|Elephant Falls||Entrenched in the Upper Shillong area approximately 12 kilometers away towards the outskirts of the Shillong City|
|Bishop and Beadon Falls||Poised off the Guwahati road just 2 kilometers away from the Bara Bazaar|
|Spread Eagle Falls||Located at the distance of 6 kilometers from the heart of the city and just 3 kilometers away from the famous Polo Grounds|
|Sweet Falls||Situated in close proximity to the Happy Valley of Shillong roughly 8 kilometers away from the center of the city|
|Crinoline Falls||Positioned in the neighborhood of ‘Lady Hydari Park’ within the metropolitan periphery|
|Shillong Peak||located at the meager distance of just 10 kilometers from the heart of the city|
|Sohpetbneng Peak||Positioned at the center of the Shillong Plateau|
|Lady Hydari Park||To be found adjacent the Ka Phan Nonglait Park|
|Botanical Survey of India Orchidarium||Positioned along the banks of the angelic Ward Lake of Shillong|
|Wards Lake||Stationed beneath the Raj Bhavan (the Governor’s Residence) right in the heart of the Shillong City|
|Umiam Lake||Sited about 15 kilometers to the north of the city and cradled in the lap of the majestic Khasi Hills|
|Shillong Cathedral||Located in the Laitumkhrah area of the Shillong City|
|Gleneagles of the East (Golf course)||Located at Laban at the altitude of 5200 feet above the MSL is often compared to the Glen Eagle Course of United State of America|
|Capt. Williamson Sangma State Museum||Housed within the State Central Library Complex and run by the Art and Culture Department of the Meghalaya State Government|
|Meghalaya State Museum||Located at Laichumiere|
|Entomological Museum / Butterfly Museum||Located at Riatsamthiah just 2 kilometers away from the Police Bazaar area|
|Don Bosco Museum||Located at Mawlai within the premises of the Sacred Heart Church|
|Chrysalis the Gallery||Set up on the second floor of the ‘Salonsar Mansion’ to be found at the Police Bazaar of the city|
|Marai Cave||Located close to the Shillong Peak|
|Motphran||Located very close to Bara Bazaar|
|Mawphlang||Located at the distance of about 25 kilometers from Shillong|
The Elephant Falls entrenched in the Upper Shillong area approximately 12 kilometers away towards the outskirts of the Shillong City is a natural water cascade where several mountain streams collectively descend upon the fern enveloped rocks in two successive plummets forming a cluster of three cataracts. A voluminous rivulet created by the accumulation of manifold brooks and flowing in profusion tumbles down from a pinnacle, rebounds after a short distance and once again dives into a chasm forming the glimmering Elephant Falls. As this waterfall is a compilation of a number of smaller falls, it doesn’t deluge down in a continuous column. The indigenous Khasi Tribe of Meghalaya reckons the Elephant Falls as ‘Ka Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew’ which means ‘Three Steps Water Falls’. The British christened it as the ‘Elephant Falls’ after an elephant shaped rock naturally reposed in the proximity with the water cataract. However, the elephant shaped rock was later destroyed in an earthquake leaving back merely its name. A footpath leads to the bottom of the Elephant Falls where a dandy lagoon has been created by the waters of the cascade. The luxuriant surroundings blanketed with the verdant pine foliage provide an astonishing backdrop to this enchanting tourist destination of Shillong. Both locals and vacationists recurrently throng the Elephant Falls for sightseeing as well as picnicking amidst the meadows.
Bishop and Beadon Falls
The Bishop and Beadon Falls fed by the river Umshyrphi and swooping down the same precipice into a yawning ravine are the twin waterfalls of the Shillong region where two giant silvery streaks adorning the exuberant scrim of the lush coniferous woods creates an absolutely chocolate box tableau. These 100 feet long twofold avalanches falling from the elevation of about 1,496 meters constitute a three-step waterfall where oodles of scintillating water dissolving into creamy flickers creates a vast lakelet at the bottom. The one to the left is known as the ‘Bishop Falls’ while the one to the right is called the ‘Beadon Falls’. This vicinity also referred to as ‘Sonapani’ has witnessed a suicide committed by a native inhabitant. Sited in the midst of the Suna Valley, the adjoining turf of the Bishop and Beadon Falls, acts as a home to innumerable wild animals including deer, langurs, wild cats, leopards and hundreds of exotic bird species.
