Shillong: Yuletide spirits of the locals were blended by the aura of thousands of tourists who flocked Shillong on the joyous occasion of Christmas since last night. The Sentinel hopped in certain prominent areas of the time since Christmas Eve till late this evening to find theirs feeling of Christmas in the hill town.
Some of the tourists were astonished that Christmas is a solemn and joyous celebration in the state. “We thought it will be merriment like the state Goa but we enjoyed every bid of Christmas by visiting the churches till 12 mid night”, stated Pradangshu Sarkar, who announced that his family trips in the state will be Sohra (Cherrapunjee) and Tamabil in the next two days. Although, the temperature in lower Shillong is hovering around 5 degrees and the upper reaches nearing the freezing point, tourists had all the time out in visiting the varied places on Christmas day.
Notwithstanding the frolic in the chilled weather, the other chilling experiences are the fleecing by the local taxi drivers. Tourists made a bee line waiting for any available taxis to ferry to the tourist spots. They were charged as high as Rs 4000 for their trips. The Sentinel was a witnessed to this at Police Bazaar point where most taxis went off the road with drivers’ preferring to participate in the family festive mood.
Budgeted tourists are the worst sufferers of the arrogance that will leave a mark on their return. Nevertheless, the ecstatic spirits of many tourists with a vow to return back for the joyous occasion is palpable. “Christmas in the hills with an ambience true to the occasion will make us come back next year”, stated Supriya Talukdar who received a right gesture from her friends in the pack.
Hundred of vehicles drove up to Shillong in the past couple of days for Christmas and the number is expected to grow up by the end of 2018 and the beginning of New year, informed a source in the Traffic branch of the Police department. The Police has already made a blue print on the clogging entry point into Shillong city, stated a source, adding, “It will be on an advisory on the basis of the timing”