If you are in Shillong you should not miss out a visit to the Ward’s Lake, which is counted amongst the favorite tourist spot of this pristine North Eastern city Shillong . Also locally known as the Pollock’s lake or Nan Polok, the lake is situated just opposite to the Raj Bhavan which is the Official Residence of the prevailing governor of the state. It is an artificial water body surrounded by stoned path way and beautiful garden comprising of many flower beds. The horse shoe shaped Ward’s Lake is situated at the heart of the city and is one of the major tourist attractions of Shillong.
It is a man-made lake named after the then Chief Commissioner of Assam, Sir William Ward in the year 1894. Surrounded by an extensive luxuriant garden, the Ward’s Lake looks astonishing during the early hours of the day and in the evening. A beautiful location to hang out with friends and family, you can enjoy the boating with the cool wave of air touching your face giving you a revitalizing feeling. It is to a great degree clean and overall a well maintained lake. A perfect place to capture some amazing pictures of the mesmerizing lake covered with astounding trees and plants. The lake is filled with fishes of different colors. A long walk at the lakeside is an activity worth doing. Rs.10 per person is charged for entry. Still Camera and Video Camera are charged extra. The lake remains closed on every Tuesday of the week. You can even click some pictures wearing the traditional Khasi attire at a very minimum cost. The musical fountains on each side of the bridge, makes this lake a calm and charming place to visit. Orchid festival is also organized here during the month of November and people from different corners of the country come here during that time.
The stoned paths through the gardens and the lake are redolent of the British colonial era. The fashionable and classic white bridge made of wood located at the centre of the ward’s lake adds to the charm of the lake, a perfect place to capture some pictures or enjoy yourself by feeding the fishes especially puffed rice and pop corn sold outside the lake. Gaggle (group of Geese) swimming in the lake peacefully, lotus floating at the lake looks pleasing to the eyes. Flower lover can have a great time staring at the flowers as this tourist spot has a large number of small and big sized flower beds comprising of many different types of flowers. The lake compound is filled with pine trees and cutting down of trees here is forbidden.
The main attraction of the ward’s lake is the paddling boat ride. You can see tourist lining for the boat ride. It takes around 30 minutes to cover the lake through boating. You can even book a shikara for the same purpose with a rower rowing your shikara. One more interesting fact about this lake is that though it is situated at the heart of city still you will find yourself in a peaceful and harmonious silence away from the hassle bustle of the busy street and city life while you are in the lake compound. If anybody is wondering if rain can bother your visit or not then it is for their information that this lake has many numbers of rains shelter, these rains shelter are quite big enough to accommodate as many as 15 people inside it.
Botanical garden nearby adds to the beauty of ward’s Lake. The Botanical garden is filled with wide varieties of orchid another exotic plants. If you are a student of botany or you love plants then Ward’s lake is your destination.
There is also a cafeteria inside the ward’s lake where you can enjoy a wide variety of foods and beverages. Food and beverages in this cafeteria is very tasty and one can enjoy a stomach and desire filling meal at cheapest rates here. It may also be noted that even outside the lake compound local street food vendors can be spotted at the side of the main road selling their wares (mainly street food and junk foods) such as Alu muri, Pani puri, Momos, Chowmein, Local fruits, etc.
How to reach Ward’s Lake: – You can take a walk from the main market of Shillong Police bazaar towards the assembly road which connects to the Oakland area and from their a sharp right will straight away take you to the lake or you can hire a taxi from anywhere in the city for reaching Ward’s Lake. It is just 5 (five) minutes walk. Famous restaurants like City Hut Dhaba, Pegasus Crown, Hotel Assembly are just a minute walk away from the lake.
During Summer Season- 8:30 am to 7pm (March – October)
During Winter Season – 8:30 am to 5:30pm (November – February)
Best time to visit: – Any time of the year between 9am – 5pm