The capital of the North-Eastern state of Meghalaya, Shillong is also nicknamed as the Scotland of the East due to the similarity in the climate and surroundings. The hill town is situated at an elevation of 1,525 meters above sea level amidst the Himalayan foothills of the Pataki range. Shillong was named after a local deity born from a virgin mother called Shyllong. The town was known as the capital of the state of Assam before the state was split into two in 1970 when Meghalaya was given a semi-autonomous status. Being developed by the British, Shillong houses colonial style architecture and a predominantly wet highland climate.
Today, Shillong is one of the top educational hubs in North-Eastern India and contains a number of reputed educational institutions. Shillong is a popular retreat for several tourists who find the tropical highland climate a drastic departure from the humid climate of the lower lying regions.
Being located in the wettest state in India, Shillong’s climate is highly affected by the frequent showers throughout the summers, monsoons and autumn seasons. The summer temperature during the months between April and June rarely goes beyond 25 degrees Celsius with frequent rains that make the climate pleasant. Shillong is located at a short distance of 55 kilometers from Mawsynram which is listed as the wettest place on earth and is prone to heavy rains during the monsoons. The winter season in shillong is chilly and pleasant with temperatures ranging between 16 degrees to 5 degrees and a relatively drier season.
Best Time To Visit
Shillong is accessible and can be visited almost throughout the year. The monsoon season is usually the wettest in the state of Meghalaya and is the only time of the year that should be avoided if you’re planning to visit the hill town. The best time to visit Shillong is usually between October and February which is comparatively dry and the climate is cold.
Attractions/Things to Do
Also known as the Scotland of the East, Shillong is home to several green hills and waterfalls with a marvelous climate and setting. The houses are built in a distinctive Assamese style with slanted roofs and several windows due to the heavy rainfall and frequent earthquakes. The wet mossy streets and the foggy town provide a majestic environment for the visitors.
Lake Hydari Park, Ward’s Lake, Cathedral Catholic Church, State Museum, Eagle Spread falls, Sweet falls, Elephant Falls, Shillong Peak and Golf Course are the attractions that should not be missed in Shillong.
How to Reach
Being the capital city of the state of Meghalaya, Shillong is easily accessible via roads. The nearest airport is located within the city and can be easily reached by buses and taxis. But due to the large number of flight cancellations due to the weather condition it is always better to consider the nearby airport in Guwahati, the state capital of Assam which is in close proximity to Shillong. There are no railway lines in Meghalaya and the nearest railway station to Shillong is again in the town of Guwahati. One can reach Shillong by taking a bus from the Guwahati bus station or hiring a taxi.
Distance from Major Cities
1. Guwahati to Shillong – 99 Kilometers
2. Mawsynram to Shillong – 55 Kilometers
3. Cherrapunjee to Shillong – 52 Kilometers
4. Johrat to Shillong – 366 Kilometers
5. Gangtok to Shillong – 633 Kilometers
6. Kohima to Shillong – 399 Kilometers
7. Kolkata to Shillong – 1,075 Kilometers
8. Lucknow to Shillong – 1,409 Kilometers
9. Chennai – 2,726 Kilometers
10. Delhi – 2,020 Kilometers
11. Jaipur – 2066 Kilometers
12. Mumbai – 2,714 Kilometers
13. Ahmedabad – 2,627 Kilometers
14. Bangalore – 2,930 Kilometers
15. Hyderabad – 2,509 Kilometers
Accessibility and Accommodation
Shillong has accommodation facilities that are located in various parts of the city and suit all sorts of tourist budgets and preferences. The hotels located in the city offer a more convenient location for visitors to explore the town while the ones places at far off locations offer a serene and relaxing environment. Being a relatively small town tourist generally get around the town on foot and enjoy the cozy surroundings and mossy avenues.