Meghalaya | Nartiang monoliths are the tallest in the world; here is their origin story


JOWAI, July 4, 2018: Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya is home to Nartiang Monoliths- a collection of monoliths that that are believed to be the be the tallest in the world. The monoliths in Jowai were erected to mark the reign of the erstwhile Jaintia kings.

Monoliths are upright structures carved from one single stone that serve as a monument or pillar.

According to local legend, the tallest monolith in the cluster Moo Iong Syiem which is eight metres long, was erected by U Mar Phalyngki. Phalyngki was a trusted lieutenant of a Jaintia king. He erected the monolith to commemorate his victory in battle.

The Monoliths were erected approximately during 1500 AD. and 1835 AD.

Situated about 65 km from the state's capital Shillong, Nartiang village has an important place in history of Meghalaya. According to locals, the place was the summer resort of the Jaintia kings of 17th century. The monoliths are categorised as menhirs and dolmens by locals.

The origin of the largest monolith is varied. According to locals, on one rainy afternoon Jaintia king U Luh Lyngshkor went to an old woman's hut at Raliang, a village near Nartiang seeking for a 'Knub' (a bamboo cape used by the locals to protect themselves from rain,  hung from the head and runs down the back).

The woman declined Luh's request by insisting that he, being a strong man, should use the giant stone slab at the market in Raliang to shelter himself.

On hearing this, Luh went to the market and used the giant stone slab to shelter from the rain. The slab was put down by him in Nartiang- also marking the shift of the market from Raliang to Nartiang.

Nartiang market place is located to the north of Nartiang Monoliths. Local religious pujas are held at Law Mulong, i.e. this site, which is locally called by this name.

TNT News with inputs from TOI