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Shillong

Shillong is the capital city of the state as well as the district headquarter of East Khasi Hills District. The name Shillong is derived from U-Shyllong, a powerful deity and is situated at an altitude of 1,491m above sea level. This beautiful city is 103kms from Guwahati, the nearest air and train link. The presence of many well reputed educational institutions, many of them established by various missionary groups make Shillong the hub of education for the entire north-east.

Places within Shillong are :

Lady Hydari Park : A popular spot both with locals and tourist, it is located in the heart of the city with an abundance of plants and flowers. The best months to see the flowers in bloon are April and October.

The Ward’s Lake : is an important tourist site of Shillong. It is a horseshoe-shaped artificial lake lying beneath the Raj Bhavan (Governor’s Residence) and the Accountant General’s (AG) Office, with little isles and a bridge over it. The lake abounds in fish (grass carps) and feeding the fish from the bridge is a favorite pastime of the tourists. It is said that a Khasi prisoner, who requested for any kind of work to get him out of his cell, initiated its construction. The lake has a charming winding walk-a-way in the midst of rolling flowerbeds and fairyland lighting with gradually undulating grounds, hemmed in by lush greens. Boats are also available, while the cafeteria provides refreshments.

Cathedral Catholic Church : In the heart of the city, there stands a beautiful cathedral of Roman Catholics dedicated to Mary Help of Christian.

Capt. Williamson Sangma State Museum : For those interested in ethnic tribal culture and tradition this Govt. Museum under the control of Art and Culture Department offers insights to the lifestyle of the people. This museum is in the State Central Library complex where monuments for the great patriots of the state had been erected besides the statue of Smt. Indira Gandhi and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures (DBCIC) : A three-in-one Institution combining a museum with a research and publication centre, for promoting and preserving the rich cultural heritage of North East India -a unique fusion of all the sister states under one roof. DBCIC contains seventeen galleries displaying cultural artefacts and paintings. It offers study and research facilities throughout its specialised library of 10,000 volumes, a media hall and a conference hall. It is frequented by school students and older research students and anthropologists, since this area of India is an anthropologist's paradise.

Golf Course : Shillong Golf Course one of the oldest and best natural golf course in the world is considered to be the "Gleneagle of the East" by the United States Golf Association and Museum. The site where the Golf Course is located provides a scenic view. It was set in an undulating valley covered with thick groves of pine and rhododendron trees at an altitude of 5200 ft in 1898 as a 9 (nine) hole course and later converted into a 18 (eighteen) hole course in 1924 by Captain Jackson and C. K. Rhodes.

Spread Eagle Falls : Located within the Shillong Cantonment, on the outskirts of the city, lies a sparkling waterfall which looks like an eagle with wings spread. Hence the name Spread Eagle Falls. The falls is locally known as Umkaliar or the falls into which Ka Liar slipped. A soothing setting amidst the calmness of nature - a treat to the eyes.

Sweet Falls : Situated near Happy Valley at a distance of about eight kilometres from Shillong. It resembles a straight pencil of water emerging from a large size water pipe, as it drops vertically over a distance exceeding two hundred feet. Most suitable for a day's outing and picnic, Explore it!

Elephant Falls : 12 kms on the outskirts of the city the mountain stream descends through two successive falls set in dells of fern-covered rocks. At a short distance beyond the falls, there are two smaller falls which are none the less beautiful and captivating. These are the Wei Iaplam Falls and the Wir Phang Falls. A well paved footpath and a small wooden bridge facilitate access to these falls.

Shillong Peak : The 1960 metres high, Shillong Peak, 10 Km from the city is another fantastic tourist spot. The peak has a very important legend as it is generally believed to be the abode of a powerful deity known as ‘U LEI SHYLLONG’ meaning Shyllong God. It is said that ‘U LEI SHYLLONG’ was responsible for the creation and the origin of the Khyrim and Mylliem Syiemship. The Peak gives a magnificent view of the spreading township below.

Entomological Museum (Butterfly Museum) a privately owned museum in Shillong is the only known museum in India devoted to moths and butterflies. The Butterfly Museum is worth visiting as it has an excellent collection of the winged beauties, many of which are facing extinction. The tiny museum is based in the home of Mr. Wankhar who has being running a breeding farm in the Khasi Hills and shipping eggs and cocoons all over the world.

Iew Duh (Bara Bazar) is situated in the heart of Shillong town,’ Iew Duh’ is a wonderful bazar for tourists in search of local colour. Pure honey, bows and arrows, handicrafts, handwoven shawls and a variety of local artifacts are sold in this market. Iew Duh is one of the few places where one can taste a variety of Khasi and Jaintia delicacies.

Smit : Just 17 Kms South of Shillong is the traditional seat of Khasi culture. The Nongkrem dance, is performed in Smit during November. Close by in Nongkrem village there is one traditional house owned by the Lyngdoh, which is 100 years old.