Meghalaya is one of the states in the NEFZ (North East Frontier Zone) and is accessible by road through Assam or by air from Guwahati or Kolkata. Meghalaya was carved out of Assam in 1972 and was declared as a separate state. The state capital is Shillong which is approximately 100 kilometres from the Guwahati and makes for a serene drive among the winding roads of Khasi, Garo Jaintia Hills. The official language of the state is English, however mainly spoken language is Khasi along with Garo and Pnar.
Meghalaya is the wettest state of India and the wettest place in the world Mawsynram is also in this well drenched region with an average of 470 inches of rain annually. Major part of the region (almost 70%) is still forested which is ideal for a diverse range of flora and fauna. Agriculture plays a major part in the state’s economy which mainly produces rice, potatoes, pineapples, banana, spices, etc. The forest industry is another booming facet as the wood found here is amongst the best in the region.
A unique feature of Meghalaya is that they follow a matrilineal system in which the youngest daughter of the family inherits the family wealth and also takes care of the parents. The only way to find the lineage of a family is through females unlike other parts of the country.
There are some beautiful places in Meghalaya such as Cherrapunjee, Umiam, Barapani, etc which mesmerizes one and all. There are a few notable waterfalls in the region; some of them which are a must see are Elephant Falls, 7 Sisters Falls, Shadthum Falls, Weinia Falls, Nohkalikai Falls & Sweet Falls. Meghalaya is the upcoming destination for adventure tourism as the terrain offers ample opportunities for mountaineering, rock climbing, hiking, trekking, spelunking (caving) and various water sports.
There are more than 500 natural sandstones and limestone caves in the state and also boasts of having the deepest and longest cave in the country. The longest cave is known as Krem Liat Prah which currently stands at 34 kilometres (still in progress) long. Synrang Pamiang is the deepest cave which goes down to 314 metres.
The cleanest village of Asia is known as Mawlynnong that is located in East Khasi Hills and has been pollution free since 1970s. The villagers take immense pleasure in the fact that they do not use any fossil fuel which causes pollution. Another amazing thing to see in the area is the living root bridge in Pongtung which has been categorised as UNESCO world heritage site.
By Travel Blogger - Jyotsna Ramani
Contact - http://wanderwithjo.com