Umiam Lake (Barapani Lake)
Umiam Lake commonly known as Barapani Lake is situated around 15 Km from Shillong. For most tourists who are travelling from Guahati towards Shillong, this is the first tourist destination that comes along the way.
Barapani Lake is considered to be the largest man-made lake in the North East. Around the lake there is a nice park from where the view of the lake and the surrounding mountains is very scenic. Tourists who like photography would love this place especially around sunrise and sunset.
The place is also apparently famous for water sports. I use the word “apparently”, because when we visited the Lake, there was just one Speed boat and there were no tickets which were being sold by the park authorities. The Ticket Office itself is a broken down hut which looks more like ruins than an actual working office. So if your tourism agent sells this angle of the park, do not set high expectations of this, else you are bound to be disappointed.
Beside the lake, there is a decent Lake Resort with large rooms, though the cleanliness and hygiene are a bit suspect. But those tourists who like to stay in a quiet place nearer to nature would prefer this accommodation to the more sophisticated accommodations within the confines of the Shillong City.
Personal Rating on a scale of 10
5 (Photographic scenery, but nothing else to do, especially disappointed by lack of the promised water sports.)
For those travelling from Gauhati to Shillong by road, don’t forget to stop by the roadside vendors and taste a few pineapples. These pineapples are fresh from the mountains and are sweet and juicy. Also, they do not make a big dent on your pocket!!