Facts about Meghalaya (Know Your States India)

Map of Meghalaya
Map of Meghalaya/Credit:Government of Meghalaya
Meghalaya is a hilly state in the Northeast India. It literally means "the abode of clouds" in Sanskrit. At the time of independence, it was a sub-state within Assam. Later, it was upgraded to an autonomous state on 2 April 1970 with its own legislature and then on 21 January 1972, it attained full statehood with its own legislative assembly.

It has total land cover of 22429 square km, which makes it 23rd largest Indian state or territory by area. As of 2011, the population of Meghalaya stands at 2964007 with population density of 130 square km and literacy of 75.84%.

For better administration, Meghalaya is now being divided into 11 districts. Shillong is the capital as well as the largest city of Meghalaya. Geographically, Shillong hill is the highest point of Meghalaya.

Meghalaya is known as Scotland of the East. Mawlynnong, a village in Meghalaya, is awarded as the cleanest village in Asia. Meghalaya is also home to Mawsynram, the wettest place in India and World.

Government of Meghalaya
Capital    Shillong
Chief Minister    Conrad Sangma
Governor    Tathagata Roy
Chief Justice of High Court    Ajay Kumar Mittal
Vidhansabha Seats    60
Loksabha Seats    2
Rajyasabha Seats    1

State Symbols of Meghalaya
State Animal    Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa)
State Bird    Hill Myna (Gracula religiosa)
State Flower    Lady Slipper Orchid (Cypripedioideae)
State Tree    Gamhar (Gmelina arborea)

Geography of Meghalaya
Area    22429 sq. km.
Area Rank    22nd
Highest Peak    Shillong Peak (1965 m)
Highest Rainfall:    Mawsynram
Neighbouring State:    Assam
Neighbouring Country:    Bangladesh
Highest Waterfall:    Nohkaliaki Falls (1115 ft)

Major Rivers of Meghalaya
  1. Simsang
  2. Manda
  3. Darming
  4. Ringge
  5. Gamol
  6. Bugi
  7. Jinjiram
  8. Myntdu
  9. Kalu
  10. Ajagar
  11. Chagua
  12. Didram
  13. Dudnai
  14. Krishnai
  15. Ringge
Read: Rivers of Meghalaya
Major Lakes of Meghalaya
  1. Umiam Lake (Bara Pani)
  2. Thadlaskein Lake (Pung Sajar Nangli)
  3. Ward's Lake
  4. Umhang Lake

Population of Meghalaya (2011)
Population    2964007
Population    130 sq km
Population Rank    23rd
Sex Ratio    986 females per 1000 males
Literary    75.48%

Tribes of Meghalaya
Khasi is the largest tribe of Meghalaya followed by Garo and Jaintia. The major and minor tribes of Meghalaya are
  1. Khasi
  2. Garo
  3. Jaintia
  4. Hajong
  5. Biate
  6. Koch
  7. Tiwa (Lalung)
  8. Rabha
  9. Shaikh
  10. Boro Kacharis
  11. Chakma
  12. Dimasa
  13. Hmar
  14. Pawi
  15. Synteng
  16. Mikir
  17. Kuki Tribes
  18. Naga Tribes
  19. Mizo Tribes

Languages of Meghalaya
Official Language:    English
Most Spoken Language:    Khasi (33.82%) and Garo (31.60%)
Other Language:    Pnar (10.69%), Bengali (6.44%), Nepali (1.85%), War (1.73%), Hindi (1.62%), Hajong (1.40%) and Assamese (1.34%).

Districts of Meghalaya
For administration, Meghalaya is divided into three divisions and 11 districts. The district of Meghalaya according to their divisions are

Jaintia Hills:
  1. West Jaintia Hills (Jowai)
  2. East Jaintia Hills (Khliehriat)

Khasi Hills Division:
  1. East Khasi Hills (Shillong)
  2. West Khasi Hills (Nongstoin)
  3. South West Khasi Hills (Mawkyrwat)
  4. Ri-Bhoi (Nongpoh)

Garo Hills Division:
  1. North Garo Hills (Resubelpara)
  2. East Garo Hills (Williamnagar)
  3. South Garo Hills (Baghmara)
  4. West Garo Hills (Tura)
  5. South West Garo Hills (Ampati)

Note: the place in brackets represent administrative headquater of each district.

Economy of Meghalaya
  1. The economy of Meghalaya is based on agriculture. Around 81% of Meghalaya population is engaged in agriculture and allied activities. The major crops of Meghalaya are Orange, Lemon, Pineapple, Guava, litchi, Banana, Jack Fruits, Plum, Pear, Black Pepper, Arecanut, Tezpata, Jute, Mesta, Mustard and Rapeseed.
  2. Meghalaya has rich sources of limestone, sillimanite, kaolin, granite and uranium. Main industries of Meghalaya are cement, iron and steel, and cottage handicraft industries.

Social and Cultural Facts about Meghalaya
  1. Meghalaya has matrilineal society, where youngest daughter inherits the property and take care of their old parents and any other sibling. In case of no daughters, the parents can declare their daughter-in-law as heir.
  2. It is also one of three states of India with major Christian population. Around 74.59% of Meghalaya populace follows Christianity. Though, their Christian faith is mixed with their indigenous beliefs.

Festivals of Meghalaya
  1. Major Khasi festivals are Ka Shad Suk Mynsiem, Ka Pom-Blang Nongkrem, Ka-Shad Shyngwiang-Thangiap, Ka-Shad-Kynjoh Khaskain, Ka Bam Khana Shnong, Umsan Nongkharai and Shad Beh Sier.
  2. Major Jaintia festivals are Behdienkhlam, Laho Dance, Sowing Ritual Ceremony.
  3. Major Garo festivals are Den Bilsia, Wangala, Rongchu gala, Mi Amua, Mangona, Grengdik BaA, Jamang Sia and Ja Megapa.

National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries of Meghalaya
  1. Nokrek National Park
  2. Balpakram National Park
  3. Selbagre Hoolock Gibbon Reserve
  4. Baghmara Reserve Forest
  5. Siju Bird Sanctuary
  6. Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary