Happy Birthday, Bob Dylan: Head to Shillong – the only city in India that celebrates the legend’s birthday!

In the year 1961, a 19-year-old young man arrived in New York City all the way from Minnesota with nothing but stories to tell. Robert Zimmerman was the name of that teenager, whom the world later came to know as Bob Dylan. The rest, as they say, is history. 

Cut to the present times, the boy grew up to be a Nobel Prize recipient; numerous books, movies and articles have seen a hint of him. His music transcended conventional music theory and woke up a consciousness that was somewhat buried. Dylan wore numerous tags―folk singer, rock-star and even a poet. Sounds like a fun personality, right? Read on…

Bob Dylan- The Legend

Bob Dylan- The Legend

Far away from the blistering cold of  NYC, in Shillong, the capital city of the scenic northeast Indian state of Meghalaya, his sound is still alive, his legacy engraved and his life celebrated. Shillong loves Bob Dylan. For several decades now, the city has hosted an informal music concert every year on his birthday i.e. 24th May, without a break. The celebrations see a mix of food, art and various performances. If you’re a music enthusiast this fest will definitely give you a kick. Surrounded by the perfect backdrop, this festival will give your musical senses a different flavour. To understand Shillong, this is a fest that you cannot miss.

This annual tradition was started in 1972 by local musician Lou Majaw – known as the grand musician of Shillong, and a homegrown Dylan fan. The 70-year-old musician plays at local pubs and coffee shops regularly. Lou Majaw is immensely popular in his hometown Shillong; there was even a documentary made on him.

The quest to discover oneself along with grooving to electric music becomes a perfect reason to pack your travel bags, all by yourself or along with your gang. What makes homestays in Shillong, the best option for you is that you are welcomed into homes of locals who know the city at the back of their hands. It creates a gateway to unlikely friendships, hearty conversations and dreamy cultural stories. Tucked in the lap of nature, here are some of the most picturesque homestays in Shillong that ooze of typical Shillong culture.

Top 3 Homestays in Shillong

1. OYO Home 22583 Hilltop View Studio

An ideal hideout for a relaxed stay.

An ideal hideout for a relaxed stay.

This coveted homestay in Shillong is suited for all kinds of travellers. Windows here open to lush views of the surroundings and overlooks the misty deep verdure. In a place so luxuriated, you hardly feel the urge to go out. However, If you get an inkling to get out, major attractions like Lady Hydari Park and Capt. Williamson Sangma National Museum lies close by. This lovely homestay in Shillong, with all modern amenities amidst the vast panoramas of Shillong is the ideal hideout for a relaxed time.

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2. Retreat for Peace Lovers Scenic Stay 22088

This homestay in Shillong lies in the heart of the city

This homestay in Shillong lies in the heart of the city

The vast expanses of tall trees, flowering plants, and serene views make the surroundings of the place for a leisurely stay. Not only it lies in the heart of the city, but is also in close proximity to major tourist spots like the Dylan Cafe and Spread Eagle falls. The homestay comes with spacious rooms that are housed with all modern amenities to make your stay comfortable.

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3. OYO Home 24864 Home Exotic 2BHK Golf Course

Get an insight into Shillong's rustic culture

Get an insight into Shillong’s rustic culture

This homestay situated on Langkyrding-Mawpat Road exudes a homely charm that promises deep insight into Shillong’s rustic culture. With interiors designed to attract travellers of all types- solo, large groups or with family, you can expect an enjoyable stay. Loaded with modern amenities, this property is close to famous places like Ward’s Lake and the famous Dylan Cafe.

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Best Time to Visit Shillong

The best time to visit this mystical place is usually in between the months of September and June. During these months, the weather is pleasant with low rainfall. Shillong looks invigorating during monsoon( July-September) but torrential rains can disrupt your travel plans.

Places to Visit in Shillong

Shillong, the ‘abode of clouds’ has lots more to offer to your inner wanderlust apart from the Bob Dylan Music Festival. With sparkling waterfalls like Elephant Falls, manicured gardens, azure Umian Lake and rustic culture, this small hill town beckons you to witness the natural charm of North East. Head on a drive to Lady Hydari, Shillong Peak and Don Bosco’s Museum for a cultural sniff of the Shillong tourism.

Mesmerising lakeside view

Mesmerising lakeside view

Nevertheless, the Bob Dylan Music Festival in Shillong is definitely something that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. Shillong is a magnificent city and a hill station which has something to offer to everyone. We have no doubt that Dylan’s raspy voice and deep lyrics will forever echo in this sleepy town in the hills of India’s underexplored region and also in the ears of everyone who visits this salient beauty. 

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About Gauri Babele

Hey! I'm Gauri. Sagittarius by birth, clumsy by choice. An engineer turned writer. Loves animals tolerate humans. I'm not smart but I wear glasses. Has a thing for pizza and old books. Expertize in awkward conversations and creepy smiles.

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