Tucked away in the hills of eastern sub-Himalayas is Meghalaya . Meghalaya Emerged as an Autonomous State on 2nd April 1970 and as a full-fledged State on 21st January 1972 marked the beginning of a new era of the geo-political history of North Eastern India Meghalaya is one of the most beautiful State in the country. Nature has blessed her with abundant rainfall, sun-shine, virgin forests, high plateaus, tumbling waterfalls, crystal clear rivers, meandering streamlets and above all with sturdy, intelligent and hospitable people. The state of Meghalaya (translated in English as ‘the abode of clouds’) is a region that receives the highest of rainfall compared to any other place in the world. The rain is a result of the yearly monsoons – dense clouds arising from the Bay of Bengal which head towards India and end up colliding with the high plateaus of Meghalaya to pour themselves out in an aggressive manner. As an obvious result, Meghalaya is filled with two different landscapes, one of lush green rain fed forests and the other of barren land caused by the heavy erosion from relentless rain. This unique climatic phenomenon has been much responsible for carving the landscape of Meghalaya, and turning the region into a paradise of sorts for those wanderlust souls seeking an escape. Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya. It was also the erstwhile capital of complete north east India during the British raj, the legacy and that romanticism of the Raj is still visible in the architecture, culture and food habits of the townsfolk Moreover, the rolling hills that constitute the landscape, earned Shillong the title of being the ‘Scotland of the East’. Fashionable men and women walk the streets of Shillong, most of who belong to the Khasi Tribe. One of the most charming people of India, the Khasis are friendly and have stories for almost everything.
A few things one can do in Meghalaya are –
- Waterfall hopping – In Meghalaya, there is an ever presence of rain, rain and more rain. So much so, the state is filled with countless and infinite waterfalls, from ones which fall from a magnificent height, to ones which have a broad feature. In Buddhism, there is a saying that waterfalls are a doorway to other realms. In that case, Meghalaya is home to infinite realms, perhaps God own country
- Walk in the Living Root Bridges – Every summer when the rains are at their worst, the numerous streams and rivers of Meghalaya become alive with thunderous and deafening rapids, stopping the local tribes from crossing over. But human intelligence is always after solving problems, where sustainable solutions are the most charming of all. Such is the case in Meghalaya, where instead of building concrete bridges to cross over, the tribes have managed to architect one of the world’s man-made marvels, called the Living Root Bridges. At first, the tribes grow two fig trees on the opposite sides of a stream. As years pass, the entire community participates in joining and networking the roots of the two trees. It take more than fifty years for the fruits of their labour to eventually bloom, and when it does, the joined roots form a sort of super strong bridge over which the tribes can move to the other side.
- Stay in a tree house at Mawlynnong – Discovered a few years back, Mawlynnong is considered as being the cleanest village of Asia. And if you happen to take a stroll in any of the cozy concrete footpaths of the village, you will not argue on the claim’s authenticity, rather fall in love with Mawlynnong. The village is home to the fascinating Khasi people. Cute looking houses dot the village, with varieties of flowers growing everywhere which delight and enlighten the landscape of the village. Guests to the village get to stay in the village tree house, and the money generated from tourism is utilized in keeping the village clean and in conserving the nearby forests.
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