Place to See

Khasi Hills-The Land of  Wonders

Source Megalaya tourism

Khasi Hills is perhaps best known for Sohra (Cherrapunjee), geographically famous for being the wettest place on earth and also Shillong, one of the most beautiful hill stations in India. Infact the entire Khasi Hills region that forms the central part of Meghalaya is richly endowed with natural beauty. Everywhere you go, you will never cease to be mystified by the spectacular charm the state offers.
Shillong

Location: East Khasi Hills District

The capital city of the State as well as the District headquarter of East Khasi Hills District. The name Shillong is derived from U-Shyllong, a powerful deity and is situated at an altitude of 1,491m above sea level. This beautiful city is 103kms. from Guwahati, the nearest air and train link. The presence of many well reputed educational institutions, many of them established by various missionary groups make Shillong the hub of education for the entire north-east.

Shillong area

Shillong

Location: East Khasi Hills District

The capital city of the State as well as the District headquarter of East Khasi Hills District. Shillong is the only hill station in the country that is accessible from all sides. The name Shillong is derived from U-Shyllong, a powerful deity and is situated at an altitude of 1,491m above sea level. This beautiful city is 103kms. from Guwahati, the nearest air and train link. The presence of many well reputed educational institutions, many of them established by various missionary groups make Shillong the hub of education for the entire north-east.

hydari parkLady Hydari Park

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Shillong

A popular spot both with locals and tourist, it is located in the heart of the city with an abundance of plants and flowers. The best months to see the flowers in bloon are April and October.

wards lakeWard’s Lake

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Shillong

A beautiful manmade lake named after Sir William Ward, the then, Chief Commissioner of Assam. A beautiful little lake with short garden walks and boating facilities – this is a popular spot for both local and visiting tourists.

laitumkhrah churchCathedral Catholic Church

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Shillong

In the heart of the city, there stands a beautiful cathedral of Roman Catholics dedicated to Mary Help of Christian.

museum shillongCapt. Williamson Sangma State Museum

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Shillong

For those interested in ethnic tribal culture and tradition this Govt. Museum under the control of Art and Culture Department offers insights to the lifestyle of the people. This museum is in the State Central Library complex where monuments for the great patriots of the state had been erected besides the statue of Smt. Indira Gandhi and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

don bosco museumDon Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Shillong

A three-in-one Institution combining a museum with a research and publication centre, for promoting and preserving the rich cultural heritage of North East India -a unique fusion of all the sister states under one roof.

With seven stories, 56,000 square feet of floor space and 15,154 square feet of display wall space, it ranks among the top 36 or so cultural centres of its kind in the Salesian world. Museums/ Cultural Centres in practice appear to be a significant aspect of the Salesian mission

Even in terms of design the DBCIC is startling: built in hexagonal shape, its seven floors represent the seven states of North East India. The building rises to form a flame, expressing the reality that if cultures are understood well, they can form a communion of cultures for a better society.

DBCIC contains seventeen galleries displaying cultural artefacts and paintings. It offers study and research facilities throughout its specialised library of 10,000 volumes, a media hall and a conference hall. It is frequented by school students and older research students and anthropologists, since this area of India is an anthropologist’s paradise. 

For more information  browse http://dbcic.org

golf club shillongGolf Course

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Shillong

Shillong Golf Course one of the oldest and best natural golf course in the world is considered to be the “Gleneagle of the East” by the United States Golf Association and Museum. The site where the Golf Course is located provides a scenic view. It was set in an undulating valley covered with thick groves of pine and rhododendron trees at an altitude of 5200 ft in 1898 as a 9 (nine) hole course and later converted into a 18 (eighteen) hole course in 1924 by Captain Jackson and C. K. Rhodes.

spread eagle fallsSpread Eagle Falls

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Shillong

Located within the Shillong Cantonment, on the outskirts of the city, lies a sparkling waterfall which looks like an eagle with wings spread. Hence the name Spread Eagle Falls. The falls is locally known asUmkaliar or the falls into which Ka Liar slipped. A soothing setting amidst the calmness of nature – a treat to the eyes.

sweet fallsSweet Falls

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Shillong

Situated near Happy Valley at a distance of about eight kilometers from Shillong. It resembles a straight pencil of water emerging from a large size water pipe, as it drops vertically over a distance exceeding two hundred feet. Most suitable for a day’s outing and picnic, Explore it!

elephant fallsElephant Falls

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Upper Shillong

12 kms on the outskirts of the city the mountain stream descends through two successive falls set in dells of fern-covered rocks. At a short distance beyond the falls, there are two smaller falls which are none  the less beautiful and captivating. These are the Wei Iaplam Falls and the Wir Phang Falls. A  well paved footpath and a small wooden bridge facilitate access to these falls.

diengiei peakShillong Peak

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Upper Shillong

An ideal picnic spot, 1965 metres above sea level and 10 kms from the city, offers a panoramic view of these country side, and is also the highest point in the State. Obeisance is paid to U Shulong at the sanctum at the peak’s summit every springtime, by the religious priest of Mylliem State. In the evening the city lights below appear like a star-studded abyss.

