Shillong, situated in Meghalaya, is perhaps one of the most picturesque cities in India.
It’s luscious green mountains, clouds that linger so low that it seems as if they are almost flirting with you. The impeccable weather all year round is perhaps what led the British in tagging Shillong as the Scotland of the East.
The word Meghalaya literally means the “Abode of Clouds” in Sanskrit. The clouds in Shillong have an altogether different feel. Their round, puffy and gleaming white nature makes you feel like you are floating among them.
Although, Shillong has an airport of its own, I always take a flight from Delhi to Guwahati, which is a four hour drive from Shillong. Those four hours are worth the drive as you go swirling up and up in the greenery.
You can feel the weather change and the clouds drop lower and lower as you go ahead.
After two hours of drive, you reach Badapani, a magnanimous man-made lake.
There are lake houses built around Badapani, either for a quick getaway or just for a simple day trip.
Shillong is unlike other hill stations. I wouldn’t even call it a hill station.
When people think of a hill-station, they think of a place with minimal facilities. That’s not Shillong for you.
It’s a full-fledged cosmopolitan city. It’s crowded like any other up and running city.
If you want to explore the city, walking is a more wise and feasible option. Not only are you staying away from the traffic for hours, but you’re also staying fit and giving back to the environment by keeping it pollution free.
But even if you get stuck in the traffic, I can guarantee that your eyes will not be tired of the traffic. How can it, when there’s so much beauty around!
And much like any other city in India, Shillong also has a number of small pan shops sprouting in and around the city.
On the first day in Shillong, I ventured to the vegetable and fish market to get a glimpse of the local life.
Shillong is one of the smallest cities in India.
It only took me 15 to 20 minutes to get out of the main city and get a view places on the ouskirts of Shillong.
Wide open fields and the intense greenery that surrounds you at all times and angles is precisely why Shillong is also known as the Scotland of the East.
In the main city of Shillong, people often go to The Wards Lake for some relaxation. Tickets are as cheap as five rupees. Although there were loud Bollywood songs playing in the garden-lake, which stole my peace for a while, the mesmerizing shimmer of water was enough to silence the noise behind me.
Shillong is probably one of my favourite cities in India.
The sharp bite of the sun clashing with the frosty feel of the air, which lingers all year round, is just too welcoming. You do not take long to gel in with the city.
Although I wouldn’t completely recommend the place if all you’re aiming for is a quick escape from the urban lifestyle in search of a little peace and silence.
Shillong, nevertheless is definitely one of the “must- visit” places of India.
Image Courtesy [Shreya Kalra]