Meghalaya Day 1 Shillong

Abode of Clouds 1st day - Shillong, Umiam Lake, Orchid Lake, Sohpetbneng, Wards Lake, Cathedral Church

Aug 25
Meghalaya Day 1 Shillong Jayesh Mahato

I visited Meghalaya in the summer of this year and I must admit that it stands true to its designated name as the Abode of Clouds. The scenic beauty is mesmerizing and the weather is just certain to be uncertain. I flew from Bhubaneswar to Guwahati and then took a share Cab from Guwahati to Shillong for 700 rupees. The cost though is 500 rupees per head with 4 travellers in a cab, excluding the driver. Since we were 3 persons only we settled for 700 each. There was traffic congestion at couple of places while getting out of Guwahati city, but once we left the city behind, the roads were a breeze. It rained for quite sometime during the journey and we took a whooping 4 hours to reach Shillong instead of 2 hours.

The third traveller descended just before Shillong to part ways for his homeland. Upon reaching Shillong, we were amused by the hilly terrains and lakes while on our way to the hotel cum guest house. The clouds playing around the mountains were a welcome sight for us. We checked in the guest house to take some rest and planned for the next day. I met Ajay and Iba, who dwell in Shillong, for the ongoing planning and making of my Drone for videography. We had started the work of making the Drone with the help of Pradesh but were not able to meet the timeline of Meghalaya trip. However we decided to Shillong as the first day visit destination of our Meghalaya trip. With this planning I departed from their dwelling to meet the next morning to be hailed as Day -1 of Meghalaya Tour.

There is something different about the sun in Meghalaya. It rises quite early as compared to the rest of India. North-East is the first to witness the daylight and can be candidly said as the Land of the Rising Sun for India, Japan being the title owner of the world. We got up early and waited for Ajay and Iba to pick us up in their divine and blessed 4 WHD. They got breakfast for us which we ate with pleasure and enjoyment. We kickstarted of the journey to visit the most sought after and easily reachable UMIAM lake. UMIAM lake is the biggest lake in Shillong with a beauty and historical enigma attached to it.The meaning of UMIAM lake when translated from Khasi to English is the “Water of Tears” or the “Water of Eyes” and is also known as “Lake of Crying Water” or “Lake of Tears” or “Flood of Tears”. The mythological story goes as such that once upon a time there were two sisters from Heaven, who decided to descend to the Abode of Clouds, Meghalaya in Earth. However only one of the two sisters was able to reach Earth and the other sister was not able to make it to the Earth. The sister who reached Meghalaya was consumed by grief and remorse and cried for her lost sibling. The tears from her eyes resulted in the UMIAM lake. Folklore apart, if we look at the practical implementation of the project, UMIAM lake is the biggest man-made lake of the state and was formed way back in 1965 when a Dam was constructed in river Umiam for the Umiam Umtru Hydro Electric Project, the first hydro power project of North-East. Marking its huge size the lake is also known as “Barapani” which means “Big Water”. We took few video shots for my Vlog and photos from uphill viewpoint of Umiam Lake before leaving the scene.

We then moved ahead to visit “Sohpetbneng Peak”. The driveway to Sohpetbneng peak is full of greenery and lustre which fills your heart with love and care for Mother Nature. The trees are tall and guard the road that you drive in, though the road at places is quite difficult to console against for movement. Ajay had been a driver of L category which literally transformed into expert category as he drove into the hilly terrain. Our car got stuck in a very steep climb and we got out with great difficult, deciding to go no further. We stopped by a garden while descending to cherish the viewpoint, where we could see part of the city and Umiam Lake from far-off distance. It is definitely worth to point out that the driveway to Sohpetbneng peak is actually more interesting and beautiful that the destination itself.

We then visited “Orchid Lake” which basically is a part of Umiam Lake. Orchid lake features boating, kayaking, jet-ski rides and human floating balloons. We got dressed up in the traditional Khasi attire from the shop adjacent to the lake’s pathway. The traditional Khasi attire is worth taking photos along with the accompanying sword that makes you look like a He-Man (if you remember the old cartoon series). We got down to the end point of the lake when suddenly the weather decided to wrath its fury upon us and changed instantly from being a sunny day to a rainy day. We ran from the farthest point as the rain waters enriched upon us, from drizzling to dripped us wet. The umbrella alas couldn’t save us. We paused at two stops and then reached the cafe to take rest. While drying ourselves and having snacks, the weather outside menacingly turned out to be sunny again. Shivering in cold to regaining back the heat, that’s when we witnessed all different seasons in a single day, which is the speciality of the uncertain weather in Shillong.

We proceeded for lunch after retiring to our rooms to change our wet cloths. We enjoyed our lunch in one of the restaurants in Police bazar of Shillong. The food is tasty here in Shillong, Meghalaya and you'll have no problem with cuisine as long as you are non-vegetarian, if you are vegan then you may have some problem but there are plenty of options. You can order from all range of food, right from traditional to North Indian to Northeast to Southern. We then travelled to the Wards lake. Wards lake is a fun place where you can just go around with family and friends and the rest for the day. You can go for boating, you can go around the bridges, there are pigeons, site is good, you can have the traditional dresses and costumes to yourself. The Wards lake is named after Britisher and exists from the British era. We rested there for a while and took photographs for ourselves and the place.

We lastly visited the Cathedral Church of Shillong. Cathedral Church is one of the biggest Church of Shillong and you will be awestruck by the size of the church and the coolness, peace and serenity encompassing the church. The Church building has kind of an all bluish tinge which is cool to watch. The expanse of architecture is huge and you'll have a nice time while travelling all around and inside the church. After enjoying the view of the church we left the place to have some snacks. We visited “Soul Kitchen” where we enjoyed our mixed chowmein and chicken lollipop. There was a band who was playing and singing at the restaurant. Both the guy and the girl had a great voice and I liked the traditional songs very much, while relinquishing my snacks. We came back to a guest house and after taking some rest we had our dinner at the night and retired for the day. It was really an eventful day and we enjoyed Shillong a lot in the first day of our Meghalaya trip. Hoped you liked the Blog. Do check my YouTube Vlog on the same and feel free to comment below whatever is in your mind. Thank you for your interest.