 

ingsad smitSmit

Location: East Khasi Hills District

Just 17 Kms South of Shillong is the traditional seat of Khasi culture. The Nongkrem dance, is performed in Smit during November. Close by in Nongkrem village there is one traditional house owned by the Lyngdoh, which is 100 years old.

mawphlangMawphlang

Location: East Khasi Hills District

One of the most remarkable features of the Khasi Hills are the sacred forests, which have been preserved by traditional religious sanction, since the ancient days. One of the most famous sacred forests is the Mawphlang Sacred Forest, about 25 kilometres from Shillong. The sacred grove has an amazing life form of plants, flowering trees, orchids and butterflies. An ideal destination for nature lovers.

The sacred-groves which have been preserved since time immemorial, are in sharp contrast to their surrounding grasslands. These groves are generally rimmed by a dense growth of Castanopsis kurzii trees, forming a protective hedge which halts intrusion of Pinus kasia (Khasi pine) which dominates all areas outside the sacred groves. Inside the outer rim, the sacred groves are virtually Nature’s Own Museum. The heavily covered grounds have a thick cushion of humus accumulated over the centuries. The trees in every sacred groveare heavily loaded with epiphytic growth of aroids, pipers, ferns, fern-allies and orchids. The humus-covered grounds likewise harbour myriad varieties of plant life, many of which are found nowhere else.

Sohra (Cherrapunjee)

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Sohra

Sohra, previously known as Cherrapunjee, a Sub-Division in the East Khasi Hills District of Meghalaya, is set upon a plateau on the southern slopes of the state. Sohra is dotted with waterfalls cascading over deep gorges. The swift flowing rivers and streams flow in a southernly direction to the plains.

Sohra area

Sohra (Cherrapunjee

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Sohrasohra-map-stds

Sohra, previously known as Cherrapunjee, a Sub-Division in the East Khasi Hills District of Meghalaya, is set upon a plateau on the southern slopes of the state. Sohra is dotted with waterfalls cascading over deep gorges. The swift flowing rivers and streams flow in a southernly direction to the plains.

nohkalikai
Sohra is 56 kms from Shillong and is literally the high point of any visit to Meghalaya. One of those ultimate eco-friendly destinations, a place renowned all over the world for having the privilege of receiving the highest rainfall in the world. Set against the backdrop of breath-taking landscape, it is a place to discover the Indian summer monsoons. An unique annual meterologicai phenomena directly influenced by the south west monsoon and the north east winds. The heavy monsoon rains over these mountains undoubtedly creates in Sohra one of the rarest bio-diverse vegetations in the world. Truly a beautiful corner in north-east India, waiting to be discovered and explored.

The four main seasons of Meghalaya are Spring (i.e. March to April), Monsoon (May to September), Autumn (October to November) and Winter (December to February).

The temperature starts warming by the third week of May and continues right to the end of September and sometimes gets extended well into the middle of October. The average rainfall is 12,000 mm a year, with the maximum rainfall occuring over the southern slopes of the Khasi Hills in Sohra. The highest recorded total annual rainfall was 24,555 mm in 1974. The maximum for a single day was recorded in 1876 in Sohra, when 1,040 mm fell in 24 hours. Sohra also holds the World Record for a month’s rainfall when 9,300 mm fell in July 1861.

The old Cherra or Sohrarim was the original Cherra village but with the coming of the British who set up their headquarters further south, the village came to be known as ‘Sohra’ or present day Cherrapunjee. It was here that the British realised the enormity and intensity of the rainfall and set up a meterological office for measuring the rain.

