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Shillong (Khasi Shillong,Assamese,: Bengali: শিলং, Hindi: शिलांग) is the capital of Meghalayamarker, one of the smallest states in Indiamarker. It is also the district headquarters of the East Khasi Hills District and is situated at an average altitude of 4,908 ft (1,496 m) above sea level, with the highest point being "lum shyllong" at 1965 m. The city has a population of approximately 260,520 according to the 2001 census. Shillong has steadily grown in size and significance in its own traditional way from a mere village as it used to be when it was made the new civil station of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills in 1864 by the Britishmarker. It remained the summer capital of Eastern Bengalmarker and Assammarker for many years. In 1874, on the formation of Assam as a Chief Commissioner's Province, it was chosen as the headquarters of the new administration because of its convenient location between the Brahmaputramarker and Surma Valley and more so because the climate of Shillong was much cooler than tropical Indiamarker. Shillong remained the capital of undivided Assam until the creation of the new state of Meghalaya on January 21, 1972 when Shillong became the capital of Meghalaya and Assam moved its capital to Dispurmarker.

Geography

Shillong is located at . It is on the Shillong Plateau, the only major pop-up structure in the northern Indian shield. The city lies in the centre of the plateau and is surrounded by hills, three of which are revered in Khasi tradition: Lum Sohpetbneng, Lum Diengiei and Lum Shillong.Best time to travel : October to MarchWeather Conditions : Pleasant, pollution-free; Summers: The temperature varies from 23 degree Celsius; Winters: The temperature varies from 4 degree Celsius.Location : Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya is just 56 km from Cherrapunji, the world's wettest place.

Climate

Due to its latitude and high elevation Shillong has a sub-tropical climate with mild summers and chilly to cold winters.Shillong is subject to vagaries of the monsoon. The monsoons arrive in June and it rains almost until the end of August. October-November and March-April are the best months to visit Shillong.
Shillong Landscape from Shillong Peak


Connectivity

This is one of the few hill stations with motorable roads all around. Shillong has no railway lines. There is a small airport at Umroi, around 30 km from Shillong; most flights into Umroi are only on certain days of the week. The nearest major airport and railway station is at Guwahatimarker. From Gawahati it's a 3 to 4 hours of hilly drive by road through NH-37. Near the Gawahati railway station , known as Paltan Bazar, one will find Cab services charging about 110 INR to 170 INR per seat and also Bus services, they are cheaper, price ranges from 40 INR to 100 INR per seat and services generally operates 24/7 .Assam approximately 120 km from Shillong. The tourist towns of Cherrapunjeemarker (around 56 km) and Umiam Lakemarker (around 15 km) are close to the city.

Demographics

 India census, Shillong had a population of 232,946. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Shillong has an average literacy rate of 80%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 83%, and female literacy is 78%. In Shillong, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.


Khasis make up the majority of the population though the percentage of Khasi people in the city continues to fall as a result of the large number of migrants from other Indian states. All the other northeast Indian tribes are represented here as well as significant numbers of Bengali, Nepalimarker, Assamese, Biharis and Marwaris making it a fairly cosmopolitan city.

Christianity is the dominant religion in the city. Protestants make up three-fourth of the Christian population of Shillong and Catholics make up the remaining one-fourth . A sizable proportion of the population follow the original Khasi religion. Other religions found in India are also represented in significant numbers in the city.

Localities

Shillong is divided geographically into a number of localities. These include

  • Umsohsun
  • Mawlaimarker
  • Laitumkhrah
  • Pynthorumkhrah
  • Jaiaw
  • Mawkhar
  • Mission compound
  • Malki
  • Rynjah
  • Nongthymmai
  • Umpling
  • Nongmynsong
  • Lumparing
  • Riatsamthiah
  • Lamavilla
  • Lummawbah(Upper Shillong)
  • Mawprem
  • Lower Mawprem
  • Nongsohpoh
  • Mawbah
  • Laban
  • Upper Madanrting
  • Lower Madanrting (Happy Valley)
  • Laitkor
  • Madan Iewrynghep (Firebrigade)
  • Lower Lachumiere
  • Upper Lachumiere
  • Old Kench's Trace
  • New Kench's Trace
  • Polo
  • Jingkieng Umshyrpi
  • Jail Road
  • Police Bazaar
  • Harisabha


Shillong Golf Course



Shillong has one of the largest golf courses (the world's wettest) in Asia and the golf course is called Gleneagles of the East.It enjoys the rare distinction of being one of the few natural golf courses in Asia. Not only is the Shillong golf course scenic and enjoyable, it is also challenging. A group of British Civil Service officers introduced golf to Shillong in 1898 by constructing a nine hole course. The present 18 hole course was inaugurated in 1924.The course is set in an undulating valley covered with pine and rhododendron trees. The tight fairways, carpeted with a unique local grass which hardens the soil, are difficult to negotiate. The number of out-of-bounds streams that criss-cross every fairway makes it all the more trying. Obstructions come in the form of bunkers, trees and rain. The longest hole is the 6th, which is a grueling 594 yards.

