17. MEGHALYA surrounded by Assam on the north and east , by Bangladesh and on the south and west. It has a total area 22,429 sq km and a total population of 2,318,822 . Shillong is the capital city and the principal languages spoken in the state include Khasi, Garo and English

Meghalaya

History and Geography

Meghalaya was created as an autonomous state within the state of Assam on 2 April, 1970 and became full-fledged State on 21 January, 1972. Meghalaya, literally meaning "the abode of clouds", is essentially a hilly state. It is inhabited by the Khasis, the Jaintias, and the Garo tribal communities. The Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills, which form the central and eastern part of Meghalaya, is an imposing plateau with rolling grasslands, hills and river valleys. The southern face of the plateau is marked by deep gorges and abrupt slopes, at the foot of which, a narrow strip of plain land runs along the international border with Bangladesh.

Agriculture and Irrigation

Meghalaya is basically an agrarian state, with 80 % of the population is employed in agriculture and allied activity. The State's agro-climatic variations provide it with a vast potential for developing horticulture especially for the cultivation of temperate, sub-tropical and tropical fruits and vegetables. Apart from the food crop of rice and maize, it is known for oranges (Khasi Mandarian), pineapple, banana, jackfruits, temperate fruits like plum, pears and peaches, etc. Cash crops of the state include turmeric, ginger, black pepper, arecanut, betelvine, tapioca, short staple cotton, jute and mesta, potatoes, mustard and rapeseed. Special attention is given by the state on the cultivation of non-traditional crops, like oilseeds (groundnut, soyabean and sunflower), cashewnut, tea and coffee mushroom, medicinal plants, orchids and commercial flowers.

Industries

The industrial sector of the state is still in its embryoic state .The Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation Limited, as the Industrial and Financial Institution of the State, has been rendering financial assistance to the local entrepreneurs. District Industries Centres have been working in the field for the promotion and development of small-scale, village, tiny and cottage industries. A number of industrial projects have been set up for the manufacture of iron and steel materials, cement and other industrial products.

Transport

Tourist Centres

Meghalaya is been naturally sprinkled with a number of tourist spots. Shillong, the capital city, has a number of beautiful natural locale . They are Ward's Lake, Lady Hydari Park, Bishop Beadon Falls, Elephant Falls, Umiam Lake, Mini Zoo and Shillong Peak overlooking the city and the Shillong Golf Course, which is one of the best in the country