If you’re under the impression that Shillong has nothing to offer apart from, sloped hills, tall trees and plenty of waterfalls, you are mistaken.
Well of course there are various spots that twinkle toed people would love to visit, even if it were miles away, such as: Elephant Falls:- 12 kms on the outskirts of the city the mountain stream descends through two successive falls set in dells of fern-covered rocks. At a short distance beyond the falls, there are two smaller falls which are none the less beautiful and captivating.
Shillong Peak:- Location: East Khasi Hills District, Upper Shillong- An ideal picnic spot, 1965 metres above sea level and 10 kms from the city, offers a panoramic view of these country side, and is also the highest point in the State. And the list goes on endlessly, various other falls, evergreen parks, boat ride opportunities.
The truth? None of this is really important, what’s important? Food.
Shillong’s food variety pans out endlessly ranging from spicy home braised items and also instant chews. For most of the foodies like me, there is no love more sincere, than the love for food. The Local food of Shillong consists of some exquisite dishes like Jadoh (a mixture of rice and pork), Dohneiiong (pork mix with local spices), Tungtab (fermented dry fish) and Tarumbai (fermented beans). Kyat, the local brew made from rice, adds life to any meal. And since we are onto cuisines, how can we resist mentioning the legendary momos, dumplings or dim sums as they are called. Stuffed with cabbage, pork or chicken, theses mouthwatering delicacies will leave you craving for more. Is true, you can never give up. What is ironic is that the fresh raw materials that urban metropolitans are provided by are from Meghalaya, especially Shillong, which is why most people who’ve dined at Shillong can get a tinge of the same taste when eating at city hubs. This is for the people who love street food, and prefer eating the delicacies outside found in the most simplest of dishes, than in the delicacies found in the most complex. I fall under this category.
Imagining strolling down Laitumkhrah Street revives old memories of bygone days. At Laitumkhrah the Ribok, a tea hotel where evenings are well spent fishing out change from pockets. Then a munch on the famed Rs.10 egg rolls at Mughlai, just opposite Ribok. Don Bosco square is one of the busiest hangout places for college students. Like the confluence of many rivers, routes to different colleges like St Mary’s, St. Anthony’s, Shillong College and St. Edmund’s divert from here. Like all popular hangout places, there are many small restaurants on both sides of the road. For Rs.40-50 one can get a good plate of hot momos or chowmein. For a good plate of Chinese food one can eat at the Kimfa Restaurant at Malki. Apart from good food, it is also the company of many youngsters that makes this place more alive. Moreover, the Khasi people have a tradition that they offer you Kwai (betel nut) as a sign of welcome. These fragrant Kwai is a token of their love and affection. Enjoy fresh breath! The best way to experience any culture is to experience their food, don’t you think?
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.