Poised off the Guwahati road just 2 kilometers away from the Bara Bazaar, these twin waterfalls are easily approachable from the Shillong City by car or even on foot. Enclosed by verdant woodland from all the sides and vigorously gushing down in torrential currents upon the robust rocks, the enamoring Bishop and Beadon Falls are teeming with plentiful waters all through the year. Close to the waterfalls the State Government has built a RCC Viewpoint from where tourists can perceive the most gripping panorama of this dual cascade. Moreover, a hydroelectric powerhouse - Mawlai Grid Sub-Station placed at the base of the falls also offers the absorbing spectacle of the majestic Bishop and Beadon Falls. Adventure enthusiasts prefer to undertake a trekking expedition here and hike up or down the cliff parallel to the water stream. A half day trek and the subsequent unwinding amid the plethora of natural allure is certainly a memorable experience a trip to the Bishop and Beadon Falls would yield.
Spread Eagle Falls
Disposed amidst the emerald green woods of the Meghalayan terra firma and acclaimed as the widest waterfall of the Shillong province, the Spread Eagle Falls located at the distance of 6 kilometers from the heart of the city and just 3 kilometers away from the famous Polo Grounds is one of the most sought after tourist attractions of this Scotland of East. Also reckoned amongst the locals as the ‘Sati Falls’ and ‘Urkaliar’ meaning ‘the falls into which Ka Liar slipped’, the Spread Eagle Falls offer an extravagant banquet to the human eyes in the thick of the calm and pacifying woodsy setting. The water cataract receives its epithet after the fact that the water that surges down a steep escarpment here resembles an eagle gracefully gliding down with its all encompassing wings spread out. The Spread Eagle Falls adjoined by sheer perpendicular crags on three sides grows panoptic close to its apex and then gushes down the vertical hills into a Brobdingnagian water pool generated by the constant aquatic splash. The composure and serenity of the verdurous jungle is broken by the roars of the thunderous Spread Eagle waterfall that bursts into the deep gorge with incomparable velocity and force.
Contrary to its sugary and delicate rubric the ‘Sweet Falls’ is a gargantuan waterfall of Shillong that plunges down a steep drop with a deafening clamor disrupting the tranquility of the ambience. Situated in close proximity to the Happy Valley of Shillong roughly 8 kilometers away from the center of the city, the Sweet Falls are greatly cherished by the locals as well as the tourists as a perfect destination for a day’s outing or a weekend picnic. Also commonly known as ‘Weitden’ in the native jargon, the Sweet Falls take an abysmal leap down from the height of more that 300 feet and then hammer upon the boulders underneath with incredible vivacity and momentum. As the cascade subsides from a great height, its pinnacle from where the water goes headfirst is not visible from the base of falls. The Sweet Falls are dreadfully steep, there are no barriers or fences and even the adjoining rocks are dicey and slippery at all times because of rains or dew so the visitors are advised to take high caution while venturing around the cataract. Parents are also warned against letting their kids loose near the Sweet Falls. The Sweet Falls are commonly crammed by swelling crowd especially on weekends. The site has been developed as a tourist spot and primary amenities for visitors are made available here at reasonable prices. Apart from the theatrically magnificent Sweet Falls escorted by the symphonic concert of melodiously twittering birds and embellished by bright verdant flora additional attractions of the precinct include a Butterfly Museum and a Mini Zoo. Distinctive species of pelicans and innumerable varieties of resplendent rose flowers leave the beholders totally dumb founded.
