Package Name: Must See Places around Shillong, Meghalaya
Shillong is undoubetly one of the best hill stations in India. Situated in the East Khasi Hills in Meghalaya, Shillong boasts of a well developed hill station (formerly the capital of Assam during British India) in nature’s glorious beauty. Infact the entire Khasi Hills region that forms the central part of Meghalaya is richly endowed with natural beauty. Everywhere you go, you will never cease to be mystified by the spectacular charm the state offers. The best places to visit around Shillong are given below.
1.The Unexplored Laitlum Canyon, “End of the Hills”
Laitlum means the “end of the hills” and literally the world seems to end here. At the edge of the hill all you can see are breathtaking gorges and slopes painted in different hues and a valley below. The best view of Shillong is from the Laitlum Canyon. It is rightly called the Amphitheatre of Shillong.
There is a stairway that goes down to a small village below called Raslong. A stairway is used to transport food commodities to this village.
It is a trekker’s paradise with the freshest air to breathe and the most beautiful meadows, orchids, bamboo plantations that one can find.
This is one of those unexplored spots of the world that still retains its pristine beauty and purity.
Bollywood movie, Rock On 2, has been shot here. Still it is not a typical touristy place.
•Location: Laitlum Canyons, East Khasi Hills District, Shillong, Meghalaya
•Travel Distance:101 km from Shillong
•Travel Time: 2 hours 14 mins drive from Shillong
A Photographer’s Delight
End of the Hills..mesmerizing view
Stairway to the village below-Raslong- through bamboo plantations and wild exotic orchids
A Trekker’s Paradise..pristine and untouched beauty
A beautiful Steam on the way
A ropeway used to transport food commodities to Raslong village
2. Smit Village
On the way to Laitlum Canyon you will cross Smit Village. Just 8 km from Smit is Laitlum Canyon.
Smit Village is a pollution-free zone and blessed with abundant beauty. It is pristine and pure and its beauty is mesmerizing and serene to say the least. The majestic rolling hills of Smit could give Scotland some competition!
Smit is the cultural capital of the Khasi culture. The Nongkrem Festival is held here during November. There is a 100 year old traditional wood house made without any metal nails. The Nongkrem Dance is performed in front of the house.
•Location: East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya
•Distance: 11 km from Shillong on Shillong Jowai Road
Local khasi boy grazing sheep
Royal princesses performing at the Nongkrem Festival
Mawlynnong is a small village near Shillong, which won the status of being the cleanest village (2003), not just in India, but in Asia. It is a one of a kind village in India- besides being spotlessly clean and tidy it is also very pretty and cozy.
You see thatched khasi huts with tiny gardens of many flowers in front and each hut having a bamboo basket outside to keep the streets clean.
An attraction here is the roots bridge. This is very typical to Meghalaya. The villagers twist and weave the roots of ficus trees over rivulets and over time these roots grow and bridges are formed over the streams. In Mawlynnong there is a bridge made of a gigantic rubber tree roots.
The villagers have made a Sky View – an 85 feet high viewing tower out of bamboo and from here one can view not only the entire village but Bangladesh on the other side. It is quite a breathtaking sight.
• Location: Mawlynnong, East Khasi Hills District, Shillong, Meghalaya
• Travel Distance:100 km from Shillong
• Travel Time: 2 hours 14 mins drive from Shillong
4. Cherrapunji, Sohra
Cherrapunji or Sohra is the most famous place around Shillong known for being the wettest place in the world in the Guinness Book of World Records! Cherrapunjee receives close to 12 m of rain every year. Though the status of the most rainiest place on earth has changed from Cherrapunji to Mawsynram (about 16km from Cherrapunji), Cherrapunjee still reigns supreme in terms of tourist attraction.
Meghalaya’s double-decker and single-decker root bridges are found in Cherrapunjee (Sohra) & Mawlynnong. Located around 56 kms from Shillong, Cherrapunjee is a must visit destination known for its numerous waterfalls and a trek to the single and double decker root bridges. The trek from Cherrapunjee to the living root bridges is not for the faint hearted as it requires lot of stamina and grit to trek down to these natural wonders of the nature.
5 Mawphlang Sacred Forest.
A day’s trip to Mawphlang Sacred Forest will leave you in peace and tranquil to say the least. About 25 km from shilling is the most ancient sacred forests with some trees going back to thousand years! Since ancient times the local people have protected the forest and cutting trees or any harmful activity has been strictly prohibited. The rich flora and fauna consists of medicinal herbs and plants, wild orchids, rare flowers and many rudraksh trees. There are sacred groves in the forest encircled by foliage of ferns. The ground is covered by grasslands. There are stone megaliths at the boundary of the forest. The forest is a visual treat and an ecological treasure.