karikor, I just wanted to know if there are any good hotels/accommodation (probably the Meghalaya Tourism Department ones) in Umlynka area of Upper Shillong, or for that matter anywhere in Upper Shillong. I have tentative plans of coming down to Shillong next summer, and apart from staying in my ancestral house, I wish to stay somewhere in Upper Shillong for a few days. Probably I'll be coming via Kolkata and will be catching the Kolkata-Guwahati flight, and then by road to Shillong. Is there any Kolkata-Shillong flight in the month of June? Also, if in Shillong I choose to put-up in a reasonable hotel (budget property) in up-market location near and around Police Bazar, what would the budgeted tariffs (i.e., economy DBR's) cost me per night. No deluxe/super-deluxe rooms needed by me while travelling anywhere, only economy rooms of budgeted properties that have clean interiors and clean washrooms. Also, bear in mind that I do have alternate accommodation arrangements by way of my ancestral property, but I do not wish to disturb my relations there if in case I plan a longish stay, which is a real possibility given the nostalgia and my roots in lovely Shillong. Thanks in anticipation.
Well there is an old bunglow in Upper Shillong where the owners are currently renovating and are planning to open a B&B. Hopefully it will be ready by Next summer. Apart from that there is nothing else that I have heard so far in that area. As for flights. You have flights everyday except on Fridays from Kolkata to Shillong. However the flight is a small seater aeroplane. And the rates are higher. But comes to the same when compared that you are booking a taxi from Guwahati Airport to Shillong. The Shillong Airport is in Umroi about 30 kms from Shillong. However if the rates are too high, then Kolkata-Guwahati is more logical and safer. And for accomodation in Shillong, a clean DBR budget room in Police Bazaar area would be from anywhere like 1200-1500 a night.Anything lesser than that in Police Bazaar will be a compromise. However there is a good clean hotel in Laitumkhrah near Don Bosco Square named Hotel Yalana, they have economical DBRs for around 500-800 a night. Besides Laitumkhrah is pretty much the hip place in town nowdays with many cafes and eateries coming up. Another choice I can think of is B&B, well there is one in Bishnupur near Laban. They charge around 600-800 a night. You get a room with a kitchen and so you can do your own cooking, thats a benefit if you are tired of eating out day in day out. The B&B is owned by a retired Superintendant of AIIMS, New Delhi. A tip I would like to give is always book everything in advance.
Thanks for the information karikor. Now, what exactly do you refer by B&B........I presume its bed-and-bath. Few more queries now: 1. Where is the B&B that you referred in your post located in Upper Shillong? Is it located somewhere near the missionary school in Umlynka? I can remember that area more or less even now as it's close to CSO Shillong where we used to stay (hope you know Meath Home.) Just beyond CSO Shillong, there is a petrol-pump, and one of my school colleagues Audie Michael Read Diengdoh and his brother Adolf stayed just there nearby, and we used to go to school together in my dad's car.Do you know them?
2. AFAIK, Kolkata-Guwahati flights charge around INR 3000 per seat and mostly are morning flights. The Kolkata-Shillong flight would be charging max-max INR 500 more I guess.Where do I purchase the tickets from if I wish to board the Kolkata-Shillong flight? Hope these flights are safe. BTW, who is operating the airlines? Good to know that Umroi has an airport now.
3. Can you give me the names of a few good hotels in Police Bazar area, somewhere near the magazine-stall's, if they still exist there lol, or as close to Civil Hospital (just before Laban-entrance crossing) as possible. Do Radharani Store, Mohini Store, Dilli Mishtan Bhandaar etc. still exist in Police Bazar lol?
4. Not too interested in staying near the Laitumukrah area, other than iff the hotel is on the main-road approach to Laitumukrah (near and around Loreto Convent area). Will decide when we come there though.
5. I don't know where's Bishnupur in Laban. Is it somewhere near the Maidan Laban Road? Or is it close to Harishobha area? The fish-and-vegetable-market area in Laban and beyond are not my taste lol, so won't prefer to put up there. Anyway, in Laban we have our ancestral property in Maidan Laban Road, so I don't think anything else is an option there.
6. Why do you say book everything in advance in Shillong? How early should I book then, if at all? Is Shillong being trekked by a lot of tourists these days? Aren't there enough budget properties there? What's a basic room in Pinewood Hotel costing nowadays? Any budget hotels in the Military Cantonment area, or say Lady Hyderi Park area?
You know something, you guys are far better off in Shillong than us in New Delhi, I swear. I've seen both sides of the coin......and shall always prefer the other side to the one that I have, for sure for always. My roots are there.......yes, we were uprooted when my dad left Shillong forever upon transfer. Ufffff, I'm getting too nostalgic.
1. The Upper SHillong B&B is along the main road to Cherrapunjee at about 4th mile after the Metereological Office. And I don't think I know the people you are referring to.
2. I believe the tickets to Shillong are more expensive than that because the airlines operating is Air India. You can get it from any travel agent or online ticket sites.