A specimen of Nature’s creative adroitness and an epitome of boundless scenic bloom the Crinoline Falls of Shillong positioned in the neighborhood of ‘Lady Hydari Park’ within the metropolitan periphery is yet another enrapturing picnicking destination gilding the highlands of Meghalaya. Laden with immense picturesque beauty the Crinoline Falls of Shillong beckons jillions of sightseers from all over the map. Dropping from the elevation of about 13 meters this water cascade besieged by vivid green bushes at its top creates an enchanting water puddle at its base. Fringed by the stunning Orchid thickets, this natural swimming pool offers an invigorating bath in the cold waters of the chute. Tourists take a refreshing dip into the sparkling waters of the lake or just repose on the banks enjoying the musicale created by the chirping of the birds against the background of the jingle of the cascading water torrents. A restaurant serving an assortment of delicious cuisines including regional, Indian and continental is established beside the Crinoline Falls. Furthermore, a small zoo run by the Crinoline Falls administration is also sited close by. The Tourism Department of Meghalaya organizes various events and festivals at the Crinoline Falls every once in a while. This waterfalls situated right in the middle of the city are easily accessible from every direction and comprise a vital place in the itinerary of a visitor of Shillong.
Nestled at the approximate altitude of 6,449 feet (1965 meters) above the Mean Sea Level and located at the meager distance of just 10 kilometers from the heart of the city the Shillong Peak aggrandized as the highest geographical point of the entire Meghalaya State is greatly esteemed amongst the vacationers and day-trippers as an ideal picnic destination and a classic tourist hotspot. Enclosed by luxuriant Himalayan woodlands bursting with rare and exotic botanical species such as orchids, pine trees, other coniferous foliage and the most renowned insect eating pitcher plant; Nepenthes Khasiana, the Shillong Peak offers the most mesmerizing spectacles of the adjoining countryside. The panoramic bird’s eye view of the downhill Shillong city during the day and the fascinating vista of the glimmering city lights at night yield a real treat to the human eyes.
During the night when the dark Cimmerian sky is studded with countless dazzling stars and the Shillong city is illuminated with hundreds of flickering electric lights underneath, a prospect from the top of the Shillong Peak grants an utterly out of the world experience. A shrine dedicated to the protector deity of Shillong; Lei Shyllong’, also known as ‘U-Shyllong’ or just ‘Shyllong’ is sited at the top of the Shillong Peak where the ‘Pemblang Ceremony’ (animal sacrifice) is performed by the Syiem of Khyrim; the head of the Khasi State and Ka Syiem Sad; the high priest at the time of the Nongkrem Dance Festival. A vantage point has been constructed atop the Shillong Peak from where tourists can enjoy the overwhelming outlooks of the Shillong city and the far flung Himalayan Sierras.
A radar station of the Indian Air force is situated at the Shillong Peak where the tourists are not allowed to click photographs. As the forest around the peak is not inhabited by dangerous wild animals, adventure aficionados love to explore these rococo Himalayan woods.
Shillong, geographically positioned at the center of the Shillong Plateau is encircled by several precipices, the chief amongst them being; Lum Sohpetbneng, Lum Diengiei and Lum Shillong. These three hills (Lums) are traditionally held in great veneration by the indigenous Khasi Tribes of the Hynniewtrep community. The Sohpetbneng Peak; the summit of Lum Sohpetbneng is one of the most popular tourist attractions around Shillong acclaimed for its tremendous religious magnitude apart from the spectacular panoramas it offers. The term ‘Sohpetbneng’ means the ‘navel of heaven’. As per the prevailing mythological belief in the earlier times a holy tree grew at the pinnacle of Lum Sohpetbneng which acted as a ladder between man and God and established a direct communication link between the Hynniewtrep Tribe and their God Almighty residing in heaven.
