Plan A Perfect Getaway to Umiam Lake Shillong – Lake of Tears

 In Holidays, India, Meghalaya, Travel

As you enter the mystical state of Meghalaya with our Meghalaya Tour and make your way to the capital hill station, Umiam Lake Shillong is probably the first natural gem that you will witness. The first sight of this massive lake is enough to make you understand how beautiful your journey through Meghalaya will be!

About Umiam Lake Meghalaya


The Umiam Lake in Meghalaya is also known as “Barapani” which means “the big water”, as it is a huge waterbody tucked beautifully amidst the scenic Khasi Hills. It is located in a place called umiam in Ri Bhoi district just at the starting point of the East Khasi hills.

This Lake was created as a part of a hydroelectric project on the Umiam River. The clean and glittering waters of this lake are surrounded by lush greenery, making it a popular tourist destination in Meghalaya for honeymoon couples and tourists seeking peace and serenity.

The Umiam Lake Shillong is situated along the Guwahati-Shillong National Highway (NH 40) and is approximately 18 km before Shillong – the capital city of Meghalaya. Spread across a huge area of 221.5 sq km, this lake was formed by the Umiam River.

The Umiam Lake is one of the most vital water sources in Shillong as well as in the surrounding areas. It can be easily accessed from the Umiam Lake Viewpoint. There are a number of resorts in Meghalaya near the Umiam Lake Shillong for those who want to enjoy the beautiful scenery for a long time.

The Umiam Lake in Meghalaya also hosts a variety of water sports and adventurous activities such as Kayaking, Boating, and Water Skiing, attracting visitors from all over the country. The pleasant weather, peaceful atmosphere, and abundance of plants and animals make Umiam Lake Shillong an ideal place to relax and explore in the northeastern part of India, especially for those seeking a romantic honeymoon in Meghalaya.

Also known as the “Lake of Tears” the Umiam Lake Meghalaya is one of the state’s most beautiful and awe-inspiring natural attractions.

Why is Umiam Lake Meghalaya also known as the “Lake of Tears”?


The enchanting Umiam Lake, located in the picturesque Meghalaya countryside, is aptly named due to a deeply rooted local legend. This local legend adds to the natural charm of this picturesque Umiam Lake Shillong.

The Khasi language, which is the language of one of the indigenous Meghalaya tribes, translates the name “Umiam” to “Water of the Eyes” or “Tears”. This captivating name is derived from the heartbreaking story of the River of Tears.

According to a local legend, there were once two celestial sisters who lived in heaven. Their bond was very strong and they were inseparable. They descended from the heaven to the earthly realm.

One sister perfectly landed in the beautiful abode of clouds, which is today known as Meghalaya. But, as faith struck, the other sister tragically lost her way while she was descending. As a result, she could not reach the earth’s surface.

Struck with grief and heartbreak by the loss of her beloved sister, the lone sister wept and wept. Her tears were the reflection of the sorrow and loss that she had faced. She kept on weeping and thus tears that flowed continuously further formed a river. Today, this river is called the Umiam River or the “River of Tears”.

As the Umiam Lake in Meghalaya is formed on the Umiam River, this lake is called the “Lake of Tears”. When you visit Umiam Lake, you won’t just be able to take in the stunning views, but also the story behind it, which is a reminder of how nature and folklore go hand in hand.

The story of Umiam Lake is filled with a deep sense of sadness and beauty like the lake itself holds the tears of a sister who has lost her way. It’s an amazing reminder of how stories and traditions can shape the culture of a place, and it adds a special touch to the natural beauty of the area.

Umiam Lake Water Sports


The Umiam Lake is one of the best spots to indulge in thrilling water adventure sports in Meghalaya. The natural beauty of Umiam Lake combined with these thrilling water sports can be an exhilarating experience. The picturesque green hills and tranquil atmosphere add to the appeal of these watersports activities, making them an essential experience for visitors to Shillong.

