Umiam Lake near Shillong - Experience the sereneness
Are you planning a holiday to the Meghalaya? Searching for information about the attractions in and around Shillong? Here is one memorable attraction described for you: the Umiam lake near Shillong also called as Barapani lake. This article will provide you with information about what to see, eat and do near this lake. Come join me in reading what this attraction has to offer and soak in its serenity and treasure it for a lifetime.
It was a planned trip to the North East, in the week of Diwali. We landed at Shillong airport from an Air India 40 seater flight after having a wonderful aerial view of the green northeast mountains.
The first view
We took a taxi ride from the airport to reach Shillong town which is about 35 km's away. The taxi drove along the winding roads across the hills and crossed a few villages. After some km's, we came across a large lake on one side and the hills on the other side. We could see the lovely view of the lake from around each corner of the hills. The road went uphill and downhill and was woven around the lake in many places. We could not stop taking away our eyes from the lake view. Well, it was like the husband looking at the wife for the first time after marriage! We soaked into the views of the lake, as much as we could get from the taxi. It was then that we decided that we would not rush the visit to the lake but take our own sweet time and bathe in the beauty of this attraction. So this was our last halt on the way back to Mumbai. This was a good decision since we ended up visiting even the Orchid swimming pool and enjoyed a sumptuous lunch at Orchid. It took about an hour to reach Shillong. So here in this article, I have described Umiam lake, a place to enjoy and cherish for a lifetime.
View of the Umiam Lake
Umiam lake is a scenic place about 20 km's north of Shillong tucked away amidst the hills of Meghalaya. This lake is a man-made reservoir and is called as 'Barapani' (big water) by the natives for its utter size. It resembles the 'Lochs', or lakes of Scotland, and is a must-see destination for all tourists. Meghalaya Tourism Department-MTDC has developed this place and the complete management of the lake lies with the Meghalaya State Electricity Board.
How Umiam lake was evolved
The lake was formed as part of building a Dam with water flowing in from Umkhrah, Umshyrpi and Umiam rivers. Umiam is a main source of water for the lake. The catchment area of the lake and dam is spread over 220 square km. The dam started construction in 1965 and was commissioned in 1972 and this coincides with the birth of the State of Meghalaya. The dam is the first Hydel power project in the North-east region of India. Apart from using water for hydroelectricity generation, the lake also provides numerous ecosystem services like downstream irrigation, fisheries and potable water for inhabitants of the neighbouring villages. The lake is a major tourist attraction in Meghalaya and also a popular destination for water and adventure sports.
What to do
Enough about the details of the lake, let us see what this lake has to offer to tourists and locals. Drive from Shillong towards the airport and your mesmerizing journey to Umiam lake commences:
View of Umiam lake while boating
Orchid resort near Umiam lake - swimming pool view
On the downside, the lake is starting to become polluted and there is also a problem of silting. Some causes of silting are upstream encroachments, deforestation, blockage of natural drainage systems and unscientific mining in the catchment area.
I would like to end this blog by saying that: Umiam lake is like heaven on earth. Do not miss a visit to this lake if you by chance take a tour to North East/ Meghalaya/ Shillong.
Good article about Umiam Lake.
Umiam Lake near Shillong is a must visit destination in Meghalaya. The scenic beauty of the lake is mesmerising. Don't forget to visit Umiam Lake if you are visiting Meghalaya.