Meghalaya is a state in the northeastern region of India, known for its rich culture and diverse traditions. The culture of Meghalaya is a melting pot of various ethnic groups, each with its unique customs and practices. The people of Meghalaya have a deep-rooted connection with their culture and tradition, which is reflected in art, music, dance, and cuisine of Meghalaya. Known for its lush green hills and forests, it is one of the wettest regions in the world, with an annual rainfall that often exceeds 12,000 mm. The state has a subtropical climate, with warm and humid summers and mild winters. The monsoon season, which lasts from May to September, is particularly heavy, with much of the state receiving over 25 cm of rain per day during this time.
Meghalaya is known for its many natural attractions, including caves, waterfalls, and natural pools. The state is home to the longest cave system in the Indian subcontinent, known as the Krem Mawkhyrdop. Cherrapunji, also known as Sohra, receives the highest rainfall in the world and is a popular tourist spot. The Mawsmai Cave, Nohkalikai Falls, and Double Decker Living Root Bridge are a few famous tourist spots you can visit.
Meghalaya is also home to several tribal communities, each with its own unique culture and traditions. Visitors can learn about these communities and their ways of life by visiting villages, attending festivals, and participating in activities such as trekking and rock climbing.
The state is also known for its vibrant festivals, including the Wangala Festival, which is celebrated by the Garo tribe, and the Behdeinkhlam Festival, which is celebrated by the Jaintia tribe. These festivals provide an opportunity for visitors to experience the rich culture and traditions of Meghalaya.
Meghalaya is an ideal destination for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and anyone interested in learning about the culture and traditions of northeastern India. With its lush green hills, heavy rainfall, and vibrant tribal communities, it offers a unique and unforgettable experience to visitors
One of the most significant aspects of the culture of Meghalaya is the festivals. The Khasi and Jaintia tribes of Meghalaya celebrate the Nongkrem Dance Festival, which is one of the most important festivals of the state. The Wai-Khwan festival of the Garo tribe is also a popular festival of Meghalaya. These festivals are celebrated to seek blessings from the gods and goddesses and cuisine thanks for a good harvest.
The tradition of Meghalaya is closely tied to the natural environment and people’s daily lives. For example, the Khasi and Jaintia tribes are known for their matrilineal system of inheritance, where the property is passed down from mother to daughter. Similarly, the Garos follow a unique practice of laying the dead to rest in a sitting position facing the east.
The art and culture of Meghalaya are deeply intertwined with the state’s traditional livelihoods. The bamboo crafts of Meghalaya are famous for their intricate designs and skilled craftsmanship. Bamboo weaving, in particular, is a traditional art form that is passed down from generation to generation. Jewelry making is also an important part of the art and culture of Meghalaya, with the state known for its intricate and beautiful gold and silver ornaments.
The cultural heritage of Meghalaya is also reflected in the state’s costumes. Each tribe has its traditional attire, which is worn on special occasions and festivals. Similarly, the cuisines of Meghalaya are diverse and reflect the state’s agrarian society, with a wide range of traditional dishes made from locally grown produce.
The music of Meghalaya is an important aspect of the culture and tradition of the state. The traditional music of Meghalaya is deeply rooted in the daily lives of the people and is closely tied to their beliefs and practices. The state is also known for its folk songs and dances, which are performed on special occasions and festivals.
In terms of languages, Meghalaya has multiple languages spoken by different tribes and communities. The official language of the state is English while Khasi, Garo, Hindi, and Bengali are also spoken by the majority of the population.
The culture of Meghalaya is a rich tapestry of diverse traditions, customs, and practices. From the festivals and traditional practices to the art and craft, music, and cuisines, the culture of Meghalaya is an important part of the state tribes’ heritage and identity. The people of Meghalaya take great pride in their culture and work, to preserve and promote it for future generations.
26 Best Places To Visit In Meghalaya
• History of Meghalaya-
The history of Meghalaya can be traced back to ancient times, with evidence of human habitation dating back to the Neolithic era. The Khasi, Garo, and Jaintia tribes have lived in the region for centuries, and their cultures and traditions continue to shape the state to this day.
The British East India Company established control over the region in the early 19th century, and it became part of the British Raj. Meghalaya remained a part of Assam until 1972 when it was carved out as a separate state. The state is named “Meghalaya”, which means “abode of clouds” in Sanskrit.
During the colonial period, Meghalaya was known for its rich natural resources, including coal and limestone. These resources were exploited by the British, leading to the displacement of many tribal communities and the destruction of the region’s forests.
After Indian independence in 1947, Meghalaya became part of the newly formed state of Assam. However, the tribal communities of Meghalaya, who had their own unique cultures and traditions, demanded a separate state. This demand was finally met in 1972 when Meghalaya was carved out as a separate state.
Today, Meghalaya is known for its beautiful landscapes, vibrant cultures, and diverse communities. The state’s economy is primarily based on agriculture, with rice, jute, and potatoes as the main crops. The state also has a thriving tourism industry, with many visitors coming to the state to explore the forests, historic sites, and the waterfalls of Meghalaya.
