Image Solution
ne-states
Arunachal
ne-states
Assam
ne-states
Manipur
ne-states
Meghalaya
ne-states
Mizoram
ne-states
Nagaland
ne-states
Sikkim

Meghalaya

Half way to heaven

Meghalaya (UK: /meɪˈɡɑːləjə/, US: /ˌmeɪɡəˈleɪə/) is a hilly state in northeastern India. The name means "the abode of clouds" in Sanskrit. The population of Meghalaya as of 2016 is estimated to be 3,211,474. Meghalaya covers an area of approximately 22,430 square kilometres, with a length to breadth ratio of about 3:1.

The state is bounded to the south by the Bangladeshi divisions of Mymensingh and Sylhet, to the west by the Bangladeshi division of Rangpur, and to the north and east by India's State of Assam. The capital of Meghalaya is Shillong. During the British rule of India, the British imperial authorities nicknamed it the "Scotland of the East". Meghalaya was previously part of Assam, but on 21 January 1972, the districts of Khasi, Garo and Jaintia hills became the new state of Meghalaya. English is the official language of Meghalaya. Unlike many Indian states, Meghalaya has historically followed a matrilineal system where the lineage and inheritance are traced through women; the youngest daughter inherits all wealth and she also takes care of her parents.

The state is the wettest region of India, recording an average of 12,000 mm (470 in) of rain a year. About 70% of the state is forested. The Meghalaya subtropical forests ecoregion encompasses the state; its mountain forests are distinct from the lowland tropical forests to the north and south. The forests are notable for their biodiversity of mammals, birds, and plants.

Meghalaya has predominantly an agrarian economy with a significant commercial forestry industry. The important crops are potatoes, rice, maize, pineapples, bananas, papayas, spices, etc. The service sector is made up of real estate and insurance companies. Meghalaya's gross state domestic product for 2012 was estimated at ₹16,173 crore (US$2.3 billion) in current prices. The state is geologically rich in minerals, but it has no significant industries. The state has about 1,170 km (730 mi) of national highways. It is also a major logistical center for trade with Bangladesh.

In July 2018, the International Commission on Stratigraphy divided the Holocene epoch into three, with the late Holocene being called the Meghalayan stage/age, since a speleothem in Mawmluh cave indicating a dramatic worldwide climate event around 2250 BC had been chosen as the boundary stratotype.

History

Ancient

Meghalaya, along with the neighbouring Indian states, have been of archaeological interest. People have lived here since Neolithic era. Neolithic sites discovered so far are located in areas of high elevation such as in Khasi Hills, Garo Hills and neighbouring states. Here neolithic style jhum or shifting cultivation is practised even today. The highland plateaus fed by abundant rains provided safety from floods and a rich soil. The importance of Meghalaya is its possible role in human history through domestication of rice. One of the competing theories for the origin of rice, is from Ian Glover, who states, "India is the center of greatest diversity of domesticated rice with over 20,000 identified species and Northeast India is the most favorable single area of the origin of domesticated rice." The limited archaeology done in the hills of Meghalaya suggest human settlement since ancient times.

After the Conquest of Taraf in 1304, Shah Arifin Rafiuddin, a disciple of Shah Jalal, migrated and settled in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills where he preached Islam to the local people. His khanqah remains in Sarping/Laurergarh on the Bangladeshi border but the part containing his mazar is in Meghalaya on top of Laur Hill.

Modern history

The British discovery of Camellia sinensis in 1834 in Assam and later companies to renting land from 1839 onwards.

Meghalaya was formed by carving out two districts from the state of Assam: the United Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills, and the Garo Hills on 21 January 1972. Before attaining full statehood, Meghalaya was given semi-autonomous status in 1970.

The Khasi, Garo, and Jaintia tribes had their own kingdoms until they came under British administration in the 19th century. Later, the British incorporated Meghalaya into Assam in 1835. The region enjoyed semi-independent status by virtue of a treaty relationship with the British Crown. When Bengal was partitioned on 16 October 1905 by Lord Curzon, Meghalaya became a part of the new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam. However, when the partition was reversed in 1912, Meghalaya became a part of the province of Assam. On 3 January 1921 in pursuance of Section 52A of the Government of India Act of 1919, the governor-general-in-council declared the areas now in Meghalaya, other than the Khasi states, as "backward tracts." Subsequently, the British administration enacted the Government of India Act 1935, which regrouped the backward tracts into two categories: "excluded" and "partially excluded" areas.

At the time of Indian independence in 1947, present-day Meghalaya constituted two districts of Assam and enjoyed limited autonomy within the state of Assam. A movement for a separate Hill State began in 1960. The Assam Reorganisation (Meghalaya) Act of 1969 accorded an autonomous status to the state of Meghalaya. The Act came into effect on 2 April 1970, and an autonomous state of Meghalaya was born out of Assam. The autonomous state had a 37-member legislature in accordance with the Sixth Schedule to the Indian constitution.

In 1971, the Parliament passed the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganization) Act, 1971, which conferred full statehood on the autonomous state of Meghalaya. Meghalaya attained statehood on 21 January 1972, with a Legislative Assembly of its own.

Advertise with us
discovertripura.com

DiscoverTRIPURA.com


Address

'MANJU ALOY'
Prabhat Chandra Roy Sarani,
Krishnanagar,
Agartala,
Tripura West, PIN-799001

Contacts
Email:
(for web matters)
webupdate.sd@gmail.com
(for official purposes)
discovertripura35@gmail.com
Editor-in-Chief:
Suman Debroy
☎ +91 9862212517
sumanphotoagt@gmail.com
Assistant Editor:
Chandan Ganguli
☎ +91 8794003093
tripuraexpress06@gmail.com