One of the most scenic and biggest artificial lakes in Shillong, Umiam Lake is one of the reasons why the Guwahati-Shillong route is considered to be among the most striking in the region. Also known as Bara Pani, the lake covers about 220 sq. km and is surrounded by Sylvan Hills and lush green Khasi pines. Umiam Lake has now become one of the most beautiful attractions of Shillong that lures domestic as well as international travelers.
The picturesque surroundings of Umiam Lake have it often compared to the beautiful lakes of Scotland. The Orchid Lake Resort next to the lake is run by the government where tourists can stay at the lodges or savor a meal with lake views. Plus, the resort has a swimming pool at the edge of a hill that overlooks the lake and offers a memorable experience.
For a delightful time, there are a plethora of activities offered at Umiam Lake. Paddle boats, speed boats, and water scooters are some of the options you can choose if you want to hit the waters. And if you are in search of sensational views, there are many vantage points from where you can witness the azure waters and the hills surrounding the lake. The scenic views of the clouds and bright sunlight also invite many shutterbugs especially during the golden hour from near and far.
Here are things to know before visiting Umiam Lake
Umiam Lake Legend
There is a fascinating story about Umiam Lake. As per the legend, once there were two sisters who decided to embark on a journey from heaven to Meghalaya, the ‘Abode of Clouds’. During the journey, the younger sister lost her way. Unable to find her sister, the elder one shed tears continuously, which resulted in the formation of the Umiam Lake.
Umiam Lake History
Umiam Lake is a man-made reservoir that was formed after the construction of a dam in 1965. The dam was a part of northeast India’s first hydel power project called the Umiam Umtru Hydroelectric Power Project. It was built by the Assam State Electricity Board and once formed, it stored water for the generation of hydroelectric power in the region.
Best time to visit Umiam Lake
March to June is the best time to visit Umiam Lake. During this time, the weather remains cool and pleasant, allowing you to indulge in water sports at the lake.
Things to do at Umiam Lake
Here are some of the top things to do at Umiam Lake to make your trip memorable –
Boating at Umiam Lake should not be missed by families, couples, or groups. It offers scenic views of the surroundings and you can witness the beautiful skies above.
- Boating timings – 9 am to 5 pm
- Charges – INR 20
If you want to have an unforgettable trip to Umiam Lake and satisfy the adventurer in you, indulge in water sports at Umiam Lake. The Water Sports Complex by Umiam Lake offers various activities like solo boating, water skiing, kayaking, and angling.
- Water Sports Complex timings – 8 am to 5 pm (open every day)
- Pedal Boating/Kayaking/Canoeing – INR 20
- Water Scooter Ride (5 min) – INR 50
- Speed Boat (5 min) – INR 75
- Cruise Boat (10 min) – INR 10
- Yachting (60 min) – INR 100
- Water Skiing (5 min) – INR 200
- River Bus Ride (20 min) – INR 50
Trekking and Camping
Trekkers can enjoy trekking and camping at Umiam Lake. You can trek through the dense forests and set your camp at the Lumpongdeng Island. This island is quite isolated and is located in a reservoir. Cook food and light campfires for a wonderful experience.
Enjoy fishing at Umiam Lake as the entire area is home to various fishes like catfishes and carps. You can see locals that come to Umiam Lake for fishing every day.