Forget Japan and head to Shillong to see the cherry blossom festival.

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What is it?

We are aware how gorgeous a Cherry Blossom sighting is. Many of us even have it on our travel bucket lists. Millions of people visit Japan, the USA, and Korea, every spring, to witness the magnificent natural phenomenon. But during autumn, the same phenomenon is celebrated at an unlikely destination. Last year, Cherry Blossom Festival was introduced by the north-eastern state of Meghalaya for the first time, and it was a grand success. It was, in fact, the first Autumn Cherry Blossom Festival on the planet. This year, again, the state is leaving no stone unturned to host the festival, and making it an even bigger event.  

When and where is it?

During the months of October and November, Shillong blooms with shades of pink. The festival will be held in the state’s capital city, Shillong, and will be spread across four days – 8th to 11th November. Organised by the state government and Institute of Bioresources & Sustainability Development (IBSD), there will be a bevy of events such as music gigs, storytelling sessions, a long distance run, a golf tournament, et cetera. The ethereal phenomenon takes place across the city, which is gifted with hundreds of cherry trees. Some stall owners will also be

What to expect?

Amidst all the celebrations, there will be night walks for travellers which will be led by volunteers in the evenings. There will also be stalls where you can try wines made of local fruits such as blackberries and plums. The four celebratory days will see musical events in the form of western band, folk music, and choir performances; dance acts from all parts of North-eastern India, photography competitions, a beauty pageant, and a lot more, sandwiched between an opening and a closing ceremony. For children, there is a sit and draw competition, a painting competition, and a beauty pageant for kids.

How to get there?

Shillong Airport is just 35 km away and Guwahati Airport (which is more easily accessible) is 128 km from Shillong. The city is well connected with Guwahati through road. From Guwahati, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Shillong, also referred as ‘The Scotland of The East’.

P.S. Entrance to all the events is absolutely free of cost.

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