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Meghalaya

Abode of the clouds that combines ethnic and natural diversity.
Meghalaya is bounded on the north and east by the state of Assam and on the south and west by Bangladesh. The word "Meghalaya" literally means the Abode of Clouds in Sanskrit. The state is inhabited by three ethnic communities - the Khasis, the Jaintias and the Garos - each of which follows its own cultural traditions and customs. The common trait binding all three communities is its matrilineal system in which the family linage is taken from the mother's side. The people of Meghalaya are known to be hospitable, cheerful and friendly. The state’s area is divided in Khasi hills, Jaintia hills and Garo hills. The forests of Meghalaya are notable for their biodiversity of flora and fauna.

Fast Facts

Area : 22,429 sq km
Population : 2,318,822
Capital : Shillong
Season : October to May
Languages Spoken : Khasi, Garo and English
STD Code : 0364

Getting There

Air
The nearest airport is Umroi, 33 km from Shillong. LGBI Airport, Guwahati is 128 km from Shillong. Helicopter service is also available between Guwahati-Shillong-Guwahati, Shillong-Tura-Shillong and Guwahati-Tura-Guwahati.

Road
A network of road connects Shillong with all neighbouring states and major cities of the country.

For more information on travelling to Meghalaya and on the state, please visit www.megtourism.gov.in or contact tour operators: Van Rap Tours & Travels, Shillong, Tel: 0364 2220954/09863097634, E-mail: travelpoint_shg@dataone.in, Meghalaya Road Runner Tours, 098630 25621/094361-08581, E-mail: garethw@rediffmail.com, Meghalaya Adventure Tours, Tel: 0986306036, E-mail: matours@rediffmail.com

Hotels in Meghalaya

Hotel Polo Towers
Tel: 2222341

Hotel Pinewood
Tel: 2223146

Alpine Continental
Tel: 2220991

Hotel Centre Point
Tel: 2225210

Pegasus Crown
Tel: 2220667

Hotel Orchid
Tel: 2222664

Hotel Broadway
Tel: 2226996

Rikynjai Resort
Tel: 2223116

Places to Visit

Shillong

The capital of Meghalaya is located in the Khasi hills at an altitude of 1496 m above sea level. This city has been the seat of government since the consolidation of the British administration in this part of India more than a century ago. The city has a charm all its own with natural scenic beauty enhanced by waterfalls, brooks, pine grooves and gardens. The place, the people, the flora and fauna and the climate all combine to make Shillong an ideal resort throughout the year. Shillong is also the headquarters of the North Eastern Council (NEC), the Eastern Air Command the Assam Regimental Centre, the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Martin Luther Christian University (MLCU). A bench of the Guwahati High Court also functions from Shillong. The North East Telecom Circle-I has its headquarters at Shillong. Shillong is also the Regional Head Quarters of Power Grid for North Eastern Region. NEIGRIHMS, the first and the only Postgraduate Medical Institute in the North Eastern Region and third in the country has been established in Shillong. Shillong also boasts of having the first Indian Institute of Management (RGIIM), in the North Eastern Region and the 7th in the country. The 12th National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) has also been setup in Shillong.

In Shillong

Ward’s Lake is one of the most popular tourist spots and adjacent to the lake is the Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum.

State Museum exhibits the anthropological and cultural life of the people of Meghalaya and opposite the meseum is the All Saints Cathedral, one of the oldest churches in Shillong.

Lady Hydari Park is named after the wife of Sir Akbar Hydari and close by to the park is the Crinoline Falls & Swimming Pool.

Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures houses a world class seven storied museum showcasing the rich cultural heritage of north eastern states of India. The skywalk provides the visitors 360 degree view of the city.

Smit Village is an administrative headquarters of the Khyrim Syiemship and in the centre of the village there is the ING SAD where the queen mother (Syiem Sad) lives.

Shillong Peak is generally believed to be the abode of a powerful deity known as U Lel-Shyllongmeaning Shyllong god.

Elephant Falls lies on the way to Cherrapunjee.

Law Duh is a wonderful place for tourist in search of local colour

Entomological Museum(Butterfly Museum) is the only known museum in India devoted to moths and butterflies.

Bishop & Beadon Falls can be seen from Nongkwar hill at Mawlai.

