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Capital of Meghalaya
Elephant Falls II.jpg
Mary Help of Christians Cathedral, Shillong - Front Side (2).jpg
Ward's Lake.jpg
From top left to right: A view of Shillong, Elephant Falls, The Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians, Ward's Lake
Scotland of the East
India Meghalaya location map.svg
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Location of Shillong in Meghalaya
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Shillong (India)
Coordinates: 25°34′00″N91°53′00″E / 25.5667°N 91.8833°E / 25.5667; 91.8833 Coordinates: 25°34′00″N91°53′00″E / 25.5667°N 91.8833°E / 25.5667; 91.8833
CountryFlag of India.svg  India
State Meghalaya
District East Khasi Hills
Named for Deity
  BodyShillong Municipal Board
  DirectorB. S. Sohliya
  Capital of Meghalaya64.36 km2 (24.85 sq mi)
1,495-1,965 m (4,908-6,449 ft)
 (2011) [1]
  Capital of Meghalaya143,229
  Density234/km2 (610/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Nong sor and Shillongite
  Official English [2]
Time zone UTC+5:30 (IST)
793 001 – 793 102
Telephone code0364
Vehicle registration ML-05
Climate Cwb

Shillong (English: /ʃɪˈlɔːŋ/ [3] [4] ) is a hill station in the northeastern part of India and the capital of Meghalaya, which means "The Abode of Clouds". [5] 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. [6] 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". [7]


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. [8] 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 capital for composite Assam during the British regime and later till 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.

A serious uprising by the Khasis against foreign occupation of their land followed. It began early in 1829 and continued till January 1833. Eventually, the Khasi confederate chiefs were no match against the military might of the British. David Scott negotiated for the surrender of the leader of the Khasi resistance, Tirot Sing, who was then taken to Dacca (present-day Dhaka) for detention. After the resistance of the Khasis a political agent was posted in the hills, with its headquarters at Sohra, also known by the name Cherrapunjee. But the climatic condition and facilities of Sohra did not make the British happy. They then moved out to Shillong, which was then known as Yeddo or "Iewduh" as the locals call it. The name "Shillong" was later adopted, as the location of the new town was below the Shillong Peak.

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. [9]

The Shillong Municipal Board has a long history dating 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. [10] But, there is no trace of Shillong in the British era maps dating back to 1878, up to 1900.

Shillong was also the subject of the great earthquake that occurred on 12 June 1897. The earthquake had an estimated moment magnitude of 8.1. Twenty-seven lives from Shillong town alone were lost and a major part of the town was destroyed.


Aerial view of Shillong Aerial view of Shillong Meghalaya India.jpg
Aerial view of Shillong

Shillong is at 25°34′N91°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. [11] 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.

Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya 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 magnificent Umiam lake in between.

Smart Cities Mission

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 Rs 2,05,018 crore. Under the scheme, each city will get Rs 500 crore 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

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 and 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
Record high °C (°F)24.9
Average high °C (°F)14.9
Average low °C (°F)5.9
Record low °C (°F)−0.9
Average rainfall mm (inches)13.6
Average rainy days1.
Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:30 IST)87766872818687889090888984
Mean monthly sunshine hours 223.2223.2232.5219.0170.5108.099.2108.5102.0176.7216.0235.62,114.4
Mean daily sunshine hours
Source: India Meteorological Department (sun 1971–2000) [12] [13] [14] [15]


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 Bypass road.jpg
Shillong Bypass road

Shillong is well connected by roads with all major northeastern states. Two 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 Jorabad (NH-44) which then leads to other northeastern Indian states of Mizoram and Tripura. The project estimated to have cost around 220 crore (US$31 million) was completed in a span of two years (2011–2013). [16] [17]


Shillong is served by the Shillong Airport with daily flights to and from Kolkata. [18]


Teteliya-Byrnihat line, 22 km long, from Guwahati's suburb Tetelia to Byrnihat near Shillong in Meghalaya is likely to be completed by March 2022. [19] From Byrnihat it will be extended further to Shillong in future. [19]


As of 2011 India census, According to 2011 Indian Census, Shillong had a total population of 143,229, of which 70,135 were males and 73,094 were females. Population within the age group of 0 to 6 years was 14,317. The total number of literates in Shillong was 119,642, which constituted 83.5% of the population with male literacy of 84.8% and female literacy of 82.3%. The effective literacy rate of 7+ population of Shillong was 92.8%, of which male literacy rate was 94.8% and female literacy rate was 90.9%. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes population was 1,551 and 73,307 respectively. Shillong had 31025 households in 2011. [1]

