The vibrant hues of Himalayan cherry blossoms paint a lively picture in the Eastern Khasi hills, turning Shillonginto a captivating destination. This region of Meghalayahosts an annual festival, begun in 2016, celebrating the enchanting bloom that signifies the arrival of spring in November. The festival, organised by the Government of Meghalaya, not only showcases the beautiful cherry blossoms but also offers cultural events like live music, dance competitions, pageants, and stalls featuring regional cuisine, arts, and crafts.
Though the pandemic shifted festivities online, the Cherry Blossom Festival remains a vibrant display of Meghalaya's beauty and culture.This is an eagerly awaited event for capturing the charm of autumn with cherry blossoms and cultural activities. Come let us know more.
History of Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival
The Cherry Blossom Festival started to be celebrated in Shillong to display the beauty of the Himalayan cherry blossom ether and various other cultural events. These natural beauties are considered a gift from the Himalayas and also a sign of good luck. They usually grow across the eastern and western Khasi hills.
In India, cherry blossom or prunus ciraside is also known as wild Himalayan cherry and sour cherry, also known as Padam, pajja, or Padma Latha in Hindi. It is considered sacred by the Hindus of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and is associated with Vishnu and Shiva. The petals are used to make wreaths from wild citrus fruits and are placed on the prayer altar during Maha Shivaratri. Petals are also used as incense.
In Buddhism, cherry blossom refers to the transient nature of life. Since the cherry tree blooms for a week or two, they symbolize the fragile essence of existence. The cherry blossoms are beautiful and vibrant, much like life, yet fleeting. The attraction of the young lady has been associated with flowers.
The cherry blossom of the Rosaceae family, also known as Prunus cerasoides, is called Dyingling in Khasi. This deciduous, medium hardwood can grow up to 1200-2400 m in height and up to 30 m in height. One of the most versatile trees in the Himalayan range, it also grows as a structure tree for restoring evergreen forests in arid tropical lands.
The opening ceremony of the Cherry Blossom Festival, Shillong, was held on 14th November 2016 at Polo Ground. Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma declared the festival open.
Highlights of Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival
Entertainment Galore. The festival features live music gigs, a beauty contest, and stalls displaying local cuisine, wine, art, and crafts.
Lip-smacking Delicacies. Travelers can enjoy the illuminated cherry blossoms and excellent dining at Wards Lake. Some of the most amazing dishes are served at the festival to give visitors a taste of local cuisines.
Rock Concert. In addition, a rock concert with unplugged Western music and dance performances from all over Northeast India make people groove on foot-tapping music. The event will also feature choir performances, bicycle rallies, and storytelling sessions.
Unparalleled Beauty. Meghalaya starts looking like a painting with beautiful shades of pink and purple right from the start of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. During this time, the hills of Shillong blossomed with pink flowers, as if its panoramic landscape was painted in rhythmic colours. In Shillong, the festival is held at various venues, namely Polo 5th Ground, Golf Course, Ward's Lake, State Convention Center, JN Stadium, and Indoor Stadium Polo.
Boat Trip. The biggest way to see the delicate flowers is to take a boat trip to Wards Lake. Wards Lake, one of Shillong's most fascinating attractions, offers beautiful wooden bridges, verdant slopes, and sculptured gardens. It has turned out to be one of the most popular recreational destinations for residents and visitors alike.
A Visit to Polo Ground. Shillong can claim the Polo Ground, one of the greatest sports stadiums in India, where the Cherry Blossom Festival is held in the second half.
A Trip to Shillong Golf Course. Another great place to see cherry blossoms in Shillong is Shillong Golf Course. Located in the heart of the city, this 18-hole golf course is within the pine trees' boundaries, a favorite destination for leisure. Mountaineering and walking in the beautiful, serene, verdant meadows are popular here. Visitors can even bring their golf clubs to play in amateur golf events held as part of the festival.
If you have never experienced cherry blossoms in full bloom, this is a great time of year to see them and take part in the fun festival. Start a magical road trip in and around Shillong during this time. This is the best way to experience the festival and its vibrancy.
How to reach Cherry Blossoms Festival, Shillong
Shillong in Meghalaya is a beautiful destination, known for its amazing natural attractions, different events, festivals, culture, heritage, and more. The place can be accessed using diverse means of transport. Since many tourists visit Shillong, diverse transportation options are available to make the journey pleasant and hassle-free.
Nearest Major City. Shillong
Nearest Airport. Umroi Airport near Barapani.
Nearest Railbase. Guwahati Railway Station
Distance from Shillong Airport. 30 Km
Shillong doesn't have an airport. Hence Umroi Airport near Barapani serves as the nearest airport to this beautiful city. There are regular flights from prominent Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, etc. After deboarding, passengers can hire a taxi from outside the airport for onward journeys to the venue of Cherry Blossoms Festival.
Distance from Umroi Airport. 30.7 km
You can reach Shillong through direct trains to Guwahati Railway Station in the NorthEast Frontier Zone. However, it is connected through limited train service.
Shillong is well connected through state and national highways. Several Meghalaya Transport Corporation and Assam State Transport Corporation buses are available between the two cities. You can board private buses or hire private cabs or taxis. You can also consider reaching Shillong by car.
Cherry Blossom Festival in Shillong is a magical celebration of nature's beauty and local culture. The charming pink blossoms transform the city into a visual wonder, creating moments of awe and renewal. Beyond the stunning scenery, the festival brings the community together with traditional music, dance, and delicious local food. It's a unique experience that captures the heart of Shillong, showcasing the perfect blend of nature and culture. Don't miss this enchanting event if you want to witness the special charm that makes Shillong truly extraordinary.
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FAQs Related to Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival
Ques 1. Why is the Cherry Blossom Festival celebrated?
Ans 1. The Cherry Blossom Festival is celebrated in Shillong to display the beauty of the Himalayan cherry blossom ether and various other cultural events.
Ques 2. Where is the Cherry Blossom Festival celebrated?
Ans 2. In Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya, organized the festival, held at various venues, namely Polo 5th Ground, State Convention Center, Golf Course, JN Stadium, and Indoor Stadium Polo.
Ques 3. How long does the Cherry Blossom Festival last?
Ans 3. The festival usually spans several days, offering visitors ample time to enjoy various events, performances, and the blossoms themselves.
Ques 4. How do locals participate in the Cherry Blossom Festival?
Ans 4. Locals actively engage by showcasing their cultural heritage through dance, music, and culinary offerings, contributing to the festival's vibrant atmosphere.
Ques 5. What cultural events are featured during the Cherry Blossom Festival?
Ans5. The festival showcases traditional music, dance, and local cultural performances, providing a rich experience for attendees.
Plan your trip with Adotrip for hassle-free travel. You can book flights, hotels, tour packages, buses, and more at unbelievable prices. With us, nothing is far!