A day in the land of Clouds, Shillong (A Memorable Travel Story of My Life)
Walking through the floating cloud! Can it be possible in reality? Yes, it happened in my life and it was on my Shillong Trip ( the best tourist destination in India)which I got to enjoy on the last Holly Ramadan (the fasting month for the Muslim community).
To explore Shillong, especially Cherapunjee, was a long-cherished dream in my life. Heard many times from many men about the stunning beauty of Shillong and the magic play of clouds in Meghalaya particularly in Cherapunjee and grew a dream in the cozy corner of my mind to enjoy the beauty of Shillong and a walk in the abode of clouds.
Shillong Tour: A Memorable Travel Story of My Life
Making a plan for Shillong Tour
In the last Jun (at the month of Holly Ramadan) without any pre-thinking and plan, I took a decision to make Shillong Trip, as Shillong is one of the best tourist destinations in India. At the very first, I was solo but knowing my desire later on five more joined me.
The beginning of my journey
At last, the day came to make my dream true, a dream of walking in the clouds which were always chasing me.
We hit the road on 18 June from Comilla. Completing our immigration process at Srimantapur border, we boarded the microbus which was already hired by me over the phone.
Our driver Halim who was a nice one helped us to exchange rupees at Sonamura Bazar near Srimantapur border.
Since we were fasting, there was no tension of taking foods. Within two hours, we reached Agartala Airport.
It was really exciting. I was dreaming of how the Kingdome of cloud would be like.
Boarding into the flight
We boarded on our flight IndiGo. The flight kicked on at 10.30am. Within a short time, the flight began to drift because of the sudden appearance of thick clouds.
When we were above all clouds black and white, the floating clouds were seen through the window curtain. It was really a magical view to see the foamy clouds, gray clouds and black clouds floating in the deep blue sky.
Landing at Guwahati Airport
A beautiful thing is always short of living and it was proved in this case. Before quenching my thirst for enjoying the majestic view of the floating clouds, landing announcement came to our air. Nothing was to say. In the wink of an eye, our flight landed at Guwahati Airport.
Getting out of the airport, we hired a taxi for Gauwhati town to stay the night. Our taxi driver was a Muslim one but he was abstaining himself from fasting.
We asked him to stop for a while before a mosque to say our Asar prayer (afternoon prayer). After a 20 minutes drive, he stopped before a mosque beside the road. Getting down, we completed our purification process through aju and entered the mosque to say our prayer.
A preparation for iftar party was going on. Knowing that we are from Bangladesh, some young welcomed us and offered us to take iftar with them. We thanked them for their hospitality and gently refused their offer we were in a hurry to reach Gauwhati as early as possible.
Then they requested us to take away the iftar after prayer and in that case, we couldn’t but accept their offer. We became simply surprised at seeing their sincerity, hospitality, and respect for their fellow being. No word was to us to thank them.
With a blissful mind, we left the mosque taking the packets of iftar. I hope their hospitality and respect shown to us would remain alive in the corner of my mind forever. Hope they will be blessed always.
Facing Troubles in Guwahati for Hotel
Reaching Guwahati, we faced an unexpected problem to find out hotel. In most of the hotels, we were refused to know that we are from Bangladesh. “We have no permission from the authority to allow the Bangladeshi in our hotel,” said the hotel owners or the managers when we asked them the cause of refusal.
We took our iftar standing beside the road and again began to look for the hotel. Finally, we got one with the generosity of the hotel owner. Certainly, he will be amply rewarded for his kindness showing to us.
We checked into the hotel, got fresh and stepped down to take our dinner. We were in a hope to have a delicious dinner but fate did not favor us. Though we found our desired menu, the taste of the menu frustrated us badly. It was more than the worst.
Being satisfied with the worst dinner, we ordered a meal for our Sehery and came back to the hotel. For the long day fasting and long journey, we were badly tired. So without any delay, we flopped into the bed and lost into the deep sleep.
At 3 am. We got up and took shehery (meal for beginning the fasting). Saying Morning Prayer, again we slept and got up at 7.30am.
Getting fresh, we went to the Taxi station and hired a Tata Sumo for with a fair pf R.S.2800 which is pretty high.
Heading Towards Shillong
It was sunny weather. We hit the trail for Shilling and headed through a green all around us as if we were riding in a dreamland of vibrant green. Nature was continuing to unfold its real glamour.
Our driver took a short tea break before some roadside stalls. After taking tea, we resumed our onward journey.
While we were moving towards through green vegetation, white foamy clouds were caught into our eyes suddenly. In the absence of my mind, I cried out, “Oh! What a flock of beautiful clouds!” I could not believe it with my own eyes.
Enjoying the Majestic Beauty of Barapani (Umiam Lake)
We were warmly welcomed by misty rain with the light wind when our driver stopped for a viewpoint. To save us from being wet, we worn a raincoat and also opened umbrella. Since we were going to embrace the wettest place in the world, raincoat and umbrella were taken with us from our home.
