The Oriental Scotland
|District||: East Khasi Hills|
|Type of Tourism||: Hill Station|
|Area||: 64.36 sq km|
|Altitude||: 1,525 meters|
|Population||: 354,325 (As per Indian census- 2011)|
|Languages spoken||: Khasi, Garo, Jaintia, Assamese, Bengali, English and Hindi.|
|Best Tourist Season||: September to May|
|Clothing recommended||: Light cotton in summer, light woolen in winter|
|Telephone Code||: India (0364), International (+91)|
|Pin Code||: 793 001|
|What to buy||: Fresh Local Fruits like Sayang and Saflang, Cashew Nuts, Vegetables, Black Mushrooms, Forest Honey, Fish, Bamboo Shoot Pickles, Traditional Bamboo Handicrafts, Bamboo Hats, Bamboo Furniture, Cane Artifacts, Woodcarving, Pineapple Fiber Articles, Khok or Thugis Baskets, Khasi Umbrellas, Ats, Moorahs, Woolen Handmade Shawls, Carpets, Tibetan Shawls, Textile Weaving Items, Endi Silk, Khasi Silk Skirts, Fashion Apparels, Handmade Khasi and Naga Souvenirs.|
|Shopping Tips||: Bara Bazaar or the Iewduh Market and the Police Bazaar are the best places for shopping in Shillong.|
|Food Specialties||: Khasi, Garo, Jaintia and Tibetan Cuisine like Momos, Tung-Rymbai, Jadoh, Ki Kpu, Minil Songa, Sakkin Gata, Nakham Bitchi, Mylliem Chicken, Dohkhlieh, Dohneiiong, Tungrymbai, Pumaloi, Pudoh, Putharao, Kyat, Tit Tung, Jastem, Khiew Ranei, Pukhlein, Pickled Bamboo Shoots, Rice Beer, Etc.|
|Local transportation||: On foot, Auto Rickshaw, Taxi, Buses|
Shillong, the administrative capital of the state of Meghalaya and the legislative command center of the East Khasi Hills District is one of the most cherished hill resorts of north eastern India that embellishes the Indian highlands like a lustrous jewel in a monarchial tiara. Snuggled in the bosom of the rolling pine cloaked hills, enclosed by the mystic series of lofty mountain peaks, ornamented by the sparkling garlands of the silvery water cataracts and bejeweled with the trinkets of crystal clear lagoons, Shillong laden with breathtaking scenic splendor is indeed an adorable child born in the lap of Mother Nature.
No wonder the undulating façade of Shillong basking in the glory of its infinite natural charisma reminded the British of the Scotlandian pizzazz. Rightly bequeathed with the laurel; the ‘Scotland of the East’, Shillong derives its appellation from the name of a protector deity; ‘Lei Shyllong’, also known as ‘U-Shyllong’ or just ‘Shyllong’. Perched in the heart of the Shillong Plateau at the altitude of 1525 meters above the mean sea level, the conurbation of Shillong is encircled by innumerable cliffs and precipices, the chief amongst them being; Lum Sohpetbneng, Lum Diengiei and Lum Shillong. These three mounds of Shillong Plateau are greatly venerated by the Khasis.
It is to be noted that Shillong happens to be the only hill station of India that is approachable from all directions. Shillong; the repository of exotic and uncharted lands, verdurous hills, picturesque cottages, salubrious climate and quaint British ambience offers the most romantic retreat from the busy schedule of everyday life. Relaxing in the cradle of Natura and soaking your soul in the spellbinding allure of the vicinity is truly a lifetime experience one carries back from Shillong. Lord Byron was right when he said, “When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy…… the green hill laughs with the noise of it.”
History Of Shillong
Shillong accredits its genesis to the British Colonization of India when in 1862 AD the British East India Co. acquired two capacious plots amidst the Khasi Hills extracted from Mylliem. Mylliem was one of the 25 Khasi states which were then governed by the elected Khasi Rajas. The cool and pleasing clime of Shillong and the magnetizing pulchritude of the environs captivated the British officials who started seeking escape from the scorching summer of the Indian plains to these amiable and revitalizing uplands of Meghalaya (then Khasi). It is rendered that the billowing hills of Shillong brimming with plethora of beauty reminded the Europeans of the elegant symmetry of Scotland. In 1864 AD the British made Shillong the civil station of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills since when Shillong has progressively expanded in size and advanced in its social and political significance. In 1874 AD Assam was constituted as a Chief Commissioner’s Province with Shillong being its directorial head quarters. The strategic geographical location of Shillong between the Brahmaputra and Surma Valleys favored it to a great extent. In 1897 AD a ravishing earthquake wiped out most of the Shillong City; however, the meticulous citizens of Meghalaya entirely restructured the civic. Henceforward Shillong proliferated as the capital of the undivided Assam till 21st January 1972 when a new state named ‘Meghalaya’ was created. Shillong was anointed to the status of the capital of Meghalaya while Assam moved its capital to Dispur.