Institutions



Among the new schools in Shillong are BSF Senior Secondary School, Umpling and Army School Shillong, 101 Area

  • Shillong has a centre of the CIEFL (Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages) which has its headquarters in Hyderabad.
  • Shillong also has many offices of the Geological Survey of India.
  • The Anthropological Survey of India and the Zoological Survey of India also have their presence here.
  • It also has the HQ of the Eastern Air Command of the Indian Air Force
  • The HQ of the oldest paramilitary force in India - the Assam Rifles
  • The Assam Regimental Centre of the Indian Army
  • The 101 Area of the Indian Army.
  • 51 GTC, the Gurkha Training centre of the Gurkha Regiment of the Indian Army which trains raw recruits.


Schools

  • Seven Set Higher Secondary School,Malki, Shillong
  • Gorkha Pathsala Higher Secondary School, Mawprem, Shillong
  • Gorkha High School, 3rd Mile, Shillong
  • Sacred Heart Boys' Higher Secondary Scholl, Mawlai, Shillong
  • Sacred Heart Girls' Higher Secondary Scholl, Mawlai, Shillong
  • Church of God (Ecclesia), Mawlai
  • Mawlai Presbyterian Higher Secondary School, Mawlai
  • Christ Church School, Mawlai
  • Stephen Memorial School, Mawlai
  • Aquilla Memorial School, Mawlai, Shillong
  • O.M. Roy Memorial School, Mawlai
  • Shullai Progressive School, Mawlai
  • Mawlai Presbyterian Evening School, Mawlai
  • Sacred Heart Boys' L.P. Scholl, Mawlai, Shillong
  • Shining Light Academy, Mawlai
  • Grace Care Academy, Mawlai
  • Assam Rifles Public School
  • St. Edmund's School, Shillong
  • St Margaret's school
  • St.Peter's School
  • St.Anthony's School
  • Loreto Convent
  • St.Mary's School
  • Pine Mount School
  • Shillong Public School
  • All Saints Diocesan High School, Shillong
  • Kendriya Vidyalaya NEHU
  • Lady Keane School
  • Laitumkhrah Presbyterian School
  • Army School, Shillong
  • Laban Bengalee Boys' Higher Secondary School
  • St.Johns Whitehall.
  • Jail Road Boys Higher Secondary School, Jail Road
  • Queenie Secondary School, Laban, Shillong
  • Mawprem Modern Higher Secondary School, Mawprem, Shillong
  • B.K. Bajoria,Shillong
  • St.Dominic Savio's High School, Mawkhar, Shillong
  • Synod Higher Secondary School, Mission, Shillong
  • Meghalaya Police Public School, Mawroh, Shillong
  • Government Boys Higher Secondary School, Mission, Shillong
  • Christian Academy, Riatsamthiah, Shillong
  • K.C. (Kiddies' Corner) Secondary School, Fire Brigade, Shillong
  • Mawkhar Christian Higher Secondary School, Mawkhar
  • Brookside Adventist Higher Secondary, Fire Brigade
  • B.S.F.Senior secondary school


Restaurants

  • New World Restaurant, Mawlai T.S.S. Road
  • Cloud 9-Resto Lounge
  • Skye Asia- A Pan Asian Resto Lounge In Hotel Centre Point
  • La Gallerie in Hotel Centre Point
  • Rice Court in Royal Heritage-Tripura Castle
  • Hongkong Restaurant, Police Bazaar, G.S. Road, Shillong
  • Sip 'N' Dine, Police Bazar, Thana Road, Shillong
  • Chef's Multicusine Restaurant, Lake View Inn, M G Road, Shillong
  • The Granary
  • City Hut Dhaba
  • Broadway Restaurant
  • Palomino
  • The Wok
  • Vilippi Restaurant
  • TKS Dining Room
  • Bamboo Hut Restaurant
  • Bread Cafe
  • Cloud 9
  • Cafe Coffee Day
  • Eden Restaurant
  • Deja Vu, Laitumkhrah
  • Sesame, Laitumkhrah
  • Swish Cafe, Laitumkhrah
  • Baba Tourist Lodge, Police Bazar
  • Eee Cee Restaurant, Jail Road, Police Bazar
  • MOT (Matter of Taste), Laitumkhrah
  • Naga Mandarin, Fire Brigade (The Best Naga Food In Shillong)


