Interesting Facts about Meghalaya
This article is all about historical, geographical, social, religious, cultural, amazing, rare, unknown interesting facts about Meghalaya.
Quick Basic Facts about Meghalaya
- Capital – Shilong
- Official Language – English
- Main Languages – English, Khasi, Garo
- Area – 22, 429 Sq Km
- Area Rank – 22nd
- Population – 29,64,007
- Population Rank – 23rd
- Population Density – 130/sq km
- Sex Ratio – 986 females per 1000 male
- Sex Ratio Rank – 6th
- Literacy – 75.48 % (above National Average literacy of 74.04 %)
- Literacy Rank – 18th
- Assembly seats – 60 (Unicameral)
- No of Districts – 11
- Lok Sabha seats – 2
- Rajya sabha seats – 1
- Created on – 21 June 1972
- First Chief Minister – Williamson A Sangama
- First Governor – B K Nehru
- Highest Peak – Shillong peak
State Symbols of Meghalaya
- State Tree – Gamhar, also known as White Teak, Goomar Teak (Gmelina Arborea)
- State Flower – Lady Slipper Orchid
- State Animal – Clouded Leopard
- State Bird – Pahadi Mayna
Historical Facts about Meghalaya
- Meghalaya was a region inhabited by Garo, khasi and Jaintia tribes from ancient times.
- Till independence of India, during Bitish rule Meghalaya was a part of Assam state with semi autonomous status.
- When state of Bengal was divided in 1905, Meghalaya was merged into new province named Eastern Bengal and Assam”. When Bengal was united again in 1912, Meghalaya again became part of Assam province.
- Full autonomy was accorded to Meghalaya on 2nd April 1970 after passing of Assam reorganisation Act 1969.
- In 1971 Indian parliament passed North East Reorganisation act and thus Meghalaya became full fledged Indian state on 21 Jan 1972 by merging the districts of Garo, Khasi and Jaintia hills.
Geographical Facts about Meghalaya
- Meghalaya is part of Seven sister states of North Eastern India. Literal meaning of the state is “abode of the cloud”. The capital city is Shilong which is also known as “Scotland of the East“.
- Meghalaya borders with only one state – Assam. It shares international boundary with Bangladesh.
- Highest peak of the state is Shillong peak. It has altitude of 1,965 m. It lies on Khasi hills.
- The state is full of mountains.
- India’s longest cave system is located in Jaintia Hills in the state of Meghalaya. The cave system is more than 22 Km long and connects two separate caves in the region.
- Nohkaliaki falls with a height of 1115 feet is the highest plunge type water fall of India. This is located near Cherrapunji.
- The average annual rainfall goes as high as 1200 cm in some areas. It is the wettest place on Earth.
- The town of “Cherrapunji” in the Khasi Hills hold world record for maximum rain in a calender month. The village “Mawsynram” near Cherrapunji holds the world record for maximum rain in a year.
- The famous tree root bridges of Cherrapunji – they are made up of living roots of trees reinforced with stones etc to give the form of hanging suspension bridge.
- The Sacred Groves forests of Meghalaya has rich biodiversity and is known for many rare species of plants and animals. These forests are totally isolated and unexplored from human exploration. The sal and teak wood trees are the common trees of forests.
- The forests of Khasi hills are known to have 325 different species of orchids.
- The forests of Meghalaya is known for a number of species of mammals. The important animals include wild buffalo, asiatic elephants, mongoose, wild boar and red panda.
- Meghalaya boasts of 660 different species of Birds out of which 35 are very rare and endangered species. Some of the common birds include great Indian Hornbill, grey peacock, Indian parakeet, green pigeon and blue jay.
- Great Indian Hornbill is the largest bird found in Meghalaya.
- There are three Wildlife sanctuaries in Meghalaya – Bhagmara sanctuary, Nongkhyllem wildlife sanctuary and Siju sanctuary. In addition Mefhalaya also has National parks and biosphere reserves which are – Balphakram National park located in south garo hills and Nokrek Biosphere reserve of west garo hills.
Economic Facts about Meghalaya
- Economy of the state is driven by Agriculture mainly. 81 % of population is dependent on agriculture.
- Potato, Rice and Maize are the main agriculture products. Khasi Mandarin oranges are quite famous.
- Mineral resources of Meghalaya are Sillimanite, Coal, limestone, dolomite, fireclay, feldspar, quartz, glass sand and sandstone.
- Main Industries of Meghalaya– Cement, iron and steel, cottage industries.
- There is a public sector cement factory at cherrapunji.
Social and Cultural Facts about Meghalaya
- Literacy rate of Meghalaya is 75.48 % which is just above India’s average literacy rate of 74.04 % as per 2011 census. Meghalaya stands at 18th rank among other Indian states in terms of literacy.
- Mawlynnong village located in East Khasi Hills district is famous for its cleanliness. This village was awarded as Cleanest village of Asia in 2003 by Discover India Magazine. This village is located about 90 km from capital Shillong. This village was again declared the cleanest village of India in year 2005.
- It is the only Indian state which traditionally follows matrilineal system in which the lineage and inheritance is traced through women.
- Meghalaya is one of the three States of India in which Christianity is the chief religion. About 70 % of the population of Meghalaya is of Christians.
Famous Persons of Meghalaya
- Arundhati Roy – The internationally reputed author who won Booker Prize in year 1997 for her novel “God of Small Things”.
- P A Sangama – he was former speaker of Lok Sabha and also served as Chief Minister of Meghalaya from 1988 to 1990. He fought for President election in 2013 against Pranab Mukherjee but lost against him.