TRIPURAINFO










MEGHALAYA

KHASI HILLS-THE LAND OF ABUNDANT WONDERS

Khasi Hills is perhaps best known for Sohra (Cherrapunjee), geographically famous for being the wettest place on earth and also Shillong, one of the most beautiful hill stations in India. Infact the entire Khasi Hills region that forms the central part of Meghalaya is richly endowed with natural beauty. Everywhere you go, you will never cease to be mystified by the spectacular charm the state offers.


SHILLONG

The capital city of the State as well as the District headquarter of East Khasi Hills District. The name Shillong is derived from U-Shyllong, a powerful deity and is situated at an altitude of 1,491m above sea level. This beautiful city is 103 kms. from Guwahati, the nearest air and train link.

The presence of many well reputed educational institutions, many of them established by various missionary groups make Shillong the hub of education for the entire north-east.


SMIT

LOCATION: EAST KHASI HILLS DISTRICT

Just 17 Kms South of Shillong is the traditional seat of Khasi culture. The Nongkrem dance, is performed in Smit during November. Close by in Nongkrem village there is one traditional house owned by the Lyngdoh, which is 100 years old.

MAWPHLANG

One of the most remarkable features of the Khasi Hills are the sacred forests, which have been preserved by traditional religious sanction, since the ancient days. One of the most famous sacred forests is the Mawphlang Sacred Forest, about 25 kilometres from Shillong. The sacred grove has an amazing life form of plants, flowering trees, orchids and butterflies. An ideal destination for nature lovers.

The sacred-groves which have been preserved since time immemorial, are in sharp contrast to their surrounding grasslands. These groves are generally rimmed by a dense growth of Castanopsis kurzii trees, forming a protective hedge which halts intrusion of Pinus kasia (Khasi pine) which dominates all areas outside the sacred groves. Inside the outer rim, the sacred groves are virtually Nature's Own Museum. The heavily covered grounds have a thick cushion of humus accumulated over the centuries. The trees in every sacred groveare heavily loaded with epiphytic growth of aroids, pipers, ferns, fern-allies and orchids. The humus-covered grounds likewise harbour myriad varieties of plant life, many of which are found nowhere else.


SOHRA (CHERRAPUNJEE)

Sohra, previously known as Cherrapunjee, a Sub-Division in the East Khasi Hills District of Meghalaya, is set upon a plateau on the southern slopes of the state. Sohra is dotted with waterfalls cascading over deep gorges. The swift flowing rivers and streams flow in a southernly direction to the plains.

LAITKYNSEW

Location: East Khasi Hills District
15 Kms further from Sohra (Cherrapunjee) there is a holiday resort run by a private party. The resort offers visitors treks around the picturesque hills, spring bath, the thrills of caving and many other forms of excitement. Close to the resort there is the living root bridge across a torrential stream, that any visitor would love to see. In the adjacent village of Nongriat two such living bridges have been created by weaving and inter-twine roots of the same banyan tree. It has come to be referred to as Jingkieng Nongriat or more commonly Double Decker.

MAWSYNRAM

Location: East Khasi Hills District
Mawsynram is a small village in the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya state in north-eastern India, 56 kilometres from Shillong. Reportedly the wettest place on Earth, Mawsynram receives an average annual rainfall of 11,872 mm (about 39 feet). However, as there has been no meteorological department office in the area and for all practical and statistical purposes, Cherrapunjee has been recorded as the wettest place in the world.

Mawsynram is a place where nature-loving people frequently visit wherein they take pleasure in the steep, sliding slopes, the fresh air, the rolling green mountains and the deafening but beautiful waterfalls.

In Mawsynram, there is a cave called the Mawjymbuin Cave which is one of the well known caves in Meghalaya. This cave, due to years of weathering and due to dripping of mineralized solutions and deposition of calcium carbonate, it has thus given rise to some magnificent stalagmites. These stalagmites are not only important and of great interest for geological research but also because of their exquisiteness. The stalagmite of the Mawjymbuin Cave is shaped into a massive Shivalinga. The cave also has a dome shaped rock with a flat top called the Symper Rock.

MAWLYNNONG VILLAGE

Location: East Khasi Hills District
Mawlynnong Village has earned the distinction of being the cleanest village in India. It is situated 90 kms. from Shillong and besides the picturesque village, offers many interesting sights such as the living root bridge and another strange natural phenomenon of a boulder balancing on another rock. Mawlynnong nestled in the pristine hill state of Meghalaya, is along the Indo-Bangla border. This cute and colourful little village is known for its cleanliness. The main occupation of the villagers is agriculture. They mostly grow betel nut. About 82 households live in Mawlynnong. Keeping the surrounding environment clean is an age old tradition. Discover India magazine declared the village as the cleanest in Asia in 2003.

