The Kerala backwaters, the Kashmir valley, the deserts of Rajasthan and the Sunderbans in Kolkata, we have spawned across the country traveling but have left one big chunk of adventure untouched. Yes, the north east, the beautiful hills and valleys, jungles and forests, culture and cuisines of the unexplored. So, let’s pack our bags and get on to sift through the wonderful region of the north east. By Varsha Abhay
A place still exists that hasn’t been touched by the towering building or the smoky sky, the busy roads and the busier lives, the north east with its seven states is one such untainted soil. People are living the lives happy, content and in no greed of the city life or its influences. Here is where you can find that time with yourself and completely for yourself.
Easiest way to get there: Fly to Shillong airport at Umroi OR drive down through the hills of Guwahati (99 km)
TO DO: Nesting the Garo, Khasi and Jaintia tribe is the capital city of Meghalaya, better known as the ‘Scotland of the East”. The education hub among the other seven sisters, Shillong is a happening city for most international rock bands perform here after Mumbai and Delhi.
For the love and fascination of hills, it’s a must to visit the Shillong Peak, at 6433ft the highest point in the entire state of Meghalaya. The view from up above is breathtaking with the entire countryside visible to you amongst the clouds that pass you by as you stand to click pictures. Do not miss to visit the Butterfly Museum which is a privately owned establishment that works to preserve the species of butterflies and moths. Housing about 1600 species of insects, butterflies and moths, the museum is one of a kind and exclusive only to this part of the country.
While every tour guide would want you to visit the numerous waterfalls here, here is a tip to miss it for another exciting sport that you can get to see here and nowhere else. The sport of “teer” or as we know it, archery, is the most popular form of gambling in the city. While most just place their bets at the counters around town, you have to venture out and watch the action live. It’s a game of archery that determines a number which then decides the fate of the various people who bid their money on it.
If you are the one for scenic beauties, landscapes and the quiet, there are two distinctive places for you to visit. First the Wards Lake, an artificial lake shaped in the form of a horse shoe is a quiet little place for you to relax, and boat and just be. The other is the Shillong golf course which is one of the most pristine golf courses in the country, open to tourists when there are no games on the course. For shopping, hit the roads to Police Bazaar for you will find the most current fashion trends here that come here directly from the fashion streets of Bangkok and Thailand. A shopper’s paradise isn’t it. While you’re about to drop after the shopping bonanza, treat yourself to a scrumptious Chinese meal at the Bamboo Hut, the best in the city.
One last stop: A lesser known fact about the state of Meghalaya is that it resides in itself the cleanest village in Asia, Mawlynnong. So, while you’re already there, make sure you pay a visit to this monumental place in the country known for its beauty and clean surroundings.