Eastern States

Meghalaya

Do you know about Meghalaya?

Meghalaya (Pron: ˌmeɪgəˈleɪə) is a state in the north east of India. The name means "The Abode of Clouds" in Sanskrit and other Indo-Iranian languages. As of 2011, the state has a population of 2,964,007 and is the 23rd most populous in the country.[1][2] Meghalaya covers an area of approximately 300 kilometres in length and about 100 kilometres in breadth. This state is bounded to the north by Assam and by Bangladesh to the south. The capital is Shillong, known as the "Scotland of the East"[citation needed], and which has a population of 143,007.[citation needed]

About one third of the state is forested. The Meghalaya subtropical forests ecoregion encompasses the state; its mountain forests are distinct from the lowland tropical forests to the north and south. The forests of Meghalaya are notable for their biodiversity of mammals, birds, and plants. It was previously part of Assam, but on 21 January 1972, the districts of Khasi, Garo and Jaintia hills became the new state of Meghalaya.

Meghalaya has predominantly an agrarian economy. The important crops are potatoes, rice, maize, pineapples, bananas, etc. The service sector is made up of real estate and insurance companies. The state has become a hub of illegal mining activity. Meghalaya's gross state domestic product for 2004 was estimated at $1.6 billion in current prices.

Shillong, the capital of the state, is a popular hill station. There are several falls in and around Shillong. Shillong Peak, also known as the "abode of the gods" is the highest in the state.


Festivals of meghalaya

Khasis

Dance is at the very heart of Khasi life, rich in repertoire, performed often as a part of the "rites de passage" — the life-cycle of an individual in society or the annual passage of the seasons. Dances are performed at the level of individual villages (Shnong), a group of villages (Raid) and a conglomeration of Raids (Hima). Local or regional flavours and colours bring variations to the basic dance form, which is universal in Khasi folk culture. Types of (khasi) festivals includes Ka Shad Suk Mynsiem, Ka Pom-Blang Nongkrem, Ka-Shad Shyngwiang-Thangiap, Ka-Shad-Kynjoh Khaskain, Ka Bam Khana Shnong, Umsan Nongkharai, Shad Beh Sier.

Jaintias

Festivals of the Jaintia Hills, like others, contribute significantly to maintaining a balance between man, his culture and his natural environment or eco-system. At the same time it seeks to revive the spirit of cohesiveness and solidarity among the people. Festivals of Jaintias includes Behdienkhlam, Laho Dance, Sowing Ritual Ceremony.

Garos

The main festivals of Garos are Den Bilsia, Wangala, Rongchu gala, Mi Amua, Mangona, Grengdik BaA, Jamang Sia, Ja Megapa, Sa Sat Ra Chaka, Ajeaor Ahaoea, Dore Rata Dance, Chambil Mesara, Do'KruSua, Saram Cha'A, A Se Mania or Tata.


Principal Languages and Climate

Climate

The State enjoys a temperate climate. It is directly influenced by the South-West Monsoon and the northeast winter wind. The four seasons of Meghalaya are: Spring - March and April, Summer (Monsoon) - May to September, Autumn -October and November and Winter - December to February.

The Monsoon usually starts by the third week of May and continues right to the end of September and sometimes well into the middle of October. Maximum rainfall occurs over the southern slopes of the Khasi Hills, i.e over the Sohra and the Mawsynram platform, which receives the heaviest rainfall in the world. The average rainfall in the State is 12,000 mm.

Principal Languages

The principal languages in Meghalaya are Khasi, Pnar and Garo with English as the official language of the State. It was at the initiative of the Christian missionaries that the Khasi, Pnar and Garo languages and literature have developed and emerged in the list of Modern Indian Languages. The Khasi language is believed to be one of the very few surviving dialects of the Mon-khmer family of languages in India today.


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