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Seven Sister State - MEGHALAYA

Meghalaya
Meghalaya, a Sanskrit word meaning "the abode of cloud", was created as an autonomous State on 2nd April 1970. The full fledged State of Megalaya came into existence on 2nd January 1972. Meghalaya has precise historic, geographic and strategic significance for India. It is bound on north and east by the state of Assam, and on south and west by Bangladesh. The three physical division in the state are Garo (Western), Khasi (Central) and Jaintia (Eastern) hill divisions. In the Garo hills, the Tura  range occupies dominatily a middle portion running west to east where the Nokrek peak is located. Khasi-Jaintia ranges are interwined with a curved-alignment. Spure of ranges in Jaintia hills are shorter in height then the Shillong Plateau; hillbases lie side by side with flat lands, valley and meadows.
Meghalaya is endowed with a rich variety of flora and fauna. Of about 17,000 species of orchids in the world, around 3000 varieties are found in Meghalaya. A botanical wonder, the pitcher plant, an insect, eating plant is found in the district of Jaintia hills, West Khasi hills, and South Garo hills of the state. Animals and birds that are found in the state are elephants, tigers, bear, jackal, leopard, golden langurs etc.. The interesting birds found in the state including Hornbills, King Vaulture, Crested Serpent, Eagle, Partrideus, Teals, Snipes, Quails etc.


People & Social and Cultural Heritage :- Meghalaya occupies a total area of 22,429 sq kms with a total population of 2,306,069 persons are reported in the census of 2001. The sex retio in Meghalaya was 974 females per 1000 males; as against 923 females of the country as a whole. the fairly high sex ratio in Meghalaya may be attributed to the existing tradition of matrilineal society. The Khasi and Jaintia tribes are matrilineal in character in which, the immovable property of the deceased, is inherited by females, especially the youngest daughter. As a matter of fact, the female babies and daughters get adequate attention of the parents with respect to education and health care. Meghalaya is mainly a Christianity dominated state. Before the arrival of Christian missonaries in the late 19th century and later, most natives followed tribal religions. 
The Khasi, Garo and Jaintia are people with a rich cultural heritage. The important crafts of the Khasi and Jaintia districts are artistic weaving. wood carving and cane and bamboo work. Carpet and silk weaving and the making of musical instruments, jewellery and pineapple fibre articles are among its minor craft. The popular handicrafts of the Garo hills district are artistic weaving, cane and bamboo work including poker work, wood, carving, jewellery and making of clay toys and dolls and musical instruments.
Economy :- Meghalaya is basically an agricultural state in which about 80 percent of its total population are dependent primarily on agriculture for livlihood. The state has a vast potential for developing horticulture due to agro-climatic variations, which offer much scope for the cultivation of temprate, sub-tropical and tropical fruits and vegetables. Besides the major food crops of rice and maize, Meghalaya is known for its oranges, pineapple, banana, jackfruits, temperate fruits like plums, peaches and pears etc. The popular cash crops, which are traditionally cultivated, include turneric, ginger, blackpepper, arecanut, Betelvina, tapioca, short staple cotton, jute and mesta, mustard and repeseed. Special emphasis is presently laid on non-traditional crops like oil seeds, cashewnut, tea and coffee, orchids and commercial flowers. The rich mineral deposits including mica gypsum and coal are unexploited.

Festivals :- A five day religious festival of the Khasis, Ka Pemblang Nongrem danceis propularly knownas Nongrem dance is held annually at village, Smit, 11km form Shillong.

Shad Sukmysieum :-Another festival of the Khasis is held at Shillong during the second week of April.
Behdiengkhlam :- The most important and colourful festival of the Jaintias is celebrated annually at Jowai in Jaintia hills in July.
Wangla festival :- Is observed for a week to honour Saljong of the Garos during October-November.
Christmas :- Is celebrated in the month of December by the large Christian population of the state.

Places of Interest :- 

Meghalaya

Wards Lake :- Situated right in the heart of the city, this artificial lake is named after William Ward the chief commissioner of Assam.
Wei tdem (Sweet falls) :- It is a beautiful fall on the Umkhen stream.
Entomological Museum (Butterfly museum) :-  Is privately owned museum of M/s Wankhar, Riatsamthiah, Shillong.
Nartiang :- Is a cluster of giant monoliths is about 65km from Shillong and 24kms from Jowai.
Syndai-or Syndai Caves :- Were used as hide outs during war times between the Jaintia king and foreign intruders is located at Jowai.
Siju Caves :- Located at Garo hills on the cliff overhanging the bank of the Simsang river, is locally known as Dukakhol or Cave of Bat.
Imikhang Dare :- A water fall with electrifyling cascade of water.
Rongrengiri :- Located at a distance of about 79kms from Tura is a historical place where the Garos fought their final battle against British.
Cherrapunji :- Mawsynram (higher rainfall in the world)

Also See Saputara Hill station

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