Wards Lake Shillong : While residing at the Hotel center point, I decided to visit Wards Lake after lunch. The U shaped lake has well set orchids and walkways around it. The bridge above the lake is amazing. I had a stroll in the botanical gardens too. Had the most reviving and rejuvenating feeling after spending just a few hours here. Indeed a must go place when visiting Meghalaya.
The day I planned to visit the Eco Park, it was raining from morning. Nevertheless, I could not give it a miss. So I decided to venture out and enjoy the rain-washed beauty of Cherrapunji.
Designed by the Meghalaya government, the Eco Park offers an eclectic panoramic view of the Green Canyons, a stream flowing inside the park and the waterfalls around it. The tourists can also get a glimpse of the Bangladesh plains on the other side of the Eco Park. The Eco Park has been beautified by a variety of orchids donated by the Shillong Agri-HoAdd Newrticultural society.
As our car braved the rain, gliding through the undulating mountain roads, I enjoyed the view outside the windowpane. The climate was cool and as the wiper went up and down the front glass, blurring the view as it went down and clearing it up again as it went up, I sat cozily enjoying the entire thing.
The driver went on talking about this and that about the rains and the place etcetera etcetera. But I was just lost in the surreal experience. There was a sudden thunder that tore apart the rhythm at one moment. With the sudden jolt, I was back from the trance. I looked up at the sky. It was like giant clouds warring right above. Suddenly, I felt so small, so feeble, protected inside a metal cocoon.
By the time we reached Cherrapunji Eco Park, the rain had subsided considerably. There was mild drizzling. As I stepped out of the car, it felt being in heaven. The entire environ was so pleasant and soothing to the eyes, that I didn’t even feel like closing my eyes for even a blink. I kept staring at the just out-of-the-shower Eco Park with specks of cloud here and there. You could literally touch the clouds.
It green earth under my feet was wet and soft, with the grass still dripping water from the tip. I walked around the park capturing some of the wonderful shots of the place and selfies with the waterfall as the backdrop in my mobile camera. The rejuvenating experience I had in the Cherrapunji Eco Park will stay with me all through my life.
Khasi Hills, most famous for Cherapunji or better known as Sohra among commons covers entire middle region of the state of Meghalaya. Endowed by the scenic beauty this place is a heaven for nature lovers. A huge number of tourists flock here in search of peace and to rejuvenate themselves in the lap of nature.
The whole areas of Khasi Hills include two of the most populous districts of Meghalaya; East Khasi Hills and West Khasi Hills. The region boasts of being one of the most beautiful and serene hill station of India and homes various attractions which include a trip to India’s most beautiful hill station Shillong, visiting the place with highest rainfall Cherapunji , discovering nature’s wonders living root bridges that look like as if they have came out right from a fantasy world.
The best and easiest way to reach here is through Cherapunji. It is about 15 kms from town, and you can discover the whole of the place by taxi services easily available here at very affordable prices. Nearest big city from here is Guwahati which is 130 kms from here.
The best time to explore Khasi Hills is winter season and time before the onset of monsoons as this place receives the highest amount of waterfall in the whole world. Tourists can explore this place between the months of September to October and April, May. If you are an adventure and nature lover then you are going to love this place as it offers trekking, camping, bird-watching, photography all at one place.
The nature buff that I am, I truly enjoyed the beauty of the place and had a perfect time here all by myself! I enjoy staying alone sometimes, and it was a great opportunity to introspect and think about how things have been in my life.
Well, enjoying alone time was good and now it was time to get back to the resort for some pampering with great food and a lovely complimentary guest fiesta for all the guests in the hotel. I was definitely looking forward to it.
Hotel Silk Route Shillong : During my visit to Shillong I decided to reside at Hotel Silk Route for 3 days. The astonishingly beautiful set up and atmosphere made my stay wonderful. The restaurant serves delicious and scrumptious delicacies. Having many tourist destinations nearby, this hotel is well accessible. The spacious rooms and conglomerate décor is quite attractive. The services and amenities provided had me totally satisfied.
After the Don Bosco Museum, the next day, I visited the Catholic Cathedral in Shillong, One of the most famous places in Shillong, the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians, is frequented by both Catholic and non-Catholic tourists alike. It is the main place of worship of almost the whole Catholic population of Shillong.
I visited the place on a sunny and beautiful afternoon, and the first thing I noticed was the beautiful and imposing building. The high arches, the stained glasses, the beautiful statue of Mary, all add to the grandeur of the structure. The first thing you notice on entering the church is the set of stations of the cross, made of terracotta; they depict the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.
If the outside of the church is beautiful, then the insides can’t be described. The interiors are adorned with a number of works of art that portray a number of scenes from Holy Scriptures and depict the life of saints. One look at the stained glass windows from the inside and you will be left mesmerized by its simple beauty.