Sohra was declared by the British to be the capital of Assam in 1832, which was later shifted to Shillong in 1866 due to the inclement weather.

mawkdokMawkdok Dympep Valley View

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Sohra

A few kms from Umtyngar, as one takes the right turn from the road junction, one comes across a beautiful bridge known to the locals as the Duwan Singh Syiem Bridge, that is the entrance to the Sohra tourist circuit. From here the landscape abruptly changes into picturesque deep gorges. The Forest Department has constructed a view-point where visitors can stop a while and enjoy the spectacular natural beauty.

sa i mikaSa-I-Mika Park

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Sohra

Located on the way to the world famous ‘Dainthlen Falls’ and about 3 kms before reaching Sohra town is Sa -I – Mika Park, a one stop tourist destination. Set amidst 69 acres of pristine surroundings, Sa -I – Mika offers not only accommodation but a host of activities that is caters to people from all ages and walks of life. At present there are four double bedded rooms with all modern amenities and two traditional cottages. On offer are well appointed rooms, hot and cold running water, room service priced at Rs.1200/- and Rs.1500/- per night. There is also a 200 capacity conference hall which is suitable for hosting cooperate and departmental events, seminars, workshops and concerts. On request, the management can also arrange to organise barbecues, bonfires, tour guides, traditional Khasi dance and local cuisine and drink.

The park has the distinct advantage of being located close to the waterfalls and one can arrange treks and tours to these places, as well as the caves and other areas of tourist interest. Since the management is closely associated with the community, one can also opt for a homestay in one of the villages, to experience life with a typical Khasi family.

dain thlenDain-Thlen Falls

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Sohra

Just before reaching Sohra, a road to the right, leads one to the falls which is 5 kms away. The waterfall derives its name from a Thlen or a snake of gigantic size which dwelt in a cave. Legend has it that the people destroyed the snake in order to rid themselves of its reign of terror. Adjacent to the very spot where the Thlen was slaughtered lies the Dain-thlen Waterfalls. Natural rock carvings of the episode draw visitors to see the image of the Thlen, the symbol of greed, corruption and evil.

nohkalikaiNoh-Kalikai Falls

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Sohra

A hauntingly beautiful waterfall, cascading down from the top of the gorge to the mystic deep green pool below, reminding one of the tragic legend associated with it, of a grief stricken mother who plunged to her death, unable to overcome her sorrow over the murder of her daughter by her husband.

Sohra cremationKa Kper Syiem Sohra (cremation ground of the Sohra Syiemship)

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Sohra

By the side of the Pomsohmen stream lies the cremation ground of the Sohra Syiemship (Cherra Chieftain). Cremation of the dead Syiem (Chief) of Sohra is one of the most expensive and intricate ceremonies. The body of the Syiem is normally kept for years together, if customary formalities are not performed by the Syiem-elect.

NongsawliaNongsawlia

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Sohra

is about 2 kms south of Sohra, the place that the first Welsh Missionaries visited during the year 1942. Their visit not only enriched the life of the locals, but Khasi Literature was also enriched by the invention of the Khasi Alphabet by Thomas Jones. Thus the Sohra dialect became the lingua-franca of the Khasis. The mission started here in Nongsawlia later spread to many parts of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills.

Mawmluh CaveMawmluh Cave

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Sohra

Access to the cave is via the river, which lies to the south east of the Cement Factory. The entrance is about 10 ft. above water level. A single entrance leads to a double passageway, where the upper portion in certain areas have caved in due to the intensive quarrying of limestone above the cave. The river enters the cave and forms pools of water within the cave. This cave stretches for about 4,500 meters but is marred by pollution entering the cave from the cement factory. Locally known as Krem Mawmluh, it is one of the longest caves in the Indian subcontinent.

Eco Park SohraEco Park

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Sohra

A large “Eco Park” established by the Meghalaya government in the plateau, which hosts several hybrid and indigenous orchids in the Green House donated by Shillong Agri-Horticultural Society. Also the Eco Park offers breathtaking view of distant Sylhet Plains of neighbouring Bangladesh.

Mawsmai CaveMawsmai Cave

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Sohra

6 kms from the Sohra market to the south lies the village of Mawsmai in the direction of Bangladesh border. At the village crossing, one passes grasslands surrounded by forests, ending in a clearing. From this clearing, a concrete pathway through the jungle leads up to the main cave entrance. This cave is the only cave that is fully lighted. The cave can be divided into two parts (old and new). Of the two, the new cave is yet to be lighted. It has impressive formations of large passages and chambers.

nohsngithiangNoh-Sngithiang Falls

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Sohra

also known as Mawsmai falls, is 1 km south of Mawsmai village and derives its name due to the fact that the waterfalls are situated in a south westerly position and get illuminated by the sun from dawn to sunset. The vibrant colours of the setting sun on the waterfalls make it beautiful to behold.

thangkharangThangkharang Park

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Sohra

Managed and well maintained by the State Forest Department, this park on Mawsmai – Shella Road – about 8 kms from Sohra is a popular tourist spot. There are many rare and exotic orchids and some rare species of plants endemic to the area. A panoramic view of the plains of Bangladesh is clearly visible on a clear day from the park.

