Shillong in Winters: Create some amazing memories to cherish forever
There are not really many places like Shillong that lets you spend a heavenly winter vacation in the lap of nature. Situated in the northeastern state of Meghalaya, this town is an amazing destination filled with an enchanting spirit all around the year. But it certainly feels more mystic to take a walk on a chilling winter morning through the valleys and green hills.
One can visit and cherish the natural beauty of Shillong at any time of the year. But the winter season is too special here as it is popular for hosting a number of tribal festivals and rock concerts. The city attracts people from all over the country as it turns into a complete fairyland during the winter months.
The weather of Shillong in Winter
Unlike other hill stations of India, the winters of Shillong are not that unbearable or harsh at all. Moreover, the ambience seems to be extremely pleasant and welcoming at this time of the year with Christmas and New Year waiting at the door.
The temperature usually flutters around 12 to 16 degrees Celsius during the daytime. Although the days get pretty short during this time and the temperature drops drastically, sometimes as low as 2 degrees Celsius, as soon as the sun goes down. Accompanying the chilling days, some unforeseen rounds of winter showers at odd hours often make the whole town look more invigorating than ever!
Besides the natural treasures of Shillong, you will adore the museums and the other local places of the city too that are ordinarily known for shielding the enriching culture and traditions of this hill station. Explore through the different museums, market places along with the rivers, streams, and several other places portraying the natural elegance of Shillong.
Here is a list of the must-do things in Shillong during the winter months!
Start your tour by admiring the elegance of the Elephant Falls
Located around 12 km away from the capital of Meghalaya, this beautiful waterfall got its name from a nearby rock that looks quite similar to that of an elephant.
The view of three separate cascades flowing downwards while brushing over the rocks offers a mesmerizing treat to the eyes and will definitely soothe your soul with its spectacular beauty. The elephant waterfalls are one of the most visited cascades near Shillong which also works as a perfect picnic spot for the locals.
Adore the panoramic scenery from Shillong Peak
Not everyone does manage to be lucky enough to enjoy the scenic view from the Shillong Peak due to its heavy foggy weather. However, visiting during the winter months will let you enjoy a clear sky for most of the time.
Make sure to grab the telescope available there and get a bird’s eye view of the complete Shillong city, the various waterfalls, valleys, and green meadows, the Himalayas, and the parts of Bangladesh landscapes.
The main advantage of this peak is that it does not have a steep road, moreover, its semi-circular area makes it a perfect fit for a short trek. The best time to visit this time is just before the sunset so try to plan your day’s schedule accordingly.
Enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Laitlum Canyons
Trekking through the green terrains and streams is one of the appropriate ways to explore the destinations located in and around Shillong. The short trek to Laitlum Canyons offers a thrilling experience to the tourists and you are going to feel on cloud nine once you get to see the amazing views on all sides of the valley.
Even though it stays covered with a thick layer of fog for most time of the year, the winter days do get to see a clear sky at least at certain hours of the day. You can trek down to the nearby village and explore their lifestyle. Or just sit on the green grass and enjoy the breathtaking view of the valleys, along with the streams flowing down in between the canyons, and feathery clouds covering significant portions of the sky.
Give a self-treat of the adventure activities in Shnongpdeng
If you are an adventure geek, do not miss out on this engaging place located by the Umngot river. This section is still a virgin location even though there is an ample number of adventure recreation options available here.
The Umngot river flows into Bangladesh from Shnongpdeng and that is one of the major reasons behind its popularity. However, it is also known as the sports capital of Meghalaya because of the attractive opportunities it offers.
From scuba diving, snorkelling, cliff jumping to kayaking or paddle-boating over the elegant river, you will be thrilled to find out the ways in which you can boost up your spirit here.
Do not forget to take a stroll through the Umden Village
Meghalaya is filled with small and beautiful villages in each and every nook of the lush green forest-covered mountains. The Umden village is one such place located in the Ri Bhoi district which is well known for its Eri Silk production. Roam around in the village and witness the exciting procedure of silk production.
From the different stages of cultivating the silkworm to the weaving process that is usually performed by the village women using the traditional methods, the whole method is extremely interesting to learn about.
Umden village is rich in its culture and is the habitat of a sub-community of the Khasi tribals, the Ri Bhoi community. If you are willing to learn about the history of the place, just start a conversation with any of the elderly villagers and you will feel awe-struck while listening to the tales and legends of their community.
Make sure to taste some local dishes here as you are going to savour its amazing unique taste for quite a while. Besides the Eri silk production, Umden is also home to strawberry fields, and bamboo forests. Give a soothing treat to your eyes and feed your soul with the calm ambience of the place with a short walk.
You can also shop for some silk garments and sarees and keep them as a souvenir of the place. You can also buy it as a gift for your family and friends as the quality of the silk produced here is one of its kind and is not available anywhere in the country except here.
Witness the different festivals of the hills
Tourists from all around the country visit this elegant hill station during the winter season which typically lasts from October to February. The weather is pretty much comfortable at this time and winter is the season when most of the concerts and musical carnivals take place here.
From the Autumn festival, Nongrem dance festival, Wangala festival to Christmas and New Year’s eve, the city of Shillong keeps on celebrating a number of festivities all throughout the winter season.
When you are visiting during the winter days, you must definitely try to attend the carnivals of the hills and cherish some amazing moments.
The Nongkrem festival is the most vital festival for the Khasi tribe and it is celebrated in Smit which is located 15 km from Shillong. The festival is celebrated mainly to mark a good harvest and to promote peace and prosperity in the lives of the community.
Each and every year, the Cherry Blossom Festival is hosted in Shillong in the mid-November days. It is celebrated with an abundance of dance performances, music, and several other competitions. The whole hill station turns into different shades of pink and looks extremely classy and appealing.
On the other hand, the Wangala festival is extremely important for the Garo community which is celebrated to mark the end of an agricultural year and is celebrated as a post-harvest festival. With exciting dance and traditional music, this festivity rejoices from the month of September to December in different parts of the Garo Hills.
The strawberry festival is observed in different parts of the Ri Bhoi district for marking the fruit production and hard labour of the farmers. People from all around the country visit during Valentine’s day and enjoy this festival with their families and loved ones.
Visit the cleanest village in Asia
Commonly referred to as ‘God’s own Garden’, Mawlynnong is widely popular all around the world for being awarded the title of the “Cleanest Village in Asia” by Discovery India in the year 2003. Besides being rich with natural beauty and favourable weather all over the year, the living root bridges are another attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which attracts tourists profoundly.
The Mawlynnong Village is one of its kind and quite often it feels to belong to a completely different world altogether. The best fact about this place is that each and every household of the village values cleanliness so highly that besides keeping their homes clean, they also cleanse the streets and dump the garbage in specific bamboo dustbins which are further used for composting manures and fertilizers.
Wander around and explore the village on your own as it feels quite refreshing to take a walk through the clean village roads. Another major thing to learn from the Khasi residents of this village is their view on women empowerment as well as possessing a hundred per cent literacy rate. The village is truly going to inspire and motivate your heart in an ample number of ways and you are surely going to feel stupefied once you step into this piece of paradise.