Assam & Meghalaya

I had saved my 5 days leave for going home for chhath puja. But when I found out that Badi Mausi & Mausaji were coming and were planning to go to Assam & Meghalaya with everyone, I decided to use my leaves for this trip. Later I found out that Mama was also joining us.

Day 1 – 24th November 2018

Everyone reached Guwahati a day before me. My flight from Bangalore to Guwahati was early morning and I reached there by 10am. Mummy & Papa came to pick me up from the airport. After reaching the hotel, OYO 16696 Swagatom Lodge, I took some rest and got fresh before starting our trip. Ola was easily available there, so after asking prices from autowalas we realized Ola would be cheaper. Since we were 7 people, we booked 2 ola cabs.

Our first stop was Umananda Temple. Umananda Devaloi is a Shiva temple located at the Peacock Island in the middle of river Brahmaputra just opposite the Kachari Ghat in Guwahati. It was built by the Ahom King Gadadhar Singha, who was a devout Shaivaite. The original temple was however immensely damaged by a devastating earthquake of 1897. Later, it was reconstructed by a rich local merchant who chose to inscribe the interior part of a Siva temple with Vaisnavite slogans. Peacock Island is known as smallest inhabited riverine island in the world. The mountain on which the temple has been built is known as Bhasmacala.

We took a ferry for the Peacock Island from Uzanbazar Ferry Ghat (Kachari Ghat). The ferry ride gave us a beautiful view of the flowing Brahmaputra River with distant view of hills and greenery. The journey took just 15 to 20 minutes to reach the foot of the Bhasmacala hill. We had to climb around 150 steps to reach the temple. Badi Mausi & Mausaji decided to explore the island while we went to the temple. 

Siva is said to have resided here in the form of Bhayananda. According to the Kalika Purana, in the beginning of the creation Siva sprinkled ashes (bhasma) at this place and imparted knowledge to Parvati (his consort). It is said that, when Siva was in meditation on this hillock, Kamadeva interrupted his yoga and was therefore burnt to ashes by the fire of Siva’s anger and hence the hillock got the name Bhasmacala.

There was a long queue to enter the temple and the priest inside kept closing the door for crowd control inside the temple. After standing there for sometime, we somehow got inside. There was a Vishnu shrine in the middle of the 1st room. After this we proceeded to the next room which in turn led to a small cave room downstairs. There was a shivalinga in the middle and 2 priests were sitting there. As we entered the cave room, the priests told us about the story of Shiva and made us chant mantras. We then went back up using the same crowded stairs with people trying to get into the small cave room. We went down and saw that Badi Mausi & Mausaji were not nearby. So Mummy & I went to the Hanuman temple just opposite the main entrance. We then ran to catch the ferry which was about to leave. We reached and asked them to wait for Nani. While returning the sun was about to set and it looked beautiful.

Next we went to Kamakhya Temple. Mummy & Nani were excited to go to this temple since the planning for this trip had started. It is a Hindu temple dedicated to the mother goddess Kamakhya. It is one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Pithas. It is situated on the Nilachal Hill in western part of Guwahati. We reached the temple by 4:45pm. It was already dark by then. We kept our shoes in one of the shops and bought prasad for puja. We then climbed the stairs and went inside. We did not go in the long queue, instead we took the help of one of the pandits with the puja. 

According to the Kalika Purana, Kamakhya Temple denotes the spot where Sati used to retire in secret to satisfy her amour with Shiva, and it was also the place where her yoni (genital) fell after Shiva danced with the corpse of Sati. Every year, around June or so, the idol of Kamakhya Devi in the temple is said to menstruate. The water that is used to cleanse the idol collects in a pool outside the temple, and this water turns red during the three days that the Goddess is believed to menstruate. The temple remains closed for the three days of menstruation, when the Goddess is said to be resting. After the said three days come to an end, the temple re-opens with the fanfare and celebration of the Ambubachi Mela. The Yogini Tantra associates Kamakhya with the goddess Kali and emphasises the creative symbolism of the yoni. According to a legend, Kamadeva regained his rupa here, so the entire place is called Kamarupa (Kamrup) and the deity is known as Kamakhya or one worshipped by Kama. 

After the puja, we clicked a few pictures outside while the pandit got our prasad from inside. There were loads of monkey in the temple and one of them snatched a dry fruit prasad box from our plastic bag while we were distracted. While returning, we stopped at one of the viewpoints to enjoy the view of entire Guwahati from the Nilachal Hill.

