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MEGHALAYA-NORTHEAST INDIA

In the far eastern part of India, a region which is commonly known as the North East region lays a small state of Meghalaya. The Sanskrit meaning of Meghalaya is the abode of clouds. It is a fitting name for a place that experienced bountiful rain and pleasant weather. Meghalaya is one of the 28 states in the Indian union territory. It destiny with India started in the 1970s when it was politically divided from the greater Assam state on 21st January 1972. Meghalaya has an area of 22,429 square kilometers and lies between 20.1 degrees N and 26.5 degrees N latitude and 85.49 degrees E and 92.52 degrees E longitude. The state shares its border with Bangladesh in the south and eastern part and with Assam in the north and eastern part. There are 11 districts in the state with Shillong the capital city. The city is situated at an average altitude of 4,908 feet above sea level. Most parts of Meghalaya excluding the western part of Garo hills experienced moderate and pleasant climate. As the name suggest Meghalaya is one of the wettest places on earth since it falls under the direct influence of the South-West monsoon. The average rainfall in the state is 12,000 mm. March and April are the Spring season. Summer and monsoon season starts from May and ends in September. Autumn is in October and November while winter season last from December to February. The monsoon usually starts from the middle of May and continues till the end of September or early part of October. People in the state are always found to be carrying an umbrella. The people of Meghalaya are tribe belonging to different communities each with their own distinct culture, language, and identity. The Khasis are the largest tribe with different sub-tribes inhabiting the Khasi and Jaintia Hills. Khasi is the lingua franca in the state. English is widely spoken and the people of Meghalaya have been known to be quite proficient in the art of speaking English. There is a substantial population of nontribals in the Meghalaya in general and Shillong in particular. The Bengalis, Marwaris, Nepali, Tibetan and Chinese community have all made Shillong their home. The cosmopolitan character of Shillong is reflected in the number of restaurants and dining eateries offering Chinese, Indian and exquisite local food. Folk music from Meghalaya is rich and meaningful. Drums and bamboo flutes are some of the popular traditional musical instruments. The different tribes have their own festivals marking the celebration of life and prosperity. There are different kinds of shad or dance form. Shad tynrai or folk dances are of different forms and meaning. Some of the most popular dances are the Shad weiking of the Khasis, the Shad Behdiengkhlam of the Jaintias and the Wangala dance of the Garos. The people of Meghalaya love to indulge in Hollywood movies and western music. Shillong has a certain western culture to it. Music concerts are organized regularly where local bands belt out hit numbers from the Beetles, Scorpio, Bryan Adams and what have you. Recently Shillong is the tag with the name as the rock capital of India. The majority of the population in Meghalaya practiced Christianity. The origin of Christianity can be traced to the advent of the Christian missionaries 150 years ago. Shillong has some of the most beautiful churches and parish in the north east region. The followers of the indigenous religion or niam khasi continued with their cultural practices. The people of Meghalaya are hardworking. They also believe the cardinal principle of respecting oneself as well as their fellowmen. They are welcoming and hospitable. It is a place where a traveler can feel at home and can go back with wonderful memories of its people and the places that are beautiful and breathtaking. So Come and Explore the Beauty of Meghalaya

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