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Meghalaya | Scotland of East | Shillong | Hungama Kids

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Hello and welcome to Incredible India, where we share some amazing facts about various Indian states. And today's state is one of the ‘Seven Sisters of Indian states’. The name of this state is also beautiful. So let's take you on a journey to the clouds. Yes! You guessed it right, one of the most mesmerizing and mysterious states of India, ‘Meghalaya’!

‘Meghalaya’, the word is made up of two Sanskrit words, ‘Megh’ & ‘Alaya’, which means Home of clouds. So whenever a Hero of a Hindi movie poetically tells the heroine 'let me take you to the clouds' it is this place that he talks about..

Jokes apart.. let's take a look at the map and see where is this state located. This ‘abode of clouds’ is located in the Northeast region of India, between ‘Jaintia’ and ‘Khasi’ hills. Interestingly, it shares its border with only one Indian state, on the east with Assam and another international border on the south with Bangladesh. Shillong is the state capital which is also known as “Scotland of East”. This state was established on 21st January 1972. The religion distribution here is like 70% are Christian, 13% Hindu and only 4% are Muslim. Do you know that English is the official language of Meghalaya!!

For a long time this state was lagging behind in the development part, as compared to other states, but of late, Meghalaya is one of the fastest growing states of India with a growth rate of 9.7%. And a big reason for this growth is the availability of minerals like limestone, coal, uranium, kaolin feldspar, quartz, granite and industrial clay. Although the main industry is agriculture here, other important industries are cement, mini steel plants, food processing, and floriculture, horticulture, granite cutting, and polishing. The turmeric produced here is considered to be one of the best in the world! People of Meghalaya are skilled weavers and artisans and hence you would find small-scale industries of hand-made bamboo cane mats, stools, and basket making.

By now, after listening about Meghalaya you would have understood that there would be some amazing places to see..So here is the list. Nohkalikai waterfalls, Double-decker living root bridge in Nongriat village, Umiam Lake, Laitlum canyon, Dawki Cherrapunji, Mawsmai cave, the sacred forest, Khasi & Garo hills are few names that we can suggest. Do you know that the people here, believe that there is a mystical animal, perhaps a tiger or a serpent (snake) that is responsible for preserving the sacred forests?

Forests are full of Teak and Sal trees and to add to it there are around 325 species of Orchids found. The important animals found here are Red panda, Elephants, Weasels, Civets, Bears, Crocodile, a variety of snakes and around 660 species of birds.

And now I will talk about the tasty dishes of Meghalaya. The staple food of the people of Meghalaya is rice, dried fish and meat. Authentic Khasi food is all about boiled food. The people of Meghalaya are healthy owing to its Nutrient-rich diet. The breakfast normally consists of black tea, boiled eggs or meat.

I will tell you another interesting thing regarding the custom and tradition of this place. In Meghalaya, It is the girl who proposes a match to the boy, which is very unlikely across the country! And the kids use their mother's maiden name as their surname instead of their fathers'..Interesting right!!

Meghalaya is full of visitors all through the year. But, the best time of the year is between March and July. These seasons are when one can see the sizzling waterfalls and green mountains. You can also visit ‘Shillong’ from October to February, which is the post-monsoon season, to enjoy the freezing climate.

Concept by Dr. Vandana Sharma:

Vandana Sharma is a Ph.D. in Management, UGC (NET) qualified and experienced faculty of PGDM, MBA, PGDMM and BBA including J K Business School, Gurugram Area, J K Business School, Gurugram Area, India, ICFAI – Adam Smith Institute of Management, Gurugram Area, GJ-Institute of Management and Technology, Mohali Area, DAV College, Chandigarh Area and some part-time engagements. She has been pursuing her passion for academics for 14+ years and evolved with experience in holistic management of business programs. She is a proficient academic administrator for student empowerment activities, research work, curriculum development, summer internships, field visits, events and admissions. She has written several research papers in journals, articles in case studies and news articles. She is now venturing into writing short story for kids in collaboration with Hungama Kids with original ideas.

Narrator - Prachi Chaube

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