Meghalaya (1991 pop. 1,774,778) is one of the smaller states of India. It is a hilly strip in the eastern part of the country about 300 km long (East-West) and 100 km wide, with a total area of about 22,429 sq km. The state is bounded on the north by the Brahmaputra River, and on the south by Bangladesh. The capital is Shillong.

Meghalaya was originally part of Assam, and became its own state on 21 January 1972.

The climate of Meghalaya is moderate but humid, the average annual rainfall going as high as 1200 cm in some areas, making it the wettest state of India. About 1/3 of the state is forested. The ranges of the Garo Hills in the west, Khasi Hills, and Jaintia Hills in the east are not especially high, with Shillong Peak the highest point at 1,965 m. Many caves are known to exist.

Culturally, much of the population consists of the Khasis, Jaintias, and Garos, which were among those known to the British as "hill tribes".

Although the state government has been promoting tourism, terrorist groups (ULFA and NDFB) have been using the Garo Hills recently as a base of operations; the rugged forested terrain and the border with Bangladesh make the hills a good hideout.


  • East Garo Hills
  • East Khasi Hills
  • Jaintia Hills
  • Ribhoi
  • South Garo Hills
  • West Garo Hills
  • West Khasi Hills

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