Meghalaya literally means ‘the home of clouds’ is a state in north- east region of India. Capital of the state is Shillong, a city that is considered as the ‘Scotland of the East’. Regional languages being spoken in this beautiful state are Khasi, Garo and Pnar, English being the official language. It is the wettest state of the country and about 70% of the overall land is forested. Attractive waterfalls are incorporated in the state such as Elephant falls, Weinia falls, Nohkalikai falls, Sweet falls, Shadthum falls and Bishop falls to name a few.
Meghalaya is a tourism rich place as it is compared to Scotland for its beauty, fog, scenic locations and highlands. Various adventurous activities such as trekking, caving, mountaineering, water sports hiking and rock climbing can be experience by the tourists. Some trekking routes offer incredible and rare animal species. Rowboats, sailing boats, water scooters, paddleboats, speedboats and cruise boats are some of the water sports and adventures offered by sports complex of popular Umiam Lake.
Specialties of Meghalaya: -
Points of interest: - Shillong, Umium Lake (Shillong), Shillong Peak, Cherrapunji, Double Decker Living Root Bridge (Cherrapunji), Nohkalikai Falls (Cherrapunjee), Tura, Mawsynram, Mawlynnong, Jowai, Nongstion, Dawki, Umiam Lake, Laitumkhrah, Khanapara, Narpuh Reserved Forest, Upper Shilloong Forest
Jaintias, Khasis and Garos are the main tribes of Meghalaya and each having a special and unique tradition, culture, language and clothing. There is a unique matrilineal system existing in the state where inheritance and lineage are drawn through women. According to this culture, the paternal property is inherited to the youngest daughter and she looks after the aged parents and responsible to take care of the unmarried siblings.
In Khasi and Jaintias culture, if there is no daughter, the parents can adopt a girl child from any other family and then religious customs are followed along with the community and the adopted child becomes the head of the family. In Garo tribes, if there is no daughter, the daughter in law or the adopted child lives in the house and inherits the property.
Meghalaya is one of the seven sister states of northeast India. The geologically rich state comprises of the mountains, highland plateaus and valleys. Richest and rare botanical habitats of Asia are found in the Meghalayan forests. 34 of the World’s threatened species are found in the forests of Meghalaya and 9 of these species are recorded on the list of critically endangered species.
One of the popular tourist destinations, Cherrapunji is situated in the Khasi hills of Meghalaya. Mawsynram, a village near Cherrapunji receives the highest and heavy rainfall in the country. A small part of the forest region in Meghalaya is known as the “Sacred Grooves”. The state is also habitat to a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, medicinal plants and spices.
Agriculture forms a major part in the Meghalaya economy. Nearly two third of the total work force is engaged in agriculture and allied activities. Rice is the major crop of the state, other items being produced in Meghalaya are wheat, cereals, pulses and maize.
Other cash crops that contribute to the state’s economy are ginger, black pepper, short staple cotton, mustard, jute, tezpatta, spotato, rapeseed, areca nut, betelvine, mesta and turmeric.