Thangkarang Park laid on the high rocky cliffs overlooks the plains of Bangladesh. You can spot the imposing Kynrem falls cascading down majestically in three stages. The bird sanctuary at nearby Thangkarang with the awesome view of the imposing waterfalls set against the backdrop of Bangladesh plains is a bonanza for tourists, both foreign and domestic.

khoh ramhahKa Khoh Ramhah

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Sohra

also known as Motrop, is an imposing single rock formation in the shape of a giant cone. According to folklore, this was the fossilized cone shaped basket of an evil giant. It lies in close proximity to two other very similar rocks standing like a pair of giant sentinels. During the heavy monsoons, water flows between the two rocks and the cascading waterfall presents a breathtaking sight. The place attracts a lot of visitors throughout the year and is an idyllic picnic spot.

kynrem fallsKynrem Falls

Location: East Khasi Hills District, Sohra

The highest waterfall in Meghalaya, it cascades down in three stages from the top of the hill and overlooks the Thangkharang Park.

 

root bridge laitkynsewLaitkynsew

Location: East Khasi Hills District

15 Kms further from Sohra (Cherrapunjee) there is a holiday resort run by a private party. The resort offers visitors treks around the picturesque hills, spring bath, the thrills of caving and many other forms of excitement. Close to the resort there is the living root bridge across a torrential stream, that any visitor would love to see.

In the adjacent village of Nongriat two such living bridges have been created by weaving and inter-twine roots of the same banyan tree. It has come to be referred to as Jingkieng Nongriat or more commonly Double Decker.

mawjymbuinMawsynram

Location: East Khasi Hills District

Mawsynram is a small village in the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya state in north-eastern India, 56 kilometres from Shillong. Reportedly the wettest place on Earth, Mawsynram receives an average annual rainfall of 11,872 mm (about 39 feet). However, as there has been no meteorological department office in the area and for all practical and statistical purposes, Cherrapunjee has been recorded as the wettest place in the world.

Mawsynram is a place where nature-loving people frequently visit wherein they take pleasure in the steep, sliding slopes, the fresh air, the rolling green mountains and the deafening but beautiful waterfalls.

In Mawsynram, there is a cave called the Mawjymbuin Cave which is one of the well known caves in Meghalaya. This cave, due to years of weathering and due to dripping of mineralized solutions and deposition of calcium carbonate, it has thus given rise to some magnificent stalagmites. These stalagmites are not only important and of great interest for geological research but also because of their exquisiteness. The stalagmite of the Mawjymbuin Cave is shaped into a massive Shivalinga. The cave also has a dome shaped rock with a flat top called the Symper Rock.

mawlynnongMawlynnong Village

Location: East Khasi Hills District

Mawlynnong Village has earned the distinction of being the cleanest village in India. It is situated 90 kms. from Shillong and besides the picturesque village, offers many interesting sights such as the living root bridge and another strange natural phenomenon of a boulder balancing on another rock.

Mawlynnong nestled in the pristine hill state of Meghalaya, is along the Indo-Bangla border. This cute and colourful little village is known for its cleanliness. The main occupation of the villagers is agriculture. They mostly grow betel nut. About 82 households live in Mawlynnong. Keeping the surrounding environment clean is an age old tradition. Discover India magazine declared the village as the cleanest in Asia in 2003.

A dustbin made out of bamboo is found all along the village. Every one makes it a point that dirt and waste are not thrown everywhere. All the waste from the dustbin is collected and kept in a pit, which the villagers use as manure. The villagers are now on a mission to ban plastic. The village with cent per cent literacy is conscious and they are spreading the message of conservation and protection of the forest. Locals plant trees to ensure that the virgin forest is kept intact and also replenished.

Mawlynnong’s fame is now drawing an endless stream of guests from across the country and abroad. Although residential facilities are still scarce and are in the process of being developed, the existing one constructed from bamboo and thatch is quite hospitable and restful. Mawlynnong is an artist’s delight and the sort of getaway that would titillate creative writers and poets.