Hotels

  • Hotel Centre Point, Police Bazar
  • Royal Heritage - Tripura Castle, Cleve Colony
  • Ri Kynjai -Serenity by the Lake (www.rikynjai.com), Umiam Lake
  • Hotel Pegasus Crown
  • Hotel Yalana
  • Lake View Inn[75488]
  • Hotel Alpine Continental[75489]
  • Hotel Polo Towers
  • Hotel Embassy And Restaurant The Taste
  • Hotel Elgin
  • Hotel Majestic


Self proclaimed rock music capital of India

Many international and Indian rock groups visit Shillong every year. Shillong itself has produced a many legends in rock music which are greatly recognized all over India.
Some of the International rock groups that have visited Shillong in the past are:

Some of Shillong's own popular rock groups are:
  • Soulmate
  • Great Society
  • Snow White
  • Colors
  • Midnight Garden Factor (2nd Runners up in the Hornbill National Rock Contest held at Nagaland)
  • The Verbs (Winners Of the Hornbill National Rock Contest, Nagaland)
  • Project Blend
  • The Cubicals


Eminent personalities associated with Shillong

People who have been associated with Shillong include
  • Swami Vivekananda, social reformer, philosopher and world renowned patriot monk visited Shillong.
  • Abhijeet Dutta, Deputy Managing Director, State Bank of Indiamarker (SBI) also hails from Shillong.
  • Miss Silverine Swer, Padmashree awardee & active social worker. In her late 90s, and residing at Riatsamthiah, Shillong, she is the founder principal of the first of its kind teachers train-ing institute - Buniadi Siksha - at Changlang, in Arunachal Pradesh. She also received the Siver Elephant Award in 1975 for her work among the Scouts and Guides.
  • Queenie Rynjah, Padmashree & educationist
  • P Mukhim who received the illustrious Padmashree prize
  • S Jain who received the prestigious international Alfred P. Sloan award
  • The poets Robin S Ngangom and K S Nongkynrih
  • The former Lok Sabha speaker P A Sangma studied in St. Anthony's College.
  • Former Chief Election Commissioner James Michael Lyngdoh is from Shillong and had studied at St. Edmund's College but has settled in Hyderabad.
  • Lt. Keishing Clifford Nongrum, 25, 12 J&K Light Infantry, was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra (India's Second highest military award for gallantry) posthumously for bravery during the Kargil War 1999
  • Lou Majaw, the Bob Dylan of Shillong. Lou and Eddie Rynjah had started celebrating Bob Dylan's birthday in Shillong on May 24 1972. It has become an annual event and gets extensive coverage on national and international TV Channels.
  • Zulfi A , the IT whiz and a very original and expressive guitar player who has forged new grounds in fusing carnatic classical with jazz and rock.
  • Poet Rabindranath Tagore's novel Shesher Kobita (The Final Poem) is based in Shillong.
  • The actor Victor Bannerjee is also a product of St. Edmund's School.
  • Famous film critic Amita Malik is from Shillong.
  • Nirad C. Chaudhuri has written extensively about Shillong in his book The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian.
  • Anthropologist and tribal expert Verrier Elwin had settled in Shillong and he lived here till his death.
  • Multi-faceted Mrs. Rita Saikia Das, who now, is promoting the Assamese Cuisine internationally was brought up in Shillong. Her latest release "AMBROSIA from the Assamese Kitchen" published by Rupa & Co has been highly accepted across the globe. She also helps noted actor Victor Bannerjee another eminent personality, run a Blind School in Assam.
  • Dhruba Hazarika (1956-) former student of St. Edmunds College. Recipient of the Katha prize for story writing. Presently based in Guwahati. His first novel 'A Bowstring Winter' has been published by Penguin India in May 2006.
  • Noted historian of Indian culture Arthur L. Basham was married to Namita Catherine in Shillong. He died in Kolkata in 1986 and is buried in Shillong.
  • Dr. Zohurul Hoque (1925-)internationally recognized translator of the Qur'an in 3 languages. Currently resides in Guwahati.
  • Air Marshal Pranab (Lalu) K. Barbora, born in Shillong, is presently holding the rank of Air Marshall in the Indian Air Force, and he is the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Air Command.
  • Sandeepan Das is the first commercial pilot from Shillong to receive training in USA. He was born in the year 1983 and completed his schooling and Graduation in Electronics Technology from St.Edmund's College Shillong and currently serving Country's prestigious Airlines "Air India."
  • Noted writer and Booker Prize winner, Arundhati Roy was born in the KJP Synnod Hospital in Shillong.
  • Prabhat Dey Sawyan,prominent industrialist and architect,recently honoured by The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTAC);designed and launched boutique resort 'Ri Kynjai' incorporating traditional khasi roof forms into a modern architectural setting.
  • Abishek Saikya Somani a.k.a Foxie, former Student of MNNIT, Allahabad (AIEEE-AIR-10,523). Author of "The People Tree". A very Respectable citizens of Shilong.
  • O.B Tariang, prominent and successful female entrepreneur, winner of several national awards including the Indian Solidarity Council Award for prominent business achievement; and currently holds the position of Chairman of Social Welfare Board, Meghalaya.
  • Dr Faith Rangad, Clinical Oncologist
  • Brother Eric D'Souza, former principal of St. Columba's School, Delhi, recipient of President's Award for the Best Teacher one of the most respectable citizens of Shillong also was the favourite teacher of Sharukh Khan.
  • Award winning Blues band Soulmate hails from Shillong
  • Murli Melwani, another product of St Edmund’s School and College, is the author of “Indian English Stories”(2007), “Stories of a Salesman”(1966;2nd edition 1976),”Deep Roots( a 3-Act Play) and “Themes in Indo-Anglian Literature.”
  • James Michael Lyngdoh I.A.S, a student of St Edmunds, retired as the Chief Election Commissioner of India. He is also the author of “ Chronicle Of An Impossible Election.”
  • Pradyot Bikram Kishore Manikya, (b. July 4, 1977) is the current head of the Royal House of Tripura also has a summer Castle in Shillong and owns a Hotel called The Royal Heritage -Tripura Castle and the popular news and current affairs magazine The Northeast Today
  • Rono Dutta president of United Airlines did his schooling from St.Edmunds,Shillong.
  • Bangalore based writer Anjum Hasan is from Shillong and her debut novel Lunatic in my Head which is set in Shillong was launched on Dec 7 2007. She has also written a book of verse titled Street on the Hill.
  • Shawn Lane the legendary guitarist and composer spent time jamming with the locales of Shillong in February, 2003. In a comment made later about Aizawlmarker and Shillong, he said:


