The beautiful city of Shillong is an absolute must-visit location for any travel junkie. With its pristine lakes and majestic gardens, the capital city would make for an exciting week-long trip. The city derives its name from the deity Lei-Shyllong, who is believed to reside on the Shillong peak, overlooking the city. There is so much culture in Shillong and so many points of interest that you will most definitely need more than 24 hours to cover it all. Of course, if you’ve only got a day to spend there, here’s a guide to make sure that you’re making the most out of your time in Shillong:
05:00 – Catch a magnificent sunrise
Try to rise early, I mean really early and drive down to Umiam Lake, around 40 minutes from the city of Shillong. The mornings there are quite spectacular with a beautiful sunrise above misty waters. The lake is calm and tranquil, and you can simply sit around and watch nature express itself in its own majestic way.
08:00 – Breakfast and lake activities
After grabbing some breakfast at one of the restaurants around the lake, there are plenty of activities to indulge in, like boating, yachting, or water skiing. The lake tends to get a little crowded around noon. So I would recommend clearing out of there a little before 12:00.
11:00 – Explore the rich culture of Meghalaya
Next on the Itinerary should be a visit to the Don Bosco Centre For Indigenous Cultures. The Don Bosco Museum is part of a 56,000 square foot facility. The museum features artifacts that give a glimpse into the lives and history of the indigenous tribes that inhabit the region. Besides all the artifacts and museum exhibits, there are plenty of archives that can be accessed by computers and tablets at the facility, for the history geeks who really want to geek out.
13:00 – Refuel with some delicious Khasi cuisine
After the museum tour, you should stop by one of the many restaurants or bistros around the area for lunch. There are some excellent places to find Khasi food around Shillong. I would recommend getting yourself some Doh Klieh, a khasi style traditional minced pork curry (made from pork brain). Another must-try Meghalayan dish is the Jadoh, a meaty rice dish that is a favorite of most people in the region.
14:00 – Relax by the lake
Post lunch, you could visit the Ward’s Lake, which is not too far away from the Don Bosco Museum. The park is mostly for relaxing and lazing around, but if you are feeling particularly energetic, there are plenty of lakeside activities to try out. With its lush and elegant gardens,the Ward’s lake is the perfect place to rest and catch a breather before heading out again.
17:00 – Shop till you drop
Shillong has got plenty of marketplaces to go thrift shopping. The flea markets in Shillong are famous for the little trinkets and handicrafts they sell. Police Bazaar is a great market to walk through. Shop for souvenirs on the streets of Police Bazar and maybe get some evening Chai and snacks. I’d recommend trying out Smokey Falls Tribe Coffee, a small, and rather difficult to locate café that makes the best coffee you’ve probably ever tasted. The place only seats about 5-6 people at a time, and serves delicious home-baked goods.
19:30 – Nightlife
After a long tiring day of exploring the city, drink some water, maybe a Gatorade, and get ready to experience the nightlife of Shillong. Be sure to visit Cloud 9, a club where you can unwind for the night. The Evening Club is anther great place to end your day of travel with great music and ambience.
Of course, this itinerary is only sort of a guideline for you to maximize your fun for a day in Shillong. When you take a trip there, find your own adventure, see what you find thrilling. There are plenty of treks and hikes in and around Meghalaya. Talk to locals, ask around for places to explore, and remember, if you’ve only got a day in a new place, then you better make sure it is one hell of a day.
If you wish to experience Shillong and other majestic spots in Meghalaya, visit Offbeat Tracks and get packing.