Meghalaya, swaddled amidst wraith-like mists, is aptly called the abode of the clouds. It is one of India’s prettiest and youngest states (the 21st), having split away from Assam in 1970.
Inhabited by the Khasis, Jaintia and Garos, it is best known for the pretty hill station Shillong, which has been Meghalaya’s First City for a long time. Christianity has been a compelling force amongst all three communities of the state. Meghalaya shares borderlines with Assam and Bangladesh.
Standing out amongst the other North East states, not just for its traditional natural beauty, Meghalaya is also known for its unique matrilineal society, which governs lineage and ancestral inheritance through the female line.
With British conquest, the Bengali community came in as administrators, the Nepalese served in the military and the Marwaris stepped in as traders. Christian missions were established among the Khasis and in the Garo Hills and Shillong which was to become an important educational centre, a summer resort and also a garrison station. It was not just the British who ended up enjoying the benefits of these developments.
For centuries now Meghalaya’s historical strengths have been irreversibly linked with its superlative natural setting. For the discerning holiday-maker, nothing could be more enticing…