Meghalaya is made of two words – Megha and Alaya. The literal meaning of Meghalaya is “The House of Clouds”. The place is simply divine and extremely beautiful. The capital city of Meghalaya is Shillong which is another popular tourist destination in India. English is the official language here and this state is one of the seven north-eastern sisters of India. Meghalaya shares its borders with Assam and Bangladesh to the north and south respectively. Mostly people practice Christianity followed by Hinduism and just about 4% of the population practice Islam. Meghalaya is the wettest place on the planet as it receives as much as 1200 cm of rainfall per year. Cherrapunji holds the world record for maximum annual rain.
The British during their rule named Meghalaya as “Scotland of the East”. Earlier this place was inhabited by the ancient tribes – Jaintia, Garo and Khasi. Meghalaya was earlier a part of Assam and then in the year 1972, after a lot of reorganization, it was made an independent state. This was made by merging the Jaintia Hills and Garo and Khasi districts. Therefore Meghalaya is one of the youngest states of India.
Economic and Social Status
Mainly people indulge in farming and about 80% of the economy of the state is run by agriculture. Though the land is majorly barren but still the major agricultural products grown here are Maize, Rice and Potatoes. The Khasi Mandarin Orange is very famous and loved all over the world. The industries in Meghalaya are Cottage industries, iron and steel industries and Cement industry.Meghalaya is known for its coal, limestone and uranium deposits.
As a matter of fact, this is the only state in India which follows matrilineal system. This means that the entire inheritance and lineage is mapped out through women. The other neighboring states are following the patrilineal system.
Meghalaya is all about the mountains and peaks, the caves and falls and the cane and bamboo handicrafts. Shopping here is a delightful experience. People here are very hospitable. The Shillong peak is the highest which lies on the Khasi hills. Jaintia hills boasts of the longest caves which is almost 22 kilometers long. Nohkaliaki falls near Cherrapunji is the India’s highest plunge type waterfall and a must see tourist spot.The most prominent tourist places in Meghalaya are:
- Umiam Lake
- Laitlum Canyons
- Root Bridges
- Dain Thlen Falls
- Mawlynnong waterfall
- Krang Suri falls
- Elephant Falls
- All Saints church