In recent years Meghalaya has also developed its mineral-based industry mainly focusing on coal, limestone, and granite mining. Meghalaya has always been a peaceful state with a strong sense of community and a rich cultural heritage. Despite facing challenges such as poverty and lack of development, Meghalaya has been able to preserve its unique identity and continues to be a vibrant and colorful state in the northeast of India.
• Culture of Meghalaya-
Meghalaya is known for its diverse culture, including customs, traditions, and festivals. The state is home to several ethnic groups, including the Khasi, Garo, and Jaintia tribes, each of which has its own distinct culture and way of life.
The Khasi people, the largest ethnic group in Meghalaya, have a matrilineal system of inheritance and property ownership. This means that property and family lineage are passed down through the female line, and men are considered to be guests in their wives’ homes. The Khasi also has a strong tradition of oral storytelling and are known for their poetic songs, known as “ka kyrteng.”
The Garo tribe, which is known for its animist beliefs and practices, has a rich tradition of music and dance. The most notable form of traditional Garo dance is the “tamak,” which is performed during festivals and ceremonies.
The Jaintia tribe, known for their skilled craftsmen, has a rich tradition of weaving and pottery.
Meghalaya is also known for its festivals, which include the Wangala festival, which is celebrated by the Garo people, and the Behdienkhlam festival, which is celebrated by the Jaintia people. The state also celebrates the Indian festivals of Diwali, Durga Puja, and Eid al-Fitr.
All in all, Meghalaya is home to a diverse and rich cultural heritage that is shaped by the various ethnic groups that call the state home. It is a melting pot of different cultures, customs, and beliefs which makes it unique. These customs and traditions are an integral part of the lives of the people of Meghalaya, and they work to preserve them to ensure that they are passed down to future generations.
The official language of Meghalaya is English, but there are many other languages spoken throughout the state. The most widely spoken language in Meghalaya is Khasi, which is an Austroasiatic language and belongs to the Mon-Khmer family of languages. It is spoken by the Khasi people, who make up the largest ethnic group in Meghalaya.
Another widely spoken language in Meghalaya is Garo, which is also an Austroasiatic language and belongs to the Bodo-Garo branch of the family. It is spoken by the Garo people, who are the second-largest ethnic group in Meghalaya. Both Khasi and Garo have their scripts and are recognized as the official languages of Meghalaya.
In addition to Khasi and Garo, there are several other languages spoken in Meghalaya, such as Pnar, Biate, War, and Lyngngam. These languages also have their scripts and are spoken by smaller ethnic groups in the state.
Moreover, Hindi and Bengali are also widely understood and spoken in Meghalaya as these languages are widely used in the country and region.
The diverse linguistic landscape of Meghalaya reflects the rich cultural heritage of the state, and the coexistence of different languages and cultures serves as a reminder of the state’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
• Costume and different Festival and fairs-
Meghalaya has a diverse culture and a rich tradition of clothing and costumes. The traditional clothing for men in Meghalaya is the “dhoti” and “kurta,” which is worn with a turban. The traditional clothing for women is the “jainsem,” a long piece of cloth wrapped around the waist and worn over the shoulders. The jainsem can be made from different materials such as cotton or silk, and is often decorated with intricate embroidery or beadwork.
Meghalaya is home to many different tribes, each with their own unique customs and traditions. Some of the major tribes in Meghalaya include the Khasi, Jaintia, and Garo. Each of these tribes has their own distinct traditional costumes and jewelry, which are worn on special occasions such as weddings and festivals.
One of the most popular festivals and an integral part in the culture of Meghalaya is the Behdienkhlam festival, which is celebrated by the Jaintia tribe. This festival is held to appease the god of cholera and to bring an end to the rainy season. During the festival, people dress in traditional costumes and participate in traditional dances and rituals.
Another important festival in the culture of Meghalaya is the Nongkrem festival, which is celebrated by the Khasi tribe. This festival is held to give thanks for a good harvest and to seek blessings for the coming year. During the festival, people dress in traditional costumes and take part in a colorful dance called the “Shad Suk Mynsiem,” which is a dance of peace and harmony.
The Wangala festival, also known as 100 Drums Wangala Festival is celebrated by the Garo Tribe in Meghalaya. The festival is celebrated to give thanks to the creator, Misi Saljong for the bountiful harvest. This festival is a major cultural festival which is celebrated with traditional dances, songs, music, and costumes.
In Meghalaya’s culture, traditional costumes are not only worn for festivals but also for other events such as weddings. Wedding attire for men usually includes a turban and a traditional shawl known as “Gamchha”. The traditional attire for women on the other hand, generally includes a headgear known as “Kain Shnong” along with other traditional ornaments.
Meghalaya has a rich tradition of clothing and costumes that reflect the diverse culture of the state. The traditional attire and the jewelry worn by the people during the festivals and events are a visual treat and are one of the key attractions of Meghalaya.
