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Meghalaya is a very distinctive state where you can find raw and untouched beauty of nature along with the quaint traditions and cultures. It seems to be a perfect blend of sorts for people who love to travel, and the more you move in the hills of Meghalaya, the more you are likely to discover the enthusiasm of the people residing here. It is a melange of happiness and childish curiosity.  

One aspect of Meghalaya which you are bound to like are the festivals. Yes, the locals and tribals celebrate the festivities with great enthusiasm. And one such festival or perhaps a ritual which is quite popular here is the Nongkrem Dance Festival. Interestingly, the word ‘Nongkrem’ in itself means goat killing ceremony. 

This festival which stretches for a period of 4 days and the people enjoy the sight of some colourful hues all around the place. It is a religious dance form of Meghalaya and looks very delightful when performed by the dancers.

Background of This Festival

Celebrated during the autumn season, Nongkrem comes across as a grand carnival which essentially involves a flow of wealth and an environment depicting the religious beliefs of the people. Yes, this festival is greatly associated with the religious beliefs of the Khasi people. Majorly, this festival is performed to appeasing the all-powerful Goddess Ka Blei Synchar who is responsible for an enriching bumper harvest as well as the prosperity of the people. 

Also Read: A festival which is dedicated to Shashikar Apa, the goddess of wealth

Major attractions of Nongkrem Dance

Dance, which is the major highlight of the festival is performed by young Khasi girls who are unmarried. The men also participate in the dance. However, the girls usually wear bright yellow costumes known as ‘Jainsem’ with intricate embroidered panels and tassels with a silver crown headgear consisting of various flowers. 

The dance which is performed by the men is known as ‘Ka Shad Mastieh.’ During this dance, the men hold a sword in their right hand and sort of whiskers in their left one. The sword which they carry symbolizes a man’s defence for himself and the people he loves the most. The attire for men includes dhotis, full sleeved shirts and embroidered sleeveless coats and even turbans. 

The festival usually takes place in May or November which depends on the lunar position determining the exact time of the festival.

How to reach

By Air. Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport is the major airport in Meghalaya situated in Guwahati, however, the nearest airport is the Shillong airport situated at a distance of around 80-90 km from Jaintia Hills. This airport is very well connected with other cities via direct flights such as Delhi, Pune, Chandigarh, Kolkata, etc. 

By Train. The major railway junction is situated in Guwahati. It is situated at a distance of around 180 km from this place. The junction is well connected to New Delhi, Assam, Kolkata and many other cities. Some good options to reach Guwahati via train are Seemanchal Express, Awadh Assam Express, Magadh Express, Kamrup Express along with many others.    

By Road. Meghalaya is very well connected via road to other cities. And what can be better than to spend some fun time with your pals while watching the natural scenes whizzing past you? You can easily travel to Meghalaya via Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Kolkata, etc. From these destinations, you will have to cover a distance of around 1,933 km, 2,769 km, 2,757 km, 1,031 km respectively. 

You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here

  • 5 Days

  • Dance & Music

  • Meghalaya
  • Festival Date

    04 November - 08 November

  • Venue

    Jaintia Hills

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