  • Nari K. Rustomji, ICS (rtd.), acclaimed administrator and author, was Advisor for NEFA to the first post-Independence Governor of Assam, Sir Akbar Haydari, and retired as Chief Secretary of Meghalaya. He maintains a retirement home in Shillong.
  • Ankush Saikia (b. December 14, 1975) grew up in Shillong and studied at St Edmunds School and College. His first book Jet City Woman, a short novel set in Delhi and northeast India, was published by Rupa & Co. in November 2007. He is currently a senior editor at a publishing firm in New Delhi.
  • Evelyn Norah Shullai, educationalist and pioneer of Girl Guiding in India.
  • Barry o'Brian has held many quizzes like the Brain Jam Quiz in Shillong.
  • John Shepherd-Barron, inventor of the ATM, was born in Shillong.
  • Miss Silverine Swer, Padmashree awardee & active social worker. In her late 90s, and residing at Riatsamthiah, Shillong, she is the founder principal of the first of its kind teachers train-ing institute - Buniadi Siksha - at Changlang, in Arunachal Pradesh. She also received the Siver Elephant Award in 1975 for her work among the Scouts and Guides
  • Brother Philip Pinto, who taught at St. Edmund's in the 1970s, is Superior General of the Christian Brothers worldwide and based in the Vatican in Rome.
  • Utpal Dutta, the prominent actor of Bengali and Hindi cinema, was born on 29 March, 1929 in Shillong.
  • Leela Majumdar, the writer, spent her childhood days at Shillong, where she studied at the Loreto
  • Ratnadeep Deb, self made billionaire was brought up in Shillong.
  • Utpal Dutta, the prominent actor of Bengali and Hindi cinema, was born on 29 March, 1929 in Shillong.
  • Ms Tipriti Kharbangar and Rudy WallangBoth of whom form the core of Soulmate India's Premier Blues band and the only band in the History of India to have taken part in the 23rd International Blues Challenge in Memphis Tn,USA.They were Semi-Finalists.
  • Rudy Wallang the only musician and guitar player from India to have a custom/signature guitar built and presented to him by the International guitar brand 'Samick(Greg Bennett Guitars)'


References

  1. Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Shillong
  2. Bilham, R. and P. England, Plateau pop-up during the great 1897 Assam earthquake. Nature(Lond),410, 806-809, 2001
  3. http://www.scstsenvis.nic.in/envis/new_page_61.htm
  4. "Shawn Lane Biography"
  5. "Shawn Lane acoustic Jamming with locals in Shillong, India"


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