Umiam Lake Boating In Shillong: What Makes It Special?
Who doesn’t dream of spending a day on a houseboat? Away from the din and hustle that surrounds city life, a houseboat on a calm lake is every second person’s dream vacation. The Umiam Lake boating in Shillong provides such a relaxing and rejuvenating experience which is much needed by visitors.
Umiam Lake, situated beside the Umiam River, came into existence after the construction of the Umiam Umtru Hydroelectric Dam on the Umiam River. This lake is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Shillong and the whole country. This lake is situated about 15 km away from the main city and its ethereal beauty reminds one of the picturesque lakes of Scotland. The lake is situated at the foothills of the hill ranges of Shillong and offers a kaleidoscopic view up and above.
When and How to Go
The ideal time to visit the Umiam Lake, also dubbed as Barapani Lake, is from November to June. The calm and cool weather makes it the perfect time to enjoy the manifold attractions that Umiam has on offer.
Being situated at a distance of just 15 km from the city of Shillong, Umiam Lake is well connected by autos, buses, and cabs which are found in abundance here. Moreover, this place is very popular because it is the only place which has houseboats in Shillong.
Legend of The Lake
Legend has it that once upon a time, two sisters were descending from heaven to earth to visit Meghalaya. On the way, one of the sisters got lost. And the other sister cried so much that the lake was formed by her tears. The literal translation of the word Umiam in Khasi language is ‘water of tears’.
About The Lake
Encircled by the lush green East Khasi Hills, Umiam Lake came into existence in the ‘60s due to the damming of the river Umiam. The importance of this lake is manifold as this lake is the outcome of the first-ever hydel power project in the region. The dam, built on the Umiam River, gave birth to the lake after having diverted the flow of water of the River Umiam.
With an accumulated catchment area of 222 sq. km. this lake is one of the largest man-made lakes in the country. This lake caters to the sustenance of a varied range of people. Due to the dense coniferous forests surrounding it, natives come to the lakeside to collect twigs and woods and leaves while the local fishermen use their canoes to float on the still waters to catch fish. This lake is also a popular haunt of students wishing to learn the science behind the majestic dam which stands over the lake. The Umiam Lake, apart from being a major tourist attraction, is also a popular destination from school holidays.
What You Should Definitely Do at Umiam Lake
Whiling away time on a houseboat: – The primary attraction of Umiam Lake, houseboats are the best thing the place has to offer. Rent a houseboat and float to the center of the lake as you slowly take in the vibrant beauty of nature all around. Who wouldn’t want to sit on the boat deck with their loved ones, a cup of tea in hand, as the sun sets atop the still waters and the green mountains, turning the sky a generous shade of crimson?
The panoramic view of the East Khasi Hills all around the lake will provide some of the most gorgeous landscapes you are going to come across in your entire life. In spite of the place being an active water sports center, the crystal clear water provides the calm and serenity that you desire.
1. Trekking and Camping
One might wonder how is trekking possible when the entire area comes under a hydel project? For starters, the Lumpongden Island situated on the lake provides plenty of opportunities to trek through its forests and even camp for the night. Imagine having a bonfire under the starry sky, overlooked by vast hills and surrounded by a lake and dense forest cover. Pretty adventurous right? How many places do you find where you can trek on an island which is situated on a lake?
Fishing is one of the primary occupations of the local villagers here. The commonest varieties available here are carps like gascarps and silvercarps. Catfishes are also found in abundance. Fishing freaks gather here every year because of the unique experience available. Take in the landscape as you float on a kayak and fish at the same time.
3. Water Sports
This Lake is a certified water sports hub that is regulated by the government. The various adventures that await sports enthusiasts are paddle boating, water scooter rides, speed boat rides, yachting, water skiing and more. Apart from this, you can hire cruise boats and enjoy one of the rejuvenating cruise vacations in India. Also, river buses to leisurely roam around the lake while clicking photographs and appreciating the scenery all around.
Lake Umiam, Where Serenity And Entertainment Meet
A holiday at Lake Umiam is going to guarantee something; it will give you memories which are going to comfort you even when the chips are down. You will create experiences to savor for a lifetime when you go to Umiam Lake Boating in Shillong. Shillong is anyway one of the most beautiful places to visit in the country. Sounds like it’s time to start packing your bags!