Meghalaya is one of the important states in north east with the capital city Shillong.This state is surrounded by clouds all over the year thus it is named as Meghalaya which means home of sky.
But you might be wondering that what is there in Meghalaya for you? So, following diagram explains that:
What’s ahead in the blog:
- Geography of Meghalaya
- Different tribes and culture
- Food culture of Meghalaya
- Tourist attractions of Shillong
Geography of Meghalaya
The state is mountainous, with stretches of valley and Highland plateaus, and it is geographically rich. It mainly has Archean rock which is rich in minerals like coal, limestone, uranium and sillimanite.
With average rainfall as high as 12000 mm annually , Meghalaya is the wettest place on the earth. Meghalaya is a hotspot for biodiversity thus it is rich in flora and fauna. Around 70% part of the state is forest.
Different tribes and culture
Meghalaya mainly has 3 divisions based on the tribes living in this area. These 3 divisions are as below:
- Jaintia hills
- Khasi hills and
- Hari hills
The majority of the population follow a matrilineal system. Youngest daughter has the right on property and she has to take responsibility for old parents. Meghalaya is the world’s largest survival of matrilineal culture.
All three tribal groups have their own political culture. These political institutes are well developed and functioned at various levels such as village level, clan level and state level.
In khasi each clan has its own political system and the headman is president of this system. This is known as Dorbar kur .Jaintia also has a three tier political system somewhat similar to the Khasi people.
In Garo tradition they have A.king at clan level and Nokmas supervise the work of all A.kings. The Nokmas perform judicial as well as legislative function.
Different tribes also have many different festivals but dance is central to the culture of tribal life. All tribes commonly celebrate nature, balance and solidarity among its people.
Food culture of Meghalaya
Meghalaya has 3 different tribes and all tribes have their own food culture. Most of the people get their food from the forest around them. Most of the people are non vegetarian. They get their food by hunting as well as sea food is also available.
People in Meghalaya are well cultured and they do farming on hill slopes. Major crops are potato, chilli, tomato, pineapple , bamboo and Supari. Tea is also cultivated in some parts. Farm size is comparatively smaller than other India.
As these people get their food ,spices and other cooking material from the forest their food has unique taste. So let’s explore food in Meghalaya.
This is a popular khasi dish made of local rice, meat pieces, green chillies, onios, ginger, turmeric,black pepper and bay leaves. Tribal people like to mix it with chicken blood and then cook the rice. This dish is generally served with aloo bharta.
Dog Syiar ( barbecue chicken)
Pieces of chicken that are marinated with salt and butter and then grilled on charcoal.
It’s Simple curry made with dry fish, garlic and chilli.
Pathaw bad doh Thad
Light and delicious curry made with pumpkin, smoked pork, onions, garlic and black paper.
Dog sniangnei long
Earthy and exitic khasi preparation comprises soft and succulent pork chunks cooked in a black sesame seed paste.
It is rice cooked in oil or fat ( mostly pork fat) along with onions and garlic paste.
You will find many more such delicious foods in Meghalaya now the question arises how to reach there so let’s see how to reach Meghalaya.
Tourist attractions of Shillong
This is 12 km from the police Bazar of Shillong. It takes around 30 minutes to reach there. You can also visit a tea garden in the way of elephant fall.
This waterfall is in 3 steps. You can do all these steps in a single ticket.
Entry fee :20/-
Timing : 7am to 6pm
This beautiful garden in Shillong . It is also known as Lady Hyderi garden as it is constructed for lady Hyderi. If you have free time and want a calm seat or if you kids are with you should not forget to visit this place.
Entry fee rs. 10
Boating 160 for 30 mins.
Timings : 7am – 8pm
(Close on Tuesday)
Don Bosco museum
Don Bosco Museum is a private venture of Don Bosco a part of the Catholic Church. There is also a Research Centre inside. The purpose of this Museum is to promote the culture of North East India.
This is a 7 floor museum. Each floor is dedicated to one state in the North East . This is a must visit place in Shillong as you can know about culture, geography, history and demography of North East by visiting this museum. From this Museum we can get knowledge of 250 tribes and measures of Tribes of North East India. Weapons, dresses, fishing and hunting methods, storage devices, ornaments and so many other things of all these types are available in the museum.
Also you could see the top view of Shillong city from here. There is one government store available inside the museum from where you could get handicrafts.
It takes around two to three hours to see the Museum properly.
Entry fee: Rs. 100.
Catheral of Mary help of Christians
This is one of the peaceful places in sky blue colour. View of this place is cinematic. This is the largest church of Northeast.
It is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic architecture of Shillong. The cathedral Church was built 50 years ago. Located in the laitumkhrah locality in Shillong.
The cathedral of Mary help of Christian is one of the most beautiful churches in Shillong. The construction of the present shrine was started after the first Church built at this site got destroyed in the fire in 1936.
Timings: 7am -6:30pm
If you want to enjoy the greenery and want to visit the original Scotland of North East then you should visit the golf course. Fairies layers after layers of green expand of land and mountains the background. You will find Local settings for their and some youngsters playing football.
It is on the way to Shillong from Guwahati. It is around 40 minutes away from the Police bazar of Shillong. There is one top view of the lake on the way to Shillong.
You can also climb town and go to the Orchid Lakeview Resort which is just a long side of the lake. There is unsupported facility available in the lake. Garden near the lake is fabulous. You could spend some quality time there before moving ahead to Shillong.
So this is Shillong .During my visit to Meghalaya I spent 2 days in Shillong but I felt that was a very small period of time. The beauty of nature and climate of Shillong holds you there. To experience solitude, nature and peace you should visit Meghalaya at least once.
From Guwahati you can reach any part of Northeast and Guwahati is accessible to the other part of India.
If you are not staying in the nearby part of Assam then it’s better to reach Guwahati by flight. Guwahati is well connected to Kolkata and Delhi Airport. So we can go from any part of India to the Guwahati easily.
Shillong is the capital city of Meghalaya. Shillong is connected to the Guwahati by road. Road between Shillong and Guwahati is good and it is a state highway.
Distance between Guwahati and Shillong is around 100 km.
Generally it is seen that the capital city of any state is a mirror of that state. We could know about the state by knowing it’s capital. So let’s explore the Shillong.
Cherrapunji is the most famous nearby place to visit from Shillong. Also Guwahati and Assam are beautiful places to visit near Shillong.
If you are travel liver also check our other blogs related to tour of Pune, Hampi and Badami.