The Capital of Meghalaya, Shillong is one of the major tourist destinations in North East India. The British loved this place so much that they had established its Capital for Eastern Bengal and Assam For its climate and unique topographical features the British referred Shillong as the “Scottland Of The East”.
Places of interests:
Shillong Peak: It is the highest point of Shillong, located in the upper Shillong an an altitude of 1961 meters (6,433 feet). The name Shillong originated from “Leishyllong” meaning god who is believed to live on the Shillong peak, overlooking the city. It is located 5 kilometers away from Shillong and on a clear day one can enjoy the beautiful view of the entire city.
Elephant Falls: Located in the Upper Shillong 10 kms away from the Shillong town it is one of the majestic waterfalls in Meghalaya. The water of this three steps falls comes down in flows from different levels over the fern-covered rocks and falls into the canyon down below. In the morning it forms a wonderful sight when the sun rays fall on the cascades of water creating the rainbow colors. The best time to visit the waterfalls is during the monsoon when it offers a breath-taking scenery. The forests covered with ferns and thick bamboo grooves are also worth visited for the nature lovers to find the presence of various species of butterflies, birds and orchids.
Barapani (Umiam Lake): As per the legends, two heavenly sisters decided to make their way to Meghalaya. However, one of them had reached the destination and the other could not due to some reason. So the former could not traced out her sister and started crying with her broken heart. She cried so much that and a lake was formed with her tears. Locally known as Umiam Lake, Barapani means vast waters.
Today it becomes a hub for the water sports activities such as speed boats, sailboats and water scooters. Adjoining to the lake, the Nehru Park offers an aviary and a collection of orchids and butterflies.
Wards Lake: Wards Lake is located in the heart of the Shillong City adjoining to the Governor’s Residence. Shaped like a horseshoe, it is one of the prominent hang-out spot in Shillong. This century old lake was built by an engineer named Mr. Pollock. Hence it is also known to be as "Polok's Lake". One can opt for boating and pleasant walks on the cobbled sand stone pathways covered with varieties of flowers. The lake also has an arched bridge from where one can feed the fish.
Butterfly museum: It is a very interesting place for the nature lovers based in the home of Mr. Wankhar, in Riatsamthiah . Started in 1939 this unique farm has an extensive collection of butterflies and moths.
Cathedral of Mary Help of Christian: Situated in At Laitumkhrah, it is the largest Cathedrel in Meghalaya attracts thousands of devotees. The colorful glasses of the skylight window along with the paintings of the Jesus spreading the messages of God are influenced by the European art and architecture.
Shillong Golf Course: Shillong Golf Course is termed as the & quot;Glen-eagle of the East " at the United States Golf Association Museum. The Golf Course is situated in a valley covered with thick groves of pine and rhododendron trees at an altitude of 5200 ft. Previously it was a nine hole course and later converted into a eighteen hole course in 1924 by Captain Jackson and C. K. Rhodes. It is the third oldest Golf Course in India.
Archery in Shillong: Archery is one of the main traditional sports of the Khasi people. In Shillong it is a legalized traditional gambling game. Every day the game takes place near the Polo field. The campus has a small open ground about the size of a tennis court.
There are about 10 huts which represents one team per hut. Each team consists of a small group of archers similar to the horse jockeys. Before starting the game they cleaned their arrows made of pine trees and polished them with care and fondness. They sit in the semi-circle and wait for their chance to shoot the target. Each one of the team has to shoot about 25 shots within five minutes. When the action is over they all collect the arrows from the target for counting. They add up the total and calculate. For example, if the final count is 537. The betting will be for numbers 1 to 9. The winner in this case will be no.5. Only the first number counts.
Ziro, a small picturesque town situated at an altitude of 5000 feet with Pine and Bambooroves, villages, a craft centre and high altitude Tarin Fish Farm is an ideal place for relaxation.
