I got two days’ time to pay a visit to the capital city of Meghalaya, Shillong and I tried to enjoy the place as much as I can.
Here’s what is in store in this land full of culture, delicious food, and the peaceful mountains. Allow me to take you to the beautiful journey.
My journey started from Guwahati and I took the road to Shillong. The scenic beauty of this route that spans about 120 km is mesmerizing. The mountains in the background, the chilly winds, and the local roads are beautiful and adventurous. There are several tea plantations, pineapple plantations and orchids along this path.
I had lunch in Jiva at Nongpoh and the menu consisted of Dum aloo biriyani, achaari dum aloo, dal makhani (it was a veg place so I had no choice!!). I must have to say that his place has a wide range of Indian and continental vegetarian cuisine. The quantity and quality both were satisfying.
I chose a place on the outskirts of the city because I wanted to enjoy everything this place has to offer without the interference of the city life. The Orchid Lake Resort beside the Umium Lake (known locally as the ‘Badapani’ Lake) is quite a catch. It’s quite affordable and is about 20 km away from Shillong.
While I had other plans for the day, I decided to take a much-needed break and enjoy the sunsets at the hills. Luckily, it was a full moon night and I could enjoy the Umium Lake at night. It was certainly a pleasant and peaceful experience, something that made me relax and unwind.
a) Umium Lake aka Badapani b)Orchid Lake Resort on the full moon night
Day 2: Sohra (Cherrapunji)
I woke up early on a holiday only to enjoy the sunrise, but the mist messed up the plan. The walk to the lake, however, was totally worth the trouble. The morning chill was persistent but nature had so much to offer at this time of the day. I left the resort at 7 am after a hearty breakfast of bread fruits and a hot cup of Assam tea.
a) & b) Crystal clear water of Badapani c) The sunrise d) The way to the lake from the resort
My first destination of the day was the Shillong Peak, which provides a panoramic view of the city.
The viewpoint is situated inside the air force camp hence, expect a lot of mandatory identity check. I got a clear view from the top as the weather was clear. Then I headed to my next spot which was ‘Elephant falls’. The fall was very crowded. It also lacks in water during the winter months.
My next destination was Cherrapunji (locally known as “Sohra”) which was around 60km from Shillong. I reached the Ramakrishna Mission Ashram first. The place was calm and peaceful as the placed lacked its usual chaos due to the holidays. There I saw a whiteboard in which they maintain the daily rainfall records as Sohra supposed to be the “Wettest place on Earth”. But thanks to global warming, Sohra didn’t get a single drop of rain in the month of November.
a) Cinnamon b) The Nohkalikai Falls
We headed towards Nohkalikai falls after this but there was only a thin stream of water due to the lack of rains. This area is also known for its Cinnamon and Honey.
I ended my journey by visiting the local Sohra market where things such as fruits, dried fish, baby potatoes, a lot of green veggies were being sold. It was another memorable experience. The market is also famous for its oranges.
I returned to my resort shortly after that as I had an early morning flight to catch.