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Meghalaya

Meghalaya literally means “the abode of the cloud”. The vast clouds that originate from the Bay of Bengal, crosses the heated plains of Bangladesh and enter into India at Meghalaya. Suddenly the Garo, Khasi and Jaintia hills of the Shillong Plateau cool the cloud resulting in rainfall. Meghalaya is the home of the cloud and one of the wettest places on earth with an average rainfall of about 12000 mm in some areas.

The state of Meghalaya is part of the famous 7 sisters of North East. It is bounded by the state of Assam on its North and East and by Bangladesh on its South and West. The state is divided into three major areas. The Garo hills which form the western part of the state and is further divided into 5 districts. The Khasi hills, forming the central part of the state is divided into 4 districts and the Jaintia hills on the eastern side constituting two more districts.

The state capital Shillong is situated in East Khasi hills not far from the Assam border. Although the state has 11 districts, most tourism activity is limited to the East Khasi district and to the neighbouring West Jaintia Hill district area. The remaining 9 districts, although have equal tourism potential, are yet to be featured majorly in the tourism calendar.

The capital Shillong is the hub of tourism activity in the state. Shillong is touted to be the ‘Scotland of the East’. In the nearby area, one can visit tourist destinations such as Cherrapunji – Mawsynaram – Dawki – Jowai and other places all of these places are within 2 to 4 hours drive from Shillong.

Most of the about three and a half million local population are aborigines of the land, there is proof of human habitation of the state since the Neolithic age. Khasi, Garo and Jaintia people constitute about 83% of the population. Bengali, Nepali and some other smaller tribes constitute the rest of the population. 75% of people are Christian here and English is the official language.

Getting there

The only rail station in the state is at Mendipathar on the Meghalaya Assam boarder. For all practical purpose, the Guwahati rail station acts as the hub for all movement to Meghalaya. The Guwahati airport is also the major airport connecting the rest of the country with Meghalaya. There is an airport near Shillong with few flight connections. But Guwahati airport is much larger and much better connected. Guwahati is about 105 km from the capital Shillong.

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