"Meghalaya,The Abode of Clouds & North East Culture" Shillong by goutammitra

Shillong Travel Guide: 78 reviews and 309 photos

Meghalaya is a small state in north-eastern India. The word "Meghalaya" literally means "The Abode of Clouds" in Sanskrit and other Indic languages. Meghalaya is a hilly strip in the eastern part of the country about 300 km long (east-west) and 100 km wide, with a total area of about 8,700 sq mi (22,720 km²). The population numbered 2,175,000 in 2000. The state is bounded on the north by Assam and by Bangladesh on the south. The capital is Shillong also known as the Scotland of the East, which has a population of 260,000.

Tribal people make up the majority of Meghalaya's population. The Khasis are the largest group, followed by the Garos. These were among those known to the British as "hill tribes". Other groups include the Jaintias, the Koch and the Hajong, Dimasa, Hmar, Kuki, Lakhar, Mikir, Rabha and the Nepali.
Meghalaya is one of three states in India to have a Christian majority with 70.3% of the population practicing Christianity the other two (Nagaland and Mizoram) are also in the north-east of India. Hinduism is the next sizeable faith in the region with 13.3% of the population practicing it. A sizeable minority, 11.5% of the population, follow traditional animist religions (classified as other on the census). Muslims make up 4.3% of the population. In 1991 when Christians made up 65% of the population of Meghalaya the 1.1 million (11 lakh) Christians made it the state in North-east India with the most Christians. At that point more Christians lived in Meghalaya than there were people in Mizoram.

The main tribes in Meghalaya are the Jaintias, the Khasis and the Garos. One of the unique features of the State is that a majority of the tribal population in Meghalaya follows a matrilineal system where lineage and inheritance are traced through women. The Khasi and Jaintia tribesmen follow the traditional matrilineal norm, wherein the "Kha Khadduh" (or the youngest daughter) inherits all the property and acts as the caretaker of aged parents and any unmarried siblings. However, the male line, particularly the mother’s brother, may indirectly control the ancestral property since he may be involved in important decisions relating to property including its sale and disposal. The tribal people of Meghalaya are therefore a part of what may be the world's largest surviving matrilineal culture. According to India's National Family Health Survey, Meghalaya is the state where parents have shown the least interest to have a male child—73% less than the national average. ( Some info with courtesy Wikipedia)

Please see videos of Khasi Culture , Flavours of North East ( songs & dances) and Cherrapunjee ( The Wettest Place on Earth). I have tried my best to bring it from Meghalaya.

Self proclaimed rock music capital of India

Many international and Indian rock groups visit Shillong every year. Shillong itself has produced a many legends in rock music which are greatly recognized all over India. Some of the International rock groups that have visited Shillong in the past are:
Scorpions
Firehouse
Petra (a Gospel Rock band)
Sepultura
Michael Learns To Rock
Eric Martin
White Lion
Mr.Big

Lou Majaw, the Bob Dylan of Shillong. Lou and Eddie Rynjah had started celebrating Bob Dylan's birthday in Shillong on May 24, 1972. It has become an annual event and gets extensive coverage on national and international TV Channels.

Cherrapunjee The Wettest Place on Earth!

Cherrapunji pronunciation (also spelled as Cherrapunjee), is a town in East Khasi Hills district in the Indian state of Meghalaya. It is credited as being the wettest place on Earth. However, nearby Mawsynram has more rainfall nowadays.
It is the traditional capital of a hima (Khasi tribal chieftainship constituting a petty state) known as Sohra or Churra.

The original name for this town was Sohra, pronounced as "Churra" by the British before morphing into the present one. Despite perennial rain, Cherrapunji faces an acute water shortage and the inhabitants often have to trek for miles to obtain potable water. Irrigation is also hampered due to excessive rain washing away the topsoil as a result of human encroachment into the forests. Now the Meghalaya State government has decided to rename Cherrapunjee to its local name "Sohra". There is a monument to David Scott (British Administrator in NE India, 1802-31) in Cherrapunji cemetery.

Cherrapunjee receives rains from the Bay of Bengal arm of the Indian Summer Monsoon. The monsoon clouds fly unhindered over the plains of Bangladesh for about 400 km. Thereafter, they hit Khasi hills which abruptly erupt out of the plains to reach a height of about 1370 m above MSL within a short distance of 2 to 5 km. The orography of the hills with many deep valleys channels the low flying (150-300 m) moisture laden clouds from a wide area to converge over Cherrapunjee which falls in the middle of the path of this stream. The winds push the rain clouds through these gorges and up the steep slopes. The rapid ascendance of the clouds into the upper atmosphere hastens the cooling and helps vapours to condense. Most of Cherrapunjee’s rain is the consequence of air being lifted as a large body of water vapour. Extremely large amount of rainfall at Cherrapunjee is perhaps the most well known feature of orographic rain in northeast India.

See Videos:

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful People, Beautiful Climate & Hospitality
  • Cons:The Forest is Receding very fast! We need to wake up!
  • In a nutshell:Very soft spoken people
  • Last visit to Shillong: Apr 2010
  • Intro Updated Apr 25, 2010
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (32)

Comments (9)

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Dec 14, 2011 at 5:49 AM

    A truly excellent page!! I particularly like all the information on the tribes, culture and traditions. The information on the Matriarchal Khasi tribe, Bengalis, and religious preferences is very interesting. Great info. also on hotels, restaurants and all other aspects!! Bravo!!

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    Jul 31, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    India still on my wish list, was lovely touring here with you. Hope you do not mind me asking, but if you want to return ratings, please visit my Prague page? The link is Hlavni Mesto Praha Things to Do Tips by mvtouring. Thanks ;-)

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    May 9, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    Amazing page of Shillong. I enjoyed learning about this part of India. Thanks for sharing. Cheers, SL :)

  • marvelous_girl's Profile Photo
    May 5, 2010 at 2:11 AM

    WOW only one word for the page. 'EXCELLENT'

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    Apr 28, 2010 at 4:49 PM

    Excellent Goutam- I have a wonderful book called 'Chasing the Monsoon' by Alexander Frater, and he ends up in Cherrapunji. Our dream is one day to see this wettest place on earth. Try and buy the book- its amazing.I like the Khasi tradition for women!

  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo
    Apr 13, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    excellent additions. this habit of chewing paan should be stopped by education. i think Khasi laws regarding women should be adopted everywhere. i am impressed by women power and rock bands in Shillong.

  • abi_maha's Profile Photo
    Mar 29, 2010 at 5:20 PM

    I visited Shillong 5 years ago and we visited Barapani at around 6 am! It was a beautiful sight to see the crimson colored sky mirrored in the perfectly still lake!! unforgettable experience!

  • jorgejuansanchez's Profile Photo
    Mar 24, 2010 at 12:46 AM

    Thank you for your very useful Shillong page !

  • black_mimi99's Profile Photo
    Mar 16, 2010 at 5:01 AM

    The traditional cloths so nice Goutam.... :)

goutammitra

“Thanks Daniel & Giampiero for the Tee Shirt!”

Online Now

Male

Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 1 6 2
Forum Rank:
0 0 3 0 2

Badges & Stats in Shillong

  • 32 Reviews
  • 182 Photos
  • 1 Forum posts
  • 9 Comments
  • 13,117PageViews

Have you been to Shillong?

  Share Your Travels  

Photos in Shillong

See All Photos (182)

Videos in Shillong

See All Videos (22)

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)