History of Shillong
Shillong was named after a boy named “Aahlad” who was born to a virgin mother near Bisi. Until 1864, Shillong was only a small village. During 1864, it was given the new civil station of Khasi and Jaintia hills. In 1874, on the formation of Assam as Chief Commissioner’s Province, Shillong was made the capital city. It remained the capital of undivided Assam, until the formation of Meghalaya state. On 21st January 1972, Meghalaya was formed and Shillong was declared its capital.
Geography of Shillong
Shillong also known as “The Adobe of Clouds” is situated on Shillong plateau surrounded by Diengiei Hills on the northwest, Umiam gorge on the north and hills of Assam valley on the northeast. It has an average elevation of 1496 meters, highest being the Shillong peak at 1966 meters. City is spread in 65 sq kms.
Government and Administration of Shillong
Shillong is the headquarters of East Khasi Hills District. Meghalaya High Court is responsible for the Jurisdiction in the state. Prior to the establishment of this, a bench of Guwahati High Court held responsibilities. City contributes one member to Indian Assembly and thirty six members to Meghalaya Legislative assembly.
Language and Culture of Shillong
Shillong is blend of many native cultures mainly constitutes Khasi tribe. Khasi people are very friendly and when they meet, they exchange Kwai or betel nut, which creates brotherhood among them. Shillong follows matriarchal society. Women is the head of the family, children get their family name from their mother. Property is inherited to the youngest daughter. Women handle all the jobs in Shillong. Shillong is ruled by women power. Shillong is known as India’s rock capital due to its great passion for music. Khasi is widely spoken followed by Assamese, Garo, Hindi and English. Creative Art Literature Music (CALM) festival focuses to provide platforms to creative artists.
Educational Institutes in Shillong
Indian Institute of Management (IIM) – Shillong is the premier institute in the city for management studies. North Eastern Hill University, Martin Luther Christian University, English and Foreign Languages University and Techno Global University are the universities in the city. North eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences takes care of medical sciences in the city. They are many other colleges offering different courses in degree and diploma.
Transport Facilities in Shillong
The nearest airport is Umroi Airport which is approximately 30 kms from the city. Umroi airport is domestically well connected. Helicopter services are available from Tura and Guwahati daily except on Sundays. Nearest railway station is Guwahati which is approximately 100 kms away. National Highways 40 and 44 passes through the city. Meghalaya Transport Corporation and Assam state transport corporation connects Shillong with major cities of the state and neighboring states.
Tourism in Shillong
Wards Lake locally known as Nan-Polok is an artificial lake with garden and boating facilities. Shillong golf course is one of the largest golf courses in the world. It is scenic and enjoyable and challenging. Motphran also known as “Stone of France” of the 26th Khasi Labour Corps who served for British in France during World War I. Shillong peak is the highest peak in the state. Capt. Williamson Sangma State Museum exhibits tribal’s culture and tradition along with statues of great patriots of the state. Entomological Museum is the only known Museum in India for moths and butterflies. Apart from these they are many tourist attractions in and around the city.
Festivals Celebrated in Shillong
Shad Suk Mynsiem also known as Shad Phur is the annual thanks giving dance festival. It is celebrated in the month of April for three days. Behdeinkhlam is Jaintia festival celebrated in the month of July. Datlawakor, a genre of soccer is played between Upper Myntdu and Lower Myntdu made with wooden ball. They believe winner will be blessed with good harvest in the coming year. Wangala festival also known as Wanna Rongchuwa is celebrated by Garo community in the month between September and December. Lord Misi Saljong, the Sun God of Fertility is worshipped.