After reaching our hotel, we took some rest before going for dinner outside our hotel. We ate in Kukura Restaurant where they were selling grilled chicken. The grilled chicken was the only good thing they served that night. Since we had booked only 2 rooms in the hotel, we asked for an extra bed. Our room already had one extra bed but they somehow agreed to give us another bed for the night. So we joined all the beds and it was fun to sleep in a large bed with Mummy, Papa & Nani.

Day 2 – 25th November 2018

Mummy Papa woke up at 6:30am and were discussing when would Mama arrive. With all the chatter around me, I woke up too. We then decided to go on our customary morning walk. Whenever we go for a vacation, Mummy & Papa go for an early morning walk to explore the area near the hotel. Since I don’t want to miss out on anything, I usually give up on my sleep and join them.

We started our morning walk at 7:15am. Mummy Papa had already explored one side on the hotel the day I arrived, so they decided to go to the other side. On reaching the main road we took a right turn and walked straight in that road. We came across a Ganesha temple, lots of mini dhabas and a few roadside vegetable market. After walking for an hour we found a huge vegetable & fish market on the left and the road led to a steep hill. Papa decided to get tea, so Mummy & I went to explore the place. There was a house with jute walls and a scooty parked nearby. The owner was standing outside his house, so Mummy started a conversation with him about his house. His wife invited us to look at their house and we clicked a few pictures with them as well.

While returning back, Mummy Papa told me about their previous day exploration near Assam Secretariat. I wanted to go there too. So after reaching our hotel, Papa went back inside and I went ahead with Mummy to explore the other side. We crossed the Secretariat and Municipal Corporation Office and went inside one of the gated community with huge houses and police guards in each house. We were ready to return back if they stopped us. Mummy Papa had tried entering the place the previous day and the police had stared at them so they didn’t go inside. This time there were not many guards outside on road, so we walked and clicked picture. One of the police in the house saw us but didn’t stop us. So we realised it was not a restricted area. After our little adventure, we returned back to our hotel to get ready. 

We had breakfast, got ready and packed our bags. When Mama arrived at the hotel, we loaded the minibus with our luggage and started our journey to Kaziranga National Park. On the way we stopped for lunch at Anurag Dhaba where the waitresses were dressed in Mekhla. The food was good and the restrooms were clean. 

We reached Kaziranga at around 4pm. The driver stopped on the way to show us wild buffaloes and rhino. Vendors were renting binoculars for ₹10/-. After this, we finally reached our hotel, Tesco Resort.  This was the best accommodation in the entire trip. The rooms were huge and the area was beautiful. After getting our rooms, we went star gazing across the street where it was dark. Mark Mausaji told us about some of the constellations and Milky Way. We could see the milky way cloud with our eyes but couldn’t click good pictures on the phone. We had dinner and went to bed early since we had to get up in the middle of the night the next day.

Day 3 – 26th November 2018

We woke up at 3:30am in the morning and got ready. We started from our hotel at 4am and reached Kaziranga Central Zone by 5am and dropped Mausi & Mausaji. We the went to West Zone for our Elephant Safari. They had separate zones for foreigners and Indians. We had tried to get them with us but later realised there was no use because only 4 people sat on an elephant, so we would have sat separately anyway. We were 6 people, so Mummy and I sat with some Bengali couple and the rest of them sat on in a different elephant. 

Kaziranga National Park is a national park in the state of Assam, India. The sanctuary, which hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses, is a World Heritage Site. Kaziranga is home to the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world. The park is home to large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer. Kaziranga is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for conservation of avifaunal species.  Kaziranga is a vast expanse of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests, criss-crossed by four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra, and the park includes numerous small bodies of water.

We went into the forest which was very foggy at that time. As the fog reduced, we saw a rhino between the trees and we joined a few other elephants and continued the journey as a group. The elephant followed the rhino for a bit and we saw a baby rhino along with the rhino. Our elephant was very hungry, it kept stopping on the way to get a tree branches to eat. We proceeded deeper into the forest and walked along a huge lake. We saw a few cranes and storks there. We then reached an open field where we saw another rhino from very close distance. Moving forward, we saw 3-4 deer and another rhino with its kid. That’s where we saw Papa’s elephant joining the group from the other side. After this we returned back to the stand and clicked a few pictures on the way out. We then picked up Mausi & Mausaji from the Central Zone and went back to our hotel.

