Coordinates: 25°34′56″N 91°53′40″E / 25.58222°N 91.89444°E / 25.58222; 91.89444
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Capital city
Clockwise from top left to right:
Elephant Falls, Laitlum Canyon, Ward's Lake, Panorama of Police Bazar in Shillong, The Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians, A view of Shillong
Scotland of the East
Shillong is located in Meghalaya
Location of Shillong in Meghalaya
Shillong is located in India
Shillong (India)
Coordinates: 25°34′56″N 91°53′40″E / 25.58222°N 91.89444°E / 25.58222; 91.89444
Country India
State Meghalaya
DistrictEast Khasi Hills
Named forLei Shyllong (Deity)
 • BodyShillong Municipal Board
 • DirectorB. S. Sohliya
 • MPVincent Pala (INC)
 • Capital city64.36 km2 (24.85 sq mi)
1,495−1,965 m (4,908−6,449 ft)
 • Capital city143,229
 • Density234/km2 (610/sq mi)
 • Metro
Demonym(s)Shillongite and Nongsor
 • OfficialEnglish[2][3]
 • Associate officialKhasi, Garo[4]
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
793 001 – 793 102
Telephone code0364
Vehicle registrationML-05

Shillong (English: /ʃɪˈlɒŋ/,[5][6] Khasi: [ʃɨlːɔːŋ]) is a hill station and the capital of Meghalaya, a state in northeastern India. It is the headquarters of the East Khasi Hills district. Shillong is the 330th most populous city in India with a population of 143,229 according to the 2011 census.[7] It is said that the rolling hills around the town reminded the British of Scotland. Hence, they would also refer to it as the "Scotland of the East".[8]

Shillong has steadily grown in size since it was made the civil station of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills in 1864 by the British. In 1874, on the formation of Assam as the Chief Commissioner's Province, it was chosen as the headquarters of the new administration because of its convenient location between the Brahmaputra and Surma valleys and more so because the climate of Shillong was much cooler than tropical India.[9] Shillong remained the capital of undivided Assam until the creation of the new state of Meghalaya on 21 January 1972, when Shillong became the capital of Meghalaya, and Assam moved its capital to Dispur in Guwahati.



Shillong was the capital of composite Assam during the British regime and later until a separate State of Meghalaya was formed. David Scott, the British civil servant of the East India Company, was the Agent of the Governor-General North East Frontier. During the First Anglo-Burmese War the British authorities felt the need for a road to connect Sylhet and Assam. The route was to traverse across the Khasi and Jaintia Hills. David Scott overcame the difficulties his administration faced from the opposition of the Khasi Syiems – their chiefs and people. Impressed by the favourable cool climate of Khasi Hills, they negotiated with the Syiem of Sohra in 1829 for a sanatorium for the British. Thus began the consolidation of British interests in the Khasi-Jaintia Hills.

In early 1829, a Khasis confederation mounted a serious uprising against British occupation. But by January 1833, their leader Tirot Sing surrendered to David Scott and was detained to Dacca (present-day Dhaka). A political agent was posted in Sohra, also known as Cherrapunjee.

But the British did not like the climate and facilities of Sohra and they moved to Shillong. "Ïewduh" is the biggest market in Shillong. The name "Shillong" was later adopted, as the location of the new town was below the Shillong Peak. Shillong is named after the god of the Khasis, "U Blei Shyllong". The more widespread knowledge is that Shillong was named after a boy named “Aahlad” who was born to a virgin mother near Bisi.

In 1874, a separate Chief Commissionership was formed with Shillong as the seat of administration. The new administration included Sylhet, now a part of Bangladesh. Also included in the Chief Commissionership were the Naga Hills (present-day Nagaland), Lushai Hills (present-day Mizoram) as well as Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Hills. Shillong was the capital of composite Assam till 1969 when the autonomous state of Meghalaya was formed. In January 1972, Meghalaya was made a full-fledged state.[10]

The Shillong Municipal Board dates back to 1878, when a proclamation was issued constituting Shillong and its suburbs, including the villages of Mawkhar and Laban, into a station under the Bengal Municipal Act of 1876. Inclusion of the villages of Mawkhar (S.E. Mawkhar, Jaiaw and part of Jhalupara and Mawprem) and Laban (Lumparing, Madan laban, Kench's Trace and Rilbong) within the Municipality of Shillong was agreed to by Haiñ Manik Syiem of Mylliem under the agreement of 15 November 1878.[11] But, there is no trace of Shillong in the British era maps dating back to 1878, up to 1900.

