Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya is a picturesque and peaceful city located amid mountains. Surrounded by pine trees, it has many enticing waterfalls, enchanting forests, dreamy landscapes, ancient megaliths, and beautiful lakes, all justifying its popular nickname ‘Scotland of the East’. The city follows Meghalaya’s ancient heritage and culture and is a fascinating place to travel to.
Amazing attractions like Umaim lake, Ward’s Lake, Shillong Viewpoint, Lady Hyadri park, and Don Bosco Museum attract tourists all over the world. But Meghalaya has much more to offer. If you wish to truly feel the essence of Meghalaya and see its real beauty, you should definitely spend some time exploring the offbeat places in Meghalaya.
To travel to Shillong from Guwahati, you can get a cheap and comfortable cab in Guwahati. Make sure the taxi has a commercial license and the taxi driver is well trained and experienced to navigate the s-bends and tricky roads of the mountains. There are shared sumo service and buses also from Guwahati towards Shillong.
On the way to Shillong
The chauffer will be at your doorstep at the requested pick-up time to start the journey to Shillong. Do start early in the morning as roads around Guwahati get extremely congested during peak hours. But as you leave the city of Guwahati, the journey becomes blissful with scenic views. The road signboard indicating to turn right for Shillong is prominently displayed, and the actual journey to Meghalaya begins from here. All roads in Meghalaya are smooth and with visible and accurate signs to ensure the driver gets the correct road information.
The sights are impressive and the beautiful lush green mountains of Meghalaya make the trip unforgettable. You can halt along the way to enjoy the scenic views and take pictures. Many roadside shops sell lip-smacking chutneys and pickles. Do take some time out to taste them.
On the route, you can see the stunning man-made Umaim lake created by damming the Umiam river. From this point, the road to Shillong is well-designed with proper banking and is a dual-carriage road. The climate is pleasant in Shillong.
Places to visit in Shillong and around:
Visit the Elephant falls, Wards lake, and also the Police bazaar to experience the local market. Laitlum Canyons is another offbeat tourist destination with natural grandeur, valleys, and green hills. You can enjoy a picnic at Sweet Falls with birds chirping and rich flora all around.
From Shillong, drive towards Cherrapunji. The place is one of the most beautiful places in Meghalaya. Waterfalls, living root bridges and crystal clear pools make the place look simply breathtaking. Visit the Seven Sisters Falls, Nohkalika Falls and Dainthlein falls. Another place to visit is the Mawsmai Caves. They are magnificent stalagmite caves and are appropriately called the king of caves in India.
And the enchanting village of Mawsynram that enjoys the highest rainfall on the planet is definitely a must visit. It has numerous attractions like the botanical garden, Dwarksuid – magnificent rock formations, and a beautiful pool. And the Mawjymbuin Cave is a lovely visit when there’s a small drizzle from the skies.
Asia’s cleanest village Mawlynnong is famous for its pleasant ambience, picturesque beauty, and breath-taking mountain views. The Mawlynnong waterfall here is bordered by beautiful orchids and forests, making it an angelic place. This village is fittingly called, ’God’s own Village’ because it most certainly feels like heaven with its beautiful scenes.
How to reach Shillong from Guwahati:
There are only two ways to travel from Guwahati to Shillong. Either by bus or car as there are no trains.
If you are planning to book a car for the trip, then make an informed choice. The mountain roads are not very easy to handle, so it’s best to book a cab with a driver who has mountain driving experience. There are many car rental services in Guwahati providing cabs/taxis to Shillong. Look for rental services that has well trained and mountain road expert drivers with commercially licensed cars. Affordable packages with transparent billing system with zero cancellation charge should also be looked into. Always make sure to get a trusted and top-rated cab from Guwahati to Shillong. The doorstep pickup and drop facility is quite convenient for passengers. And these days you can easily book a cab, both online and offline.
Shared Sumo and cars to Shillong are available from Guwahati Station and Khanapara bus stand. Buses also leave from Guwahati ISBT, but they are very few in number.
Shillong is approximately 99 km away from Guwahati and the estimated time for the trip is three hours. This is because the roads come with many curves and turns, which add to the extra time taken to travel the distance. But there are also quite a few tea stalls where you can enjoy hot tea and snacks next to gorgeous mountains.
Like the roads less travelled, offbeat places are the most beautiful one. So plan your trip to the mesmerising Meghalaya right now.