Why you must travel to Shillong (Meghalaya, India)

Having grown up in the defence services as a “Fauji Bachcha or a Fauji Brat”, I call myself a child of India. It’s impossible for me to say that I belong to a certain place only in India because I have grown up in so many wonderful places. I am unable to call only a certain place home! The places that I have not grown up in, I visited as my parents were as much wanderers as I am today.

However, there is this one place that I call home more than I call others. This is a place that is still steeped in an era that I remember. Undulating, rolling green hills; beautiful green clad valleys; sunrises glistening off of the frost on grass blades; the patter of rain on the windowsill; the misty morning at war with cold foggy breath; the warmth of a wood fire – these are things that I associate with only one place on earth – SHILLONG.

The North-eastern states of India are undoubtedly some of the most beautiful regions in the country. The scenic beauty apart they are inhabited by some of the warmest and welcoming people that I have met. I was lucky enough to grow up in Shillong for a few years or more specifically in Upper Shillong which is still “The Scotland of the East”.


For anyone travelling to Shillong, the Guwahati – Shillong highway is a must drive (although now there are direct flights to Shillong too and you no longer have to travel to Guwahati and then take the road to Shillong). Dotted with scenic hills and pineapple farms, this route is a pathway to heaven.


As you ascend, you can literally feel the air becoming more clean and crisp. Each inhalation is like rejuvenating your senses and indulging in a million spa sessions, all at once. The curvaceous route meanders through hills, farms and lakes to take you to the heart of the city but should you be lucky enough to stay someone near Shillong peak or upper shillong then it is a good idea to bypass the city and just continue along the Shillong Dawki road to your destination. After all, why break the reverie when you are in dreamland!

If you are visiting Shillong to do the typical touristy things (ugh!!!) then it is not the place for you. I admit, Shillong is a shopping paradise if you wish to purchase cheap Bhutanese jackets, woolens and local made boots (The sizes are limited to a max size 39 for women in boots). There are other attractions also like Ward’s lake, view from Shillong peak, Bada pani lake (wherein you can indulge in boating), Elephant falls with its crystal clear waters or a visit to Cherrapunji or Dawki. Shillong is certainly not devoid of tourist attractions but if that is what you do intend to do then it would be a disservice to the tranquility & beauty of the city or its surroundings.


For Shillong is a place to enjoy your early morning cup of tea/coffee amid green hills whilst listening to the birds sing a melodious song. It is a place to recline in the lawn and bask in the warmth of the sun. It is a place to quietly spend your mornings admiring nature’s bounty.

Shillong is a place to put on your hiking boots and trek deep into the forests to breathe in life itself.  To venture deeper into the woods to espy the numerous fruit orchards that dot the hills. The blushing pink cherry trees in blossom, the acres and acres of orange & pear orchards laden with fruit and the boughs of the plum trees groaning under the weight of their burden.

Shillong is a place to sit by a bubbling brook in the hills whilst you delve into your soul. It is a place to contemplate life in, so that your inner self is elevated into a state of happiness. Shillong is definitely a place for long walks & deep introspective talks.


So, if you are looking for a holiday to just be one with yourself and to relax & unwind, then go to Shillong. Stay at a homestead or a cottage & indulge your senses for it is sure to bewitch you.

Shillong is an enchanting discovery that creates a magic that you can sketch or pen down but still never quite capture (I should know, I just tried!)

P.S – Image courtesy – personal collection




About Sonal Singh

I believe that life is a repertoire of anecdotes. The various situations that we encounter, the many incidents of every day, the people we meet, our conversations with them; all make life a melange of tales. And, that is what I attempt to capture through my writing. My cooking is no different! It reflects my love for travel and my love for innovation. The kitchen is my happy place. So, even though by vocation I am a recruiter (www.rianplacements.com), by passion I am a writer, home chef and a hodophile.

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