Shillong Golf Course is considered as one of the best country.

Archery Stakes run every day at Saw-furlong, Polo Grounds.

Excursions

Cherrapunjee, renamed as Sohra, is famous for being the heaviest rainfall area in the world and it is dotted with a number of waterfalls such as Nohkalikai Falls, Nohsngithiang (Mawsmai Falls) Kynrem Falls, etc.

Lawkyntang/Law Lygdoh (Mawphlang Sacred grove) is a dense forest grove where the Lyngdoh (chief) used to offer sacrifices and prayers. Jakrem Hot Spring is believed to possess therapeutic qualities.

Umiam Lake, also known as Barapani Lake, is at present the biggest artificial lake in Meghalaya located at a distance of 17 km from Shillong. This is a very popular place for picnics, fishing and water sports. Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation(MTDC) had started operating water-sports in the area. Also the Orchid Lake resort run by the MTDC caters to the need of the visiting tourists.

Mawjymbuin (Mawjynram cave) one can see water dripping from a breast-shaped stone hanging from the ceiling and falling down a stone resembling the shivalinga.

Ranikor lies to the south of Mawsynram(56 km from Shillong),a fishing spots where huge golden mahaseers, the pride of the anglers, are available. The dark blue deep water of Jadukata offers ample scope for water sports.

Mawlynnong Village, the picturesque village located a distance of 90 km from Shillong has earned its reputation as one of the cleanest village in India. The main occupation of the villagers is agriculture and about 82 families living in the Mawlynnong village are responsible in keeping the village surrounding clean.

Mairang is well-known for being the headquarters of U Triot Sing Syiem, Syiem of Nonghklaw (Raja of Nongkhlaw) who raised the battle cry against the British on April 4, 1829. A beautiful memorial is constructed here. Close by to the town lies Kyllang Rock a massive rock of granite that rises 5,400 ft above sea level  the surrounding plains located distance of 78 km from Shillong.

Nongkhnum Island that recently created history in Meghalaya as ‘the second largest island in the Asian continent’ after Majuli Island in Assamlies 14 km from Nongstoin, which is the district headquarters of West Khasi hills. The Island is approximately 20 to 25 sq km in area and it is formed by the bifurcation of Kyunshi River into the Phanliang River and Namliang River Thadlaskein Lake traditionally believed to have been made by the army of U SajarNangli by digging their bows and scooping out the mud. U Lum Sohpetbneng a sacred place of the Khasis. Chibragre is an ideal picnic spot. Nokrek Peak offers an interesting range of orchids including wildlife.

Jowai, located at64 km from Shillong is the headquarters of Jaintia hills and commercial centre.

Nartiang is known for its summer palace of the Jaintia King, the palace is located on a hillock approximately 2 km from Nartiang market. Adjacent to the ruins of the Summer Palace of the Jaintia King in front of the arched gateway of red bricks stands the Durga Temple, which is believed to have been constructed by the King on his conversion to Hinduism. The biggest collection of megalithic stones in single area is found here in Nartiang. Within this collection of stones the tallest one was erected by one of the lieutenant to commemorate the glorious victory of the Jaintia King. Syndai Cave once served as a secured place where Jaintia Kings used to keep their families during strife or war. In around Jowai town one can visit the Monumant of Kiang Nongbah and SyntuKsiar meaning golden flower.

Umlawan Cave, located near Lumshnong village and at a distance of 60 km from Jowai, is been confirmed recently that it is the longest and deepest cave in the sub-continent of the caves explored so far. The Umlawan cave is connected with Kot-Sati and Umsar Caves and forms a length of 21 km and 100 m in depth. Jarain Pitcher Plant Lake,  KrangSuri Falls,  Tyrshi Falls, Ialong Park  and Iooksi (Kupli) Park are other attractions of these area.

Bhaitbari, (Garo hills), a place renowned for its historical and archaeological importance. Siju Caves known as Dobahkolor Cave of Bats is located near the Simsangriver.

Balpakram National Park offers a variety of Wildlife.

Sisobibra and Rongrenggiri, Nokrek Biosphere, near Tura Peak (872 m), are places of historical importance.

Fairs and Festivals


Khasi Nonkrem Dance Festival: November
Garo Wangala Festival: October
Jowai Behdienkhem Festival: July