3. There are about 20 hotels within the periphery of 1 km radius in Police Bazaar area. I can only name the hotels if you give me a tentative budget per night basis. And yes, Radharani, Mohini and Delhi Mistan Bhandar all still exist and still doing well. :)
Sadly though those magazine stalls are not there anymore since the past 10-15 years. A building has been constructed there and they have been relocated to different places within that building.
There are many Guest Houses near Lachumiere locality also.
6. Well book everything in advance as there is not enough rooms to accomodate the inflow of tourist. And most of them stay in Police Bazaar area. And there is no such off-season tourism in Shillong. I have seen tourist return back because they are not able to find any accomodation. You should book atleast two weeks or minimum 10 days in advance. Well there are about 2-3 lakh tourist coming in every year to Shillong. 90 percent of which are mostly from west bengal. There are properties but lack of sufficient number of rooms seems to be the problem. Well the cheapest DBR in Hotel Pinewood will be 2200 + tax. Yes there is a guest house near Lady Hydari Park by the name of Highwinds [url]http://www.highwindsshillong.com/
I understand the feeling. :)
Hope this clears out some of your doubts. As for hotels in Police Bazaar Area, give me a budget, and maybe I can recommend you a few hotels.
Sorry for the delay in reply ... was a little busy with trek preparations over the weekend ... So here goes ... one at a time ...
Originally posted by: karikor
Cherra Local sightseeing - 5-6 hours Double Decker Living root bridge in Nongriat - 4-5 hours Horizontal Caving - 4-5 hours Vertical Caving - 5-6 hours Mawlynnong Asias cleanest village (including travel) - 8 hours or 1 day 1 night (if staying)
These are part of the current plan .. so they go on the list
Originally posted by: karikor
Scuba Diving and Zip Lining and Rock Climbing etc in Dawki - 1 day/1night camping (if staying) else 1 day River rafting - 1 day Paragliding (if possible) - 1 day
These can be done near Mumbai as well. Anything about the ones in Meghalaya that makes them special?
I checked up Dawki ... the pics are amazing and being close to Mawlynnong this will surely be added to the list. Is angling possible at Dawki? Or a boat trip of some sort? In case there's nothing much to do there I would think of a night in Mawlynnong, move to Dawki in the morning for site-seeing and return to Shillong/Guwahati for the return leg of the trip.
Well I don't know if there are any USPs on those activities since you already have it there in Mumbai. However, you can always just check up with the people running the place and get the details from them and as per your wish decide. Such activities are only possible between December and February over here. Their sites are : www.pioneeradventuretours.com ...reshillong.com and for the paragliding you can check up meghalaya paragliding association on facebook
As for Dawki, well it is close to Mawlynnong and is situated right on the International Border. Angling is possible, but it is not as popular as Ranikor. Maybe a local boat ride may be possible, but there are no organised arrangements for such. Another thing is you can do a loop as follows: Shillong-Cherrapunjee-Pyrunsla-Mawlynnong-Dawki-Amlarem-Jowai-Nartiang-Thadlaskein-Shillong The distance from Shillong to Dawki via Pyrunsla is about 120 km and almost the same from Dawki to Shillong via Amlarem & Jowai.
Anyway what about the other activities especially those treks that I have listed? No interest in them?
Did you check out the series of website links that I had given you a few posts above?
If you cover Nartiang and Mawphlang with Shillong, then you will need two separate days for both because they are in different directions. By the way remember that it would be meaningless if you visit the Sacred Grove without a guide, that is if you want to know something about the place, rather than the usual photo sessions.
My suggestion is after you are done with Mawlynnong and Dawki you can always continue onwards towards amlarem and then jowai and if need be halt at Thadlaskein. Or if possible cover Nartiang the same day and then proceed towards Shillong.
I do recommend you not to cancel the David Scot Trail unless ofcourse you run short of time. And you have come at the best time for such activity. Infact the route starts at Mawphlang and ends at the road just a few kilo meters from Cherrapunjee.
The Nongkhnum river island and Mawthadraishan peak Trek will be good if you get a guide. By the way I forgot to mention, the Nohkalikai Falls to Nongjri to Living Root Bridges trek as well as the Shillong Peak Trek.
Anyway here is additional contact for Gregory's Organisation:
As for Ranikor, you will have to proceed ahead from Mawphlang towards Mawsynram and then towards Balat & Ranikor.The roads are not good that side, especially after Mawsynram. Balat & Ranikor are also on the International Border. There is a road connecting Balat & Shella via Hatmawdon. But the road is terrible, atleast a few years ago. Shella is the Border village famous for trade activities just like Dawki and it lies just 30-35 kms south of Cherrapunjee.
Anyway 10-15 kms before reaching Mawsynram, there is a diversion towards Mawkyrwat, if you proceed ahead you will find the Jakrem Hotsprings at around 10kms ahead. And Mawsynram currently holds the record for wettest place on Earth.