After breakfast, we asked the hotel people about nearby places to visit. They told us about a fall near the hotel. We decided to go the fall in our minibus because Nanaji & Nani also wanted to join us. They had informed us that Kakochang Fall was only 3km from our hotel. So we started our journey and halfway through we asked people about the fall and they asked us to go ahead and we ended up going almost 10km and reached another fall called Kaipholangso Falls. After reaching the parking spot our journey to the waterfall actually started. We crossed 10-12 river streams on foot. Nani was walking slowly so we asked Mausaji & Mausi to go ahead. We had almost given up and we spent a lot of time at one point where there was bamboo irrigation system. After talking to the shop owner there, we realised that we had almost reached the fall. So we proceeded up and met Mausi & Mausaji who were returning back. We then crossed 1-2 more stream after which there was a hiking trail to the fall. We were getting a little late since we had to get back to our hotel by 1pm. But no one wanted to leave reaching so close to the fall. Even Nani reached the fall with the help of Mausi & Mummy. Mausaji was a little angry with this because he was worried that Nana & Nani might get hurt in the rocky trail. But somehow everyone managed and we reached hotel by 1:15pm and had our lunch at the hotel.

After lunch, we went for our Jeep Safari to Kaziranga. We were seated in 2 jeeps. Our jeep had a guard with gun who could do air firing in case of animal attack. We saw a tree where tiger had scratched to clean its nails before hunting. The driver told us that there are 116 tigers in the forest. We saw lots of rhinos, deer and elephants across the lake. Our driver was very knowledgeable and he could recognise rhino and elephants from across the lake. He even recognised a group of elephants and told us that one of them had a long tusk without even using binoculars while we just saw white dots. The guard had a binoculars which he let us use it. We also saw lots of migratory and native birds and ghadial in the lake. I also spotted a Hornbill flying which I recognised by its unique beak shape. The hornbill was very beautiful. At the end we reached Brahmaputra river and saw parrots on the tree and footprints of tiger, rhino and elephant. It was an incredible experience to see all the animals in their natural habitat.

After returning back to the hotel, some of us went to look at the night sky again. Mama joined us and clicked a few good pictures of the constellation Pleiades and Cassiopeia along with the Milky Way cluster of stars.

Day 4 – 27th November 2018

We started our journey to Shillong at 8am after having breakfast at our hotel. As usual, I was motion sick and slept through the entire journey. We stopped on the way to have lunch at Excelencia Restaurant. The food was good and washrooms were clean. 

We stopped at Umiam Lake (commonly known as Barapani Lake) on the way. It is a reservoir in the hills 15 km north of Shillong. It is surrounded by lush, green hills. We reached the lake at 4pm and saw the sunset. 

The winding roads made Mummy also motion sick and she even puked a little on the way to Shillong. So we exchanged our seats and Mummy slept in my seat. We even got stuck in the traffic while going to the hotel. We finally reached our hotel, OYO 11853 Pumpkin Rooms Dhankheti and settled in our 4 rooms. It was like a 3BHK flat and the 4th room was in the flat across the hall. Mummy, Papa and Nani stayed in the hotel while the rest of us went to get medicine for Mummy. We found Woodland Hospital after walking for 5 min from our hotel. The pharmacy in the hospital did not have ENO so we asked the pharmacist for motion sickness medicine but he said that he wouldn’t sell without prescription since it was attached to the hospital. So Mama told him that Nanaji was doctor and he wrote a prescription in front of the pharmacist and bought the medicine. While returning, we found a shop which had ENO and bought a few packets. Nani was very tensed because there was not enough water bottles so we went back and bought 10 2L bottles. Papa ordered food at the hotel which was not that good.

Day 5 – 28th November 2018

We started at 8am for Cherrapunji (Sohra) from our hotel. It is a subdivisional town in the East Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya. Cherrapunji is often credited as being the wettest place on Earth, but for now nearby Mawsynram currently holds that distinction. Cherrapunji still holds the all-time record for the most rainfall in a calendar month and in a year. The city’s annual rainfall average stands at 11,777 millimetres (463.7 in). This figure places it behind only nearby Mawsynram, Meghalaya, whose average is 11,873 millimetres (467.4 in). Cherrapunji receives both the southwest and northeast monsoonal winds, giving it a single monsoon season. The driest months are November, December, January and February.