However, in the course of time as the Hynniewtrep tribes migrated from the uplands and chose a materialist way of life over the religious and spiritual life full of hardships, the sacred tree; the golden bridge between earth and heaven collapsed and the religious significance of the Sohpetbneng Peak started diminishing. This divine peak parked 20 kilometers away from Shillong is frequently visited by the tourists during present era. The site is particularly revered for its celestial essence and it is believed that a visit to the Sohpetbneng Peak grants you the answer to all the questions associated with the spiritual aspects of Universe’s existence. The Sohpetbneng Peak is the most idyllic site for the peace seekers where they can enjoy an aesthetic concord with nature in its pure form. The Sohpetbneng Peak suspended at the altitude of 1,343 meters above the sea level proffers an attention-grabbing vision of the Shillong City and the surrounding landscape.
Lady Hydari Park
The Lady Hydari Park of Shillong to be found adjacent the Ka Phan Nonglait Park is a well-liked flower garden and orchidarium of the city that is ostentatiously landscaped in the Japanese Garden Style and also features a mini zoo nearby. Exceedingly treasured both by the locals as well as tourists as a perfect evening retreat and a weekend picnicking destination, the Lady Hydari Park is christened after Lady Hydari; a woman of immense substance. Lady Hydari, the wife of Sir Muhammad Saleh Akbar Hydari; the last British-appointed and the first Indian Governor of the state of Assam, was the cardinal First Lady of the Assam State. Engrossed with legions of social service activities, Lady Hydari was honored with the ‘Kaiser e- Hind’ medal for her commendable contribution in the flood relief work during the Musi Floods of 1908. The Lady Hydari Park of Shillong brimming with variety of flowering plants and orchids covers the total area of over one kilometer. Also housing a mini zoo, a butterfly museum and a deer park within its limits, this botanical and zoological garden of Shillong equally allures both kids and adults. Several swings, slips, sea-saws, other small rides and open play grounds of the park particularly attract the children while the parents unwind amidst the appealing ambience of the park marked with the sweet incense of hundreds of blossoming roses. Not only that, the Lady Hydari Park clad with extensive rose beds and splendid orchids also proves to be an ideal setting for the young couples craving for each other.
Botanical Survey of India Orchidarium
Elegantly positioned along the banks of the angelic Ward Lake of Shillong, the Botanical Survey of India is dedicated to the research in the domain of preservation and cultivation of various rare and endangered botanical and floricultural species, principally those associated with the mountainous region of Meghalaya. The Orchidarium developed at the Botanical Survey of India prides itself on its marvelously exceptional collection of exotic and uncommon orchids. These Orchids have been acquired from the remote Himalayan highlands of Meghalaya with an objective of creating and providing the amiable atmosphere that would suit for the survival and growth of these Orchid species. The main aim of this endeavor is to make orchids grow on the soil of Meghalaya once again. The Orchidarium of Shillong affluent with multitudinous breeds of colorful orchids is bequeathed with special glass chambers where the atmospheric temperature is controlled so as to endow the indigenous orchids with enhanced acclimatization. This Orchidarium of Shillong is located amidst the Mawphlang Sacred Groves, also locally reckoned as the ‘Virgin Forest’. According to the prevalent religious myth, all the plantations in this area are sacred and troubling them brings fatal misfortune. This myth conveniently preserves the flora of the precinct. Apart from its fantastic compilation of wonderful Orchids, the Botanical Survey of India Orchidarium also accommodates a mini aviary where atypical species of multicolored birds are sheltered. Other than paying a visit to the Orchidarium and the Aviary tourists also delight in taking a leisurely stroll through the meandering pavement laid inside the Botanical Garden.
