Photographer Steve McCurry's India in pictures

The various moods and legends of Meghalaya's Khasi Hills caught on camera
Photographer Steve McCurry's India in pictures
Photographer Steve McCurry's India in pictures

Meghalaya, one of the Seven Sisters states in the northeast region of India, is not only geographically beautiful, but also is a place full of powerful legends. Have you heard of the legend of Thlen** or the blood-sucking serpent There are some who believe it and some who don&rsquot calling it an evil conspiracy of a psychopath. We will never know for sure.

Let's turn from the supernatural to the geography of the region, the people who live here. Meghalaya is vibrant in its own way, the attire&mdashpeculiar to the place, the locals&rsquo love for betel-nut (locally known as kwai), houses with high flying and symbolic red flag with a rooster on it which signifies that the family is still Seng Khasi or Khasi Hindu (note Meghalaya is predominantly a Christian state), stories about Lum Symper or Living Hill (the Khasi Hindus perform their rituals there in order to &ldquomake the hill come to life&rdquo), the locals&rsquo love for archery, the rock formations, ritualistic monoliths, famous waterfall with a tragic story. &nbspMeghalaya&mdashthe abode of clouds (in Sanskrit), is not just about the Asia&rsquos cleanest village or the state&rsquos reputation as a matrilineal society or the highly debated Uranium mining. You have to travel across the state to understand what Meghalaya is about. 

This pictorial essay is to help you plan.

(** Thlen is a legendary blood-sucking serpent that has a master. It&rsquos on the lines of black magic where the Thlen demands blood sacrifices in order to fulfil the wishes of the believers.)

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