Our 1st stop was Elephant Falls. The original Khasi name for the falls was ‘Ka kshaid lai pateng khohsiew’ (three steps water falls), because of the fact that the water falls in three steps. It was the British who named it ‘Elephant Falls’ because of a stone that resembles an elephant near the falls. But the stone was destroyed by an earthquake in 1897. But the name hasn’t changed. The first fall is broad and hidden between trees. When we reached here, there was a large group clicking pictures, so we decided to come back after seeing the other 2 falls. Steps led us to the second fall. The second fall is tamed and almost negligible in winter, when the water level recedes. There was a bridge above third fall where we could see the second fall. Nanaji & Nani decided not to go further down. The last waterfall is the tallest. Elephant Falls is characterised by clear water flowing over dark jutting rocks with no particular forms. After clicking pictures at the third fall, we went back and took some pictures of the first fall before leaving.

Next we stopped at Duwan Sing Syiem View Point. The wavy green hills and valleys, the dense forests, the meandering river and the clear blue skies make this view point a spectacular setting. Mawkdok Dympep Valley extends right up to Cherrapunji from this view point. We could see the valley from the road. Mummy was not well because of previous day so she stayed back with Nanaji & Nani. The rest of us proceeded to the stairway to look at the view. Mausi, Mausaji & Mama moved forward while I stayed back a little since I was not sure if I wanted to climb back that many steps. I was clicking pictures at on of the view point stand when Papa came there. Papa wanted a better view so we went a few steps down. That’s when we heard the sound of flowing water. We were now a little curious to find out where was the sound coming from. So we kept going down few steps at a time to get a view of the stream. Little by little we almost reached the end of the steps and found Mausi & Mausaji returning. We asked them whether they  could see the stream and we got to know that there was a beautiful fall down there. We had already reached 3/4th of the distance so we went all the way down. Mama was clicking pictures of the fall. Papa & I also clicked pictures there. While returning Mama counted the number of steps. There were 444 steps! Coming back was a little challenge, but Papa & I took breaks in between and reached back and bought water to drink.

We then went to Nohkalikai Falls which is the tallest plunge waterfall in India. Its height is 1115 feet (340 metres). Nohkalikai Falls are fed by the rainwater collected on the summit of a comparatively small plateau and decrease in power during the dry season. Since we went in the dry season, the water was very less in the fall. We also bought a few souvenirs from there. We had lunch in small shop near the view point.

Our next stop was Mawsmai Caves. Of all the caves in Meghalaya, including the longest cave system of India are situated in the Jaintia Hills, Mawsmai cave is by far the most accessible cave for many travellers as it is one of the few caves one can explore without a guide. The cave has a spacious opening but it soon squeezed into a small neck. The cave is a one way road- enters from one and goes out the other. The cave is well lit with electricity. We could see each and every details of the rock formation. There was a particular figure that resembles the feet of an elephant. Rocks glint in the light. Water dripped from the tips. This was our second experience at a cave. We had first seen a cave in Malaysia. Batu cave had huge ceilings. This cave was very different from that since the path was quite narrow. In some places we could not even stand up straight because of the low ceiling. It was very interesting experience. After coming out we found another cave which had limited access to cavers and explorers with proper gear and permission.

Next we went to Nohsngithiang Falls (also known as the Seven Sisters Waterfalls or Mawsmai Falls) which is a seven-segmented waterfall. The falls plunges over the top of limestone cliffs of the Khasi Hills only during the rainy season. In full spate, the segments stretch most of the way along the cliff. Sine we went there in the dry season, there was nothing much to see. The waterfall was almost non-existent but we could see plains of Bangladesh just beyond the hills from the view point.

Finally, we went to Eco Park. It has been designed by the Meghalaya government to facilitate tourist to enjoy the Green Canyons of Sohra as well as the waterfalls that lie around it. There is a stream inside the park and we had to cross a bridge to get near the edge of the canyon. The stream is in full flow during monsoon but was just a trickle when we visited the place in November. The scenic beauty from there was spectacular. On the other side of the Eco Park is a view point to see the Sylhet Plains of Bangladesh. We walked along the path and saw the sunset.

After this we returned back to our hotel and decided to go to Police Bazar for dinner. Police Bazar is a well-known market situated in the heart of Shillong. It’s a mixture of modern malls and old type shops and is a good place for shopping. Mama took us to Cloud 9 in Centre Point Hotel which was a rooftop nightclub. Mama ordered some Chicken dishes for Nana Nani and Pork dishes for the rest of us. Mausi, Mausaji and Mama really liked the food. Since Mummy and I don’t like the taste of pork in general, we later ordered a chicken dish to eat. The food was good and I enjoyed the ambience of the place.

