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Shillong

From Academic Kids

Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya, one of the smaller states in India. It is also the district headquarter of East Khasi Hills District and is situated at an altitude of 4,908ft (1,496 m) above sea level. The city has a population of 2,306,069 according to the 2001 census. Shillong has steadily grown in size and significance in its own traditional way from a mere village as it used to be when it was made the new civil station of Khasi and Jaintia Hills in 1864 by British. It remained the summer capital of Eastern Bengal and Assam for many years. In 1874, on the formation of Assam as a Chief Commissioner's Province, it was chosen as the headquarters of the new administration because of its convenient location between the Brahmaputra and Surma Valley and more so because the climate of Shillong was much cooler than tropical India. Shillong remained the capital of undivided Assam until the cration of the new state of Meghalaya in January 21, 1972 when Shillong became the capital of Meghalaya.

The city, as the legend goes, has derived its name from Leishyllong, the Superpower or God, who is said to be dwelling on the Shillong Peak, 1965 metres above sea level, over-looking the city, the highest point of Meghalaya.

Romantic and picturesque with abundance of nature's gifts, Shillong is described as 'Scotland of the East' because of its striking similarity with that of the Scottish highlands and has been attracting indigenous and foreign tourists for decades. The city boasts of many beautiful churches and cathedrals.

The city is one of the few hill stations with motorable roads all around. Shillong has no rail lines. There is a small airport at Umroi, around 25 miles (40 km) from Shillong. The tourist towns of Cherrapunjee (around 40 miles, or 70 km) and Umiam lake (around 20 miles, or 35 km) are close to the city.

Shillong is also the headquarters of the North Eastern Council, the Eastern Air Command of Indian Air Force, the Assam Rifles, the Assam Regimental Centre and 101 Area. The main university is the North Eastern Hill University with campuses in Mizoram and Nagaland. A bench of the Guwahati High Court has been set up in Shillong. Shillong is a major education center in north eastern India.

Major colleges in Shillong are: St. Edmund's College, St. Anthony's College, St. Mary's College, Lady Keane College and Shillong College.

Shillong has one of the largest golf courses (the world's wettest) in Asia and the golf course is called "Glen Eagle of the East". Guru Rabindranath Tagore wrote his famous play "Shesher Kobita" (the last poem) when he was in Shillong.

People are mostly Christians. Ethnically, Khasis outnumber all other. However, there is significant population of Bengali Nepali, Assamese, Marwari and Bihari people.

Shillong was destroyed completely by an earthquake measuring 8 in 1897. This was the worst earthquake in India. After that Shillong was completely rebuilt.

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