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Notes on the Geography of Northern India: Cherrapunji and Shillong: Photo 79

world pictures Northern India: Cherrapunji and Shillong

British officers knew them well. Here's what one officer wrote shortly after 1900: "The Khasi monoliths are a prominent feature in the landscape in almost every portion of the district. They are generally arranged in rows, varying in number from three to nine. The centre stone is invariably the tallest and is sometimes crowned with a piece of stone the size and shape of a plate. A flat table like stone, supported on small pillars about one foot high, is placed in front of each group of three monoliths, and for each extra pair of monoliths there is an additional flat stone. Some of these monoliths are of enormous size. At Nartiang there is a stone which is 26 feet 6 inches high, 6 feet 9 inches wide, and 2 feet 3 inches thick. These memorial stones fall into two classes, those which are erected by the family or clan in memory of their ancestors, and those erected by children in honour of their parents. They are generally placed near paths where they will be continuously in the public eye, and are often far away from the place where the ashes of the person in whose honour they have been erected are buried."

See B.C. Allen, The Khasi and Jaintia Hills..., Assam District Gazetteers, vol. 10, 1906, p. 53.

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