“It is Barapani (Umiam Lake), a beautiful viewpoint,” said our driver. I became speechless seeing the panoramic view of the lake and its surroundings.
“Is it a natural lake?” I asked our driver. “No, sir. It is man-made but there is also a myth behind the lake” said our driver with a gesture of enthusiasm. “What is the story?”
Sir, “Umiam is a word from Khasi Tribal language. The word Umiam means water of the eyes. Many myths are formed with this word. Another one is that Umiam means crying river or ‘flood of tears’.”
“The myth also tells that there were two sisters in heaven. One day hoping to enjoy the abode of clouds, they descended to Meghalaya. Unfortunately, on the way, one was lost but another one reached the earth. From the grief of the missing sister, she cried enough to make a lake” narrated by our driver.
With the magical view of the lake and flying of the white foamy clouds to and fro over the lake and green hills, the story transformed me into a fairyland which is worth enough for my Shillong Trip.
Though mind didn’t allow us to leave the place, time forced us to resume our onward journey towards Shillong. We were heading through the captivating view of stretching green and race of white foamy clouds.
To know more about Umiam Lake click here
We reached Shillong at 1 pm. and were dropped at police bazaar by our driver. Being a busy spot, all the hotels around police bazar were crowded. After a vain search for the hotel, we stepped to the Thana Road.
On the stepping pint of Thana Road, we found a mosque. It was the time of Zohar prayer (noon prayer time for the Muslims). Some religious persons were gossiping before the mosque after their prayer. We asked for their help to find out the hotel room.
“Where are you from?” they asked us with a mood of curiosity. We are from Bangladesh and we are also Muslims. “Oh! Fine. You all are invited at Iftar. We all the Muslims (approximately 6000) of this area take Iftar together in the mosque”. Being felt honored with their hospitality, we stepped to their recommended hotel thanking them.
We checked into the hotel. Though the standard of the hotel was not good enough, their service and safety measure was not bad at all.
Getting fresh and taking a short rest, we got out for a stroll in and around the city. We had no idea on the tourist’s spots in and even the outside of Shillong.
We asked for the hotel manager’s help. He advised us to enjoy the beauty of Ward Lake (locally known as Pollock’s Lake), Lady Hydary Park and the Shillong Golf Course.
But only the Ward Lake near the police Bazar was within walking distance. So we were on the way to Ward Lake. Within a short down walk of 10 minutes, we reached Ward Lake.
The First Day of Shillong Trip
Enjoying the Mesmerising Beauty of Ward Lake
We started our Shillong Trip mission with the visit of Ward Lake in the heart of Shillong Town. Lovely views of Ward Lake made me spellbound. The view was really eye-catching as if it were on the postcard painted by an artist.
Lush green surroundings of the lake, amazingly ornamented bridge, sloping cobble-stoned walkways, view of the wide spectrum of orchids in full bloom, rose-bed, and the avenue of pine trees bewildered me because I have never seen such a spectacular artificial lake before this.
Seeing a crowd on the bridge, we stepped towards it. The crowd was enjoying and feeding a swarm of colorful fish especially carp. The view is really breathtaking. We also feed the flock of fish.
We strolled around the lake enjoying the colorful flora bed and the serenity of the lake water. Though there was a boating facility in the lake, we did not enjoy it rather we preferred to enjoy the panoramic afternoon view of the lake sitting on the bed of green grass.
The darkness of evening began to approach. So we left the lake and walked along the upward street of the police bazaar.
Taking a brisk walk around the police Bazar
After taking Iftar, we enjoyed a brisk walk around police bazaar and did some shopping. Then we hired a Tata Sumo with a fair of R.S 2800 from Shillong Tourism Center for our next day trip. The next day was reserved for Cherapunjee, the abode of clouds.
The 2nd Day of Shillong Trip
Starting for Cherapunjee
We set off for Cherapunjee, the wettest place on the earth, which was 58km. away from Shillong at 8 am. The morning weather was very pleasant. We were driving through the dense forests and rolling hills with vast greenness.
Gradually the chilly weather was turning into foggy and misty. Then suddenly it began to drizzle. I could realize that we had already entered into the world of clouds.
We didn’t have any idea on the tourist’s spot of Cherapunjee except the Seven Sisters Fall. So we had to depend on our driver and he also took the responsibility on his shoulder to play the role of our guide.
First viewpoint a Waterfall
Suddenly Biplab stopped beside the road said, “Sir, there is a waterfall, the first viewpoint or tourist’s spot on the way to Cherapunjee”.
Thanking him, we got down. It was drizzling and sometimes it was raining in torrents. Clouds were all around as if we also became the component of the cloud.
Out of thrill and excitement, I got stuck for a moment. Then taking some photographs with the cloud beside the road, we stepped to the waterfall. It was a nice waterfall which was continuously falling with a harmonious sound.