Also locally known as the ‘Nan-Polok’ or the ‘Polok Lake’, the Wards Lake stationed beneath the Raj Bhavan (the Governor’s Residence) right in the heart of the Shillong City, is an artificial lake that is supposed to have built by a Khasi prisoner fed up with his daily penitentiary schedule. Skirted by a rambling flower garden and also flanked by the Botanical Garden of the Botanical Survey of India, this horseshoe-shaped lake of Shillong comprises one of the most sought after tourist attractions of this groovy hill resort. The century old pictorial water reservoir embroidered by the long stretches of blooming lotus flowers on its either side is filled with innumerable colorful fishes of diverse shapes, sizes and species. This placid lake circumscribed by a winding walking promenade is festooned with tenderly slanting flowerbeds, luxuriant lawns and dazzling illuminations along the shore. Regularly thronged by jillions of tourists, picnickers, honeymooners and solitude seekers, the Wards Lake of Shillong offers scores of recreational activities for instance boating, walking along the cobble-stoned paths holding hands of your loved ones, fountain dancing and so on. The exquisite wooden bridge built at the center of the lake and the brilliantly lit fountain dancing to the tunes of popular songs add to the striking photographic appeal of the Wards Lake. A cafeteria set up close by provides refreshments to the visitors at affordable charges.
The Umiam Lake sited about 15 kilometers to the north of the city and cradled in the lap of the majestic Khasi Hills is yet another artificial water lagoon of Shillong that bejewels the Shillong Plateau like a glistening jewel studded in the regal tiara. Constructed in early 1960s by damming the Umiam River under a dam project the sprawling Umiam Lake along with the Umiam Dam covers an extensive catchments area of over 220 square kilometers. Also known by the sobriquet; ‘the Barapani’ meaning ‘big water’, the Umiam Lake is presently developed by the Meghalaya State Tourism Department as a water sports complex consisting of a lake resort and a recreational park. This staggering lake resembling the lakes of Scotland in its polish and symmetry is notably frequented by hordes of tourists all round the year. The water sports complex of Umiam Lake offers a number of thrilling and exciting water sports including row boating, paddle boating, cruise boating, sailing, kayaking, water cycling, water scooters, speed boating, river bus rides, and so on. The added attraction of this lake is the floating restaurant endowed with ferry services. Moreover, a beautiful garden named ‘Lum Nehru Park’ is established on the banks of the Umiam Lake along the water sports complex. Currently, the Umiam Lake of Shillong is managed by the Meghalaya State Electricity Board. The Umiam Hydro Electric Project happens to be the earliest Hydel Power Project of the north-eastern India.
The Shillong Cathedral, also reckoned as ‘the Cathedral Church of Mary Help of Christian’ is one of the oldest and largest churches of the province that is intensely venerated amongst over 3,00,000 strong Catholics of the Khasi and Jaintia regions. Located in the Laitumkhrah area of the Shillong City, this holy cathedral holding the seat of the Bishop is one of the most eminent heritage monuments of Meghalaya that basks in the glory of its supreme religious, cultural and historical magnificence. The present day Shillong Cathedral is built on the site of the first Church of Meghalaya that was established in 1913 AD by the Catholic Missionaries from Germany arrived here for the propagation of Christianity. Known by the appellation the ‘Church of Divine Savior’ back then, the wooden edifice of the church was burnt to ashes in 1936 AD on the Good Friday. Eventually, the church was reconstructed and raised to the status of a cathedral. Applauded for its incomparable architectural grandeur, this Cathedral of Shillong is decorated with soaring arches, stained glass windows, the bell tower and a church grotto carved out of one single rock. The interiors of the church fabricated out of terracotta portray the biblical episodes of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, the church also depicts the Holy Scriptures and the Lives of the Saints. The grave of Late Rt. Rev. Hubert D Rosario; the first Archbishop of Shillong is placed facing the main altar. Another altar is situated along the grave in front of the figurine of Mother Mary with Infant Jesus. The church encompasses an enormous prayer hall that has the capacity of accommodating hundreds of devotees at a time.
Gleneagles of the East (Golf course)
The Shillong Golf Course, one of the largest golf courses of Asia (5,873 yards) and the wettest golf course in the whole world, is an 18-hole golf course that was commissioned during the British Raj in India and constructed by a group of British Civil Service Officials in 1898 AD. Originally a 9-hole course, the present day 18-hole course was installed and inaugurated in the year 1924. Honored to be the first golf course of India, the Shillong Golf Course located at Laban at the altitude of 5200 feet above the MSL is often compared to the Glen Eagle Course of United State of America due to its unique and impressively scenic setting. This golf course deposited in the lap of an undulating valley blanketed with rhododendron and pine trees is carpeted with a distinctive local grass that hardens the soil and renders the fairways rigid and unyielding. In addition to that, numerous mountain streams those interweave every fairway and other impediments like trees, bunkers and rain add to the complexity and demanding nature of the game. The 6th hole is the longest hole measuring 594 yards in its distance. This ‘Gleneagles of the East’ reposed against the imposing backdrop of snow clad Himalayas hosts various golf tournaments between October and December every year.