Here are the few best Umiam Lake Water Sports to indulge in:

  • Jet Ski or Speed Boating – Umiam Lake offers a thrilling boating experience with the jet ski and the speed motor boat, which is one of the top adventure sports in Shillong. You can feel the adrenaline rush, as you zoom across the lake, soaking in the panoramic views of the surrounding Khasi Hills.
  • Kayaking –  Kayaking in Umiam Lake water sports provides an opportunity to explore its far corners at your leisure. You can paddle across the glittering water, enjoying the peaceful vibes of the landscape around you.
  • Banana Boat Rides – For those seeking fun water sports to indulge in with your group, the banana boat rides are a popular choice. This is one of the best activities to do with your friends and make some delightful adventure memories for a lifetime. 

Indulging in watersports in the umiam Lake is one of the top things to do in Shillong, if you want some adrenaline rush, during your trip to Meghalaya. It is an immersive way to appreciate the region’s breathtaking landscapes while enjoying a variety of aquatic activities, making it a must-visit destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike.

Things To Do At Umiam Lake Meghalaya


Apart from the water sports, Umiam Lake Shillong offers a plethora of engaging activities and experiences for visitors. 

Here are some exciting things to do at Umiam Lake:

  • Picnicking by the lake – The perfect setting of Umiam Lake amidst the lush hills makes it an ideal spot for a relaxing picnic with family and friends. Spread out a blanket, savor the local delicacies of Meghalaya, and enjoy the tranquility of the lake while basking in the warm sunshine.
  • Camping in nature – Campsites near Umiam Lake are ideal for nature lovers and adventure-seekers who want to camp in the midst of green pastures. There are many camping spots around Umiam Lake that provide an unforgettable experience in the midst of the natural beauty of the Meghalayan landscape.
  • Stay in lakeside resorts – If you’re looking for a cozy and picturesque getaway, there are plenty of lakeside resorts in Shillong to choose from. When you wake up in your room, you can take in the stunning views of the lake and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.
  • Photography Paradise –  The natural beauty of Umiam Lake provides photographers with a unique opportunity to capture the changing colors of the lake and its reflections on the Khasi Hills. Through photography, one can witness the play of light and the vibrant culture of the area.
  • Bird Watching – The lake and its surroundings are a paradise for bird lovers. You can spot all kinds of birds, making it a great spot for bird watchers.
  • Explore the nature trails – Explore the nature trails around Umiam Lake to immerse yourself in the rich flora and fauna of Meghalaya. These trails offer a unique perspective on the region’s biodiversity.

In essence, Umiam Lake is a versatile destination that caters to a wide range of interests, from leisurely picnics and photography to adrenaline-pumping water sports and nature exploration. Whether you seek relaxation or adventure, Umiam Lake beckons with its natural beauty and a multitude of activities to create unforgettable memories.

Umiam Lake Best Time To Visit


Visiting Umiam Lake during the period from October to April is ideal for those seeking the most pleasant and picturesque weather conditions. The temperatures are typically between 10°C and 20°C, with clear skies allowing for a stunning view of the lake. The calm waters of the lake are ideal for swimming, boating, and other recreational activities, making it a great time for picnics and camping. 

On the other hand, the summer months of June to September are characterized by heavy rain, which can make outdoor activities less enjoyable, and the hot and humid summer months of May to June can make it difficult to enjoy the lake. Therefore, Umiam Lake best time to visit is to plan for the cooler, drier months from October to April in order to ensure the most enjoyable experience.

How To Reach Umiam Lake Meghalaya

  • By Roadways: From Shillong, the Umiam Lake is just 15 kms to its north and is easily accessible by roads. You can hire a taxi or take a local bus from Shillong to reach the lake while also enjoying the scenic views during your journey. If you are traveling from Guwahati, Assam, you can take National Highway 6 (NH6) toward Shillong. Covering a distance of approximately 100 kilometers, the road trip to Umiam Lake takes around 3-4 hours by car. Numerous private and public buses also ply this route.
  • By Airways: The nearest airport to the Umiam Lake Meghalaya is the Shillong Airport, also known as Umroi Airport. The Umiam Lake Shillong is located just 30 km away. However, please note that this airport has limited connectivity. For more flight options, consider Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati. From Guwahati, you can easily reach Umiam Lake by taxi or bus.
  • By Railways: The Guwahati Railway Station in Assam is the nearest railway station to Umiam Lake. It is a major transportation hub with connections to various parts of India. From Guwahati, you can embark on a road journey via NH6, as previously mentioned, reaching Umiam Lake in approximately 3-4 hours.
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