Meghalaya, "the abode of clouds", is a land of exotic nature, picturesque surroundings, attracting waterfalls, serene hills and valleys, lush-green forests, shinning streams and rivers, mysterious unexplored natural caves and a rich variety of flora and fauna. It is a state comprising of three main tribes - the Jaintias, the Khasis and the Garos. The forests of Meghalaya is the habitat of a wide variety of wildlife and also a botanical delight to many nature enthusiasts. Meghalaya serves as a famous destination for adventure sports like Trekking, caving, rafting, boating, angling, biking, camping etc.
Meghalaya : At A Glance
Khasi, Pnar, Garo
Lady Slipper Orchid
Gamari (Gmelina Arborea)
Number of Major Tribes:
Shillong Peak (6447 feet)
989 females for each 1000 males (Census Report of India, 2011)
132 per sq km
Pattern of society:
Matriarchal system of society.
Rice, Maize, Jute, Rape seed, Mustard
Coal, Limestone, Petroleum, Granite, Sillimanite, Iron ore, Clay, Quartzite, Feldspar
Longitude 85° 49' E to 92° 52' & Latitude 20° 1' N to 26° 5' N
Meghalaya covers an area of 22,429 sq km.
Meghalaya has a population of 2,964,007 in total out of which 1,492,668 are males and 1,471,339 are females. (Census Report of India, 2011)
The literacy rate in Meghalaya is 75.48 %. Of that, the male literacy rate is 77.17% while female literacy stands at 73.78%. (Census Report of India, 2011)
Meghalaya, acclaimed to be the home state of the wettest place on earth, the annual rainfall ranges as high as 1200 cm. The maximum temperature in the state rarely rises beyond 28 degree celsius in summer while sub zero temperature is common during winter season.
The economy of Meghalaya is agrarian-based with agriculture as one of the main source of livelihood. Jhum or shifting cultivation was predominantly practised by almost 80% of the population of the state. Nowadays, shifting cultivation is being replaced by advanced scientific methods of permanent cultivation. Meghalaya is enriched with natural resources like coal, limestone, sillimanite, kaolin, granite, gypsum, bauxite, quartz, mica etc. Small scale industries present in Meghalaya are cement, plywood, beverage factories and an electronic plant as well.
History of Meghalaya
Ancient Meghalaya comprised of three individual tribal kingdoms - the Khasis, the Garos and the Jaintia hill tribes. Later, along with the annexation of the British rule over entire India, these kingdoms were also not left behind. Consequently, in 1853, Meghalaya came under the British rule. Tribal district councils were established and the region attained a semi-independent position. Shillong was made the administrative station of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills in 1864 by the British. In 1905, Lord Curzon, then Viceroy of India passed the Act for Partition of Bengal and thereby Meghalaya was incorporated to the new province of Assam (Eastern Bengal & Assam). The Assam Reorganisation (Meghalaya) Act of 1969 conferred an autonomous status to the state of Meghalaya. It, thus, became an autonomous state within the state of Assam on 2nd April, 1970 comprising of a legislature consisting of 37 members in agreement with the 6th schedule of the constitution. The North-Eastern Area (Reorganisation) Act of 1971 passed by the parliament is a landmark in the history of Meghalaya. This act granted the status of a full-fledged statehood to the Autonomous state of Meghalaya. The new state of Meghalaya was inaugurated as the 21st State of India on January 21, 1972 (with Shillong as its capital) by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at Polo Ground, Shillong conferring an independent Assembly of its own.
Culture of Meghalaya
Meghalaya is the homeland of three distinct hill tribes - the Khasis, the Jaintias and the Garos. The Khasis are believed to be the descendants of the Mon-Khmer belonging to the Mongolian race. They inhabit the central part of Meghalaya. The Jaintias belong to Hynniewtrep sect of the Austric race. It is said that they came from South-East Asia and occupied the eastern part of Meghalaya. The Garos, inhabiting the Garo Hills in western part of Meghalaya trace their origin to the Tibeto-Burman race and are regarded to have migrated from Tura, a province of Tibet. All the three tribes have its unique heritage and culture which is harmoniously maintained among them.
Festivals are celebrated with great pomp and merriment by the hill tribes of the state. Wangala, is an important harvest festival celebrated among the Garos to honour Saljong, the Sun-god of fertility. Shad-Suk Mynsiem is a three day long Thanksgiving festival popularly celebrated by the Khasis. A famous dance-festival of the Jaintias is Behdeikhlam celebrated praying for a good harvest. Other prominent festivals celebrated are Ka Pom-Blang Nongkrem, Ka Shad Shyngwiang-Thangiap, Ka Shad-Kynjoh Khaskain, Ka Bam Khana Shnong, Umsan Nongkharai, Shad Beh Sier etc.
Meghalaya : Places to Visit
North East India Tourism
Meghalaya Tour Packages
At Arkaya Holidays, we offer a wide range of elegant travel services to our cherished guests across the world who shares ardent passion for travelling. Our travel packages specially designed for the promotion of Meghalaya Tourism ensure happiness, safety and comfort in the “Land of the Abode of Clouds”. Travel smiling.
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