Capt. Williamson Sangma State Museum
Capt. Williamson Sangma State Museum housed within the State Central Library Complex and run by the Art and Culture Department of the Meghalaya State Government is a treasure repository where ethnic tribal handicrafts, rare archaeological objects, plants, animals and other vestiges of ancient Khasi culture are conserved and put up on display. This museum aims at preserving and propagating the indigenous traditions and rich cultural heritage of northeastern India that is currently suffering the threat of being extinguished under the tremendous pressure of modern torrents of westernization. A visit to this museum grants an insight into the ethnic tribal culture, authentic traditions & customs, the aboriginal lifestyle of the natives of Meghalaya and the history of the region. The Capt. Williamson Sangma State Museum of Shillong is one of the governmental centers where study and research of the Meghalayan history and culture is undertaken. The monuments associated with the great patriots from the history of India’s Independence Struggle in general and the State of Meghalaya in particular are also exhibited in this menagerie. Additionally, the statues of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Smt. Indira Gandhi are also placed here. This state museum of Shillong is christened after the name of a distinguished Garo leader Williamson Ampang Sangma who became the first Chief Minister of Meghalaya and the first Garo Governor of Mizoram.
Meghalaya State Museum
The Meghalaya State Museum established in the year 1975 is a must visit tourist destination of Shillong where many ethnographic and archaeological objects representing the rich historical and cultural heritage, ethnic tribal legacy, history, social structures and other aspects of the ancestral lifestyle of northeastern India are safeguarded and showcased. Some of the worth mentioning exhibits of the Meghalaya State Museum comprise the artifacts related to the tribal civilization of the province and the rare ancient scriptures. One of the most striking sections of the museum is the habitat section where the abodes of various tribal communities, devices used for everyday activities like hunting and fishing, weapons, agricultural tools, transportation equipments, domestic articles such as pots, water jugs, baskets, spoons, tobacco boxes, etc can be witnessed. The Meghalaya State Museum successfully endeavors at displaying the primordial lifestyle and cultural multiplicity of various aboriginal tribes, especially the Khasis. Other activities the Meghalaya State Museum is involved in include exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, conservation, education, etc. This museum located at Laichumiere can be visited from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm all days of week but Sunday. No entry fee is charged for visiting the State Museum of Meghalaya.
Entomological Museum / Butterfly Museum
The Entomological Museum of Shillong located at Riatsamthiah just 2 kilometers away from the Police Bazaar area is a privately-owned museum which happens to be the only known museum of India dedicated to the butterflies and moths. This outstanding anthology of butterflies, moths, insects and beetles of diverse colors, sizes, patterns and species gathered from different corners of the country and globe aims at conserving the rare and endangered species of these fascinating but fragile prototypes of existence. Maximum of the butterflies sheltered in this museum belong to the species flourishing in the Meghalaya region. Exceptionally loved by the students of zoology, this museum offers a rare insight into the life span, way of living and habitat of the butterflies and moths. Apart from that, the butterflies are also bred at the Entomological Museum of Shillong as a part of the Butterflies Conservation Program. This peculiar museum can be visited between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm from Monday to Friday.