The great earthquake of 12 June 1897 of moment magnitude 8.1 killed 27 from Shillong and destroyed much of the town.


Aerial view of Shillong

Shillong is at 25°34′N 91°53′E / 25.57°N 91.88°E / 25.57; 91.88. It lies on the Shillong Plateau, the only major uplifted structure in the northern Indian shield.[12] 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 Shyllong.

Shillong is just 100 km (62 mi) from Guwahati, which can be accessed by road along NH 40, a journey of about 2 hours 30 minutes through lush green hills and the Umiam lake in between.

Smart Cities Mission[edit]

Shillong has been selected as the 100th city to receive funding under the centre's flagship "Smart Cities Mission" Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). In January 2016, 20 cities were announced under the Smart Cities Mission, followed by 13 cities in May 2016, 27 cities in September 2016, 30 cities in June 2017, and 9 cities in January this year. The total proposed investment in the finally selected 100 cities under the Smart Cities Mission would be 2,050,180 million. Under the scheme, each city will get 5000 million from the centre for implementing various projects.


Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: World Weather Information Service
Imperial conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches

Weather conditions in Shillong are typically pleasant, pollution-free. In the summer the temperature varies from 23 °C (73 °F). In the winter the temperature varies from 4 °C (39 °F).

Under Köppen's climate classification the city features a subtropical highland climate (Cwb). Its summers are cool and very rainy, while its winters are cool yet dry. Shillong is subject to vagaries of the monsoon. The monsoons arrive in June and it rains almost until the end of October.

Climate data for Shillong (C.S.O) 1981–2010, extremes 1902–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 24.9
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 14.9
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 5.9
Record low °C (°F) −0.9
Average rainfall mm (inches) 13.6
Average rainy days 1.6 2.3 4.1 9.7 15.8 18.1 17.9 16.7 15.7 8.4 2.1 1.1 113.5
Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:30 IST) 87 76 68 72 81 86 87 88 90 90 88 89 84
Mean monthly sunshine hours 223.2 223.2 232.5 219.0 170.5 108.0 99.2 108.5 102.0 176.7 216.0 235.6 2,114.4
Mean daily sunshine hours 7.2 7.9 7.5 7.3 5.5 3.6 3.2 3.5 3.4 5.7 7.2 7.6 5.8
Source: India Meteorological Department (sun 1971–2000)[13][14][15][16]


Although well connected by road, Shillong has neither rail connections nor a proper air connection. Umroi Airport located 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the city centre has only limited flights.


Shillong Bypass road

Shillong is well connected by roads with all major northeastern states. Three major National Highways pass through:

Private bus operators, as well as state transport buses from other states, come to and from Shillong daily. Taxi services are also available to destination like Guwahati, Agartala, Kohima, Dimapur, Aizawl and other North Eastern towns and cities.

The Shillong Bypass (pictured) is a two lane road which stretches across 47.06 kilometres (29.2 mi) connecting Umiam (NH-40) to Jorabat (NH-44) which then leads to other northeastern Indian states of Mizoram and Tripura. The project was estimated to have cost around 220 crore (US$28 million) and was completed in a span of two years (2011–2013).[17][18]


Shillong Airport

Shillong is served by the Shillong Airport, which is located about 30 km away at Umroi. The airport has daily flights to and from Kolkata.[19] It also have flights to and from Lilabari, Delhi, Silchar, Agartala, Imphal, Dimapur, Dibrugarh and Guwahati.[20] Presently Indigo, Alliance Air and SpiceJet are operating regular services from the airport.[21][22]


Teteliya-Byrnihat line, 22 km (14 mi) long, from Guwahati's suburb Tetelia to Byrnihat near Shillong in Meghalaya is likely to be completed by March 2026.[23] From Byrnihat it will be extended further to Shillong in future.[23]


Languages spoken across Shillong city (2011)[24]

  Khasi (46.88%)
  Bengali (20.23%)
  Hindi (10.86%)
  Nepali (9.83%)
  Assamese (2.84%)
  Garo (2.50%)
  Punjabi (1.83%)
  Urdu (0.76%)
  others (4.27%)

