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Meghalaya: Fascinating Facts That Will Suprise You And Leave You Intrigued

Indian State Meghalaya

States and UTs

Meghalaya: Fascinating Facts That Will Suprise You And Leave You Intrigued

The state has some of the longest caves and the highest waterfalls in India.

Meghalaya is spread over an area of 22,429 sq. km.  It shares its borders with only one state, Assam, and has an international boundary with Bangladesh.

Quick Facts

  • Capital- Shilong
  • Districts – 11
  • Population – 2,966,889
  • Assembly seats – 60
  • Lok Sabha seats – 2
  • Rajya Sabha seats – 1
  • Literacy rate – 75.48%
  • Sex ratio – 968

(Read- Understanding India’s Demography, From Population to Literacy and Sex Ratio)

Political Background 

Williamson A. Sangma was the first Chief Minister of the state which was created on 21 January 1972. The current incumbent Conrad Sangma belongs to the National People’s Party (NPP). Son of former Lok Sabha Speaker and state Chief Minister Purno A Sangma, he took oath of office on 6 March 2018.

He replaced Mukul Sangma of the Indian National Congress (INC) after the NPP formed a five-party coalition following the assembly elections. The state Governor is Ganga Prasad.

History And People

Meghalaya is the homeland of the Khasis, Jaintias and Garos. Members of all three of these ethnic communities follow the matrilineal system and take their family lineage from the mother’s side

The districts of Khasi Hills in the centre, Jaintia Hills in the east and Garo Hills in the west were independent Kingdoms in the British Rule before they were combined into Assam. Meghalaya was a part of Assam even after attaining Independence till it became a self-governing state.

State Exclusives 

  • Meghalaya is a part of the ‘Seven Sisters’ with Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura.
  • Mawsynram and Cherrapunji located in the state receive the heaviest rainfall on the earth. Name of Mawsynram has also been included in the ‘Guinness Book of World Records‘.
  • The Indigenous Terra Madre organised in 2015 was one of the world’s largest food gatherings of indigenous people (tribals) in the world.
  • According to the ‘Khun Khatduh’ concept, the youngest daughter of the family inherits all the property.
  • ‘Mawlynnong’ in Meghalaya is regarded as Asia’s cleanest village.

Cultural Heritage 

  • The literal meaning of name of the state is “Abode of Clouds”.
  • English is the official language. Khasi, Garo, Pnar, Mizo, Hindi, Nepali, Assamese and Urdu are also spoken.
  • The major festivals of the state are Behdienkhlam, Wangala and Nongkrem Dance.

(Read-India’s Geography: Get To Know The Country’s Distinct Regions)

Tourism

The best time to visit Meghalaya is from March till July.

Some of the longest and deepest caves in India are located in Meghalaya. The state has several wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, including Balphakram National Park, Mawphlang Sacred Grove and Nokrek Biosphere Reserve.

Meghalaya is also the land of waterfalls. The Nohkalikai Falls, Nohsngithiang Falls and Kynrem Falls are among the popular tourist destinations.

The roots bridges across streams are living bridges. They come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes and attract tourists from all over the world.

Forests of sal, sacred grooves and teak add to the beauty of the state.

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