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Things to do in Shillong

The capital of Meghalaya, Shillong, offers a variety of activities for travelers seeking adventure, cultural immersion, or natural tranquility. It is often called the "Scotland of the East" because of its lush landscapes, majestic waterfalls, and vibrant culture. Hikers can enjoy scenic trails, while nature lovers can enjoy crystal-clear lakes and verdant hills.

Visitors to the region can explore local markets, visit traditional Khasi villages, and take part in unique musical and cultural festivals. There is something for everyone to enjoy in Shillong, no matter what type of vacation you're planning. Here are some things to do in Shillong to make your trip memorable. All the activities listed below can be enjoyed with our Shillong tour packages.

Cultural Immersion

Shillong is known for its vibrant local traditions and rich cultural heritage. Visit these key sites to immerse yourself in the culture.

Visit the Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures

  • Highlights: The museum exhibits artifacts, costumes, and music from Northeast India. Shillong's historical museum is a must-see for history lovers.
  • Suggestions: It is recommended that you spend a few hours at this museum to fully appreciate its extensive exhibits.

Visit Shillong's Local Markets

  • Highlights: Visit Bara Bazaar and Police Bazaar for local handicrafts and traditional textiles. Many shops and street vendors sell a variety of goods, including fashion clothing, electronic gadgets, and local souvenirs.
  • Suggestions: You should try local foods in the local markets, like momos (steamed dumplings), Jadoh (khasi rice and meat dish), and Pukhlein (rice pancakes).

Nature Exploration

Shillong is a paradise for nature lovers, offering lush landscapes, rolling hills, and breathtaking vistas. Those seeking tranquility and adventure will enjoy its natural beauty and cool climate.

Visit Umiam Lake

  • Highlights: This lake's calm waters provide picturesque views that are ideal for photography. Water activities such as boating, kayaking, and water cycling are popular among adventure lovers. Several gardens and parks surround the lake, providing strolls and nature exploration opportunities.
  • Suggestions: Those seeking adventure should take a boat ride on the lake. Visiting during sunset provides a truly spectacular view as the sky turns into a colorful canvas.

Explore Shillong Peak

  • Highlights: It offers panoramic views of the city, sprawling valleys, and the majestic Khasi Hills. Fresh air makes it a great place for an afternoon or morning stroll.
  • Suggestions: Use binoculars to view distant landscapes and see Shillong's cityscape and the surrounding hills up close. Photography enthusiasts can also capture the breathtaking vistas at the peak.

Adventure Activities

Shillong has a wide variety of exciting adventure activities for you to choose from. Here are some popular adventure activities in Shillong that you should try:

Trek to David Scott Trail

  • Highlights: It stretches for approximately 16 kilometers and passes through some of Meghalaya's most scenic landscapes. During this trek, you encounter beautiful rivers, rushing waterfalls, and intriguing rock formations that are both picturesque and historically significant.
  • Suggestions: The David Scott Trail is best hiked between October and May when the weather is cool and pleasant. Trekking can take 4 to 6 hours, so starting early is best.

Rock Climbing at Elephant Falls

  • Highlights: Elephant Falls is a popular rock-climbing destination in Shillong. The site offers different levels of difficulty for beginners and experienced climbers.
  • Suggestions: The right gear, including a helmet, harness, climbing shoes, and ropes, is essential when rock climbing. It is highly recommended that you hire a guide who is familiar with the climbing routes and who can provide expert guidance and support.

Music and Festivals

Due to its vibrant music scene, Shillong is often called the "Rock Capital of India." Experience its lively festivals to learn more about its culture:

Attend the Shillong Autumn Festival

  • Highlights: Held annually in October or November, this festival celebrates music, culture, and food. Attending this festival will give you a better understanding of the Shillong’s traditions and cultures.
  • Suggestions: Purchase your tickets in advance and enjoy performances by local and national artists.

Experience the Cherry Blossom Festival

  • Highlights: A cherry blossom festival is held every November in Shillong when the blossoms are in full bloom, adorning the city in pink and white. The festival features live music performances, traditional dances, art exhibitions, and culinary treats. Visitors can participate in cultural events that showcase Meghalaya's rich heritage as the city transforms into a floral paradise.
  • Suggestions: Visit Ward's Lake and Polo Grounds for the best Cherry Blossom Festival experience. The picturesque setting and lush gardens of Ward's Lake provide a serene backdrop for admiring the cherry blossoms.

Culinary Delights

Try these local delicacies to experience Shillong's authentic flavors. With its rich cultural heritage, the city's cuisine offers a variety of delicious and unique dishes.

Try Jadoh

  • Highlights: Try Traditional Khasi dishes like Jadoh are made with rice and meat, usually pork, and seasoned with local spices to give them their distinctive flavor.
  • Suggestions: This dish often stands out because it is made with authentic ingredients and expertise.

Taste Tungrymbai

  • Highlights: When you visit Shillong, you should try Tungrymbai, a nutritious and hearty fermented dish made with fresh ingredients. Tungrymbai is often prepared with pork, which gives it a rich and savory taste.
  • Suggestions: Pair Tungrymbai with steamed rice for an authentic experience. Combining these two dishes is commonly enjoyed in Khasi households and provides a taste of the local cuisine.

These are all the best things to do in Shillong that you can enjoy with our tour packages. Meals, sightseeing, accommodations, and transfers are included in the packages. A custom Shillong tour package is also available to give you an unforgettable experience. You can include or exclude certain experiences from your package to make your trip memorable. To begin planning your trip, contact our travel experts today!


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