As of the 2011 Census of India, Shillong had a total population of 143,229, of which 70,135 were males and 73,094 were females. As per 2011 language census report, 67,154 of the city's population speak Khasi as their native language,[25][26] 28,984 speak Bengali, 15,559 speak Hindi, 14,085 speak Nepali, 4,069 speak Assamese, 2,632 speak Punjabi, 3,580 speak Garo, 1,088 speak Urdu and 6,115 speak other languages.[24] 14,317 were aged 0 to 6 years. The literacy rate was 83.5% or 119,642 people: 84.8% for males and 82.3% females. The effective literacy rate of people aged 7 years and older was 92.8%, 94.8% for males and 90.9% for females. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes population was 1,551 and 73,307, respectively. Shillong had 31,025 households in 2011.[1] As per the 1971 census (before creation of Meghalaya state in 1972), non-tribals constituted 58.53% of the population of Shillong.[27]

Religions in Shillong City (2011)[28]

  Christianity (46.49%)
  Hinduism (41.95%)
  Tribal religion (4.5%)
  Islam (4.89%)
  Sikhism (1.14%)
  Buddhism (0.74%)
  Jainism (0.13%)
  Not Stated (0.16%)
The Mary Help of Christians Cathedral, Shillong, is one of the largest Church in India

According to 2011 census, Christianity is the dominant religion in the city, practised by 46.49% of the population, followed by Hinduism at 41.95%, Islam 4.89%, and to a lesser degree, that is, 2.01% includes Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism. An ancient indigenous religion of the Khasi and Jaintia tribes is still followed by 4.5% of the population.[28] The Shillong metropolitan region, which includes the towns of Laitumkhrah, Lawsohtun, Madanrting, Mawlai, Mawpat, Nongkseh, Nongmynsong, Nongthymmai, Pynthorumkhrah, Shillong Cantonment, Umlyngka and Umpling, had a population of 354,759, 12% of which being under six years of age. The literacy rate in the metro region was 91%.[29]

Places of interest[edit]

Tourist sites in and around the city include:[30][better source needed]

  • Elephant Falls: 12 km on the outskirts of the city, the mountain stream descends through three successive falls set in dells of fern covered rocks.[31]
  • Ka Phan Nonglait Park: The park stretches over a kilometre and has an adjacent mini zoo.
  • Ward's Lake: Known locally as Nan-Polok. It is an artificial lake with garden and boating facilities, built during the colonial era.
  • Shillong Golf Course: Shillong has one of the largest natural golf courses in Asia: 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 a valley covered with pine and rhododendron trees. The tight fairways, carpeted with a 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 gruelling 594 yards. Shillong Golf Course is considered to be the "Glen Eagle of the East" at the United States Golf Association Museum. It was set in a valley at an altitude of 5,200 ft in 1898 as a nine-hole course and later converted into an 18-hole course in 1924 by Captain Jackson and C. K. Rhodes.
  • Motphran: The "Monument of France" which is locally known as "Motphran" was erected in memory of the 26th Khasi Labour Corps who served under the British in France during World War I. It bears the words of the Latin poet Horace "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" which can be roughly translated as "It is sweet and honourable to die for one's country. Due to government neglect and public apathy, this monument is now in a dilapidated condition standing.
  • Shillong Peak: A picnic spot, 10 km from the city, 1966 m above sea level, offers a panoramic view of the scenic countryside and is the highest point in the state. Obeisance is paid to U Shyllong at the sanctum sanctorum at the peak's summit every springtime, by the religious priest of Khyrim/Mylliem State.
  • Capt. Williamson Sangma State Museum: For those interested in ethnic tribal culture and tradition this government museum offers insights to the lifestyle of the people. This museum is in the State Central Library complex where monuments for the great patriots of the state were erected besides the statue of Smt. Indira Gandhi and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
  • Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures: The Don Bosco Museum is part of DBCIC (Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures). DBCIC comprises research on cultures, publications, training, animation programmes and the museum, which is a place of knowledge-sharing on the cultures of the northeast in particular, and of culture in general. DBCIC with its Don Bosco Museum is situated at Mawlai, Shillong.
  • Wankhar Entomological Museum (Butterfly Museum): A privately owned museum of M/s Wankhar, Riatsamthiah, Shillong about 2 km from police bazar is the only known museum in India devoted to moths and butterflies.
  • Chrysalis the Gallery: This art gallery is on the second floor of Salonsar Mansion at Police Bazaar, the commercial hub of Shillong. Chrysalis has flexible spacing to display paintings (canvases), sculpture, photography and handicrafts. Run by a local artist, Jaya Kalra, the gallery caters to exhibitions of artists and artisans especially from the northeast and also from the rest of India.
  • State Museum: Located at the State Central Library complex
  • Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians is in Don Bosco Square
  • Bishop and Beadon Falls: Both cascade down the same escarpment into a deep valley
  • Spread Eagle Falls: 3 km from polo grounds
  • Sweet Falls: Sweet Falls (also called "Weitdem", in the native dialect) is a waterfall located about 5 km from the Happy Valley and is about 96 m in height.
  • Crinoline Falls: Near Phan Nonglait Park


Polo basketball court

Shillong is one of the capital cities in Northeast India to produce three football clubs that participate in the I-League, namely, Rangdajied United FC, Royal Wahingdoh FC and Shillong Lajong FC. All three have their home stadium at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Royal Wahingdoh FC was adjudged 2nd runners-up in the 2014–15 season of I-League.[32]

The Shillong Golf Course is one of the oldest golf course in the country and is surrounded by pine and rhododendron trees.