Don Bosco Museum
The Don Bosco Museum of Shillong, a part of the ‘Don Bosco Center for Indigenous Cultures’ (DBCIC) is an astonishing treasure repository where a wide compilation of artifacts related to the aboriginal heritage and culture of the entire North Eastern India is preserved and exhibited. The Don Bosco Center for Indigenous Cultures run by the Salesian order of the Catholic Church is an eminent research institution that operates in various fields including research on cultures, training, publications, animation programs, cultural knowledge-sharing and so on aside from managing the Don Bosco Museum. Located at Mawlai within the premises of the Sacred Heart Church, this culture museum of Shillong; originally patronized by Rev. Fr. Sebastian and later upheld and developed by other missionary priests happens to be the largest cultural museum in the entire Asia Continent. Built in spiral shaped structure, this peculiar seven storey edifice features about seventeen distinct galleries where innumerable art objects, ethnic vestiges, antique belongings of the indigenous inhabitants and other information on all the north eastern states of India i.e. Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram are put up on display. Some of the most worth mentioning exhibits of the Don Bosco Museum include attires, accessories, ornamentation, weapons, rare photographs, regional artwork, handicrafts, artifacts, paintings, fiberglass items, and many more. Additionally, the atypical dance forms of the North Eastern India are also performed at the top most storey of the Don Bosco Museum. A visit to this culture museum gets you an unambiguous overview of the entire Northeast India and its rich classic legacy. Tourists from all over the country and globe pay a visit to this wonderful harborage of our fading primordial culture. The Don Bosco Museum can be visited from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm and 100 INR are charged as the entry fee here.
Chrysalis the Gallery
Chrysalis the Gallery set up on the second floor of the ‘Salonsar Mansion’ to be found at the Police Bazaar of the city is an art gallery run by a local artist named ‘Jaya Kalra’ where canvas paintings, sculptures, handicrafts and innumerable photographs are displayed and sold. This gallery also hosts exhibitions of the artists and artisans belonging to the North Eastern India.
The Marai Cave, also locally reckoned as the ‘Krem Marai’ is an ancient cavern of the Shillong province which intrigues jillions of locals as well as tourists due to its strategic geographical location close to the Shillong Peak and its mysterious association with different engaging mythological tales. As per the prevailing legend, the descendants of the ‘Syiems’ from the Mylliem and Khyrim Kingdoms had hollowed out the Krem Marai and reached Shillong through this underground passage. Another folklore suggests that the only daughter of the protector deity of Shillong; Lei Shyllong resided in this cave from whose womb the Syiem Clan was produced. Positioned about 16 kilometers from the Shillong City on the way to Jowai, the Marai Cave can be reached by vehicle only up to the base of the hill from where the Umiam River originates. A steady climb of about 20 minutes along the cultivated land, jungle vegetation and rocks from there on leads to the Marai Cave of Shillong. From the Marai Cave, an arresting vista of the downtown Shillong can be captured. If you keep climbing up from the Marai Cave, you would reach the celebrated Shillong Peak.
Motphran, also known as the ‘Stone of France’ is a commemorative plaque that was erected in the revered memory of the 26th ‘Khasi Labour Corps’ who served the British Army in the World War I and laid their lives in the battleground while fighting against France. This memorial bears the engravings of a poem composed by the great Latin poet Horace i.e. “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” which means, “It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country.”
‘Mawphlang’, located at the distance of about 25 kilometers from Shillong is a well-known woodland of Meghalaya where the state’s most popular forest grove; the ‘Sacred Forest’ is situated. Greatly venerated by a local tribe named ‘Jaintia’, the Sacred Forest is predominantly wrapped up in the groves of the Castanopsis Kurzii Trees. Besides, this ‘nature’s own museum’ is also embellished with a number of fern-allies, orchids, pipers, aroids, and so on. A paradise for naturalists, botanists and plant-lovers, the Sacred Forest of Shillong beckons thousands of visitors, researchers and students across the world all round the year. Mawphlang is also reckoned as ‘Ki Law Adong’ meaning the ‘prohibited forest’, or ‘Ki Law Kynti’ meaning the ‘private forest’ or ‘Ki Law Shnong’ meaning the ‘village forest’ and cutting any trees or damaging any natural property at Mawphlang is prohibited and is believed to be bringing misfortune.