Then we stooped before the next viewpoint. There was also another waterfall but at this time I preferred to enjoy the white foamy floating clouds in the deep blue sky over the vast green hills which created a heavenly scene as if they were waiting to welcome us.
I couldn’t but thank my Mighty Creator to let me enjoy such a beauty of His creation. I am really fortunate one.
Seven Sisters Water Falls
Through the window glass, I could see some vertical white spikes amid the lush green. Then gradually became visible. Yes, now I can recognize them. They are the renowned Seven Sisters Waterfalls, Seven Cascades of Water. Yet, to be ensured, I asked my driver Biplab if the falls are seven sisters fall.
“Yes, sir, you all are fortunate because you get to see the most spectacular fall of milky white seven sisters because they are veiled under deep clouds but now they are on their best mood of an exhibition” replied Biplab.
Yes, indeed clouds showed their enough kindness to instead of their whimsical behavior. Heartfelt thanks to the clouds.
It was a breathtaking view. I don’t find any word appropriate in the world of my dictionary which can make a proper judgment of the beauty of Seven Sisters Springs. Simply awesome!
Gushing down of seven sisters from a great height with a roaring sound into the narrow gorges made a sensation in me. Sometimes the thick white clouds were forming a creamy panorama between the hills as if a play was going on among the seven sisters, green hills, and the white clouds.
“Let’s go, sir. Now we are going to another spring” spoke out Biplab.
I rejected him nodding my head. I wished I could have enjoyed the view forever standing or staying there. But time and fate never allow enjoying anything good or bad for a long time. Everything changes with the law of nature. So we had left for our next destination.
Found the Mawsmai River within a short time
Within a short distance, we found another magic, the magic of the Mawsmai River.
Its crystalline water was flowing over the lava formed stones with a zigzag mood.
I washed my face and hands in the crystal water of the spring and walked with the flow of the water. I felt as if I had been purified.
Then we headed for Mawsmai Cave
“There are 788 caves in Meghalaya. But the Mawsmai Cave is the most adventurous and most visited one” Biplob informed us.
Actually, Biplab was a bank of information about Meghalaya
We were standing before the mouth of the cave. One of my colleagues Shamim Iqbal could not dare to explore the cave. I tried to encourage him but everything went in vain.
Along with my other mates entered the cave. The path inside the cave was sometimes narrow that one could hardly manage to pass the way but sometimes it was wide enough and lighted.
Slipping and sliding on the rocks, somehow I ended up my adventurous explore inside the cave.
Visiting Mawsmai Cave, we began our come back journey
Though we were fasting, the magic of Cherapunjee did help us to forget it. Even we did not feel hungry or thirsty. I think it was for the blessing of nature. Nature never frustrates and betrays her lover.
We hoped the next day we would visit Lady Hydary Park. Elephant fall, Shillong peak, and the Shillong Golf Course. But rain in torrents and tiredness of the previous day’s journey did not favor us.
So we were contented with enjoying late morning sound sleep and exploring Shillong Markets wearing a raincoat with an umbrella over our head.
To know more about this best tourist destination in India click here
Tips for Meghalaya, Shillong Trip
If you wish to hug this best tourist destination in India and go for Shillong Trip, here are some great tips for making your Shillong Trip memorable.
When you are from Bangladesh, it is better to use the Burimari, Akhaura and Sreemontapur borders to reach Shillong comfortably. If you choose Akhaura and Sreemontapur, you should reach first at Agartala. Then from Agartala, you have to reach Guwahati by Air. Air ticket for Guwahati is very cheap if you book the ticket 2 months before. It may cost you only 800-1500 Rs.
From Guwahati, you should reach Shillong by Tata Sumo or Jeep. A jeep of 10-12 seats will cost you 2000-2500 Rs but bargaining is a must. Or if you are on a tight budget, you can Shillong getting into share jeep and it will cost you 170-200 Rs. The bus fare is between 100-130 Rs.
From Shillong to Cherapunji, a Tata Sumo will cost you 2800-3000 Rs if hire the car from Shillong Tourism Center otherwise it will cost you a little bit more. Again, if you are on a tight budget, you should either depend on share taxi which will cost you 70-100 Rs.
Hotel in Shillong
The crowd zone in Shillong is police bazar. When you are in your Shillong Trip, you can get many hotels here. But remember this if you are from Bangladesh, book the hotel early. Most of the hotels are unwilling to Bangladeshi tourists but the reason is unknown.
For booking the hotel you can depend on OYO, Make My Trip and Goibibo. You will the room at a reasonable price with Wi-Fi service. But among all these, OYO is the best. It will not cost you a single rupee for booking.
Don’t miss Homestay at Cherapunjee
If you are in Shillong, you should not miss the Homestay at Cherapunjee. It is awesome. And you will get a room for a homestay in 1500 Rs.
Here is all about what to do in Cherepunjee>>Top 3 things to do in Cherapunjee