Among people of the Khasi tribe of Meghalaya, archery has been both a sport, a form of defence for several centuries and gambling (teer). While modern customs have replaced many of traditional aspects of the culture here, a pervasive fascination for archery remains. Shillong teer is an authorised game that is subject to regulations established by the Meghalaya Amusement and Betting Tax Act. The Khasi Hills Archery Sports Association is in charge of managing this lottery event.[33]

Binningstar Lyngkhoi from Shillong is a national marathon runner and represented India in the last 2010 Commonwealth Games. He is the fastest marathoner in India with a timing of 2:18 hours.

Club Sport League Stadium
Shillong Lajong FC Football I-League Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong
Rangdajied United F.C. Football I-League Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong
Ryntih FC Football I-League 2nd Division Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong


Indian Institute of Management

Autonomous institutions[edit]

General degree colleges[edit]

Law college[edit]

Medical College[edit]


Central Universities[edit]

Private Universities[edit]


Local media in Shillong is strong. There are a number of theatres, newspapers, magazines, local radio and television stations. Shillong is also often called as "India's Rock Capital" due to its inhabitants' great passion for music, hosting concerts featuring a number of western artists.[citation needed]


Cinemas in Shillong include Bijou Cinema Hall, Gold Cinema and Anjalee Cinema Hall (also called Galleria Anjalee Cinema).[37]

Print media[edit]

Newspapers are published for Shillong both in Khasi and English. Prominent English dailies published here include Shillong Times, Meghalaya Guardian, Highland Post, Meghalaya Times and The Sentinel. Khasi dailies like U Mawphor, U Nongsaiñ Hima Peitngor, Kynjat Shaiamong others are published here. Weekly newspaper are "Salonsar" and "Dongmusa". There are magazines like "Iing Khristan" (100 years of publication), "Pateng Mynta" in Khasi and "Youth Today" and "Eastern Panorama" in English.

Electronic media[edit]

The radio industry has expanded with a number of private and government-owned FM channels being introduced. State-owned Doordarshan transmits terrestrial television channels. Apart from these few weekly news channels like Peitngor Cable News (PCN), Ri Khasi Channel, Batesi and T7 are broadcast weekly on the local cable networks.

Communication services[edit]

Fixed telephone lines are available. Internet services are available both wired and wireless broadband. It is also well covered in mobile networks with all major cellular providers like Airtel, Vodafone Idea, BSNL and Jio are available here.

Headquarters Eastern Air Command, Indian Air Force[edit]

HQ Eastern Air Command (HQ, EAC) was shifted to Shillong on 10 Jun 63 from Kolkata and housed in the old buildings located at Nonglyer village at Upper Shillong, some 10 km from (Lower) Shillong, but at a greater altitude of around 6,000 feet AMSL. Initially a British military base, it was taken over by No. 58 Gorkha Regiment of the Indian Army post Independence in 1947. The Regiment was redeployed after the Sino-Indian War of 1962, making way for the IAF to step in. Only helicopters can operate from HQ, EAC, using a 12.7 hectare (31.3 acre) helipad.[38]

EAC controls air operations in the eastern sector which include West Bengal, Assam, Mizoram and the other eastern states bordering Bangladesh, Burma, and Tibet. EAC comprises permanent airbases at Chabua, Gauhati, Bagdogra, Barrackpore, Hashimara, Jorhat, Kalaikunda and Tezpur with forward airbases at Agartala, Culcutta, Panagarh and Shillong.[39]


Panorama of Police Bazar which is an important economic center and major commercial hub of Shillong

