Back in the winters of 1972, three exotic regions namely the Khasi hills, Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills united to form one beautiful state of ‘Meghalaya’. Today, it features to be one of the seven sisters of Northeast India. Just as its geographical and topographical beauty, its essence and charm also lies within its constituents making it the ‘Scotland of the East’. Some jewels of this beautiful crown of the Northeast can been found below,
The Living Root Bridges: Meghalaya is the only state in India that is a home to the ‘Living Root Bridges’ situated in Cherapunji. The beauty of these bridges are that they are formed from the roots of the trees and their tenacity is a wonder. These bridges for ages have been maintained and handled by members of the Khasi tribes but who first built it and started the tradition is yet a mystery.
Mawlynnong– Another beautiful contribution of the Khasi tribe in Meghalaya is the cleanest village in Asia namely Mawlynnong also known to be ‘God’s own Garden. Mawlynnong was awarded the cleanest village in Asia in 2003 and ever since has lived up to its title. The people of this village make sure that their surroundings are clean and tidy. Along with cleanliness, this village has also achieved 100 literacy rates being one of the few villages in India to do so.
A Matriarchial Society: Where most of India deals in a patriarchal society, the majority of Meghalaya follows the lady of the house. Just like the society where we live, these people of Meghalaya carry forward the surnames of their mothers. The woman is the sole decision maker and her word is final. It is the state where men follow the women with the same respect that men get in a patriarchal society.
Did you know that the official language of Meghalaya is English? Not just that but the script used in Khasi is in Latin which is similar to the Roman script used in the English language. Apart from English, few locals speak in regional languages like Khasi and Garo.
The East Khasi Hills of Meghalaya is a home to the legendary Nohkalikhai Waterfalls – one of the tallest plunge waterfalls in India measuring around 340 metres of height. It is believed that this waterfall was named to pay respect to Ka Likai for her sad demise. It is believed that in a village called Rangjyrteh, there lived a woman named Likai who found she had no choice but to remarry following the death of her husband. Ka Likai was left with an infant daughter and began working as a porter for a living. She usually left her child unattended during work and couldn’t give enough time to her second husband. Consumed with rage, he hated his little stepdaughter and finally killed her one day and cooked her flesh. When Ka Likai returned, she found the house empty and a prepared meal. She wanted to look for her daughter, but was so exhausted that she could think of nothing but consume the meal. Ka Likai usually chewed betel nuts after her meal, but was horrified to discover a bloody finger near the place where she usually prepared her betel nuts. Realising what had happened in her absence she went mad with anger and grief and began to run frenziedly. She finally ran right off the edge of the plateau, plunging to her death, unable to bear any longer the thought that she had unknowingly cannibalised her daughter.
Meghalaya houses one of the longest caves of South Asia namely the Krem Liat Prah and Krem Puri. These caves are natural long caves and the most informative place for geologists. The samples of stalagmites and stalactites tell stories that helped them determine the climate of the planet earth, during that time which led to the discovery of a new age – The Meghalayan. The phase runs from 4200 years ago to the present. The age that began from a drastic drought that led to the major shift in civilization. Although it’s one of the fastest growing activities of cave exploration among adventure seeking travellers, going alone is not advisable be it a newbie or an expert who knows the region well. These caves are definitely not for fragile hearted people.
This beautiful state of India and its biosphere in equilibrium with each other is worth being witnessed. To explore more of Meghalaya and its sister states click here. You can also have your visit to the Scotland of the East curated according to your wishes by reaching us