Lake / Backwaters
At a distance of 17 km from Shillong Bus Stand, Umiam Lake is a vast and serene reservoir located in Shillong, Meghalaya. Also known as Barapani Lake, it is one of the beautiful lakes in Meghalaya and among the top places to experience Shillong Tourism.
Umiam Lake was formed by damming the Umiam River by Assam State Electricity Board in the early 1960s. The main purpose of the dam was to store water for hydroelectric power generation. Spread over 220 sq. km, the lake is encompassed by sprawling meadows and undulating hills that are carpeted with lush greenery. Apart from being a source of power generation, potable water, fishing and irrigation, Umiam Lake is a popular tourist destination of the region.
Umiam literally means 'water of tears' in local Khasi language, and there's a fascinating story around it. According to the legend, two sisters in the heaven decided to visit Meghalaya. To shape up their plan, they left together to reach the destination. During the journey, one of the sisters got lost and the other sister was so torn with grief. When she reached Meghalaya, her tears wouldn't stop flowing and thus, the lake formed.
Surrounded by thick coniferous forests, the picturesque location and the serene beauty of the lake attract tourists from all over the world. There is also a water sports complex, Nehru Park and Orchid Tourist Home on the bans of the lake. Tourists can also enjoy boat rides and the exciting water sports like kayaking, water cycling, skiing and scooting here. There are some viewpoints near the lake from where one can get the mesmerizing view of sunset over the lake.
Umiam Lake is famous for its lovely little Boat House on Lumpongden Island. Visitors have to book the Boat House in advance and only one group of people (max 6 people) can stay at the Boat House at a time. Apart from nature, one can also observe the daily life of the locals who come to the lake in search of twigs and grass or the fishermen canoeing in the still waters. In summers, the shores are adorned by beautiful Gulmohar trees while in winters, the water level recedes and turns azure.
Boating Timings: 9 AM - 5 PM
Entry Fee: Rs. 20 for Pedal Boat, Rs. 50 for Water Scooter, Rs. 10 for Cruise Boat, Rs. 50 for River Bus Ride, Rs. 100 for Yachting & Rs. 200 for Water Skiing