Historic neighbourhoods of Shillong include Mawkhar, Jaiaw, Riatsamthiah, Umsohsun, Wahingdoh, Khyndailad (Police Bazar), Mawlai, Laitumkhrah, Laban, Malki, Nongthymmai and Polo.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Census of India: Shillong". Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  2. ^ "52nd Report of the Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities in India" (PDF). Ministry of Minority Affairs. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  3. ^ "About Us | Official Website of Meghalaya State Designated Agency, Government of Meghalaya, India". Retrieved 24 November 2021.
  4. ^ PTI (14 September 2018). "Meghalaya govt working for inclusion of Khasi, Garo languages". Business Standard India. Retrieved 24 November 2021.
  5. ^ "Define Shillong". Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Definition of Shillong". The Free Dictionary. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  7. ^ "List of Most populated cities of India". Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  8. ^ Rao, Sachin. "Travel: Shillong, India – 'Scotland of the east'". The Scotsman. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  9. ^ "Shillong | India". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  10. ^ Syiemlieh, David R. (2005). Reflections From Shillong: Speeches of M.M. Jacob (Volume 3). Daya Books. ISBN 8189233297.
  11. ^ "Shillong Municipal Board – History". Shillong Municipal Board. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  12. ^ Bilham, R. and P. England, Plateau pop-up during the great 1897 Assam earthquake. Nature(Lond),410, 806–809, 2001
  13. ^ "Station: Shillong (C.S.O) Climatological Table 1981–2010" (PDF). Climatological Normals 1981–2010. India Meteorological Department. January 2015. pp. 701–702. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  14. ^ "Extremes of Temperature & Rainfall for Indian Stations (Up to 2012)" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. December 2016. p. M157. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  15. ^ "Table 3 Monthly mean duration of Sun Shine (hours) at different locations in India" (PDF). Daily Normals of Global & Diffuse Radiation (1971–2000). India Meteorological Department. December 2016. p. M-3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  16. ^ "Shillong Climatological Table 1971–2000". India Meteorological Department. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  17. ^ "Gadkari to inaugurate Shillong Bypass". The Economic Times. The Times Group. 30 April 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  18. ^ ANI (1 May 2015). "Gadkari to inaugurate Shillong bypass today". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  19. ^ "Three new flights to Raipur, Shillong from Kolkata | Kolkata News". The Times of India. 16 May 2019.
  20. ^ Flightradar24. "Live Flight Tracker - Real-Time Flight Tracker Map". Flightradar24. Retrieved 23 March 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  21. ^ "Boom: Umroi Airport caters to 10,000+ fliers in 3 months". The Shillong Times. PTI. 8 October 2021. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  22. ^ "SpiceJet introduces direct flight service from Delhi to Shillong". Business Standard. Press Trust of India. 25 February 2023. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  23. ^ a b North East to get better Indian Railways connectivity! 5 major rail projects lined up Archived 19 July 2020 at the Wayback Machine, Financial Express, 17 July 2020.
  24. ^ a b "C-16 Population By Mother Tongue". Retrieved 24 November 2021.
  25. ^ Singh, Bikash (13 December 2018). "Khasi Students Union expresses opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill". The Economic Times. Retrieved 24 May 2023.
  26. ^ "Khasi population in city not more than 50 pc: KSU". Shillong Times. December 2019. Retrieved 24 May 2023.
  27. ^ Myrboh, Batskhem (9 February 2019). "On Non Tribal Migration in Meghalaya". RAIOT. Retrieved 24 May 2023.
  28. ^ a b "C-1 Population By Religious Community - Shillong". Retrieved 24 November 2021.
  29. ^ "Shillong Metropolitan Urban Region Population 2011 Census".
  30. ^ Meghalaya Tourism. "Attractions and Activities in Shillong". Meghalaya Tourism.
  31. ^ "Waterfalls of Meghalaya: Department of Tourism, Government of Meghalaya". Archived from the original on 26 January 2020. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  32. ^ "Points Table | Hero I-League". Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  33. ^ Ramadurai, Charukesi (16 May 2018). "In India, gambling with bows and arrows". BBC. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  34. ^ "National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Shillong: Accreditation & Awards, Ranking, Fees". India Today. Retrieved 12 November 2023.
  35. ^ "Institute of Hotel Management - Shillong Meghalaya - Central IHMs". Retrieved 12 November 2023.
  36. ^ "IGNOU Shillong Regional Centre | Admission, Courses & Contact Details". ICNN News. 8 November 2023. Retrieved 12 November 2023.
  37. ^ "Shillong gets its first multiplex". The Shillong Times. 30 January 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  38. ^ "EASTERN AIR COMMAND". Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  39. ^ Meghalaya, Shillong. "Eastern Air Command (EAC) – Bharat Rakshak: Indian Air Force". Archived from the original on 13 September 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2016.

External links[edit]