The main altar is actually the grave of the first archbishop of the city of Shillong, the late Rt. Rev. Hubert D’Rosario, SDB., DD. Next to the grave is another altar that is used for special 9 day devotions that are held every month. Go there not just for the beauty of the place but also for the calmness that takes over you and the peace of mind those moments sitting in the Cathedral give you.
This place gives you utter peace and you feel at rest. I felt so good after visiting the church that I felt lucky for the life that I have got and what I have been able to make out of it. I am grateful to God for everything I have!
This was my third destination and now was the time to get back to the resort. I hired a taxi and off I went to the resort for another session of a hearty dinner and a good night’s sleep!
Laitlum Canyons Meghalaya : While travelling back from Shillong I stopped at Laitlum as the locals had told me about the canyons there. I had reached there around noon and still it was misty and foggy. The alluring and fascinating views will capture one’s soul. The lush green meadows and irregular canyon formations create a picturesque perspective.
My next visit was a date with history. A must visit place for people interested in knowing about history and culture, the Don Bosco Museum is located in Shillong. The full name of the museum is Don Bosco Museum of Indigenous Cultures and is actually Asia’s largest museum of its kind. I reached the seven story building that houses the museum around noon and ended up spending my whole day in there. The museum gives you a complete overview about the culture and history of various regions in the North-eastern India.
Starting from the ground floor, the museum is divided into 17 well laid out galleries, each of which have a number of artifacts, paintings, attires, weapons, handicrafts and fiberglass figures, with a detailed explanation about their history and cultures. I was delighted when I reached the top floor of the building, exhausted from all the walking and reading, to find out that the area was designed for the visitors to relax and for them to enjoy a number of rare dances of North East.
The place is open on the days of the week except Sundays from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm. Make sure that when you visit the place when you have at least 2-3 hours to spare so that you can walk through the vast galleries at your leisure. The eatery located in the museum not only serves continental, Chinese and Indian cuisines but also a number of indigenous cuisines of the regions which include bamboo shoot, pork chops, special fish dishes from Manipur, momos, Jadoh, Khasis, and much more.
An ideal place to visit with your group of friends who are interested in history and art, there is also a mini museum for kids which is ideal if you go with your family. There are a number of features like touchscreen computers with a dedicated computer area too.
We generally know less of North east India and here I was learning everything that is there to this part of the country. It is so colourful and distinct that one should definitely learn about this place.
Double Decker Living Root Bridge Meghalaya : After hearing a lot about this living bridge, I and my friends planned to trek in Cheerapunji. First we crossed a few hanging bridges before reaching this bridge. It is about 5 kilometers and the views from the bridge are breath taking. We took nice clicks and had a dip in the lake too. This is one place you must visit if you’re an adventurous person.
Being a nature lover, I started with the Umiam Lake. Imagine yourself sitting alone near a beautiful lake, the wind blowing through your hair, the sun setting behind the hills, the sky a rare shade of purple and red. You feel calm and free. Free from the fast life and the deadlines. You feel. Imagine this and then multiply that feeling by ten and you can start to feel what I felt when I visited Umiam lake. A reservoir, situated right in the middle of the hills and about 15 km from the beautiful city of Shillong.
Formed during the building of the first Hydel power project in the North-eastern India, Umiam is a major tourist attraction and is a must visit place of sorts for all people visiting the state. Beautiful no matter at what time you visit it, the lake looks enchanting especially during the late evening hours during the sunset or during the early morning hours of the sunrise. One has to come here to imagine what it is truly about.
There are a number of things that you can do in and around the lake including a number of water sports like Kayaking, water cycling, scooting and boating. The lake is a must visit if you like scenic beauty and enjoy wildlife and the perfect destination to go all “into the wild” with your friends. There are a number of budget accommodations near the lake or else one can choose to spend the night in the equally exquisite city of Shillong.
Known among the locals as Barapani, the lake lies on the road connecting Shillong to Guwahati and is easily accessible by frequently plying buses or you can hire a cab to visit the place too. The best option is to come in the afternoon, have lunch near the picturesque lake, see the sun set, spend the night in the beautiful boathouse located at the center of the lake, and watch the sun rise the next morning. Well, I skipped staying in the boathouse but went back to the resort to plan for the next destination.
Botanical Garden Shillong : Planning on visiting Shillong any time soon? Well then the Botanical Gardens are a true vision of heaven and a sight one shouldn’t miss. I just loved the atmosphere here. The mesmerizing fragrance of various flowers will capture your mind and soul. I spent quite some time around the lake. The old bridge has an interesting infrastructure too. This is surely one of Shillong’s main attractions.