Places of interest:
Talley Valley: Tally valley is located 30 Kms away from Ziro. Tale in Apatani dialect is the name of a plant and to many other tribes the word means paradise. The local population grow paddy in tarraced fields all over the valley. The Apatanis, the main tribe of this region grow rice by terrace farming and their indigenous irrigation system is unique amongst the Arunachal tribals. The Apatani village comprises of long rows of houses with a fertility totem in front of each house. They use an indigenous herbal salt that's rice in iodine whick is quite unique. As a real nature lover, for every tree they fell, five fresh saplings are planted. The Apatani women are very skilled in handicraft and handloom as one can be see from the wonderfull JIKHE pattern, woven jackets and intricately patterned JILANG shawls. The men are expert in metallurgy and bamboo craft.
Mon: Situated at an altitude of 897.64 meters it is the land of the Konyaks (One of the fiercest tribes in the world). Even though there is a legal administrative system, but actually it is ruled by tribal chiefs called Anghs (locally known as ‘Wang’ meaning the beginning of everything). Mon is the only district in Nagaland to have this unique institution of Anghship. The word of his is law in these parts. His succession is hereditary in nature.The Konyaks believe that they were direct descendants of Noah, for they have Biblical names like Mosa, Kaisa, Aron and so on. The konyaks are famous for their tattooed faces , blackened teeth and barbaric practice of Headhunting.
Tawang (Ta meaning horse and Wang meaning Chosen) is also known in another Tibetan name as Galden Namgey Lhatse, which means a true name within a celestial paradise in a clear night. Tawang is traditionally inhabited by the Monpa who follows Gelupa Sect of the Mahayana School of Buddhism It is the birth place of the sixth Dalai Lama Tsangyang Gyasto. It is known as “The Land Of The Lamas” surrounded by ancient Buddhist monasteries and beautiful lakes.
Places of Interest:
Tawang Monastery (Vihar): Tawang Monastery about 400 years old, situated at an altitude of approximately 10,000 ft. is the second largest Buddhist monastery in India. It also holds the distinction of being the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama. The monastery is the house of more than 700 monks. The monastery was founded by Merag Lama Lodre Gyamtso, in 1681 in accordance to the wishes of the 5th Dalai Lama, Nagwang Lobsang Gyatso. As per the legend, the site of the Monastery was chosen by the horse of Merag Lama. Merag Lama, who had been unable to decide a site to establish the monastery. One day he was praying in cave, seeking a divine guidance. When he came out after the prayers, he found his horse was missing. On search, the horse was located standing quietly on a hilltop. Considering that as the sign of divine blessing he decided to construct the monastery at the very spot. The monastery is also called Galden Namgey Lhatse meaning celestial paradise. There is a magnificent 8 meter high statue of Lord Buddha. The ancient library inside the courtyard has an excellent collection of thangkas, painted with the blood from the nose of 5th Dalai Lamaand valuable Buddhist manuscripts mainly Kanjur and Tanjur numbering 850 bundles.
Urqelling Monastery: It is the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama who is the only Indian to have risen to such a high position in Gelupka Sect of Buddhism so far. Inside the monastery there are several Stupas (Vihar) and people from all walks of life visit this place during Buddhist new year to get the blessing for the coming year.
The Craft Center: The craft center in Tawang sells beautiful masks, hand woven carpets, jewellery in silver, coral and amber, ‘chubas’ the local dressand delightful affordable mementos.
Tawang War Memorial: The memorial is dedicated to the martyrs of the 1962 Sino-Indian war. The memorial is 40-foot-high and like a stupa in design. It is locally called ‘Namgyal Chortan’. The names of 2420 martyrs imprinted in gold on 32 black granite plagues.
Sella Pass: The entry point into the Tawang Valley is Sela pass at an elevation of 13700 ft above the sea level.. Legend says that a monpa woman supported sepoy Jashwant Singh during his battle with the Chinese. She brought sepoy Jashwant supplies and used to heal his wounds. When Jashwant got martyrdom she killed herself as an act of loyalty.
The glimpse of Paradise Lake in the Sella Pass makes your visit worth. Most of the time the lake is covered with thick blanket of snow.
Jaswant Garh: The war memorial is located 14 kms from Sella Pass on the way to Tawang. The memorial pay homage to Jaswant Singh Rawat, Mahavir Chakra Awardee posthumous (the second highest award from the Indian Army). In the famous battle of Nuranang against Chinese in November 1962, Rawat and two other soldiers from 4th Batallion Garhwal Rifles were instrumental in killing 300 Chinese soldiers in 72 hours.
