About Meghalaya, Why Visit Meghalaya, Culture and Facts, Meghalaya
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About Meghalaya

, Meghalaya

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Meghalaya is an Indian state located in the north eastern region of the country. The term "Meghalaya" literally means “The Abode of Clouds”. Meghalaya is a mountainous strip in the eastern portion of the country. The state is 300 km in length and has a width of nearly 100 km, and it covers an area of 22,720 sq. kilometers. The population in the state was 2,175,000 as per census reports in the year 2000. Nearly one third of the state is covered with forests. Meghalaya attained statehood on the 21st of January, 1972.

Meghalaya is divided into different sections according to the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo hills. The state is often termed as ‘the Scotland of the East’ and receives the highest amount of rainfall in the country. Meghalaya is rich in biodiversity, with a wide variety of plants, mammals and birds. Agriculture is a major contributor to Meghalaya’s economy, with the main crops being banana, maize, pineapple, potato and rice. The Shillong Peak in this state is termed by the locals as ‘the Abode of Gods’.

Why Visit the State?

Meghalaya is one among the most frequently visited eco tourist hubs in the country. The state has three Wildlife Sanctuaries and two National Parks. It is home for many trek enthusiasts, hikers and mountaineers. Water sports are popular in the state at the Umiam Lake.

Over 500 sandstone and limestone caves can be found in the state and these include some of the deepest and longest caves in the world. Cave explorers from across the world come to visit these spots. A popular tourist spot in the state is Cherrapunjee, one of the most scenic towns in the entire stretch of northeastern India.

The place houses many waterfalls including the Shadthum Falls, Weinia Falls, Elephant Falls, Nohkalilai Falls, Sweet Falls, Bishop Falls and Langshiang Falls.

Other tourist hubs in the state are the popular sacred groves, the sacred forests of Mawphlang, Nongkhnum Island, Kynshi River, Mawlynnong Village, the Balpakram National Park, the Nokrek National Park and the Umiam Lake.

Exploring the Cultureof Meghalaya

There are three main tribes in the state, namely the Khasis, the Garos and the Jaintias. The unique tradition in these tribes is that they follow a matrilineal system where the descent of the tribe is traced through maternal ancestors. This tradition is followed by the Jaintia and Khasi tribes, where the youngest daughter acts as the caretaker of her parents and the other dependent members in the family. She also inherits all the property. The tribal population in Meghalaya ranks among the largest practitioners of such a matrilineal culture in the world.

From the 13th century, a Shivalinga has been present in the Jaintia Hills under the rule of Ranee Singa. Many people belonging to the Jaintia tribes participate in Shivratri celebrations, worshipping Lord Shiva. During earlier times, the tribes used to worship different local gods before most of them were converted to Christianity by missionaries.

Facts for Tourists

The state has a very cold climate; hence warm clothes will surely be needed throughout the year. The best time to visit the state is during the summer as it is extremely cold during winter. The state experiences rainfall on most days of the year. The use of drugs is prohibited throughout the state.




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