Meghalaya – The land of Legends

Meghalaya – The land of Legends

Separating the Assam valley from the plains of Bangladesh, hilly Meghalaya (‘the abode of clouds’) is a cool, pine-fresh mountain state set on dramatic horseshoes of rocky cliffs. Meghalaya, one of the Seven Sisters states in the northeast region of India, is not only geographically beautiful but also is a place full of powerful legends. Have you heard of the legend of Then** or the blood-sucking serpent? There are some who believe it and some who don’t calling it an evil conspiracy of a psychopath. We will never know for sure.

Let’s turn from the supernatural to the geography of the region, the people who live here. Meghalaya is vibrant in its own way, the attir —peculiar to the place, the locals’ love for betel-nut (locally known as kwai), houses with high flying and symbolic red flag with a rooster on it which signifies that the family is still Seng Khasi or Khasi Hindu (note: Meghalaya is predominantly a Christian state), stories about Lum Symper or Living Hill (the Khasi Hindus perform their rituals there in order to “make the hill come to life”), the locals’ love for archery, the rock formations, ritualistic monoliths, famous waterfall with a tragic story.  Meghalaya—the abode of clouds (in Sanskrit), is not just about the Asia’s cleanest village or the state’s reputation as a matrilineal society or the highly debated Uranium mining. You have to travel across the state to understand what Meghalaya is about.

The state’s population predominantly comprises the Jaintia, Khasi and Garo tribal groups, who live in the eastern, central and western parts respectively. Though mostly Christian since the 19th century, these peoples still maintain elements of their old animist culture, including fierce clan loyalties, sacred forests where chickens and goats are still sacrificed and lively harvest festivals with mass dances in colourful traditional dress.

Student Tour Highlights

  • Visit the unique Living Root Bridges
  • Explore the cleanest village in Asia – Mawlynnong
  • Dawki Town – Suspension bridge and Bangladesh border
  • Umiam Lake – the home of water sprots
  • Learning about the Sacred Groves
  • Nohkalikai Waterfalls – highest waterfall in the state
  • Explore the second largest river island of India – Nongkhnum
  • The unexplored paradise of the Laitlum Grand Canyon
  • Krem Liat Prah Cave
  • Mawsynram and Cherrapunji
  • Garo Khasi and Jaintia Hills
  • National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries

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