Shillong is the capital city and a hill station located in the north eastern state of Meghalaya. It is at an altitude of 1496 metres above sea level. Lum Shyllong, which is at an altitude of 6,447 metres above sea level, is the highest point of this place.
It is often referred to as the Scotland of the East because it is believed that, in the past the European settlers were reminded of Scotland by the waterfalls and hills surrounding the town. The headquarters of the East Khasi Hills district is located at this place.
In 1864, the British made Shillong the civil station of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills and since then this place has become more substantial and at the same time, has also grown in its size. In 1874, when Assam became a Chief Commissioner's Province, Shillong was selected as the headquarters of this new administration due to the convenient location of this place, which is between the Brahmaputra and Surma valleys, and the pleasant weather.
Shillong remained the capital of Assam until the new state of Meghalaya was formed on 21st January, 1972. After the division of both the states, Shillong became the capital of Meghalaya and Dispur in Guwahati was made the capital of Assam.
The architectures and buildings in Shillong, along with the eating habits of the local people, till date reflect the British legacy. Most of the houses in this place are built in the Assamese with slanting roofs, numerous windows and wooden floors, which is perfect because heavy rains and frequent earthquakes occur at this place.
Most of the people living in Shillong belong to the Khasi tribe and follow Christianity. Bengalis and Nepalis also live in this place in significant numbers. The Khasi society is a matriarchal one, where the mother is the head of the family and the children write her surname. The property is passed on to the youngest daughter.
There are several interesting places to visit in Shillong including Umiam Lake in Barapani, Shillong Golf Club, Bara Bazaar, Botanical Survey of India Orchidarium, Wards Lake, Lady Hydari Park and Zoo, Meghalaya State Museum, Shillong Peak and Butterfly Museum.
Shillong also houses several waterfalls, the prominent ones being Spread Eagle Falls, Crinoline Falls, Elephant Falls, Beadon Falls and Bishop's Falls. Some churches of Shillong, including the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians, Grotto Church and the All Saints Church, are counted among the most popular churches in India.