Tourism in Meghalaya



‘The abode of clouds’ or Meghalaya describes the climatic phenomenon that brings torrents of rain to its mountainous terrain. This hilly state has been called ‘a patch of beauty and grace’ and is famed as ‘the Scotland of the East’. It is linked to the Borail range, an offshoot of the Himalayan Mountains.


The refreshing mountain air, the whispering pines, the exotic flora and fauna, the caves—all give the tourists a tremendous taste of beauty and serenity. Here’s nature in all its glory. Limpid lakes, expansive rivers, babbling streams  breaking into waterfalls, twisting and turning and disappearing into the greenery…….this is Meghalaya.



Life style: colours and moods:


People: Meghalaya is the home of three mongoloid tribes- the Khasis, the Jaintias, and the Garos. All the three tribes have a matrilinial social system in which the family lineage is taken from the mother’s side.


Generally the people here are short in stature with muscular bodies and highly developed calves. Khasis and Jaintias are light brownish in colour, whereas the Garos are slightly darker. They have narrow eyes, broad- high cheeks and flat noses. They are cheerful and hospitable. The ladies proudly continue the tradition of ethnic sactorial elegance.



Art and craft/dress and design:


In some Jaintia and Garo villages, engravings of the figures of men and animals are found on the house walls. Near Jowai, the carvings of a lover and his beloved are seen which evoke acclaim even today for artistry and ingenuity in designing. The Garo women are expert in weaving dakmandas, a kind of women’s wear, which are well decorated with depiction of butterflies and flowers, in various colour combinations. Baskets, sleeping mats, winnowing fans, rain shields, etc manufactured out of platted bamboo and cane are found in the rural areas. Jaintia fishing traps made of bamboo sticks are also noted for their functional beauty. The cane bridges hanging over quick flowing streams also testify to the superb craftsmanship of the Khasis and the Jaintias. The non-Christian Garos erect memorials for the dead. Those are actually statues engraved in wooden posts, in the shape, form and facial resemblance of the deceased. The original house-types are found in some of the interior villages.



Passion and Rhythm:


The tribes of Meghalaya celebrate festivals connected with religion. Happiness is expressed outwardly in the form of dance, feast and worship.


All the three major tribes have their distinct dance forms. The shad suk mynsiem, literally meaning 'dance of happy soul’ is the dance festival of the Khasis and is held in April-May at the Mawlai field, Shillong, as a thanks –giving to the almighty. Only virgin girls can participate unlike the males who may well be married.


Nongkrem dance is held during September/October, which exhibits almost the same dance form and is a popular tourist attraction. The ‘lahoo’ dance belongs to the Jaintias where two male dancers flank a female danseuse. The ‘Wangala’ is performed by the Garos during their 100 drums festival, celebrated following the harvest season. Young people clad in colourful finery dance to the rhythm of drums, flutes and songs. It is said that the young drummers and the maidens find an opportunity during this festival to get acquainted with one other and choose their future life partners.



Related Link:


Meghalaya Tourism, Govt. of Meghalaya