Monoliths are upright structures carved from one single stone that serve as a monument or pillar. Monoliths exist throughout the length and breadth of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills. However, the biggest collection of monoliths or Megalithic stones in one single area is to be found north of the Nartiang market.
These consists of Menhirs (Upright stones) Moo Shynrang and Dolmens (flat stones in the horizontal position) locally known as Moo Kynthai. Within the perimeter of these Megalithic collection stands the tallest Menhir which is eight metres long, erected by U Mar Phalyngki a trusted lieutenant of the Jaintia King to commemorate his victory in battle. Other monoliths were erected by U Mar Phalyngki, U Luh Lyngskor Lamare and various clans of Nartiang village between 1500 A.D. and 1835 A.D.
Nartiang Monoliths Board
There is a small park full of monoliths and greenery all around. Narthing Moniliths are situated about 65 km from the state’s capital Shillong. Nartiang village has an important place in history of Meghalaya. The place, according to locals, was the summer resort of the Jaintia kings of 17th century. The monoliths are categorised as menhirs and dolmens by locals.
Since the historical monument is centuries old there are several beliefs regarding its origin. While the information board and many locals here say that each monolith marks a particular event or individual, some others believe in the legend of the king and the old woman.
According to this legend, Jaintia king U Luh Lyngshkor visited an old woman’s hut in order to ask for ‘knub,’ the traditional bamboo umbrella on a rainy day. The woman denied his request, saying that since the king was a well-built man, he should lift the stone slab and use it to get cover from rain. The king then went to the Raliang market, where he lifted a slab to cover himself. The slab was put down by him in Nartiang- also marked the shift of the market from Raliang to Nartiang. Hence, the stone slabs were basically platforms used to display items in a market.
While visiting Meghalaya one must make it a point to visit this place as it is heaven for archeological site lovers.