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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Meghalaya


Capital : Shilong
Principal Languages : Khasi,Garo,Jaintia

Geography :

The state of Meghalaya is in a rather peculiar position of far northeast India; it is only bordered by two regions: Assam (on the north and east) and Bangladesh (on the south and west). What is more, Meghalaya sits on somewhat of a throne 6,500 feet (2,000 meters) above sea level. A rolling plateau, with a dangerously steep south face, makes up the greatest portion of the state's geography. Within its tiny area on a severe earthquake prone zone, Meghalaya also contains a large bounty of lakes and waterfalls.

Important Cities - Towns and Religious - Tourist Place :

Kyllang Rock (near Shillong), Nartiang (near Shillong), Nohsangithinang Falls (at Mawasmai near Cherrapunjee), Shillong (beautiful spots such as Ward's Lake, Lady Hydari Park, Polo Ground, Mini Zoo, Elephant Falls and Shillong Peak and golf course), Uniam Lake (by the side of Shillong Guwahati road).

Climate :

In spite of its tropical location, Meghalaya enjoys a relatively cool climate, thanks to its elevation. However, this general statement overlooks the altitude changes across the state that affect climate. The Khasi and Jaintia hills enjoy a moderate climate all year long, however the Garo Hills experience much warmer and more humid conditions. The state on the whole does share heavy rainfall levels. The region of Cherrapunji, for example, receives an average of 450 inches (1143 cm) every year; it's the second wettest region in the world.

Location :

A landlocked territory of lovely hills with abounding sylvan beauty, Meghalaya (meaning "the abode of clouds") is bounded on the north by Goalpara, Kamrup and Karbianglog by the districts of Assam State, and on the east by the districts of Cachar and North Cachar Hills, also of the State of Assam. On the south and west is Bangladesh.

Culture :

The majority people of Meghalaya lead a tribal lifestyle. The Khasis, Jaintias, Garos, Khasis, Jaintias (all of Mongolian ancestry) and the Garos (of Tibeto-Burman ancestry) make up the largest portions of tribal peoples. Though these tribes each have different cultures, they all share a common peculiarity. Unlike the globally typical primogeniture system, these tribes have a traditional matriarchal law of inheritance, in which family property passes from mother to youngest daughter. Christianity's movement into the area put an end to many tribal traditions, practices, and festivals. Expectedly, Christian holidays make up most major celebrations in the area. However, most tribes have maintained some spiritual and ancestral observances commonly celebrated at harvest. The Khasi celebrate Ka Pomblang Nongkrem and Shad Sukmynsiem, the Jaintias celebrate Behdiengkhlam, and the Garo celebrate Wangala. These and all other social functions involve drinking, dancing, and music from buffalo horn singas, bamboo flutes, and drums. Meghalaya's most well known craft is the weaving of cane into objects of domestic utility, like mats, stools, and baskets. A very special cane mat, called the tlieng, lasts 20-30 years. Many tribes are also involved in the weaving of cloth, and the Khasis even manufacture metal tools, utensils, and weapons.

History :

The State was creates under the Assam Reorgaisation (Meghalaya) Act, 1969 and inaugurated on April 2, 1970 its status was that of a State within the State of Assam until January 21, 1972 when it became a full-fledged State of the Union. It consists of the former Garo Hills district and United Khasi and Jaintia Hills district of Assam. Cherrapunjee, 53km from Shillong, is noted for its heavy rainfall. The annual average is 10,871 millimetres which varies greatly, 22,987 millimetres were recorded in 1861 with a maximum precipitation in July of 9,296.40 millimetres. The heaviest rainfall in the world is recorded in the nearby village of Mawsynram with an amphitheatre relief and on the windward side of the monsoon.

Economy :

Despite being very well connected with roads, Meghalaya has few railroads, thus industrialization has been slow. Baking, furniture making, iron and steel fabrication, tailoring, knitting, and domestic industries dominate the market. The state is working to push additional industries like electronics, but farming remains the main way of life. The state produces rice and corn, as well as tropical and temperate fruits like oranges, pineapples, bananas, jackfruits, plums, pears, and peaches.

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