Air Force Museum
Located in Upper Shillong, in the premises of the headquarters of the Eastern Command of the Indian Air Force, the museum is a storehouse of information about aviation history. There is an attached souvenir shop. Carry a valid photo-identity card to seek entry permission.
All Saints’ Cathedral
The cathedral is located on Kacheri Road. Earlier it was known as All Saint’s Church, which was rebuilt in 1902 after a devastating earthquake destroyed the original church built in 1877. Only the baptismal font and the Big Bible were left unscratched which are still found here.
It is located above Police Bazar. Cross a pretty lawn to reach the church whose foundation stone was laid in 1874. British citizens from the colonial days lie buried in the adjoining cemetery.
Also known as the Lewduh Market, is a traditional market that has expanded over a period of time. Pick your way through the crowd – vendors and shoppers – for a quick fix knowledge of local lifestyle and food.
Don’t forget Shillong is the home of famous guitarist and singer Lou Majaw. Look out for the dates of the Shillong Blues and Jazz Festival (in 2014, it was held in September). The café is a good place to get acquainted with Shillong’s love for western music. Live acts during weekends.
Cathedral Catholic Church
Dedicated to Mary Help of Christians, this Roman Catholic church is located in the heart of the town and is an architectural splendour.
Chrysalis Art Gallery
House in the Salonsar Mansion (Police Bazar area), this art gallery is looked after by artist Jaya Kalra. Displays include paintings, sculptures and other handicraft by artists from north-eastern India. Ph: 0364-2223334.
Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures
The museum is a good place to learn about the seven sister states that comprise the north-eastern region of India, with each floor of the hexagonal seven-story building representing one state. The top of the building is shaped like a flame indicating unification of the diverse cultures. Open 9am-5.30 pm (9am-4.30pm between Dec 1 and Jan 31), it is closed on Sundays and select holidays. Entry charges applicable. Elevators available for the elderly and infirm. At the Food Museum, you can taste the special cuisine of the seven states besides a selection of Indian, Chinese and continental food. But you have to order in advance. http://www.dbcic.org/.
Located 12km from Shillong, it is one of the most popular waterfalls around Shillong. The water cascades over fern-covered rocks. You can also visit the Wei Laplan Falls and the Wir Phang Falls located nearby.
Also known as the Butterflies Museum, this is a private collection (belonging to the Wankhar family) of the once abundant butterflies, moths and other insects found in Meghalaya. The layout is very traditional with scores of specimens laid out in glass cases. Not a very well-known attraction and so ask the locals to guide you. Open 11am-4pm, Mon-Fri. But check the timings before visiting. Entry and photography charges apply. Ph: 0364-2544473.
The 18-hole golf course, one of India’s oldest (the 9-hole course developed in 1898 was converted to 18-hole in 1924), is surrounded by pine and rhododendron trees. http://shillonggolfclub.golfgaga.com/.
Lady Hydari Park
Located in the heart of Shillong, this sprawling green park is a good place to while away your time. In April and October, you can see flowers in bloom. There is also a Forest Museum here.
Lum Khyriem Viewpoint
Located about 6km from town, the place can be reached by driving up to the BSF’s precincts. The hill
Located in Upper Shillong, the Mattilang Amusement Park offers a good view of the Elephant Falls.
Rhino Heritage Museum
Located near the Military Hospital, the museum showcases local culture and military history. There is a gallery dedicated to Kargil hero, Captain Keishin Clifford Nongrum, who was conferred with the Maha Vir Chakra posthumously. There is also a gallery devoted to Captured Weapons of 1971 War. Open 10am-5pm, all days.
The highest point of Meghalaya, it is about 10km from the town. It offers a bird’s eye view of the surrounding countryside and the town. A popular picnic spot.
Spread Eagle Falls
Located in the cantonment area, the rushing waters appear like an eagle spreading its wings.
The Captain Williamson Sangma State Museum offers an insight into the lifestyle of the local people.
Located about 8km from Shillong, the water drops straight over 200feet. Explore the verdant area around the waterfalls but do be cautious.
Named after the Chief Commissioner of Assam, Sir William Ward, the lake sits pretty in the middle of a landscaped area. There is a small bridge across the lake. You can go boating here.
Excursions from Shillong:
Mawphlang Sacred Forest
Located about 25km from Shillong, the Mawphlang Sacred Forest is one of the traditional sacred forests of the Khasi hills. Preserved over centuries, the forest has developed into a unique area by itself. A good place to observe local flora; be respectful and preserve the sanctity of the place.
Located about 100km from Shillong, Mawlynnong rose to fame when it was declared the cleanest village in India. The villagers take good care that the village remains spic and span. From here, you can visit the living root bridge, said to be 300 years old. Limited accommodation available.
The seat of traditional Khasi culture, it is known for the Nongkrem dance held in November.
Earlier this place was known as Cherrapunjee, the wettest place on earth. Mawsyram, located nearby, has snatched away the honour but Sohra is still a big draw because of its innumerable waterfalls and unique bio-diversity. With Sohra as the base, you can explore the many attractions here (http://megtourism.gov.in/sohra-circuit.html). The Cherrapunjee Holiday Resort (http://www.cherrapunjee.com/), about 15km away from Sohra town, is located in a quiet village setting.
Also known as Bara Pani (it is Meghalaya’s largest artificial lake), it is located 15km from Shillong, on the Shillong-Guwahati highway. Nestling in the middle of rolling hills covered with pine forests, it is a very popular attraction, a picnic spot. There is a water sports facility here. You can stay at the Ri Kynjai boutique resort (http://rikynjai.com/) or at the Orchid Lake Resort (Ph: 0364-2570258).