Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya, one of the smallest states in India and home to the Khasis. It is the headquarters of the East Khasi Hills district. Shillong is the 330th most populous city in India with population of 143,007 according to the 2011 census. It is said that the rolling hills around the town reminded the European settlers of Scotland. Hence, Shillong is known as "Scotland of the East." The density of Meghalaya state in the current decade is 342 per sq mile. Shillong was the capital of Assam, but after the state was split as Assam and Meghalya meaning 'The abode of the clouds', it became the first capital of the newly formed State of Meghalaya . Located in undulating pine covered hills, the city has a milder climate than tropical India. The city center is 1496 meters above sea level.
The British legacy is still visible in architecture and food habits of population. The Assam style houses with slanting roofs, large number of windows and wooden floors look like a piece of art which happens to be very good idea, considering Shillong lies in a area where rains and earthquakes are very common. Shillong receives heavy rainfalls during monsoon and the rainy season usually lasts longer than rest of India. An umbrella is therefore a necessity while packing your bags. Although people avoid the rainy season, it is generally the time when city is clean and waterfalls are in full strength. Most of the Shillong population belong to Khasi tribe, who are predominantly Christian. There are significant Bengali and Nepali minorities. An interesting aspect of Khasis are that they are a matrilineal society - the mother is head of family, youngest daughter owns all the property and mothers surname is passed on to children.
Shillong is fast emerging as an education hub for the entire northeastern region. Important educational institutes like the Northeastern Hill University (NEHU), CMJ University, Martin Luther Christian University, Indian Institute of Management, National Institute of Technology, Shillong, Institute of Hotel Management (IHM),National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences, English and Foreign Languages University, Shillong Campus, St. Edmund's College, St. Anthony's College, Shillong and several others college and engineering institution have been established here.
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