A dustbin made out of bamboo is found all along the village. Every one makes it a point that dirt and waste are not thrown everywhere. All the waste from the dustbin is collected and kept in a pit, which the villagers use as manure. The villagers are now on a mission to ban plastic. The village with cent per cent literacy is conscious and they are spreading the message of conservation and protection of the forest. Locals plant trees to ensure that the virgin forest is kept intact and also replenished.

Mawlynnong's fame is now drawing an endless stream of guests from across the country and abroad. Although residential facilities are still scarce and are in the process of being developed, the existing one constructed from bamboo and thatch is quite hospitable and restful. Mawlynnong is an artist's delight and the sort of getaway that would titillate creative writers and poets.

UMIAM LAKE

Location: Ri Bhoi District
More popularly known as Barapani, this is the biggest artificial lake in the State. Surrounded by sylvan hills and wrapped in the beauty of an assortment of green Khasi-pines and the azure blue skies is the majestic Umiam lake. The lake situated just 15 km from Shillong on the Guwahati-Shillong National Highway has left a lasting impression on each and every person who has come to this lake.

Developed upon the reservoir of the Umiam Hydro Electric Project, the Water Sports Complex provides a choice of row-boats, paddle-boats, cruise boats, sailing boats, water scooters and speed boats. This is a very popular place for picnic, fishing and watersports. M.T.D.C. had started operating water-sports in the area. Also the Orchid Lake resort run by the M.T.D.C. cater to the need of the visiting tourists.
Adjacent to the resort is the Lum Nehru Park, a popular picnic spot.

DIENGIEI PEAK

Location: Ri Bhoi District
Located to the west of the Shillong plateau, Diengiei Peak is just two hundred feet lower than Shillong peak. The peak presents a spectacular view of green mountainous hills.

The captivating hills are dotted with tiny shining villages. Diengiei Peak is accessible by the Umiam-Union Christian College-Mawmaram motorable road which takes off from National Highway-40 at Umiam. Atop Diengiei, a visitor is greeted with a commanding view of the Umiam lake with the city of Shillong in the background. On the top of Diengiei, there is a huge hollow, shaped like a cup, which some geologists believe could be the crater of an extinct pre-historic volcano.

MAIRANG

Location: West Khasi Hills District
Half-way to Nongstoin is Mairang, the sub-divisional head-quarter, 12 kms from which, lies the imposing Kyllang rock. A massive dome shape of single rock of granite, rising to an elevation of about 5400 ft above sea level, it measures 1,000 fts. across in diameter. Kyllang rock lies 78 km from Shillong According to geologists, this rock is about several million years old. The rock can be accessed from the northern and eastern flanks. The southern flank is inaccessible because of its slope exceeds 800 over an incline of about six hundred feet.

It is believed that the rock possesses a sort of magnetic field, so no one will fall from the slope. Enormous detached blocks of rock features the southern side and dense forests in the northern side. The forest is thickly populated with age-old red Rhododendron trees and oaks along with white Rhododendron trees, which are not found elsewhere.

The southern side of Kyllang Rock is encumbered with enormous detached blocks of rock, while its northern side is clothed with dense forests, containing age-old red Rhododendron trees and oaks besides bushy, white Rhododendron trees.

A beautiful memorial in the honour of U Tirot is constructed here in Mairang to commemorate his great feats.

JAINTIA HILLS-LAND OF MYTHS AND LEGENDS

The Jaintia Hills in the State of Meghalaya is bounded on the North and East by the State of Assam. On the South by Bangladesh and on the West by East Khasi Hills District. The total area is 3,819 sq.kms. having a population of 2,95,692 (2001 Census). A land of undulating hills rich in mineral deposits. The natural vegetation changes according to the topography of the land kingdom of Jaintiapur now in present day Bangladesh.

JOWAI

Location: Jaintia Hills District
64 kms. from Shillong is the administrative headquarters of Jaintia Hills as well as the commercial centre. It is situated alongside the Myntdu river which encircles two thirds of this over expanding township.

NARTIANG

Location: Jaintia Hills District
The Village of Nartiang is significant for its Summer Palace of the Jaintia King whose Capital was Jaintiapur. The remnants of the summer Palace is located on a hillock approximately two kilometres from the Nartiang market. The archway which can be seen to this day shows that they were well versed in the making of red bricks similar to the ones used by the Ahom Kings of Assam. From the cannons found in the Shiv temple it goes to show that they had skills in techniques of fire arms and metallurgy. At present there lies a Hindu temple in this vicinity and the priests who practice, there are direct descendants of the original priests that came from Jaintiapur.

DURGA TEMPLE AT NARTIANG

Location: Jaintia Hills District
Adjacent to the ruins of the Summer Palace of the Jaintia King in front of the arched gateway of red bricks stands the Durga Temple. It is believed that the temple was constructed by the Jaintia King on his conversion to Hinduism. It is said that the temple construction initially was like a typical Khasi house having a Central wooden pillar (dieng Blai) and the roof was in thatch. Later, the thatch was replaced by a corrugated tin roof. Further modification on the roof as we now see has a steeple like a Church.

