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Meghalaya facts about the Indian State
Meghalaya meaning "abode of clouds"; is a state in north-eastern India. Meghalaya was formed by carving out two districts from the state of Assam on 21 January 1972. The capital of Meghalaya is Shillong. During the British rule of India, the British imperial authorities nicknamed it the "Scotland of the East”
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Meghalaya is one of the Seven Sister States of northeast India. The state of Meghalaya is mountainous, with stretches of valley and highland plateaus, and it is geologically rich. It consists mainly of Archean rock formations. These rock formations contain rich deposits of valuable minerals like coal, limestone, uranium and sillimanite.
Meghalaya has many rivers. Most of these are rainfed and seasonal. The highest point in Meghalaya is Shillong Peak.
With the average annual rainfall as high as 12,000 mm in some areas, Meghalaya is the wettest place on Earth.
The western part of the plateau, comprising the Garo Hills region with lower elevations, experiences high temperatures for most of the year. The Shillong area, with the highest elevations, experiences generally low temperatures. The maximum temperature in this region rarely goes beyond 28 °C.
Meghalaya is predominantly an agrarian economy. Agriculture and allied activities engage nearly two-thirds of the total workforce in Meghalaya. Rice is the dominant food grain crop accounting for over 80% of the food grain production in the state. Other important food grain crops are maize, wheat, and a few other cereals and pulses. Besides these, potato, ginger, turmeric, black pepper, areca nut, Bay leaf ,betel, short-staple cotton, jute, mesta, mustard and rapeseed etc. are some of the important cash crops.
The state has the potential to export net hydroelectric-generated electricity and earn income for its internal development plans. The state also has large deposits of coal, thus being a candidate for thermal power plants.
The staple food of the people is rice with spicy meat and fish preparations. They rear goats, pigs, fowl, ducks and cows and relish their meat. The dishes of Khasis and Jaintia are Jadoh, Ki Kpu, tung rymbai, and pickled bamboo shoots
The main tribes in Meghalaya are the Khasis, the Garos, and the Jaintias. The majority of the population and the major tribal groups in Meghalaya follow a matrilineal system where lineage and inheritance are traced through women. The youngest daughter inherits all the property and she is the caretaker of aged parents and any unmarried siblings. Meghalaya has one of the world's largest surviving matrilineal cultures
Meghalaya MONUMENTS/Places to Visit
The Umiam Lake has a water sports complex with facilities such as rowboats, paddleboats, sailing boats, cruise-boats, water-scooters, and speedboats.
Cherrapunji is a tourist destination in north-east of India. It lies to the south of the capital Shillong. A scenic 50-kilometre long road connects Cherrapunji with Shillong.
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