Monday, 24 October 2011

Ward’s Lake in Shillong- Day 4

The Ward’s Lake was about 5 minutes drive from the Laitumkhrah Cathedral. The lake is surrounded by the lush green rolling campuses of the Shillong Raj Bhavan, the Shillong Club, Hotel Pinewood Ashok, the State Legislative assembly and the Shillong Botanical Garden.
Ward's Lake

It was getting dark when we reached the place and we hurried to see it. There was a small botanical garden next to the lake. The place is named after Sir William Ward, the then Chief Commissioner of Assam, who was cause behind the construction of this beautiful lake. The actual construction of the lake was carried out by Colonel Hopkinson in 1894 and the lake was for many years known as Hopkinson’s Tank. The locals however preferred it to call it Nan Polok or Polok’s Lake, after Polock, an executive engineer executed the civil works connected with the construction of the lake. According to a story, a Khasi prisoner, bored with the penitentiary routine requested the warden for some creative release by permitting him to create some construction over the Ward’s Lake. He was permitted to do so and what stands today is a marvelous site of the Wards Lake!

We went on the arched bridge over the lake which provided us an exhilarating view of the pictorial wealth of its clear, deep waters full of shoals of golden-yellow carp of varying hue and size. Sunset gave us some beautiful pictures. Boats of all sizes and shapes were moving from the lake boat-house, while people were buying Cola and other eatables available off its cafeteria’s laden shelves. We watched some couples enjoying the evening in paddling boats.

The horse shoe-shaped lake, with pleasant meandering boulevard paths around it, had several fishes and we came across a group of children feeding them from the bridge.

The lake has a most pleasant, winding walk-a-way all around its parameter set in cobbled sand stones, in the midst of picturesque, rolling flower-beds and fairyland lighting. It was amusing to watch young couples romancing in corners and seeing white ducks in the waters. Who said gardens are outdated dating spots? Those who say, I bet they have not been to the spectacular and the magnificent Ward’s Lake yet! Taking a stroll around the lake and seeing couples, no wonder we got the pinch in heart to fall in love again.

The sun had set and it was completely dark when the guards started whistling to warn visitors to vacate the place. We rushed to the gate not before clicking a few photos of armed men in uniform and guns standing in front of the lake’s gate.

Ganesh told us that the Golf Club would be closed as it was already late. The Shillong Golf Course, considered to be the first 18-hole Golf Course in India, is sometimes equated with Glen-Eagle Course in the United States because of its beauty and unique location. But unfortunately, we missed it :( Ganesh dropped us at the hotel and we thought of going for shopping.

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