTRES IN SHILLONG
Bara Bazar (Iewduh): The biggest open air market in India
Police Bazar: Located at the heart of the city
Glory's Plaza: Located at Police Bazar
Synod Complex: Located at Mot Phran
Departmental Store: Rap's Mansion
Laitumkhrah Bazar: Located at Laitumkhrah
Polo Bazar: Located at Polo
FOR ADVENTURE TOURS
Contact for details at:
Meghalaya Adventurers Association
c/o. Hotel Centre Point, Police Bazar, Shillong - 793 001
Director of Tourism
Nokrek Building, Lower
MTDC Ltd.v Orchid Hotel
Polo Road, Shillong-793001
9, Russel Street,
9, Aurangzeb Road, New Delhi-110011
Tourism Information Centre Ulubari
G.S. Road, Guwahati-781001
M.T.D.C. organises sightseeing tours every Saturday in and around Shillong.
Guwahati : 103-km