Religions in Shillong (2011)

   Christianity (46.49%)
   Hinduism (41.95%)
   Tribal religion (4.5%)
   Islam (4.89%)
   Sikhism (1.14%)
   Buddhism (0.74%)
  not stated (0.16%)
   Jainism (0.13%)

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 i.e. 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. 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 the which being under six years of age. The literacy rate in the metro region was 91%. [20]

Places of interest

Tourist sites in and around the city include: [21] [ better source needed ]


Polo basketball court Polo basketball court.jpg
Polo basketball court

Shillong is the only capital city in Northeast India to produce two football clubs that participate in the I-League, namely Royal Wahingdoh FC and Shillong Lajong FC. Both play at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Royal Wahingdoh FC was adjudged 2nd runners-up in the 2014–15 season of I-League. [23]

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. [24]

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.

Shillong Lajong FC Football I-League Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong
Royal Wahingdoh FC Football I-League Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong
Rangdajied United F.C. Football I-League Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong


Indian Institute of Management IIMSHILLONG.jpg
Indian Institute of Management

Autonomous Institutions

General degree colleges

Law college

Medical College


Central Universities

Private Universities


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.


Cinemas in Shillong include Bijou Cinema Hall, Gold Cinema and Anjalee Cinema Hall (also called Galleria Anjalee Cinema). [25]

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 among 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

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 PCN, Ri Khasi Channel, Batesi and T7 are broadcast weekly on the local cable networks.

Communication services

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, Aircel, Vodafone, IDEA, BSNL, Reliance, Jio are available here.

Headquarters Eastern Air Command, Indian Air Force

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. [26]

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. [27]


Shillong City.jpg
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 personalities associated with Shillong

People who have been associated with Shillong include:

See also

Related Research Articles

Meghalaya State in north-eastern India

Meghalaya ; is a state in northeastern India. The population of Meghalaya as of 2016 is estimated to be 3,211,474. Meghalaya covers an area of approximately 22,430 square kilometres, with a length to breadth ratio of about 3:1.

Khasi language Austroasiatic language spoken primarily in Meghalaya, India

Khasi is an Austroasiatic language spoken primarily in Meghalaya state in India by the Khasi people. It is also spoken by a sizeable population in Assam and Bangladesh. Khasi is part of the Austroasiatic language family, and is related to Khmer, Palaung, Vietnamese and Mon languages of Southeast Asia, and the Munda and Nicobarese branches of that family, which are spoken in east–central India and in the Nicobar Islands, respectively.

Khasi people Ethnic group in India

The Khasi people are an indigenous ethnic group of Meghalaya in north-eastern India with a significant population in the bordering state of Assam, and in certain parts of Bangladesh. The Khasi people form the majority of the population of the eastern part of Meghalaya, and is the state's largest community, with around 48% of the population of Meghalaya. They are the only Mon-Khmer speaking people in South Asia. A cultural tradition of the Khasi people is that they follow the matrilineal system of descent and inheritance. Under the Constitution of India, the Khasis have been granted the status of Scheduled Tribe.

East Khasi Hills district District of Meghalaya in India

East Khasi Hills is an administrative district in the state of Meghalaya in India. The district headquarters are located at Shillong. The district occupies an area of 2752 km² and has a population of 825,922. As of 2011 it is the most populous district of Meghalaya's seven districts.

Ri-Bhoi district District of Meghalaya in India

Ri Bhoi is an administrative district in the state of Meghalaya in India. The district headquarters are located at Nongpoh. The district occupies an area of 2378 km² and has a population of 258,840. As of 2011 it is the second least populous district of Meghalaya, after South Garo Hills.

Jowai town in Meghalaya, India

Jowai is the headquarters of West Jaintia Hills district of the state of Meghalaya, India and is home to the Pnar, a sub-tribe of Hynniewtrep people. It is a scenic place located on a plateau surrounded on three sides by the Myntdu river bordering Bangladesh to the south. Due to its high altitude of 1365 m above sea level, Jowai experiences warm and pleasant summers with cool to chilly winters.

Shri Hoping Stone Lyngdoh was an Indian politician who was the president of the Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP), one of three official political parties of the state of Meghalaya in India. He was the son of late Hajur Shon; was born at Nonglait Village, West Khasi Hills District on March 15, 1929; he studied at St. Anthony's College, Shillong.

