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Meghalaya Many Hues of Nature
Bullet Lesser Known India
Passage to North East
ArrowArunachal Pradesh - Magical & Mystical
ArrowAssam - home of Brahmaputra
ArrowManipur - Graceful Contours
ArrowMeghalaya - many hues of Nature
ArrowNagaland - Vibrant Traditions
ArrowTripura - Cultural Synthesis
Magical & Mystical Madhya Pradesh
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Meghalaya - Many Hues of Nature
Endless Hill Ranges, Meghalaya Meghalayas natural beauty is most conducive for extended holidays with the hi station of Shillong cenrinuing to be a hot favourite. Three hundred varieties cf orchids are found in the state which is also rich in wi Meghalaya has two national parks which are home to some rare species of flora and fauna. The gentle hills of Meghalaya are inter-spersed with rich meadows and pine forests.

Amongst these is that intriguing phenomenon - the traditional Sacred Forests that are steeped in spiritual belief and held in great veneration. They also represent some of the earliest representations of preserving the ancient eco-systems. Just 20 km from Shillong you will find the Mawphlang Sacred Forest in all its pristine wonder. Meghalaya is also home to that unique carnivorus plant the Pitcher Plant. From the Jaintia Hills, Sir Joseph Hooker the renowned botanist took the blue vanda (vanda coerulea) to propagate it in Londons famous Kew Gardens. You will discover the blue vanda, lady's slipper and other rare orchid varieties in the flower gardens of Shillong.

Shillong
Day-long picnics amidst smoky blue hills thick with pine and orchids, singing brooks and crashing waterfalls. For the British in this garrison town it was home. The scenic Khasi Hills reminded them of the Scottish Highlands - just perfect for those summer holidays away from the heat and the dust of India's plains. They set up schools amidst those heather covered slopes - the air rang with the sound of the young growing up amidst these unpolluted, pine scented environs.

Leisurely days can be spent at the serene Ward's Lake and the landscaped Lady Hydari Park, which also has a mini-zoo. The Lewduh Market, the biggest in the North East, is wonderful for a bit of local flavour, Shillong Peak (1965 m), about 10 km from town, offers breathtaking Views of the city spread out against its glorious hill slopes. Sohpetbneng Peak, 20 km away, is also a great place to catch those spectacular views. Amongst the popular waterfalls close to town are Spread Eagle Falls (6 krn) and the Sweet Falls (8 km) in Happy Valley There are also the Bishop Falls, Beadon Falls and the Elephant Falls (12km) to explore if you have time.

EXCURSIONS

Waterfalls in Cherrapunji Umiam Lake
Located about 17 km from Shillong, Umiam Lake is highly popular for a relaxinq time. The Orchid Lake Resort here has watersports facilities and the nearby Lum Nehru Park has an aviary and orchidarium.

Cherrapunjee
Once world renowned for being the wettest place on earth, Cherrapunjee is 54 km from Shillong. The road is good and the drive scenic. Cherrapunjee is impressive with its gushing waterfalls and the deep gorges. You get stunning Views of the plains of Bangladesh. Cherrapunjee's oranges and honey are famous and you can pick up fine baskets from the Sohra market. Best for a day trip, as there isn't much by way of accommodation for overnight stays.

SHOPPING
Bara Bazar in Shillong is the hottest place for exploring for souvenirs. Good buys include mounted butterflies handwoven shawls, orange honey black mushrooms, Khasi dresses for women, pineapple, orange and other fruit products. The market is not just a shopping place but also a tourist attraction. Mounted butterflies are available at the Butterfly Museum at Mawkhar, Other places for shopping are GS Road, Police Bazar and Jail Road.

Popular Shopping Outlets
Meghalaya Handlooms & Handicrafts, Purbashree Manipur Emporium, Tantuja Assam Emporium Khadi Gram Udyog Nagaland Handlooms & Handicrafts Meghaloom.

Also try G.N. Super Bazar, G.S. Road, Glory Plaza, Police Bazar, Didar Market, Police Bazar; The Right Shop, Centre Point Multinational Brand; Stylecraft, formal men's wear; Motirams ladies wear.

Fairs and Festivals

Shad Suk mynsiem Meghalaya Nongkrem Dance
Celebrated in November, Nongkrem is one of the most important Khasi festivals.

Shad Sukmynsiern
The 3-day Khasi festival of Shad Sukmynsiem is a joyous celebration of thanksgiving - usually held in April. People dress in their traditional costumes during the three days of festivities.

Beh Deinkhlam
The Jaintias invoke the gods for a good harvest after the sowing has been done with the festival of Beh Deinkhlam. Rituals are also conducted to avert evil. The festival is held in July.

Wangala Dance
Held in November, the great harvest festival of the Garos is the Wanqala Dance. It is a time for thanksgiving and celebration. Colourful costumes, dance and music are the highlights of all the festivities.

Shillong STD Code: 0364

GETTING THERE

By Air
Nearest airport Guwahati (128 km)
Helicopter Service. A helicopter service operates between Guwahati, Shillong (30 min) and Tura (60 min). While some services to Shillong land at the ALG in Upper Shillong, others land at Umroi Airport, 35 km from downtown. The permitted baggage is 10 kg. The helicopter service is convenient and economical.

Meghalaya Transport arranges trans-fers from/to the helipad. For details and bookings, contact:
Meghalaya Tourism, Shillong
Tel 2226054 Fax 2225978
Meghalaya Helicopter Service
MTC Bus Stand Tel 2223129
Open 1000-1600 hrs.
Sheba Travels Tel 2227222
Tower Tours &Travels Tel 2220075
Taxis are available at Guwahati Airport for Shillong. The journey takes about 4 hours and costs around Rs. 1100.

Rail
Nearest railhead Guwahati (103km)
Meghalaya Transport Corporation (MTC) has bus services coordinated with train arrivals at Guwahati.
The buses leave Guwahati from 6 am to 5pm (3.5 hrs). Reciprocal ser-vices from Shillong also leave at the same time. Taxis are available at Guwahati Railway Station.