Shillong is a beautiful city and is surrounded by pine trees. Standing 1496m, it provides welcome relief from the heat. This capital of Meghalaya derives its name from the deity Shyllong or Lei Shyllong, who is worshipped at the Shillong Peak. It is dotted with neat Victorian Bungalows and little churches and has a golf course which is one of the best (and also one of the wettest) in the country. Shillong has always been the meeting point of traditional cultures and cosmopolitan styles. Termed as "Scotland of the East" it is the capital of Meghalaya. This hill resort is unique in its scenic beauty and culture. A fresh balmy air and a bracing climate makes Shillong a place for all seasons. The tribes of Khyrim, Mylliem, Maharam, Mallaisohmat, Bhowal and Langrim trace their descent from Shillong.
Geography of Shillong
The capital of Meghalaya, Shillong lies on the eastern part of the state. Perched at an altitude of 1,520 meters (4,990 feet) above sea level, the city stretches for about 6 km on an elevated tract. It is situated on a plateau bound on the north by the Umiam gorge, on the northwest by the great mass of the Diengiei Hills that rise up to a height of 1,823 meters (6077 ft.) above sea level, and on the northeast by the hills of the Assam valley. The Umshyrpi and the Umkhra rivers, which finally merge and form the Umiam River, water it (Interactive map of Shillong). Shillong is at distance of 104 km from Guwahati, 295 km from Kaziranga, 578 km from Siliguri and 658 km from Darjeeling.
History of Shillong
Shillong was a small village until 1864, when it became the new civil station of the Khasi and Jaintia hills. It remained the summer capital of Eastern Bengal and Assam for many years. In 1874, on the formation of Assam as a Chief Commissionerís Province, it was chosen as the capital of the new administration. An earthquake destroyed the city in 1897, necessitating its complete rebuilding. In January 1972, Shillong became the capital of the newly formed state of Meghalaya.
Places of Interest in Shillong
An ideal picnic spot, it is just 10 kms from the city. Located at an altitude of 1965 m, it offers a dazzling view of the idyllic surroundings.
Located in the heart of the city, it is popular for short garden walks and boating. It's said that its construction was initiated by a bored prisoner who was ready to do any kind of work to get out of his cell. He was given the work of digging holes and filling them up again. Once he hit a spring and that spot was developed into a lake and garden. This place was named after Sir William Ward, the Chief Commissioner. It is still quite an attractive place.
A secluded but captivating spot with a variety of exotic plants.
Developed in 1889 as a nine hole course, it was later converted to an 18 hole course, in 1924. It is termed as the 'Gleneagle of the East', at the United States Golf Association Library and Museum.
Located at the State Central Library complex, it offers a in-depth glimpse of the lifestyle and heritage of the people.
All Saints Church
This lies opposite to the State Central Library and is an attractive building made of wood and plaster.
It has the facility for breeding butterflies as an effort at conservation and houses a solid collection of mounted butterflies from India and abroad.
Lady Hydari Park
This is another popular spot, with its mini-zoo, a children's section and well designed flower beds.
Lying 20 kms from Shillong, this is another amazing peak.
This is a popular picnic spot. Legend has it that the lake was dug by the ends of the bows of the members of 290 clans of a rebel general of a Jaintia raja.
Jakrem is a popular health resort with hot-springs of sulphur water, said to have medicinal properties.
The fascinating annual boat race on the Umgot river, during spring, is an attraction.
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