Friday, March 3, 2017

Hello from Meghalaya and Assam Installment VII

Day Seven

We were planned to visit Don Bosco Museum of NE which opens at 0930. It is known to be closed on a Sunday and this day being a working day, the plan was made to start the day with visit to this place. This was done with a thought that we would be able to spend lot of time there.

But that had not to be. As we reached that place at about 1030, we found that the museum was closed. It looked unusual till we read the notice that apart from Sundays the museum is closed on important days of Christianity. It was All Souls day and hence the place was closed.

We decided to make it to the museum tomorrow before our departure from Shillong to Kaziranga. We moved on to Lady Hydari Park. This is a small but well kept park with a compact Zoo in it. Though it was hot and sun was beating down, we enjoyed a trip through the zoo. We like the place but in few cases we felt animals had very small enclosure. Few of them need bigger and taller enclosures for them to pursue their natural activities (like vultures would like to fly a bit). After visiting the Zoo it was a stroll in the park with its pond and ducks and pelicans.

Wild Cat at Lady Haidary Park

After this place we went to Police Bazar, a famous bazaar (though we did not feel that its fame is justified as it looked to us like any other city bazaar) of Shillong. First thing we noticed was wafting smell of baking. But we left that exploration at sometime later. We roamed around the bazaar for sometime and then returned towards the main square to look for that bakery from where good smell was emanating and also Tettoria, a local Khasi food joint famous for its dishes. That bakery turned out to be Legacy, The Cake Shop, a big bakery store stocking various delicious baked items, biscuits and cakes. It was impossible to leave this place without picking up some of the items that were on sale. I cannot remember what we purchased but I can vouch that whatever we bought was very good stuff.

Tettoria turned out to be a pure Khasi food place (as expected) thus also nearly fully non-veg restaurant. I would not say that there are no options for vegetarians but that would mean just rice and one odd accompaniment. We were on a exploratory mission hence we ordered three meals with variety of dishes in each. Some things were usual like finely cut salad, mashed potato etc but some other stuff, though usual for locals, was tough on us, particularly the fermented black bean sauce. The fermented fish sauce was also pungent but manageable. The food, obviously, was not of a taste that we knew but trying it out has been a different experience. Unfortunately, I am unable to locate few photos that we took.

My wife and mom played safe and went to Pizza Hut. After lunch we went to a unique fully transparent Meghalaya government lottery. This was something very similar to numbers that were taken out once upon a time by “Matka” operators except that matka numbers were opaque here they are very transparent. This is daily lottery again similar to matka. How does it operate? See next paragraph.

All over Meghalaya, there are authorized stalls accepting bets for first round numbers and second round numbers (set of two numbers of two digits each). So ones sees things like 25  59 Written on these stalls. One wonders as to what are these numbers. Obviously, the bet is on predicting these two set of numbers for that days draw, not through usual methods but by a unique and out of the world method.

Two rounds of draws are taken out daily by a set of over 30 archers firing 30 arrows each on a single cylindrical target mounted on a pole, placed at equidistance form each of them (as they sit in semi arch facing the target. Based on season, the draw time is at 1530 (first round) and 1600 (second round) in winter or 1600 and 1630 in summer.

Arrow Infested Target of Tir Lottery
We found it very interesting to witness this unique lottery draw. I consider it a worth visit when in Shillong. I have already put detailed blog on Tir Lottery. That blog can be read at 

After this, we checked up about the Cherry Blossom Festival to be held on 14 Nov (this day being only 02 Nov). It was told that most trees will blossom by that day but few trees have already blossomed at Ward’s Lake (a park cum lake in heart of Shillong where boating also takes place). One round of ward lake gave us viewing of at least four or five Cherry Blossom trees and one of them fully blossomed. It really blossoms one’s heart looking at the fully bloomed trees.

Cheery Blossom Flowers

One more Shot

Cheery Blossom Tree - Fully Blossomed

One More Such Tree

By the time we were finished with this visit, it was getting dark. We returned to our place and spent the evening peacefully.

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