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Top 7 Places to visit near Shillong for an Idyllic and memorable vacation

Situated in the heart of undoubtfully what is the most beautiful part of India, Shillong should be in your bucket list for sure. You can look forward to amazing places to visit in Shillong. Be prepared to be mesmerised by natural wonders like waterfalls, serene lakes and viewpoints. Aptly called the “Scotland of the East”, this place is also known as “Rock capital of India.”

The rolling Khasi hills near Shillong
Credits: Pixabay

Surely there are a plethora of places to visit and experience a potpourri of culture in this city. This is to say, we bring to you a list of top 10 must-do activities in the beautiful city. You can look forward to including them in your list when you are planning for a trip to this place.

Top 7 places to visit near Shillong

  1. Visit Elephant falls in Shillong a must-do from the places to visit near Shillong.
  2. Get a birds eye’s view from Shillong Viewpoint, Laitkor peak.
  3. Umiam lake, a must-see from the places to visit near Shillong.
  4. Take a trip to Mawlynnong the Cleanest village in Asia one of the top places to visit near Shillong.
  5. Witness the Nohsngithiang or Seven Sister Falls, one of the highest waterfall in India.
  6. Visit Mawjymbuin caves a must-visit from the places to visit near Shillong and Trek to the Nongriat double-decker bridge.
  7. Visit Dawki for the crystal clear waters.

1. Visit Elephant falls in Shillong a must-do from the places to visit near Shillong.

Probably the most scenic spot in Shillong, the falls gets its name from the elephant-shaped stone in the base of falls. Located in the outskirts in Upper Shillong, you can conveniently visit the falls as a short day trip. One of the Best Places to visit near Shillong, this should be on the top of your list.

The view of Elephant falls a must-do from the places to visit near Shillong.
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

How to Reach: Use a cab or public transport from the city centre.
Timings: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.
Distance from city centre: 12 km | 1.5 Hrs
.
Best time to Visit: June to August.

2. Get a birds eye’s view from Shillong Viewpoint, Laitkor peak.

Locally known as Shillong peak, Laitkor is a fantastic viewpoint bound to give you a magnificent view of the city. You will pass through the beautiful Air Force station on the way to the peak. Also, there are a few souvenir shops and eateries in the vicinity which you can check out.

View from Shillong Viewpoint, Laitkor peak.
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

How to Reach: You can take a can from Police Bazaar. Buses are also available.
Timings: 9.00 am to 3.30 pm.
Distance/Duration from city centre: 4 km | 45 mins
.
Best time to Visit : Feb – May and Sep – Nov.

3. Umiam lake, a must-see from the places to visit near Shillong.

A serene and peaceful getaway from Shillong, Umiam or Barapani lake is a place to relax. Surrounded with rows of pine and cedar forests – this place is as close as you can get to nature. Also, there are options for basic watersports like boating, speedboat ride etc. You can easily spend the better part of the day. Expect an ideal place also to have a cosy family lunch amidst the green and blue.

A bird's eye view of Umiam lake a must-see from the places to visit near Shillong.
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

How to Reach: Recommended to take a half-day or full-day cab from Shillong. Also can be done en-route Guwahati to Shillong by a little detour.
Timings: 8.00 am to 5:00 pm.
Distance/Duration from city centre: Shillong (17 km | 50 mins), Guwahati (80 km | 2 hr 30 min)
.
Best time to Visit: All around the year except the rainy season (June – Aug).

4. Take a trip to Mawlynnong the Cleanest village in Asia, one of the top places to visit near Shillong.

A must-visit among the Places to visit near Shillong, experience a place which is an epitome of cleanliness. Mawlynniong, a quite charming village overlooking a valley, is a place that you will always remember. Overlooking a valley, another side of which is Bangladesh plains, it has won Asia’s cleanest village title two times.

A street view in Mawlynnong village
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

You can also choose to stay overnight for a day or two to experience the culture up-close in a homestay. Also suited for the budgeted traveller, this place is bound to take you closer to your roots and see a different world closer to nature. Don’t forget to check out their fresh, natural delicacies also. Primarily their meal comprises of Rice and smoked/curried chicken with farm-fresh vegetable all home-grown, from which you get to choose.

Tree houses in Mawlynnong village one of the top places to visit near Shillong.
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

How to Reach: Cab from either Shillong city centre or Cherrapunji.
Timings: NA.
Distance/Duration from city centre: Shillong (78 km | 2 hr 30 mins).
Best time to Visit:
All around the year except the rainy season (June – Aug)
.

5. Witness the Nohsngithiang or Seven Sister Falls, one of the highest waterfall in India.

An absolute delight to eyes, especially during Rainy seasons, you will genuinely witness nature’s true beauty and wonder here. Very conveniently connected along a national highway, you can visit this place as a day trip. If you are lucky, you might see a series of seven parallel waterfalls cascading together down the hills. There is a spot where you can park your car and spend some time admiring the falls. Also, in almost all rainy days, be mesmerised by the presence of a perennial rainbow. This is a must-visit among places to visit near Shillong.
Tip: On the way, you can cover Cherrapunji and Māwsynrām also the rainiest place on earth.

Nohsngithiang or Seven Sister Falls, one of the highest waterfall in India.
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

How to Reach: Cab from either Shillong city centre or Cherrapunji.
Timings: NA.
Distance/Duration from city centre: Shillong (78 km | 2 hr 30 mins)
.
Best time to Visit: June to Aug (During rainy season).

6. Visit Mawjymbuin caves a must-visit from the places to visit near Shillong and Trek to the Nongriat double-decker bridge.

Calling the adventurer out there, this is undoubtedly the best experience for you in a day. You can start the day by trekking to single-decker bridge which is an hour’s hike. Also, we would recommend that you continue up to the double-decker bridge. You would reach there in another hour. After completing this unique experience, you can continue to visit Mawjymbuin caves near Cherrapunji. The full trip will take 9-10 hours, considering pickup and drop from Shillong.

View of Nongriat double-decker bridge one of the top places to visit near Shillong.
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Tip: Wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers. Might be cold in winters. Should be avoided during the rainy seasons.

Interiors of Mawjymbuin caves
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

How to Reach: Cab from either Shillong city centre or Cherrapunji.
Timings: 8.00 am to 5:00 pm.
Distance/Duration from city centre: Shillong ( 60 km| 2 hr)
.
Best time to Visit: All around the year except June to Aug (During rainy season).

7. Visit Dawki for the crystal clear waters.

Dawki is an ethereal village that is home to a river with crystal clear waters. You can see your reflection along with the boat in the water bed. Located along the Indo-Bangladesh border, this lake is created by Umngot river as it enters Bangladesh. You can indulge in a boat ride and also camp along the lake at night. Also, you can combine a visit to Mawlynnong along with if you want to complete this in a day.

View of the clean Dawki Lake one of the top places to visit near Shillong.
Credits: Pixabay

How to Reach: Cab from either Shillong city centre or Cherrapunji.
Timings: 8.00 am to 5:00 pm.
Distance/Duration from city centre: Shillong ( 82 km| 2 hr 30 min)
.
Best time to Visit: All around the year except June to Aug (During rainy season).

Suggested Read: Take a trip to Shillong – The Scottish Highlands of India

Ideal for visiting throughout the year Shillong is the choice of destination for both first time and seasoned visitors. You can look forward to a comfortable climate for the majority of the year. To plan a trip to this scenic town do check out Pickyourtrail and experience peace amidst untouched nature. You can also have a look at some of our tour packages and learn more about the various tourist attractions in India.

Amitabh Das

An ardent traveller and nature enthusiast. Like to find something unique among the common