I want to do with you what the spring does with the cherry trees – Pablo Naruda
World over Cherry Blossom festivals is a synonym to the spring season as they bloom during the period March-April. But in India, we don’t have to wait that long as Shillong hosts its Cherry Blossom Festival from 8-11 November. This festival is going to make a mark on the global tourist map as it is the only Autumn Cherry Blossom Festival in the world. This is the time when Meghalaya’s Khasi hills bloom with the Himalayan cherry blossom trees.
‘Hamami’ or flower viewing is a Japanese tradition to celebrate spring and their tradition of Cherry Blossom Festival is inspiring the world. In Shillong and nearby areas Cherry trees grow randomly and two years back Institute of Bio-resources and Sustainable Development (ISBD) with the help of Meghalaya government planted cherry trees in different locations. Last year with the help of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) they organized the Cherry Blossom Festival in Shillong. It created waves not only among the locals but also drew many tourists to the city especially for this festival. So they are back with this enchanting festival.
Top 7 activities of Cherry Blossom Festival in Shillong
- You can just stroll and enjoy the stunning cherry trees.
- Take a guided night walks under illuminated trees at Ward’s Lake.
- Go for storytelling sessions where you can enjoy the folklore of the Northeast.
- Taste the local fruit wines from plums and blackberries, smoked pork and fish delicacies at the food stalls.
- Buy local handicrafts in bamboo, wood, and silks.
- Dance to the tunes of folk music and rock bands.
- If you are a sport than you can participate in an amateur golf tournament or archery or even try your hands on traditional board games of this region.
How to reach
Nearest airport to Shillong is Umroi/Barapani which is 35 km from the city. While Guwahati is just 128 km from Shillong which is well connected with the major cities in India. From Guwahati, it takes only 2.5 hours by road to reach Shillong.
So, now you don’t have to fly to Japan or USA to watch the gorgeous Cherry blossoms with pink and white flowers. Meghalaya is all set to welcome tourists from all over the world for its four-day long Cherry blossom festival in Shillong.