My Holiday in Scotland of the East – Shillong

Yet again, destiny took me to the beauteous land of northeast India; this time to  the Scotland of the East – Shillong. After going through holiday packages from different tour operators, we booked the our tour of Shillong through  Eastern Paradise. We started our weekend tour by taking a early morning flight from Delhi to Guwahati. Meghalaya or the abode of clouds is a jewel of nature and Shillong, its capital, is an example of such unparalleled beauty. As we made our way from LNGB Airport, Guwahati and boarded the connecting cab to Shillong, the weather took a pleasant turn from humid to cool and breezy.  At about 35 kms before Shillong, we came across the majestic Umian Lake or Bara Paani as it is famously known. In less than 3 hours, we arrived at Shillong, amidst the green pines and misty vales.

We checked into our hotel and freshened up before starting our dau tour. The day being young, we decided to venture out to the Shillong Peak at first. The peak which is about 1965m above sea level, offers a panoramic view of the entire city. The watch tower gives an even better scope to this view. The soothing breeze was more than enough to refresh us from our jetlag. Elephant Falls was next on our list. Situated close to the peak, the falls attract the maximum amount of tourists. This two tiered fall can be accessed by the stairway cut into the stones along which the fall flows. The water falls in three steps before cascading into a torrential pond below. It was lovely feeling the cold whiplash of the water as we walked enjoyed hopping to and fro the stairs.

Next, we paid a visit to Ward’s Lake or Polok Lake. Designed in the form of a horse-shoe, this place is bordered by colourful gardens and is a good picnic spot for families and couples alike. We decided to try the local fare at the quaint restaurant inside the park and after filling ourselves with a healthy dose of thukpa (noodles in a bowl of soup) and sweet corn soup, we headed over to the local market – Police Bazaar; it was like heaven for two shopaholic girls like us!  After emptying our pockets to some of the best bargains, we had our hands full with designer tops, chic footwear and some tasteful jewelry. Retail therapy gave way to hunger pangs and so we headed over to Jail Road which is famous for momo – a Tibetan delicacy made of flour and filled with vegetables, chicken or pork. A light drizzle had started; the momo served with piping hot soup and red chilly chutney was a definite warm-up.

The Air Force Museum was next up. Make sure you have a valid photo ID on you for entry here. Inside, the place was treasure full of rare photos of the Indo-Pak war and the Indo-China war. We were excited to find here among aircrafts, missiles and rockets, the skin of a humongously large python! It was almost afternoon as we headed off for some spiritual searching to Saint Mary’s Cathedral. A huge structure, the church is believed to be one of the oldest in India. Painted with a uniform hue of blue, a statue of Jesus Christ adorns the opposite side of the church. The interiors were decorated with exquisite paintings displaying Christ’s life. After seeking the father’s blessings, we next visited our final stop – Golf Course. Many a movie has been shot in this location, thanks to the spanning view of green fields. Known as the wettest golf course in the world, it is also fondly known as the Glen Eagle of the East. Initially constructed as a 9 hole course in 1898, it was transformed into an 18 hole course by Captain Jackson and Rhodes in 1924. After a leisurely walk here, we decided to call it a day and headed back to our hotel. We relished some delicious dinner and then retired for the night to gear up for the next morning trip to Cherapunjee.