ARCHEOLOGY IN MEGHALAYA

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» North East India
» Meghalaya
Location : Meghalaya
Tourist Attractions : Bong Laskar Memorial, Mir Jumla's Tomb
Other Attractions : Monoliths Site, Crematorium Of The Ancient Sohra Chiefs
Best Time To Visit : October To March

Bong Laskar Memorial, Bahgmara, South Garo Hills District
Excavations at Bhaitbari, MeghalayaThis monument is situated in the heart of Baghmara, the headquarters of South Garo Hills District, Meghalaya. The Monument was built in the memory of Bong Laskar, one of the most prominent Laskars of Baghmara. The monument is built of burnt bricks and has a tomb like structure. It is 360 m high and 430 m wide. The period of construction of this monument could not be determined accurately. It is believed that one Besing Laskar constructed this monument before the British annexation of Garo Hills at around 1874.

Mir Jumla's Tomb At Mankachar, West Garo Hills District
Mir Jumla was one of the capable Mughal Generals. He was appointed the Governor of Bengal by Aurengzeb at around 1659. In 1662 he invaded Assam in course of terrestrial expansion. His initial success was however foiled by the flood of the mighty Brahmaputra River. Many of his men perished from starvation and malaria. Mir Jumla decided to retreat to Bengal by boat. However, before he could set his feet on the soil of Bengal, he fell ill and died in the year 1663. His mortal remain was buried on a hillock at Mankachar in the West Garo Hills District of Meghalaya.

Megaliths Or Monoliths Site At (Iew, Shillong) Laitlyngkot, East Khasi Hills, District
At Laitlynglot, a place of about 25-km from Shillong by the side of the Iew Shillong, there are groups of clustered Menhirs (Mawbynna Shynrang) and Dolmens (Mawbynna Kynthei) of very impressive sizes. The biggest of these Menhirs is about 5m in height, 1.50m in breadth and 0.05m in thickness. The largest of these dolmens is about 9.25m in length, 3.25m in breadth and 0.50m in thickness.

Altogether, there are about 60 Menhirs and 20 dolmens in a cluster. Historically, the monument is said to have been associated with the establishment of the Iew Shillong market. Their date of construction could not be determined. The Menhirs and the Dolmens are examples of the unpolished stone technology or culture and may be of great help to the scholars in the study of Stone Technology Transition.

Crematorium Of The Ancient Sohra Chiefs (Syiems) At (Pomsohmen) Cherrapunjee, East Khasi Hills District
At Pomsohmen, a hamlet of Cherrapunjee (Sohra) situated at about 52-km from Shillong, exits two structures of cultural importance, one is the crematorium of the mother of the ruling Syiems (chiefs) known as "Ka Syiem Sad". The structures were built of fine stone masonries and measuring about 20 feet in length, 12 feet in breadth and 8 feet in height. These Crematoria were built around the year 1856.

According to customs, the successor of the deceased Syiem/chief would have to perform cremation rituals of his predecessor. Until and unless this ritual was being performed or completed and which was usually done with the prescribed pomps and honours, the successors of the deceased 'Syiem' would not be considered by the people of the chiefdom as the full-fledged Syiem, but as acting Syiem. However since 1926 this customary ritual could not be performed mainly because it involves enormous expenditure and time. This ritual is found only in Sohra chiefdom and not in any other chiefdoms of the Khasi tribe of Meghalaya.



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