Meghalaya, you beauty! Every biker would know and agree that nothing compares to the experience and thrill of riding through the mountains. And what better than Meghalaya to enjoy this experience? It is the smallest state in India, yet it encompasses natural beauty that is worth exploring. In this piece, our focus is on the capital city of Meghalaya – Shillong. It is not for no reason that Shillong is called the ‘Scotland of the East’. Scenic mountains, gracious waterfalls, forests filled with pine trees, and a fascinating culture, Shillong is a paradise for those craving to be surrounded by natural beauty and explore the unexplored. Exploring Shillong on a bike has to be on the checklist of all nature and bike lovers.
Best Time To Visit
Well, it is a trip through the mountains, so expect the weather to be cold and sometimes very cold. It depends on the time of the year you choose to visit Shillong. March to June is considered to be favorable to travel to Meghalaya as the weather is quite pleasant – not too hot, and not too cold. The advantage of traveling to Shillong during summer is that you can travel light as you may not need to carry too many woollen clothes.
Are you someone who loves to feel the thrills of biking by dressing up in classy biker jackets and warm leather gloves? October to February is considered to be the best time for you. Make sure you pack a good amount of woollen clothes as the nights can get really cold. Sometimes, the temperature even drops to sub-zero levels.
A man-made reservoir that boasts of tremendous beauty falls on the way from Guwahati to Shillong city. If you’re riding to Shillong via NH 6 from Guwahati Airport, look out for this beauty. Umiam Lake is one of the largest and most incredible man-made lakes to see, providing a picturesque view for every visitor to stop by and cherish. You can even enjoy some of the water sports available such as kayaking, water-skiing and more.
Located in the outskirts of Shillong, the Elephant Falls makes for one of the best tourist attractions to see. It is approximately 12 kms away from Shillong city, and it is the history of these falls that is pretty fascinating. The falls, divided into three tiers, got the name ‘Elephant Falls’ by the British because of a rock that looked like an elephant in the bottommost tier. Supposedly, this rock got destroyed in an earthquake but the name still remained.
You can ride all the way to the falls and then start with your expedition on foot, climbing up steep yet safe stairs. The view from every trail is breathtaking, to say the least.
This artificial lake is the heart of Shillong. It is located in the centre of the city, with a cobble-blue pathway encircling it. It is one of the most visited attractions in Shillong, not only by the tourists but also by the locals. A beautiful wooden bridge lies in the middle of the lake from where you can capture some good Insta-worthy pictures. History has it that this lake is almost 100 years old and is named after the Chief Commissioner of Assam, Sir William Ward, who planned the lake.
Want to get a bird’s-eye view of the scintillating mountains, waterfalls and forests that add to the beauty of Shillong? Head to the Shillong Peak which is just 4 kms away from the city. At an elevation of 6449 feet, it is the highest point in Shillong. The journey to Shillong Peak is not difficult, however, you will need ID proof to go beyond the check post. The perks of being at Shillong Peak is that you will also get a glimpse of the plains of Bangladesh, provided it is not all covered with fog.
Another stunning location to get a bird’s-eye view of Shillong is Laitlum Canyons. It is just about 45 kms away from Shillong. The ranges of mountains cascading into the valley will definitely satiate your inner need of being a bike-borne wanderlust.
Travel Tips For Exploring Shillong On Bike
Shillong is surrounded by natural beauty, and riding your bike down these streets and lanes is definitely something worth exploring. But take basic precautions before setting out, like ensuring you have enough warm clothes in case the temperatures should suddenly drop. Always head out with a full tank of fuel, and carry some spare fuel with you in case you plan on going far. Enquire with locals about the route you wish to take; they’ll know the lay of the land the best and will advise you well about how far to ride and what you may need. There’s plenty of bike rental services in Shillong, so ensure you choose well and wisely – we can help you out with this.
Apart from the few locations mentioned above, there are many untouched, unexplored locations in Shillong that you’ll come across while riding through the curves of enchanting mountains. Don’t forget to stop by small cafes that boast of amazing food. Have the urge to go vroom already? It’s about time!
Also Read: Rent a Bike in Shillong