FROM OUR REPORTER
SHILLONG, