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  • Topic: Meghalaya, Assam, Bear
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  • Published : June 1, 2013
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Introduction to Meghalaya

Meghalaya or megh- cloud; alay- home; is a picturesque but tiny state in the northeastern region of India. As the state remained cut off from mainstream India for a long time due to some ethnic problems, it has been able to survive the onslaught of crass commercialization that has taken over other famous tourist centers of India. As is the name, the state receives heavy rainfall and two of the world’s wettest places are located in Meghalaya. Full of vibrant culture, tradition, great scenic beauty, and tranquility are some of the attractions of the state that can pull any tourist in. Geography of Meghalaya

Meghalaya is located in the northeast region of India, and extends latitude 20°1’’N-26°5’’N and longitude 85°49’’E-92°52’’E. It extends for about 300 km in length and about 100 km in width. It is bounded on the north and east by the Indian state of Assam and on the south and west by Bangladesh. A compact and isolated state in the northeastern region of India, Meghalaya extends to 22,429 sq km of land. The landscape of Meghalaya is mostly rolling plateau with south-facing slopes being extremely steep. With the hill rising to 2,000 m, the state is cool despite its proximity to tropics. The state abounds in lakes and waterfalls. Meghalaya lies in a severe earthquake belt and it has already faced some of them in the centuries gone by. 

Around 30% of total land in Meghalaya is under forest cover. Depending on the varied scales of rainfall at different parts of the year and at different altitudes and places, both tropical and temperate vegetation occur in Meghalaya. Different parts of many plants growing in Meghalaya have been put to medicinal use. 

Brief History of Meghalaya

There is not much information on the history of Meghalaya apart from accounts of the more important Khasi kingdoms in the chronicles of the neighboring Ahoms and Kacharis. The first written history of the state came into existence only after the British tried to construct a rail line through this area to connect Bengal and Assam that ultimately led to a treaty with the Khasi principality of Nonkhlaw. However, with the treaty came opposition, which forced the ruler to repudiate the treaty in 1829. This led to direct confrontation between Khasis and the British and by 1830s, the local rulers had submitted to the latter. The tribes continued their practices in seclusion until rulers of the region acceded to the newly independent country of India. The region was included in the united province of Assam for administrative reason, which led to the agitation by the local population. The region was accorded full statehood on January 21, 1972. 

Government of Meghalaya
J. Dringwell Rymbai is the Chief Minister of Meghalaya since 15 June 2006. He is a member of the Indian National Congress.  Economy of Meghalaya
Agriculture is the single largest source of livelihood of the majority of the rural masses and is the mainstay of the state’s economy. Besides the major food crop of rice and maize, Meghalaya is renowned for its oranges, pineapple, banana, jackfruits, and temperate fruits like plum, pears, and peaches.Forests of Meghalaya are a treasure house of valuable products such a timber, fuel wood, fodder, resin, tannin, gums, shellac, fiber, latex, essential oils, fats, edible fruits, honey and a large number of medicinal plants. Timber trade forms an integral and vital element in the economy of Meghalaya. The forests of Meghalaya are a rich source of timber and the bulk of timber for trade originates from private forests. Some of the important tree species, which yield valuable timber for trade, are Khasi pine, sal, teak, and bamboos.The Meghalaya is a storehouse of richly varied and colorful orchids with as many as 325 species, which grow all over the Khasi, Jaintia, and Garo Hills in the meadows, hill-slopes, and swamps, even on the wayside.Bakeries, furniture making, iron and steel fabrication, tailoring, knitting,...
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