Day 6 – 29th November 2018

We started our trip to Dawki at 8am from our hotel. We stopped after 1.5 hrs because Mausaji was a little motion sick. We all got down and stretched our legs before continuing on. On the way, the road leading to Dawki was blocked. So we had to change our itinerary and go to Mawlnnong which we had kept for later that day.

Our first stop was Nohwet Living Root Bridge. We had to walk for about 20 minutes down through rough cut stones on the mountains to reach the bridge. Along the way were quaint little shops, selling pineapples and local berries and jackfruit and bamboo artifacts. 

A living root bridge is formed by guiding the pliable roots of the Ficus elastica tree across a stream or river, and then allowing the roots to grow and strengthen over time until they can hold the weight of a human being. The young roots are sometimes tied or twisted together, and are often encouraged to combine with one another via the process of inosculation. It was amazing to see how people have used nature to help them in mobility and access.

The living root bridge was a sight to behold. It was prohibited to stop on the bridge to avoid creating static load on the ancient natural bridge. Thyllong River flows below the bridge. We hopped on the river rocks to click pictures of the Bridge.

After clicking pictures at the bridge, we saw a sign board written View Point – 15 min (which was a lie). So we decided to go for the view point. Nani stayed back as she didn’t want to climb more steps. The path to the view point was an interesting climb on stone steps. In about 15-20 minutes we were in Nohwet Village. In the village, old and young women, young kids, a few men were busy breaking stones and contributing to the road making process. After a while Papa thought we were in a wrong path or maybe there was no View Point. But since we had already walked so much, Mummy & I convinced Papa to continue a little bit further while others were clicking pictures with the villagers. Luckily, we met a few kids and asked them to direct us to the View Point. They did not understand much Hindi or English but maybe they understood the words ‘View Point’ and took us to the Nohwet View Point. There was a View Point and a Tree House. We went to the View Point first where we could see the beautiful Khasi Hills and plains of Bangladesh. The bridge was made of bamboo and I think it was in the initial phase of making a Root Bridge there. While we were clicking pictures, others joined us. After this, we climbed the Tree House. It was a little room with a breathtaking view of the Valley. We had spent more than an hour in the trek (we were misled by the sign), so we were a little scared and worried about Nani. Since we had spent a lot more time than expected in our 1st stop, we had to hurry up at the next few places to see everything.

Our next stop was Mawlynnong Village which is a small village that won the status of being the cleanest village in Asia in 2003, and the cleanest in India in 2005. The waste is collected in the dustbins made of bamboo, directed to a pit and then used as manure. A community initiative mandates that all residents should participate in cleaning up the village. Smoking and use of polythene is banned while rainwater harvesting is encouraged. The village was really clean and beautiful. There were shops along the main road where we bought some souvenirs. We were already running late so we spent only 30 min here.

We then went to Tamabil Border which is the border of the Countries of India and Bangladesh and an important trade route. It is the last Indian post on the road connecting to Sylhet in Bangladesh. It was patrolled by the Jawans of the Border Security Force (BSF) of India on one side and the Security forces of Bangladesh on the other. We were allowed to go till the Indian flag. We tried clicking pictures with one foot in Bangladesh & one in India but the rules were strict since a VIP was arriving that day. We talked to one of the Jawans and also clicked pictures with him. He said that if it was any other day (non VIP visit days), he would have let us click those crazy pictures. He told us that since the Tamabil Village is divided by the International Border, some of the villagers in Tamabil have their close relatives living on the other side of the border and need passport to meet each other. We also got to know that the construction stones (गिट्टी) is sent from India at the rate of ₹7/- per kg, so construction is pretty expensive in Bangladesh. We even saw a family on the Bangladesh side who had come to visit the border.

Our last stop was Umngot River in Dawki. The river is the natural boundary between Ri Pnar (of Jaintia Hills) with Hima Khyrim (of Khasi Hills) over which hangs a single span suspension bridge built by British back in 1932. This river flows into Bangladesh from Dawki. We reached there at 5pm and since the sun had already set, it was getting dark pretty quickly. We had to walk down the steps to reach the river. We took 2 boats and went for boating in the river. The water was crystal clear and we could see every rock inside. The river bed was strewn with deep, round pebbles and stones. It is said that during the day, the water is so clear that the boats floating on it look like they are on a crystal glass surface. We could not take good pictures because it was too dark by the time we started boating. The boat ride took us to a small island called Sinbad’s Island. The island was full of rocks in all shapes, sizes and colours like the riverbed. Mausaji rowed the boat a little further with the boatman sitting and enjoying the river. 

