Being born in the land of “Abode of Clouds” makes me really proud to exclaim out my identity. My pride can sometime be unexplainable and inexpressible about this place. Also as a daughter of the Hills, I consider myself really blessed.
Meghalaya is a state in India, which is rich with its nature and wildlife. The people here love the nature as they love themselves because each one of us know the value of the nature. We believe that if we learn to love the nature, the nature will cherish our existence within her.
Meghalaya is also a great destination and is attracting many tourists recently. We have so many incredible places to visit in the state. There are numerous falls, caves, rivers and other nature related sites. But one of the most famous place which each one should visit is the “Nartiang Monoliths.”
A monolith is usually a large upright block of stone, especially one shaped into or serving as a pillar or monument.
Meghalaya has got many way-side monoliths stretching over the Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills. But the Nartiang Monoliths are considered to be the world’s tallest monoliths ever found. The density of these monoliths are also considered to be the highest in the world.
The Monoliths are found in Nartiang, a place near Jowai (which was the capital of the West Jaintia Hills District.) According to the records, the Nartiang Monoliths are believed to be existing from 1500AD and 1835AD. Nartiang was usually considered to be the market place for the residence of the Jaintiapur kingdom at that time: Jaintiapur is now a place somewhere in our neighbouring country, Bangladesh.
There is a story about how the monoliths came into being, which the Nartiang residences usually recites to the tourists visiting the Heritage site.
The kings and the general officials of the Jaintiapur kingdom regularly visited Nartiang for their work and also Nartiang was considered to be one of the most developed human settlement at that time.
The stones were said to be carried all the way from Jaintiapur. These stones were used by the people as umbrellas to shelter themselves from rain.
There are two type of stones present there; “Moo Shyndrang” were usually called the male stones and are vertically placed (also called standing stones); and the “Moo Kynthai” were considered to be the female stones placed horizontally (also called sleeping stones).
The tallest monolith in the world is Moo Shyndrang placed exactly in the middle of the site, which is 8 metres tall and is believed to have been carried by U Mar Phalyngki (a trusted Lieutenant of the Jaintia Kingdom.) Also there were other people who are known to have contribution in the same, like U Luh Lamare and other various clan members.
The beauty of the place is so immeasureable. There is so much to learn about that place. The beauty of history is highlighted in those stones. The lives of the people and their strength and their culture are also being made known to us from this site.
I believe that every Meghalayan should be proudly announcing to the world about this beautiful historical site. It is one of its best kind in the world.
But it is also very heartbreaking to state that a very few number of people know about these Monoliths. Instead the praises about these beautiful stones should be readily available in every residing mouth of the land.
Though the site is under the care of Arceological Survey of India, there is very little documented information on the monoliths of Nartiang.
It is high time that students of history and archeology join hands to undertake a detailed study on the monoliths. Just categorising the monoliths as the world’s tallest is not the end of the story.
The world needs to know in details the story of how or why the Jaintia kings gave us these beautiful monoliths. Traditionally, tribal history has been primaily oral, and there is little documentation done during the British era.
But, is anyone trying to dig out the information on the monoliths of Nartiang for us? It is very important for all of us because monument without history has no meaning.
Let us encourage the present and the future generation to start showing their interests to know about the history of this site and also help the world to know it.
Also I think every Meghalayan should have great pride about the Nartiang Monoliths.