Meghalaya is a state in the north east of India. In Sanskrit, Meghalaya means “The Abode of clouds”. It is one of the most populous states in the contry.
The capital of Meghalaya is Shillong, known as the “Scotland of the east”. It is a popular hill station. There are several falls in and around Shillong. This place is good for trekking and has excellent views.
The Khasi, Garo, and Jaintia tribes had their own kingdoms until they came under British administration in the 19th century. Later, Meghalaya was incorporated into Assam in 1835 by the British. The status of the region at the time of Britishers was semi independent.
At the time of Indian independence in 1947, Meghalaya constituted two districts of Assam and have limited independence, but in 1971 when Noth-Eastern Areas (Reorganization) Act was passed by the Parliament, Meghalaya became an independent state with its own Legislative Assembly in 1972.
A place of natural beauty
Meghalaya is considered to be the place of most natural scenic beauty; therefore it is flooded with tourists from all over the world. It has some of the thickest surviving forest and a vast variety of flora and fauna. Meghalaya has 2 National Parks and 3 wild life sanctuaries. For those who love doing wild life photography, this place is the best option for them.
Meghalaya also offers many adventure tourism opportunities in the form of mountaineering, rock climbing, trekking and hiking, water sports etc.
Archery is another game of precision popular in Meghalaya. It is interesting to note that the only government sanctioned gambling is in this state and is organised around archery activities. It is known as ‘Teer”.
Tribal people mark the majority of Meghalaya’s population popularly known as Khasis and Garos. They were known to the British as “Hill Tribes”.
Megahlaya population also consists of Nepalis. The East Khasi and Jayantia Hills are Nepali belts. A large number of retired Indian Army soldiers (Gorkha) live in Shillong. The Nepalese are generally inclined towards business, though the main occupations of the people over there are Agriculture and cattle rearing. Majority of the Nepalese are Hindus, while some are Christians too
Religion in Meghalaya is closely related to ethnicity. Close to 90% of the Garo and nearly 80% of the Khasi is Christian, while more than 97% of the Hajong, 98.53% of the Koch are Hindu.
The languages spoken in Meghalaya are Khasi and Garo with English as the official language of the state.
Meghalaya is basically an agrarian economy. Major crop constitutes potatoes, rice, maize, pineapple and banana. The service sector is made up of real estate and insurance companies. Meghalaya’s gross state domestic product for 2004 was estimated at $ 1.6 billion in current prices.
Meghalaya has a lot of potential of natural resources such as coal, granite, kaoline and much more. Government has recently built two cement manufacturing plants to extract natural resources and more are yet to come. State Govt. and Tourism is also taking lot of effort to attract more tourists to this place.
Apart from this, literary rate is also high in Meghalaya making it the 27th most literate state in India.
Climate and best time to visit
Meghalaya is considered to be the wettest place having Cherapunji in his territory. Shillong, on the higher elevations experiences very low temperatures during winter. The best time to visit this place is between March – July.
- Jaintia Hills
- Khasi Hills
- Garo Hills