Meghalaya is the home of the Tribals especially the Khasis, Jaintias,
Mikirs and Cacharis, who are said to have inhabited this region before
the start of the Christian era. These tribes evolved out of the
migration into north east by the migrants who belonged to the
Indo-Chinese linguistic family, the Mon-Khmer and Tibeto-Burman.
The Khasis came from the Khasis and Jaintias. The Tibeto-Burman
sub-family was the Naga, Kukichin and Bodo. The Bodos were later divided
into small linguistic groups such as Garo, Kachari, Mechs, Dimasa,
Tippea, Lalung, Rabha, Chutiyas.
The British occupied the Garo Hills in 1872. The tribal district council
was established. The tradition among the tribals was kingship. The
earliest Jaintia Raja is said to have ruled from 1500AD. They were
influenced by the Hindu culture.
The British influence in Meghalaya extended to the improvement of the
landscape, development of roads. The works for progress and development
of this region is still continuing after independence and formation of
Meghalaya into a state.
The region was included in the united province of Assam for
administrative region, which led to the agitation by the local
population. The region was accorded full statehood on January 21, 1972.
Geography of Meghalaya
Geographically, the State of Meghalaya is also known as the "Meghalaya
It consists mainly of the archean rock formations.
These rock formations contain rich deposits of valuable minerals like
coal, limestone, uranium, silimanite etc. Meghalaya has many rivers.
Most of these are rainfed and are therefore seasonal.
The important rivers in the Garo Hills Region are Daring, Sanda,
Bandra, Bhogai, Dareng and Simsang, Nitai and the Bhupai.
In the central and eastern section of the plateau the important rivers
are Umkhri, Digaru, Umiam, Kynchiang (Jadukata), Mawpa, Umiew or
Barapani, Myngot and Myntdu.
In the southern Khasi Hills Region, these rivers have created deep
gorges and some of the most beautiful waterfalls.
The elevation of the plateau ranges between 150 m to 1961 m
Meghalaya currently has 7 districts.
East Garo Hills
East Khasi Hills
South Garo Hills
West Garo Hills
West Khasi Hills.
Khasi Hills Climate
The average temperature of Shillong varies between 4°C in
December-January and 24°C in May-June months. Shillong's charms are made
doubly attractive by its climate on the whole cool and temperate round
the year. Cherrapunji is one the places in the world, which receives the
highest rainfall, but most of it are in three or four months of the
Mainly the climate of the district is mildly tropical in the northern
and southern foothills, while in the central upland zone; the climate is
temperate and places at medium altitude in the northern, western and
southern parts of the district experience sub-tropical climate.
Garo Hills Climate
The West Garo Hills district is mostly hilly with plains fringing the
northern, western and the southwestern borders. The most important
physiographic feature of the district is the Tura Range, about 50-km
long and extends in the east-west direction from Tura to Siju in the
South Garo Hills district.
South -West monsoon and seasonal winds, largely controls the climate of
the district. The West Garo Hills district being relatively lower in
altitude to the rest of Meghalaya, experiences a fairly high temperature
for most part of the year. The average rainfall is 330 cms. of which
more than two-thirds occur during the monsoon, winter being practically
dry. The district have mostly dense tropical mixed forest, and a small
patch of temperate forest in the higher parts of the Tura range.
Jaintia Hills District
The South West Monsoon and the North-East Winds directly influence the
Jaintia Hills District. The four seasons of Jaintia Hills are: Spring -
March and April, Summer (Monsoon) - May to September, Autumn - October
and November and Winter - December to February.
During March and April, the atmosphere gradually warms up with the
advance of Spring. From the middle of April the temperature starts
rising to the maximum in the month of June and then decreases gradually.
October and November are the two months when the climate is cool and
temperate. After November, the winter season sets in and continues up to
the end of February. Rainfall starts by the third week of May and
continues right up to the end of September and sometimes well into the
middle of October.