Scottland of India is a proper term to address the Shillong in all the aspects be it hygiene or climate, I loved travelling on the admirably beautiful roads with lush green on the sides of shoulders of the road greets like mother nature is in happy mood. The conifer family plants made arches across the divisions of internal roads while we approached the highly secured Airforce officer’s enclave kind of location.
One need to sign the register before entering into the Shillong peak which is inside the quarters, the atmosphere inside was excellent and I love to be part of the place now.
We reached the parking lot which was again a properly organized setup with a hut to sit and relax.
The Shillong peak had a corridor to walk around and a watch tower for the tourist to admire the beauty of the city, I had a feeling that Shillong is a small town only till I climbed up the watch tower but then my perception changed and Shillong is a full-fledged city spread across the mountain massively.
The view from the watch tower gives a panoramic picture of the entire city, only thing my tiny Canon Powershot S3IS didn’t support such a large wide angle shot.
Once again it is souvenir shops and few fruit shops on the peak with which we did some window shopping and stepped down towards our lunch break at 4:00pm. The whole family enjoyed the pine trees with in the airforce complex.
Now the driver took us to the center point of the city that showcased very familiar name such as “Chennai Central” and “Madras Café”, that was awesome I spotted fellow south Indians here. With no thinking we entered in the Madras Café just to understand no seats are available to take immediate lunch and the queue inside was really big, I met the owner of the establishment who introduced himself as Manoj of Trichy a Rtd. Officer from CPT or something else.
Since the place was over crowed I asked him if he can point to any other place, we landed in Arun Hotel next to his restaurant a Bengali one, but I did a mistake in that part as none of the food served tasted good and we were the only people sitting on the 15 tables they had. Hmmm I understood why only we were there.
The center of the city seemed always busy like T. Nagar streets in Chennai, So much of people walking on the streets around the corner and my father were asking me if there is a movie theater and the show ended now.
When we had finished our lunch it was around 6:00pm and the dawn set to dusk, that is the time I realized that I missed room booking in Shillong and started hunting the hotels for accommodation and found most of them were booked due to Bihu season, those which available are like Rs.2500 per two person and we were seven. I went to the Magalaya Transport Corporation office which had facilities for accommodation at cheaper tariff but then you need to climb three floors without lift to reach the rooms and you know with 63 year old father it was not going to happen.
I went back to Manoj and he pointed me to a gentleman next to him, who introduced himself has AB (A Bhattacharjee) and an central government employee who also runs a furnished apartment in Shillong. Thank God I met Manoj, AB had his furnished apartment in the residential area that was around 4kms away from center point of the city and it was two bedroom with on Diwan bed on the entrance and two attached bath rooms and one kitchen in it.
A neatly white painted house with good interiors, the kitchen had tea bags, whiteners and instant coffee packs. Also kitchen was equipped with Gas stove, Toaster and all the utensils. You know what all of these for only Rs.1500 for 12 noon to 12 noon day schedule.
In the morning before we checkout the place, I spoke a lady(owner of the premises) stayed in the same compound who also own a smart Chester (name of the dog) stating that this house is around 94 years old and also got some heritage value with it, The great poet Rabindranath Tagore paid a visit to this house in one of his 3 Shillong visit during his life time. I was proud that I found this place, only thing that Mr. AB didn't like the driver staying in the same place and I need to pay for driver’s accommodation elsewhere.
Mr.AB also shared information about Cheerapunjee that the unscientific illegal mining of coal makes lot of cave-ins and the precious Cheerapunjee rain water makes floods in Bangladesh a complete disaster to the environment, a pity state of administration is what he mentioned.
That was the end of our Shillong trip and the car zoomed towards Cheerapunjee aka Sohra.
Shillong furnished apartment accommodation could be booked by calling A Bhattacharjee aka AB(in the picture below) at +91-94361 02252 (Arunavabhattacharjee.firstname.lastname@example.org), he also stated he can arrange food if pre-requested.