If you are travelling with children, make sure you pay a visit to Lady Hydari Park. It is the perfect getaway from the bustling cities of Meghalaya. Named after the former First Lady of Shillong, this park has a stunning variety of rhododendrons and orchids on display. The rich flora can be found all along the paved walkway that runs across the park. Home to the only mini zoo in Shillong, Lady Hydari Park has become a major attraction of the city. The zoo has been a prominent place for wildlife conservation and environmental education. It houses 11 species of mammals, 16 species of birds, and several reptile species.
Tracing the History of Lady Hydari Park
Built in 1937 during the British colonial period, Lady Hydari Park’s history is an interesting one. Initially, it had several other purposes:
1) The premises were used to store Gandhi's ashes.
2) The spot was also a preferred location for Sardar Vallabhai Patel for delivering his lectures.
3) Several historical events and festivals like the All-India Cattle Show, Regular Flower Show etc. were held inside the park.
Today, Lady Hydari Park, Shillong has a mini-zoo on its premises and also comprises a rescue centre for rescued animals across the state.
If you visit Lady Hydari Park, Shillong on weekdays, you are likely to meet several school students in colourful uniforms on field trips. Winters are the perfect time to visit the park and unwind on its expansive lawn. The round fences, the small ponds scattered throughout and the willow trees with leaves almost touching the ground combine to proffer an extremely soothing experience. And if you are lucky, you can spot several colourful fishes swimming in the ponds. The playground inside contains swings, slides, and a children's area that the little ones can enjoy.
Much more than a garden, Lady Hydari Park has a lot to offer visitors of all ages.
Explore the children's garden: The kid's zone located in the park offers several slides and swings to keep the young ones busy.
Step into the mini-zoo: From Himalayan Black Bear to leopards and elephants, the park has diverse wildlife that will astound you!
Go back in time at the museum: There is a small museum inside the park that exhibits archive photographs of rare wildlife species, some of which are extinct.
Fly with the butterflies: Located in the park's most beautiful areas, the gardens are the perfect place to relax and enjoy the breeze.