Meghalaya, the abode of clouds, is quite famous for heavy rainfalls, caves, unique places, people and culture. Nartiang village in the Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya has an interesting history, and if you find travel stories intriguing, you must read ahead. Centuries back, several monoliths were erected in this village in honour of the old rulers. The ‘Garden of monoliths’ is loved by tourists and the surreal view makes it one of the most visited places.
Nartiang Monoliths is probably the largest collection of monoliths. What is intriguing here is that each piece of rock is dedicated to someone. The standing rocks (Menhirs) also called Moo Shynrang, here are said to be dedicated to the male ancestors, while the flat ones (Dolmens) or Moo Kynthai are for the female ancestors.
Monoliths are placed throughout the Khasi and Jaintia Hills. Within the perimetre of these Megalithic collections is the tallest Menhir erected by U Mar Phalyngki, a trusted lieutenant of the Jaintia King to mark his victory in the battle. As per the government records, other monoliths were placed by U Mar Phalyngki, U Luh Lyngskor Lamare and various other clans of Nartiang village between 1500 AD to 1835 AD. Under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958, the site has been declared of national importance.
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How to reach Nartiang Monoliths?
The village is 27 kilometres away from Jowai. If you are travelling by air, besides the Gopinath Bordoloi Airport in Guwahati, the nearest airport to Jowai is Umroi Airport in Shillong. If you are travelling by train, the village is 104 kilometres from Shillong and has well connected Meghalaya Transport Corporation (MTC) bus service to the village.
Other places to visit
Nartiang is a treasure trove of history, it is not only a tourist spot for the centuries-old rock but also a spiritual place. According to Hindu beliefs, the place is known as one of the 51 Shakti Peethas. Near the site, Nartiang Durga Temple is located. As per the belief, the temple was a site for human sacrifice in the earlier days.