• Popular festivals of Meghalaya
One of the most important festivals in Meghalaya’s culture is the Pamblang-Nongkrem, which is celebrated by the Khasi people. This festival is a celebration of the harvest and is a time for the community to come together and give thanks for the bountiful crops.
The Bisinikhalam Jaintia is another important festival celebrated by the Jaintia community. It is a time for the community to come together and celebrate the new year, with traditional dances and music.
• Communities of Meghalaya
The Garo, Khasi, Jaintia, and Baite are some of the indigenous communities that call Meghalaya home. Each of these communities has their own unique customs, traditions, and languages. The Garo people, for example, have a rich history of agriculture and are known for their traditional dances and music.
The Khasi people are known for their beautiful traditional costumes and intricate jewelry. The Jaintia people are known for their intricate carvings and sculptures, while the Baite people are known for their traditional dances and music.
The Hajong is a community of people who have migrated to Meghalaya from Bangladesh. They have their own unique culture and traditions and are known for their traditional music and dance.
Meghalaya is also known for its rich music and art scene. Traditional music and dance are an important part of Meghalayan culture, and there are many festivals and events throughout the year that celebrate this culture.
Best Places To Visit In Meghalaya
Tourism is also an important part of Meghalaya’s economy. Some of the best places to visit in Meghalaya include:
One of the most well-known Meghalaya tourist destinations in the Northeast and the “Scotland of the East,” Shillong, is on everyone’s bucket list. Its forested hills, comfortable atmosphere, and visual splendour, which is far from the bustling life, draw numerous tourists from all over the world.
Cherrapunji, commonly known as Cherrapunjee, is occasionally called Sohra. It is brimming with the sparkling beauty of nature. Due to the voluminous amounts of precipitation, it receives each year, Cherrapunji was once known as the wettest place on Earth. It’s a wonderful spot to learn about the local customs and experience the wonders of nature, such as the stunning waterfalls and valleys, which will make your heart sing with joy.
Asia’s cleanest village? Yep, the community of Mawlynnong. It is one of Meghalaya’s most fascinating places to spend the day. This town welcomes you with all you need to make your trip to Meghalaya important, from lovely waterfalls and root bridges to a clean environment and a picturesque vista.
Nohkalikai Falls, the fourth-most notable waterfall on earth, plunge 335 metres from a lush cliff to the ground, creating the impression of a vast and amazing paradise. One of the most magnificent and fantastic falls in the country, the falls are the pride of the Meghalayan region.
The 4th most noteworthy waterfalls on the planet, Nohkalikai Falls fall somewhere in the range of 335 meters from a verdant cliff to the ground giving the depiction of gigantic and extraordinary heavenliness. The pride of the territory of Meghalaya, the falls are one of the most wonderful and terrific falls in the nation.
Double Decker Living Root Bridge
An Indian rubber tree’s roots were used to construct the double-decker living root bridge, which is located in Cherrapunji, Meghalaya. The bridge is 3 km long and 2400 feet high. While the Umshiang river is flowing beneath the bridge and you are crossing it, the scenery is at its most beautiful. The oldest natural bridge, which dates back over 200 years.
Mawsmai Cave is without a doubt the most pleasant of all the caves in the area. Inside the cavern, there is a lot of foliage to catch the eye. The tunnel is only 150 metres long, not the longest compared to other caves in the area, but it most likely provides a look into underground life. In Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills, just 6 km from Cherrapunjee’s centre, sits the magnificent Mawsmai Cave.
The state of Meghalaya, which is evergreen and covered in lush forests, is renowned for its breathtaking waterfalls. At the foot of Meghalaya’s stunning Elephant Falls is a stone that resembles an elephant. Visiting here is among the top things to do in Meghalaya and is one of the most well-known falls in the North-East.
Dances Of Meghalaya
Meghalaya’s traditional dances are a unique blend of various cultures and are performed during festivals and other special occasions. The War-dance, Nongkrem dance, and Shad-sukmai dance are some of the famous dances of Meghalaya.
Meghalaya is a state rich in culture and tradition. From its festivals to its art and music, there is much to discover and explore in this beautiful corner of India. Its indigenous communities and unique landscapes make it a perfect destination for tourists looking for a unique and authentic experience.
What is Meghalaya famous for?
Meghalaya is famous for its living root bridges, beautiful waterfalls, and the wettest place on Earth, Mawsynram
What is the lifestyle of Meghalaya?
The lifestyle of Meghalaya is largely influenced by the indigenous tribes who live in the state. Agriculture and weaving are important occupations, and the culture is characterized by a love for music, dance, and festivals. The people of Meghalaya are known for their hospitality and friendliness.
What is Meghalaya blessed with?
Meghalaya is blessed with natural beauty, including lush forests, scenic hills, beautiful waterfalls, and rivers. The state is also home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, making it a hotspot for biodiversity. Additionally, Meghalaya is blessed with a rich cultural heritage and traditional handicrafts.