(Last Updated on : 27/04/2010)
West Khasi Hills District is one of the seven administrative districts of Meghalaya. West Khasi Hills District lies in the central part of the state. It is situated between approximately 25 degrees 10 minutes and 25 degrees 51 minutes north latitude and between 90 degrees 44 minutes and 91 degrees 49 minutes east longitude. West Khasi Hills District is bounded on the north-west by Kamrup District of Assam
, on the north-east by Ri Bhoi District, on the east by East Khasi Hills District
, on the south by Bangladesh, on the west by East Garo and South Garo Hills Districts. The district comprises an area of about 5,247 sq kms which is 23 percent of the total area of Meghalaya
. Nongstoin, covering an area of about 76 sq kms, is the district headquarters of West Khasi Hills District.
History of West Khasi Hills District
West Khasi Hills District was carved out of the erstwhile Khasi Hills District on 28th October, 1976. In the same year, on 10th of November, Mairang Civil Sub-division was inaugurated, whereas the Mawkyrwat Block was converted into an administrative unit. With the up-gradation of Mawkyrwat into a full-fledged sub-division on June 26th, 1982, West Khasi Hills District now comprises three Sub-Divisions (including the Sadar Sub-Division), one administrative unit namely Mawshynrut which came into being on 9th of February, 1996. It also comprises six Community and Rural Development Blocks namely Nongstoin, Mairang, Mawkyrwat, Mawshynrut, Ranikor including Mawthadraishan Block, which was created under the notification of state government.
Geography of West Khasi Hills District
Geography of West Khasi Hills District is characterized with moderate climate, dense forests, hill ranges and river systems. The district is under the influence of south-west monsoon. Annual average rainfall of the district varies from 1200 mm to 3000 mm. Mawthadraishan range is the most important hill range of West Khasi Hills District. Kynshi and Khri are the two significant rivers flowing through the region. West Khasi Hills District is also rich in flora and fauna. Important mineral resources found in the district are limestone, coal and uranium.
Demography of West Khasi Hills District
Total population of West Khasi Hills District according 2001 Census is 2, 94,115, out of which male population is 1, 49,159 and female population is 1, 44,956. West Khasi Hills District comprises eight Syiemships namely Nongstoin, Nongkhlaw, Maharam, Myriaw, Rambrai, Mawiang, Langrin Nobosophoh, together with the three Sirdarships of Jyrngam, Riangsih and Nonglang. The people of this district have their distinct dialects of about 23 in number. Khasi Tribe
is predominant inhabitants of West Khasi Hills District. Literacy rate of the district as per Census 2001 is 65.64 percent, male literacy rate is 67.02 percent and female literacy rate is 64.21 percent.
Culture of West Khasi Hills District
Culture of West Khasi Hills District is of tribal nature. It is characterized by the festivals, songs, dance forms, lifestyle and religious beliefs of the people. Lyngngam dance is one of the most popular dance forms of West Khasi Hills District. Culture of this district is almost similar to the culture and traditions of East Khasi Hills District. `8 days-a-week` market system is a distinctive feature of the culture of this district of Meghalaya.
Tourism in West Khasi Hills District
West Khasi Hills District offers several sightseeing options to its travellers. It includes waterfalls, peaks and attractive mountain ranges. Ranikor, Green Deserts, Mawthadraishan peak, Nongkhnum River Island, Thum falls, Weinia falls, Langshiang falls, etc. are some of the popular attractions of West Khasi Hills District. People from all parts of the country visit this district and explore the charming beauty of the nature. Tourism in West Khasi Hills District also includes some adventurous options like rock climbing, angling and trekking.
West Khasi Hills District is, at present, having no hydro electric project. However, there is good hydro electric potential from Khri River and the Kynshi River.