In North-East India, Meghalaya is known for its historical monuments and cultural diversity, tribes, rainy drenched hills, gushing waterfalls, caves, and living root bridges. Because of the diversity of natural aesthetic bounty, Meghalaya is one of the most visited destinations in the northeast.
It is regarded as a melting pot of all things cultural and natural, coexisting in perfect harmony with positive human efforts. The fact that Meghalaya is home to a number of heritage sites and structures, on the other hand, is a lesser-known aspect of the state’s tourism.
For those interested in learning more about this heritage, we’ve compiled a list of the “not to be missed” historical monuments in Meghalaya that should be on your itinerary when you visit next.
Meghalaya is a state in India that will take your breath away both visually and mentally.
List of 5 Historical Monuments listed Below:
The Um-Nyankanah Megalithic Bridge: The Um-Nyankanah Megalithic Bridge is one of the historical monuments situated between Jowai and Jarain in the Jaintia Hills. This megalithic bridge spans the Um-Nyankanah river and is supported by massive stone pillars.
According to local legend, the term ‘Um’ means water. Local legend has it that the bridge was built by the Jaintia kings who ruled over these lands during the medieval period. Several of these megalithic bridges were built by Jaintia kings over a 100-year period to promote trade between their ruling cities as well as provide communication and movement for their armies.
This stone bridge is one of Meghalaya’s must-see historical monuments for history buffs and heritage lovers. Moreover, the bridge is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Narthiang Monoliths: Narthiang Monoliths, among the various historical monuments, is situated in Jaintia Hills Nartiang Road, Nartiang. The Nartiang Monoliths in Meghalaya’s Jaintia Hills are among the world’s tallest monoliths.
These massive monoliths were built to commemorate the former Jaintia Kings. Menhirs, or Moo Shynrang, and Dolmens, or Moo Kynthai, make up these monoliths. The majority of Meghalaya’s historical monuments are strewn across the Jaintia Hills.
You’ll come across a collection of menhirs and dolmens known as mawbynna as you travel through the countryside and hills. These are a collection of massive vertical and horizontal stone formations.
These historical monuments were frequently designed and built to honour the ancestors of Hynniewtrep communities, as well as to pay tribute to Jaintia kings and commemorate military feats. Today, these megalithic structures serve as a symbol of the Meghalaya tribes’ deep respect for their ancestors and their ongoing legacy.
The tallest of these monoliths, known locally as Moo Long Syiem, stands 26 feet tall, according to local legend. It was built by the famous war leader U Mar Phalynki to commemorate a significant military victory.
The majority of the monuments among the Narthiang Monoliths are dedicated to the Pnar tribe’s royalty and leaders. Between 1500 and 1835 CE, these monoliths were designed and built.
Nartiang Monoliths are probably the most surreal collection of monoliths dotted across the Garo and Jaintia Hills, with one of the largest collections of menhirs and dolmens, making it one of Meghalaya’s top historical monuments.
Nartiang’s U-Maw Thodur-Briew Stone Memorial: Located in Jaintia Hills Nartiang, this memorial honours the U-Maw Thodur-Briew tribe from the area. These historical monuments are built with Megalithic Stones and however, these stones are classified as menhirs (vertical stones), dolmens (horizontal stones), and cairns, with menhirs being the largest.
Menhirs are erected in rows of three, four, five, and seven, with each one measuring approximately 9 metres in height and the central one being the tallest of them all. Over menhirs, a capstone in the shape of a head or head is occasionally used.
Cherrapunji’s David Scott Monument: David Scott Monument is a historical monument located in the East Khasi Hills, Cherrapunji. The historical monument, named after David Scott, an agent to the Governor-General on the North-East Frontier during the British period, was commemorated by a memorial pillar in Cherrapunji. He was regarded as one of the most hardworking, sincere, and astute employees.
Moreover, David Scott was regarded as a trailblazer and a fearless soul. He explored uncharted territory in the North East. The densely forested area is teeming with dangerous animals and insects. He travelled across vast unknown lands, gathering data to help the East India Company better administer them.
David Scott was such an explorer that the David Scott Trail is now one of the most popular trekking trails in Meghalaya. It stretches for 100 kilometres, passing through Meghalaya, Assam, and Bangladesh.
The trail in Meghalaya covers approximately 16 kilometres and leads to the picturesque villages of Mawphlang and Lad Mawphlang in the East Khasi Hills. Trekkers can see various streams, waterfalls, sacred grounds, and tribal villages along this breathtaking trail.
David Scott died on August 20, 1831, at the age of 45. His memorial is shaped like an obelisk and is raised on a square platform made entirely of ashlar stone masonry. The memorial pillar has an inscription carved into it.
Kiang Nongbah Monument: Kiang Nongbah Monument is located in Jaintia Hills, Jowai.
“If my face turns eastwards when I die, we shall be free again within a hundred years. If it turns westward, we shall be enslaved forever.”
These prophetic words were the last words of the dying Jaintia king U Kiang Nangbah. A true patriot who rose in rebellion against the British, fought them bravely till his eventual capture dies a martyr for the cause of India’s liberation. He was hanged publicly on 30th December 1862.
On the banks of the Myntdu River, a memorial to his bravery was erected. It is located in Jowai’s Syntu Kslar Valley. Madlah Kmal Blai is the name of the field where this monument is located.
These historical monuments in Meghalaya are well worth a visit because of its significance in the history of India’s independence struggle and to pay tribute to Kiang Nangbah’s bravery in leading the uprising against the British.