Shillong – The Jewel of the North-East
One of the most beautiful and popular tourist destinations in the North-east, Shillong is a traveller’s paradise. It is the capital of Meghalaya and the district headquarters of the East Khasi Hills. Situated at an altitude of 1,496 meters, Shillong spells beauty and charm. It’s strategic location and benign climate makes it one of the finest places to visit in Meghalaya. In fact all these qualities lead Shillong to become administrative centre. It is conveniently located between the Brahmaputra and Surma Valley.
Shillong has always been in the thick of action. Even in the pre-independence era, it was made the new civil station of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills in 1864 by the British. It once was the summer capital of Assam and Eastern Bengal. Even in 1874, during the formation of Assam as a Chief Commissioner’s Province, Shillong was selected the headquarters of the new administration. Today, more than two centuries later, Shillong is still an important place of interest in the North-east.
Shillong is among the few hill stations with good motorable roads all around. Shillong has no railway connection yet. Umroi, 30 km from Shillong is a small airport and most flights into Umroi are only on certain days of the week. Guwahati is the nearest major airport and railway station. It takes about 3 to 4 hours’ of hilly drive by road through NH-37 to reach Shillong.
Public and private transport is available from Guwahati to reach Shillong. One can also hire or share jeep to reach Shillong from Paltan Bazaar in Guwahati. A traveler may find cab service to Shillong that may charge about Rs. 110 to Rs. 170 per seat. Bus service is also available and is cheaper and comfortable as compared to taxi ride. Guwahati is approximately 120 km from Shillong.
There are various interesting places to visit in and around Shillong. Chrrapunjee, 56 km from Shillong is a must visit. It once held the title of world’s wettest place on earth. Shillong Peak, 10 km away is another place of tourist interest around Shillong. Ward’s Lake, Umiam Lake, Botanical Garden, Golf Course, State Museum and elephant waterfalls are some of the places you may check out.
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