East Khasi Hills is one of the administrative districts in the state of Meghalaya, India. The HQ of the East Khasi Hills district is in Shillong. The district is home to 825,922 people. It was formerly known as Upper Dohrkhan District until it was renamed in 2010.
On October 28, 1976, the former Khasi Hills district was divided into two: East and West Khasi Hills districts. On June 4, 1992, the East Khasi Hills District was split into East and Ri-Bhoi Districts.
Shillong is the district HQ of the East Khasi Hills.
The East Khasi Hills encompasses a total surface of 2,748 km2. It lies between 25°07" and 25°41" N Latitude and between 91°21" and 92°09" E Longitude.
The northern border of the district is formed by the plain of Ri-Bhoi District, which gradually rises to the rolling grasslands of the Shillong Plateau before falling steeply in the Southern sector, where deep gorges and ravines cut Mawsynram and Shella-Bholaganj communities and rural development blocks from Bangladesh. The East Khasi Hills district is separated from the Jaintia Hills District to the east and West Khasi Hills District to the west by the West Jaintia Hills Range.
The East Khasi Hills District is characterised by deep gorges and ravines on the southern portion. The Shillong Plateau, which is interspersed with river valleys, then drops sharply in the south to form deep gorges and ravines in Mawsynram and Shella-Bholaganj that border Bangladesh. Shillong peak, 10 kilometres from Shillong, has a panoramic view of the beautiful forested countryside and is also the highest point in Meghalaya as well as in the state.
The district's climate ranges from temperate in the plateau region to hotter tropical and subtropical areas in the Northern and Southern regions. A lot of rain falls in this region during the southwest monsoon, which usually begins in May and lasts until September. The weather is humid for the major part of the year, except for a relatively dry period between December and March when it is rather dry.
East Khasi Hills is divided into eight blocks:
As per the 2011 census, East Khasi Hills district has a population of 825,922 people (equivalent to the nation of Comoros or the US state of South Dakota), placing it at 478th in India (out of 640). The East Khasi Hills district, named after the village of Krem NP, is located in the Indian part of Meghalaya. It has a land area of 850 km² (344 sq miles) and had a population of 104,826 in 2011. The city of Shillong is its major centre.
The Khasi people form the majority in this district. This is because of their large population and settling down in this region. The major inhabitants are the Jaintia, Bhoi and Lyngngam. Apart from these main communities, there are various other tribes who live here like Pnar, Ralte, Niam-Rajbongshi and Kaibartta. The main languages spoken here are Khasi and Pnar (Jaintia).
The economy of the East Khasi Hills is largely concentrated around agriculture, with rice as the primary agricultural crop. The district is also known for its scenic beauty and tourism is a growing economic concern.
Most of the rivers in this district are tributaries to the mighty, Brahmaputra River. The Shillong Peak is also located here. To its north lies Bangladesh.
The East Khasi Hills District has got all the necessary means to make itself a better place for living. It has got all sorts of things starting from picturesque mountains, to the valleys and plains. Explore this place for yourself and enjoy your stay.
Umtrew and Nohkalikai Falls: These beautiful waterfalls are the highest in Meghalaya and the most visited tourist places here. They drop from a height of 350 meters (1,148 feet) and 400 meters (1,312 feet) respectively.
Kynrem Falls: It is another famous waterfall in East Khasi Hills district, located near Mawsynram which is one of the wettest places on Earth.
Mawpenyn Wildlife Sanctuary: This nature reserve is home to many wild animals like red panda, leopard cat, jungle cat etc. It has stunningly beautiful landscapes with magnificent waterfalls around it. The Umshiang Double Waterfall at Mawpyn is a major tourist attraction here.
Nongkrem: This nature reserve and the dam has a beautiful landscape and is the source for water to the capital Shillong. The people of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo tribes come here in huge numbers during the Christmas season to celebrate with bonfires.
The hot springs at Hatpoh (Hatpohlui) in East Khasi Hills district produces medicinal water that contains high levels of sulphur, which is supposed to cure skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema etc.
Krem Liat Prah: This peak is the highest in Meghalaya and is also called Jannu of Meghalaya. It towers above the town of Shillong with an elevation of over 2500 meters (8200 feet).
There are many religious sites in the East Khasi Hills district. The most famous one is the Mawphlang Sacred Grove where a very old sacred tree called Sohpetbneng, which is surrounded by three other trees, exist since time immemorial. It is considered an abode of spirits who guard Meghalaya.
This district also consists of various types of caves like river caves, slate caves etc. They hold an important place in the history and culture of this district. The Hynniewtrep National Park is also located here.
Tipi: It is the village in the East Khasi Hills District where we get to see a rare community known as Minyong. They are one of the Mon-Khmer tribes living in Meghalaya.
Shadthum Falls: This fall is situated in the East Khasi Hills district and is one of the attractions. Visitors can take a look at the falls from a close distance only during rainy seasons when it is in full flow.
Mawpat Peak: It is located in the East Khasi Hills district. It has an elevation of about 1,962 metres (6,440 feet) and is one of the higher peaks in this region. This peak towers over the Mawlyngot town and is surrounded by ancient forests. It is a popular trekking destination.
Mawthadraishan: This peak is very beautiful with its summit resting atop a lake. There are small villages here where people live with their own culture and customs which you can explore.
Noh Seng Ding: It is located in the East Khasi Hills district. Surrounded by forests of pine, it is a popular picnic spot for many visitors. It is a small waterfall near Dawki town. This waterfall is a major tourist attraction here.
Shillong Peak: The Shillong Peak is the highest peak of Meghalaya which is above 2000 meters or 6562 feet. It provides a panoramic view of the Shillong Plateau and the city of Shillong.
Pumlen Lake: This beautiful lake is located near Mawkyrnot village. It holds great importance for people here, as they consider it to be a source of faith and belief.
Hynniewtrep National Park: This national park is located near Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya. It is home to several species of animals like elephants, leopards etc. So people who love wildlife can choose this district as their travel destination.
The people of the East Khasi Hills district are simple and very hospitable in nature. They welcome visitors warmly and help them make their stay a pleasant one.
The people here are fond of folk dance and music. During various festivals, the villagers come together to perform Meghalaya's popular folk dances like Cheraw, Chambil Mesara, Darlong etc. Also famous for its Khasi drums which you can buy at a cheap price from local stores in Shillong.
The Khasi language is the main medium of communication and it is also used as a standard dialect in the district. The speakers of this language are known to be friendly and polite and they enjoy conversing with people from other places.
Shiilong, the headquarters of the district, Shillong, which is also the state's capital city, is linked to Guwahati and Silchar by NH-44 of 103 kilometres and 240 kilometres respectively. Guwahati is the nearest railhead and airport. A 35-kilometre airstrip at Umroi is accessible to small planes. The agricultural and other goods are carried by trucks, Jeeps, and tractors. Shillong is connected to other areas of Meghalaya by a paved road. In addition, all the block headquarters in the district are linked via roads. The villages in the backblocks, on the other hand, are poorly linked and transport services are insufficient.
From Shillong, many areas can be conveniently reached by road via NH 44. Guwahati railway station is thenat Guwahati which is about 165 km away. The nearest airport is in Guwahati which is about 165 km away.
The best time to visit the East Khasi Hills district is during winter which starts from October and continues till February. Generally, tourists love to enjoy the complete beauty of this place at this time of the year.
If you are visiting Meghalaya for adventure activities, then January-March is the ideal time for it as you can also enjoy some beautiful places like Dawki, Noh Seng Ding and Shadum Falls on your trip.
Khasi Hills Division
Garo Hills Division
Jaintia Hills Division