The Shillong Plateau is a plateau in eastern Meghalaya state, northeastern India. The plateau's southern, northern and western ridges form the Garo, Khasi and Jaintia Hills respectively.

George Gilbert Swell was a college professor, an Indian politician, an ambassador to several countries, a former Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha and its member from Shillong in Meghalaya. Over a span of more than 35 years, he represented India at high levels nationally and internationally. Though arising from a modest and rural background in far Northeast India, Swell quickly rose to prominence in every field he entered.

Tirot Sing, also known as U Tirot Sing Syiem born in the year 1802 and died in the year 1835, was one of the chiefs of the Khasi people in the early 19th century. He drew his lineage from the Syiemlieh clan. He was Syiem (chief) of Nongkhlaw, part of the Khasi Hills. His surname was Syiem Lieh. He was a constitutional head sharing corporate authority with his Council, general representatives of the leading clans within his territory. Tirot Sing declared war and fought against British for attempts to take over control of the Khasi Hills.

Khasi and Jaintia Hills

The Khasi and Jaintia Hills are a mountainous region that was mainly part of Assam and Meghalaya. The Assam Legislative Assembly This area is now part of the present Indian constitutive state of Meghalaya, which includes the present districts of East Jaintia Hills district, headquarter Khliehriat, West Jaintia Hills district, headquarter Jowai, East Khasi Hills district, headquarter Shillong, and West Khasi Hills district, headquarter Nongstoin.

Williamson Ampang Sangma, a Garo leader, was the founder Chief Minister of Meghalaya, twenty-first state of India on 21 January 1972. He was also the first ever Governor of Mizoram among the Garos in 1989.

Evansius Kek Mawlong was an Indian politician who served as the Chief Minister of Meghalaya from 8 March 2000, until 8 December 2001. He was the main architect in the formation of the United Democratic Party in Meghalaya and was its Founding President.

Conversion from indigenous to Christianity began in the 19th century under the British era. In the 1830s, American Baptist Foreign Missionary Society had become active in Northeast to convert indigenous tribes to Christianity. Later, they were offered to expand and reach into Cherrapunji Meghalaya, but they lacked the resources to do so and declined. Welsh Presbyterian Mission took the offer and they began work at the Cherrapunji mission field. By the early 1900s, other Protestant denominations of Christianity were active in Meghalaya. The outbreak of World Wars forced the preachers to return home to Europe and America. It is during this period that Catholicism took root in Meghalaya and neighbouring region. In the 20th century, Union Christian College started operations at Barapani, Shillong. Currently, Presbyterians and Catholics are two most common Christian denominations found in Meghalaya.

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Dkhar, alternatively spelled as Dikhar, is a term used by the Khasis to refer to non-Khasi people in Meghalaya. It is a term used for people from mainland India who come to Meghalaya particularly Shillong to earn a living. It is a general term use to generalise all non tribals who are occupying meghalaya. It is non derogatory but some perceived it as derogatory. For Khasis any non tribal is a dkhar and they address them by that term.. According to former Director General of CAG India Govind Bhattacharjee, the term was coined by Khasi Students Union but in reality it was coined by their Khasis ancestors. In real terms, the word mean the affluent, educated settler from West Bengal or the Hindu, Bengali-speaking "East Bengal" man who made Assam or Meghalaya his home 50 years or even 100 years ago. The term is a Khasi word which means a foreigner. It is sometimes abbreviated to Khar.

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Silverine Swer (1910–2014), popularly known as Kong Sil, was an Indian social and environmental activist, educationist and civil servant. She was the first person of tribal origin to hold senior posts with the Government of Meghalaya, and was a recipient of the Silver Elephant Medal of the Bharat Scouts and Guides Award and Kaisar-i-Hind Medal. The Government of India awarded her the fourth highest civilian award of Padma Shri in 1990, making her the first recipient of the award from the state of Meghalaya.

Hamlet Bareh Ngapkynta was an Indian writer, historian and film director from the Northeast Indian state of Meghalaya. He is known as the first person from the Khasi tribe, an indigenous ethic group of the state, to secure a doctoral degree (PhD) and as the maker of the first feature film in Khasi language, Ka Synjuk Ri ki Laiphew Syiem. He was the chairman of the executive committee of the Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh and a recipient of the 2004 Meghalaya Day Award. The Government of India awarded him the fourth highest civilian honour of the Padma Shri in 2004,


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