In order to visit everything, we had skipped lunch and just ate whatever snacks Nani & Mummy carried. So by the time we reached Shillong, we were super hungry. We asked our driver to take us to a restaurant before dropping us at the hotel. He took us to City Hut Family Dhaba which was in Police Bazar. It had a nice ambience and good hospitality. They had a small charcoal burner near our table which we enjoyed a lot. The washroom was very fancy and had a sofa inside. Although they messed up a few orders & instructions, the food was good.

Day 7 – 30th November 2018

Mama was leaving at 11:30am so we spent time with him and transferred the pictures from his Camera & Phone. After he left, we also started our day trip. When we asked our driver to take us to Laitlum Canyon, so he turned the minibus around and went in the opposite direction from his original path.

After a long journey, we reached Laitlum Canyon which is one of the most picturesque destinations, perched atop the East Khasi Hills. Laitlum translates to ‘end of hills’ and this sublimely beautiful hilltop appeared to be true to its name. There is a rocky trail with 3000 steps that goes to Rasong village in the valley. Mausi & Mausaji wanted to go down to the village. Mummy and I decided to go just a little down on the trail to enjoy a good view. We saw a small hut with a man operating a pulley to send food grains and essential commodities to the villagers in Rasong. This was the last trek of our trip. We returned back after clicking a few pictures of each other and the stunning view. We found out that the Canyon is generally so foggy that even the hill on opposite side are not clearly visibly. Some of the scenes from Rock On 2 was shot here. We joined Nanaji, Nani and Papa in the beautiful meadows and waited for Mausi & Mausaji to return. They came back earlier than we had thought they would because they did not go all the way to the village. They went double the distance from where Mummy & I returned. We then had eggs and maggie in a small shop there.

It was already 3:30pm by the time we started back from there. Our driver was supposed to take us to a few more places in Shillong. By the time we reached Shillong, it was 5pm and it was dark because the sun had set. After getting stuck in a lot of traffic he took us to Ward Lake which closes at 4:30pm in the winter. When we asked the driver why he took us there when he knew lake would be closed, he said he had told us when he turned the bus around in the morning which somehow none of us heard (liar!). He could have taken us to the Lake before taking us to the Canyon but he was very arrogant and did not want to admit his mistake.

When we returned back to the hotel, Papa asked the receptionist about food and she offered to cook Fish for us. So Papa ordered fish for everyone. Mausaji & Mausi were quite hungry so they went to a nearby restaurant for dinner. Our stock of water bottles were finally getting over so Mummy, Papa and I went to buy it. We then realised that since we had to get ready so early everyday we missed our customary morning walks in Shillong. We decided to explore the place but we had to carry heavy water bottles, so we abandoned the plan. We returned to our rooms and rested for a while. The food was ready by 9pm. Nanaji was a bit worried about the taste of food due the previous experience so we asked Mausi to bring some chicken dish from the restaurant in case Nanaji didn’t like the food. But the fish curry was very tasty and everyone enjoyed it. So we saved the chicken dish for breakfast.

Day 8 – 1st December 2018

It was time to leave Shillong. We packed our bags and checked out of the hotel. On the way back, we went to some of the remaining spots in Shillong.

Our first stop was Lady Hydari Park which is a small garden with zoo. The animals were in small cages which we didn’t like. After seeing animals in their natural habitat in Kaziranga, it was quite sad to see them locked up in cages. We didn’t spend too much time there.

We then went to Shillong Peak for which we had to cross Indian Airforce Basecamp. Photgraphy was not allowed till we reached the peak. Shillong Peak is the highest point of Shillong and it provides great views of Shillong city. According to the mythology of the region, the deity Leishyllong who protects the city of Shillong resides on this peak. It’s said that the city Shillong gets its name from this peak. It was a clear day so we enjoyed the view from the peak. There was a shop renting traditional Khasi clothes for 
₹50/- so all the girls and Nanaji dressed up and got lots of pictures clicked before leaving.

We then stopped at Umiam Lake Viewpoint. We had visited the lake while coming to Shillong. The viewpoint offered a bird eye view of the lake. The whole view was beautiful and scenic. The Shillong trip started and ended with this lake which was like coming to full circle.

Finally, we started our way back to Guwahati with with lots of fond memories and awesome experiences.

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