The culture of Meghalaya encompass that of socio-economic way that is followed in the society of Meghalaya. The Garo, the Khasi and the Jaintia people living in the various part of the Meghalaya. There lies the rich culture that belongs and enriches Meghalaya.
Let’s begin with the people of Meghalaya. It is basically dominated by the Christian religion. Many of the Christian missionaries had taken place during the period of 19th century. Apart from the Christians, there are other prominent communities that reside on the grounds of the Meghalaya. Few of them are as follows:
The Garo : The Garos are popular as Achik. They are found on the southern region of Meghalaya. It is said that the Garos had their origin in Tibet and they are amongst the migrated people few centuries back. However, as the time passed they have fully emerged here on the land of Meghalaya and are divided into the three major groups’ viz. Momin, Marak and Sangma.
Khasi : The Khasis are amongst the mon-Khemar family that belongs to the Austroasiatic group. There is sub group of these people known as Pnar and Khasi that covers few parts of Jaintia Hills and Khasi Hills.
The Khansi and Jaintia cover the 4 districts and the Khasi community is divided into 5 groups:
Pnars and Jaintia
Meghalaya has an amazing art and crafts along with the music and dance that forms the most important part of the Meghalayan culture. The arts and the other forms of culture are described in the following manner.
The culture of Meghalaya lies in its genesis and the evolution that has emerged in every aspect with its development. Meghalayan culture is one of the beautiful cultures to study and to know about.
Meghalaya is situated in the middle of Bangladesh to its south and Bramhaputra valley to its north. The area of Meghalaya is around 22, 429 sq.km. The population of Meghalaya is around 1,774,778.
The rivers of Meghalaya form an important aspect enhancing the geographic beauty of Meghalaya. The important rivers present here are Kalu, Ringgi, Ajagar, Daring, Sanda and Simsang. The navigable rivers amongst them are Krishna, Kalu and Nitai in the central and eastern part of the Meghalayas plateau. The major rivers are Umkhri Kynchiang, Digaru and Myntdu.
Meghalaya is also known as Shillong Plateau or the Meghalaya plateau. The most important part of the Meghalayan Plateau is the formation of the rocks specially the Jaintia Hills, Garo and the Khasi Hills and the Assam ranges are found in its border. Meghalaya is the symbol of the extension of the peninsular region of India towards northeast direction. The height of this Meghalaya plateau is about 150 meters high and is 1969 above the sea level.
The physical aspect and the height of the hills directly or indirectly fall on the natural vegetation right from the Garo hills that comprises of the mixed forest to the pine forest that has high altitudes. The unplanned cutting of trees and grazing the land are the major reason for the destruction of the natural resource that is found in Meghalaya. Few forest are totally destroyed and the natural vegetation is about to extinct. Pine, Bamboo, Sal etc are found in a large scale in this region. The vital crops found here are potato, rice, pineapple, banana, maize etc. The forest here is blessed with the numerous and distinct species of birds, animals, mammals and plants. It is believed that the Tiger might have entered in India via these forests.
The Meghalayan history has the exciting past. It deals with many incidents and numerous illustrations those had witnessed the growth of Meghalaya as an independent state. As the hills are considered, it can be said that this place is the home town for the hills like Garo, Jaintia and Khansi. It was up to the 19th century that the three tribal communities in Meghalaya viz. Khasi, Garo and Jaintia had rule the different regions from the Meghalaya. They could rule only for few days. Then there was entry of the British that ruined the rule of these three communities during the period of 1935, Meghalaya was considered as the part of Assam. Still, Meghalaya was able to celebrate its semi- independence until they had signed the treaty between the British Crown and the Meghalayas.
Meghalaya history has showed that even though it belonged to Assam since 1947, they have always enjoyed the power that is included in the territory from Assam.
The modern Meghalaya which is maintained since 1971, according to the parliament has confirmed as the autonomy on Meghalaya. The 21st January 1972, proved to be the day when Meghalaya actually emerged as an autonomous state having its own state legislative.
Meghalaya has very convenient facilities. Meghalaya is situated to the northern side of Bangladesh which gives the excellent transport. The taxis, buses and even private sumos are available for the traveling in the state. The journey in the state of Meghalaya very comfortable as the transportation here is easily available.
Traveling through bus is the most important and a very good suggestion for traveling in Meghalaya. Even the neighboring states of Meghalaya can be visited with the help of bus. The regular buses are available from Guwahati in Assam. The National Highway 40 is the one that connects to Shillong which is the state capital.
The bus terminal of Shillong is situated at the centre of town, near the Centre Point. There is the bus facility that avails you to take the journey of entire Meghalaya along with the trip out of the state. The place that includes Kaziranga, Siliguri, Aizwal, Agartala, Kohima, Itanagar, Darjeeling, Manas and Gangtok along with the insight of Meghalaya.
MTC or the Meghalaya Transport Corporation can facilitate the bus from the bus station that is situated near Police Bazaar, Shillong. The buses are available on a daily basis. The Buses are available from the following destination:
Aizawl in Mizoram
Guwahati in Assam
Kohima in Nagaland
Silchar in Kachar District
Imphal in Manipur
Nongpoh in Ri Bhoi
Agartala in Tripura
Nongtoin in West Khasi Hills
Tura in West Garo Hills
Baghmara in South Garo Hills
Jowai in Jaintia Hills
Williamnagar in East Garo Hills
The most easy and quickest way to travel in Meghalaya is by Taxi. There is no chance to miss a taxi as it has the patent color black and yellow that will make you recognize it. Well, if you are ready to shell out money, then taxi is the best way for you to travel to the spacious Meghalaya.
Meghalaya has the Tata Indica Car service which is very easily available. It’s a very good option for traveling on the grounds of Meghalaya. This service is available near the Hotel Mayur, Shillong.
The easy and convenient transport system in Meghalaya makes your trip memorable.