During the rule of the Jaintia Kings, human sacrifices were offered to Goddess Durga. Within the temple there is a tunnel that reaches the river Myntang and it is through this hole that the heads were rolled down to the Myntang River. Human sacrifice was banned during British rule and goats are now sacrificed.

DAWKI

Location: Jaintia Hills District
Travelling from Shillong to the International trade route border town of Dawki is a splendid drive of 95 kilometres passing through deep gorges and ravines, which is certainly a thrilling experience. On approaching Dawki is the Umngot river, the venue of the annual boat race held during March - April at Umsyiem.

The Umngot river is the natural boundary between Ri Pnar or Jaintia Hills with Hima Khyrim of Khasi hills over which is a single span suspension bridge was constructed. This is the gateway to Bangladesh where major export and import transactions take place.


LADY OF GOOD HEALTH SHRINE

Location: Jaintia Hills District
Shrine of our lady of good health. In Raliang village, 32 Kms off Jowai road there stand, a magnificent triple storied octagonal structure consisting of only one big hall with the altar on the centre. Atop the dome of the shrine and over the altar there is an imposing statue of our Lady of good Health made of shimmering white marble standing upon a globe. The shrine is a replica of our lady of Good Health at Turin Holy.

JARAIN PITCHER PLANT LAKE

Location: Jaintia Hills District
Located at Jarain, in Amlarem subdivision of War-Jaintia region amid the natural habitat of the carnivorous pitcher plant -- Nepenthenes Khasiana spreads over an area of 50,000 square metres. A pretty lake sits placidly amid gravelled footpaths, arch bridges, pitcher plant garden and green house -interpretation centre. The railings of the boat-house are styled on the pitcher plant. A pitcher plant replica in the middle of the lake doubles up as a fountain -- the setting is perfect for a leisurely boat ride. There are paddle-boats to engage visitors as they soak in the greenery of the low lying hillocks around. Four boats have been provided and the lake is attracting a lot of visitors from far and near.

KRANG SURI FALLS

Location: Jaintia Hills District
Krang Suri is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the District. It is located in the Amlarem Civil Sub Division. To transform the place into a tourists destination the District Administration has initiated steps to construct Chisseled and graveled footpaths and view points to enable visitors to better appreciate the beauty of the waterfall and its surroundings.

The footpaths are hewn from the natural multi colored stones available in the area, no cement has been used and stones have been placed symmetrically to enhance the aesthetic.

IALONG PARK

Location: Jaintia Hills District The Park is located about 8 kms from Jowai. It is known for its sacred grove and for its setting which overlooks the beautiful Pynthorwah Valley. Through the Special DRDA Tourism Project the District Administration have taken step to beautify the park by creating infrastructure such as water dams and canals, toilet

facilities with changing rooms, hoardings, jungle clearance which has attracted tourist far and wide. A water eco park is also taking shape with an intention to change Ialong into a major Tourism Hub of the District.

GARO HILLS-THE ECOLOGICAL CANVAS OF MEGHALAYA

The Garos predominantly inhabiting the three districts of the State namely East Garo Hills, West Garo Hills and South Garo Hills are basically superstitious, believe in spirits and have rich traditional tales of myths and legends. To the Garos everything that is interesting and unnatural has to have the lore of Forming the western part of the State the entire Garo Hills having an area of approximately 8,000 sq kms. is densely forested and hence one of the richest spots in bio¬diversity.

TURA

Location: West Garo Hills District
Tura the headquarter of West Garo Hills, which was also the headquarter of composite Garo Hills before two more districts of East and South Garo Hills were created, is 323 kms. from Shillong via Guwahati named after a powerful goddess Durama-Imbama, this Tura town is situated at the foot of Tura peak. 5 kms higher at 1400 m the peak offers some of the finest views of the hills against a backdrop of lowlying plains and sweeping curve of the mighty Brahmaputra.

TURA PEAK

Location: West Garo Hills District
A beautiful and majestic hill stands on the eastern side of Tura at a height of 872 m above sea level overlooking the town of Tura. Local legend has it that the peak provides a sacred shelter or abode to the ‘Gods’ and it is also claimed that Tura was traditionally known as Dura, but due to mispronunciation by the British gave it the present name of Tura. The Tura range has been declared a reserve forest with an observatory, a Cinchona plantation and a tourist bungalow located at its vicinity. A magnificent view of the lower Brahmaputra valley as well as the golden yellow plains of Bangladesh can be seen all year round from the peak. A foot-track or path developed during the British Raj is still in existence and can be used by tourists and adventurers alike to reach Tura peak with ease and comfort.