Sangestser Lake: Popularly known as Madhuri Lake is located 35 kms away from Tawang near the China Border. The drive to Sangestser Lake is full of thrill and one can still see the war bankers that had been used during the Chinses aggression in 1962 and the beautiful PTSO lake.
On the way to Tawang , situated at height of 8500 ft (distance from Tezpur 180 kms), Bomdila is a picturesque town in the foothills of Himalayas and the headquarter of West Kameng District the land of the Monpa, Sherdukpen, Aka (Hrusso), Miji and Bogun (Khawas) tribes. One can see the brilliant landscape and snow-clad Gorichen ranges of the Himalaya on a clear day. With its apple orchards, Buddhist gomphas and a magnificient view of the Kameng Valley Bomdila can be named as a mini paradise. Bomdila is also an ideal place for nature lovers with several trekking and hiking trails are now opened for the adventure seeker.
Places of interest:
Bomdila Monastery: The monastery has been built under the guidance of Dalai Lama. It is a residence of more than 200 Buddhist monks. From the monastery one can have the breathtaking view of the entire Bomdila. The time of pray is in dawn and dusk, attending which, one can have the absolute peace of mind.
Tipi Orchid Sanctury and Research Center: An Orchidarium at Tipi (5 kms from Bhalukpong) on the way to Bomdila is the Botanical paradise. About 300 species of orchids can be seen in the flora – glass house. Some of them are rare and endangered species. By the side of the glass house there is an orchid museum too.
Dirang: Dirang 40 kms from Bomdila is situated at an altitude of 1497 meters. It is an ideal hill resort in West Kameng district with beautiful Apple Nursery, Kiwi Farm, Yak Research Centre, Buddhist Gompa, Hot Water Spring and ancient Dirang Jong (Fort). It is the base camp for trekking to Gorichen peak and other bird watching trails
Mayodia, a unique hill resot situated at an altitude of 7000feet. It is named after Maya, a Nepali girl who missing in the snow and could not be traced out. It is an ideal trekking destination and paradise for bird watcher as many endangered specis are recorded including Trogopan. The scenic beauty of the snow clapped Miodia during winter is eye-catching. Miodia is 56 kms from Roing, the district head quarter of Lower Dibang Valley
Kohima is derived from the word "Kew Hi Ma" which means the men of the land where the flower Kew Hi grows. Situated at an altitude of 1444 m above sea level, Kohima is the Capital of Nagaland. Like other Naga settlement Kohima shares the same feature standing on top of the surrounding mountains. In true sense, fusion of different culture with a blend of modernasim turns Kohima to a fast growing city.
Places of interests:
The Kohima War Cemetary:
“When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today”
Constructed in the memory of the officers and soldiers who made supreme sacrifices during World War II, the war cemetery attracts hundreds of visitors every year including the relatives of those martyrs. Maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the cemetery witnessed more than 2000 graves, on each grave there are beautiful epitaphs carved in bronze.
Kohima village: Popularly known as Bara Basti (Big Village) the Kohima village is one of the largest village in Asia. Inhabited mainly by the Angami tribes it is divided into 'khels' or localities. A large traditional wooden gate welcomes you to the village which is elaborately carved with warriors and weapons and the skull of the mithun, a symbol of prosperity.
Khonoma Green Village: Located 21 kms away from Kohima town the Khonoma village is the first "green village" of Nagaland. The village is well known for the legendary leader Angami Zapu Phizo who was the founder of the Naga movement. It is in this place where the Naga warriors made their last endeavor against the British aggression in 1879. 'Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary' (KNCTS) was initiated to create the environmental awareness among the inhabitants and reserved about 70 sq km of its village forest. The village is also famous for the fallow management of its alder trees which balances nature in the surrounding areas.
Tuephema Tourist Village: Lying between Mokokchung and Kohima highway Tuephema is a unique village resort in the midst of blue hills. It is a good example of eco and rural tourism where one can experience modern and hygienic accommodations in the traditional huts in an ethnic setting. The local villagers show cases their culture through traditional dances and ethnic foods including rice beer.