Scotland of the East amidst Abode of Clouds - Shillong
We had been bored out of the rigors, or so to say, of the college life and were actively looking for a vent. It was then during one of our post dinner bakars that we realized that we had been there in Guwahati for more than an year and hadn’t ventured out of the city and so were sown the seeds to planning of this trip. Various options were explored and considerations – economic and logistic – led us to decide on a trip to Shillong and Cherrapunji. We began doing the headcount and before we began we already had in our group the usual suspects – Me, Mantri, Chadha and Nishant. However we knew this was not enough and to have a real great time we had to have more and so the discussions began. One thing we knew was more company is only better if it is a good one. And after reaching out to our networks we finalized on the gang – apart from the four of us we would have GS, Kuldeep, Palu, Chandan and Anirudhh with us on the trip making it a group of 10. With this, began the discussion of the next steps. We decided to head out on the weekend of 29th September in 2006. We booked our vehicle and were all set on the day but how could things start without hiccups and so we had our first bump when the driver called that he couldn’t service that day. So frantic calls started at 4 in the morning – time when we were almost about to leave in another 30 minutes – to look for an alternate ride as no one wanted to cancel the plan. Moods were a bit dampened as we all realized that the plan would be curtailed to certain extent as we already had a significant delayed departure. But after some hard attempts we finally had our ride at the hostel gate and we embarked on the expedition. All the glum of delay was overcome by the excitement of awesome 2 days we all looked forward to.
Shillong is a beautiful hill town nested beautifully in the lap of Himalayas. It is situated at an altitude of 1496 m above sea level and is capital of the northeastern state of Meghalaya, nicknamed as "Abode of Clouds". Shillong remained the capital of Assam, before the formation of Meghalaya in the 1972. This city has been the seat of Government since the consolidation of the British administration in this part of India more than a century ago. The place along with a rich combination of its people, climate, flora and fauna create an amiable atmosphere and definitely make this town a worthwhile tourist destination. The town which is home to a number of natural waterfalls is aptly called the Scotland of East. Though I have never been to Scotland yet, but I assume it should be as beautiful as this place to have an honor to nicknaming this eye-catching beauty.
Our first destination of the day was the Shillong Peak which is about 10 kilometers from the city. Placing you at a height of 1965 meters the peak offers a panoramic view of entire Shillong and the natural beauty this area is bestowed with. This is the highest point of Meghalaya and tempts one to spend as much time possible here. We were told that the beauty of the view is very different in the evening with the lights of the city coming up and giving an illusion of dwindling lamps from this distance. While we had our chance of having the memories captured in pictures, we still wanted to leverage each possible minute to stay here and so we decided to have a good tea-break to enjoy the view for some more time.
EDIT: The Cherrapunji leg of the trip is available at - Wettest Land on Earth - Capital of Rains - Cherrapunji