||22,429 Sq. km.
||UMAROI NEAR SHILLONG (35 KMs.).
||KHASI, GARO, ENGLISH.
Meghalaya or 'abode of the clouds', is a source of inspiration to anypoet, a dramatic canvas for an artist's dream, and the ideal retreat for people in search of beauty and solitude. Declared as a state on 21st January,1972, Meghalaya is one of the most picturesque states of india, offeringa spectrum of sylvan surroundings, rich cultural heritage, misty heights, breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls, luxurious vegetation, flora and fauna.
Carved out of the former state of Assam, Meghalaya is one of the sevensister states of the North Eastern region, bordered by Assam in the north and Bangladesh in the south. It is among the wettest places on earth -little wonder that Meghalaya means, Abode of Clouds. The state has a picturesque colonial capital, Shillong, and is home to an extraordinary diversity of people, which includes the Khasia, Jantia and Garo tribes.
Raj Bhavan, the Governor's residence
Meghalaya experiences the two seasons, of winter and monsoon, and is characterised by a cool climate throughout the year. The Cherapunjee - Mawsynram beltin the southern slopes of Khasi Hills records the heaviest rainfall in the world. Numerous rivers flow through Meghalaya, although none of the mare navigable, due to rocky beds and strong currents.
A predominantly tribal population, the original inhabitants of thisstate are Khasis, Jaintias and Garos. A common cultural tradition of all the tribes of Meghalaya is the matriarchal law of inheritance by which, custody to property and succession of family position runs through thefemale line, passing from the mother to the youngest daughter, instead of the male line as is common elsewhere in the country.
The Government of Meghalaya, in order to render the festivities a major tourist attraction, organizes annual festivals. Festivals, apart from those of the Christian faith, are held to signify occasions where ancestral spirits are appeased, following sowing and harvesting. Ka Pomblang Nongkrem, popularly known as the Nongkrem dance, is one of the most important festivals of the Khasis. It is held as a thanksgiving ceremony to God Almighty, for the harvest and as a prayer for peace and prosperity. Behdiengkhlam, the most significant festival of the Jaintias is celebrated annually at Jowai in Jaintia Hills, during the month of July. The prominent festival of the Garos is Wangala, observed to honour and offer sacrifices to their principal deity, Saljong (Sungod).
Agriculture is the main occupation of Meghalaya, with eighty three percent of the total population, dependent on it for their livelihood. Rice andmaize are the major food crops.
Meghalaya is dotted with a number of divine tourist spots, where Nature unveils herself in all her glory. Shillong, the capital city has a number of beautiful sites like, Ward's lake, Lady Hydari park, Polo ground, Minizoo, Elephant falls and Shillong peak, overlooking the city and the golf course, one of the best in the country.