Scotland of the East
Location of Shillong in Meghalaya
|District||East Khasi Hills|
|Named for||'Lei Shyllong (Deity)|
|• Body||Shillong Municipal Board|
|• Director||B. S. Sohliya|
|• Capital city||64.36 km2 (24.85 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,495−1,965 m (4,908−6,449 ft)|
|• Capital city||143,229|
|• Density||234/km2 (610/sq mi)|
|Demonym(s)||Shillongite and Nongsor|
|• Associate official||Khasi, Garo|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
793 001 – 793 102
Shillong (English: //) is a hill station in the northeastern part of India and the capital of Meghalaya, which means "The Abode of Clouds". 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. 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".
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. 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. "Ïewduh" is the biggest market in Shillong. The name "Shillong" was later adopted, as the location of the new town was below the Shillong Peak. Shillong is named after the god of the Khasis," U Blei Shillong".
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.
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. 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.
Shillong is at. It lies on the Shillong Plateau, the only major uplifted structure in the northern Indian shield. 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 Shyllong.
Shillong 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 Umiam lake in between.
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 ₹ 2,050,180 million. Under the scheme, each city will get ₹ 5000 million from the centre for implementing various projects.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
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 yet dry. Shillong is subject to vagaries of the monsoon. The monsoons arrive in June and it rains almost until the end of October.
|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 days||1.6||2.3||4.1||9.7||15.8||18.1||17.9||16.7||15.7||8.4||2.1||1.1||113.5|
|Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:30 IST)||87||76||68||72||81||86||87||88||90||90||88||89||84|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||223.2||223.2||232.5||219.0||170.5||108.0||99.2||108.5||102.0||176.7||216.0||235.6||2,114.4|
|Mean daily sunshine hours||7.2||7.9||7.5||7.3||5.5||3.6||3.2||3.5||3.4||5.7||7.2||7.6||5.8|
|Source: India Meteorological Department (sun 1971–2000)|
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 is well connected by roads with all major northeastern states. Three 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 Jorabat (NH-44) which then leads to other northeastern Indian states of Mizoram and Tripura. The project estimated to have cost around ₹220 crore (US$29 million) was completed in a span of two years (2011–2013).
Shillong is served by the Shillong Airport, which is located about 30km away at Umroi. The airport has daily flights to and from Kolkata. Presently IndiGo and FlyBig are operating regular services from the airport while Alliance Air is going to resume its operation from 18 October 2021.
Teteliya-Byrnihat line, 22 km (14 mi) long, from Guwahati's suburb Tetelia to Byrnihat near Shillong in Meghalaya is likely to be completed by March 2022. From Byrnihat it will be extended further to Shillong in future.
As of the 2011 Census of India, Shillong had a total population of 143,229, of which 70,135 were males and 73,094 were females. As per 2011 language census report, 67,154 of the city's population speak Khasi as their native language, 28,984 speak Bengali, 15,559 speak Hindi, 14,085 speak Nepali, 4,069 speak Assamese, 2,632 speak Punjabi, 3,580 speak Garo, 1,088 speak Urdu and 6,115 speak other languages. 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.
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, that is, 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 which being under six years of age. The literacy rate in the metro region was 91%.
Tourist sites in and around the city include:[better source needed]
Shillong is one of the capital cities in Northeast India to produce three football clubs that participate in the I-League, namely, Rangdajied United FC, Royal Wanhingdoh FC and Shillong Lajong FC. All three have their home stadium at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Royal Wahingdoh FC was adjudged 2nd runners-up in the 2014–15 season of I-League.
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.
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|
|Rangdajied United F.C.||Football||I-League||Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong|
|Ryntih FC||Football||I-League 2nd Division||Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong|
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).
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.
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 Peitngor Cable News (PCN), Ri Khasi Channel, Batesi and T7 are broadcast weekly on the local cable networks.
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, Vodafone Idea, BSNL and Jio are available here.
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.
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.
Historic neighbourhoods of Shillong include Mawkhar, Jaiaw, Riatsamthiah, Umsohsun, Wahingdoh, Khyndailad (Police Bazar), Mawlai, Laitumkhrah, Laban, Malki, Nongthymmai and Polo.
People who have been associated with Shillong include: