About Shillong The Scotland of East - Holiday Travel

About Shillong The Scotland of East


About Shillong The Scotland of East
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About Shillong - The Scotland of East

Shillong was the capital of Assam, but after the state was split as Assam and Meghalya meaning 'The abode of the clouds', it became the first capital of the newly formed State of Meghalaya . Located in undulating pine covered hills, the city has a milder climate than tropical India. The city center is 1496 meters above sea level. Shillong currently has a population of around 270,000. Home to several waterfalls, it is also known as the Scotland of East.

Shillong receives heavy rainfalls during monsoon and the rainy season usually lasts longer than rest of India. An umbrella is therefore a necessity while packing your bags. Although people avoid the rainy season, it is generally the time when city is clean (rains wash the streets of all garbage) and waterfalls are in full strength. Most of the Shillong population belong to Khasi tribe, who are predominantly Christian. There are significant Assamese, Bengali and Nepali minorities.


About Khasis

An interesting aspect of Khasis are that they are a matrilineal society - the mother is head of family, youngest daughter owns all the property and mothers surname is passed on to children.



How to Reach Shillong

Reach Shillong By Air

Shillong Airport (SHL) is in Umroi, about 40km from Shillong (also known as Barapani Air Force Base or Umroi Airport). It is a small airport with flights via Alliance Air (operated by Indian Airlines) to/from Calcutta on certain days of the week.flights to Umroi are only from Calcutta and generally are cancelled at the last minute due to inclement weather. Guwahati airport which is 4&1/2 to 5 hours from shillong is a preferable option.

Guwahati to Shillong Bus Route
En route from Guwahati to Shillong, you'll probably stop mid way at Nongpoh to freshen up and get some refreshments. Nongpoh is also a good place to pick up bamboo pickles and other condiments.Please note that the road from Guwahati to Shillong is being widened and is prone to traffic jams (upto 18 hours delay) mostly in winters. So plan your move accordingly.


Reach Shillong By train

There are no rail lines in Meghalaya. The nearest railway station is Guwahati. It is 105 km from Shillong (reportedly takes 5 hours via taxi) and very well connected with all major cities of India.

Reach Shillong By bus

The main interstate bus stand is located right next to Guwahati railway station. Buses run by Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) and Meghalaya Transport Corporation (MTC), ply every half an hour from Guwahati to Shillong. The ticket fares vary between Rs.30 to 100, depending upon bus class (ordinary, semi-deluxe and deluxe). Please note that many of the buses are very old and only visible difference among bus class is number of people allowed to sit.

Many private run buses also run between two cities but they leave from Paltan Bazar area and cost around Rs. 70. Private buses might be better built but are occasionally crowded and have more stops enroute. Buses usually take around 4 hours with a mid-way stop at Nong-poh. Shared taxis are available from Paltan Bazar area which is adjacent to the railway station. These are generally SUV sized vehicles (Tata Sumo & Mahindra Bolero) shared between 8 people. They take around 3 hours to reach Shillong from Guwahati.The cost for a SUV vehicle is Rs.150 as of September 2013.

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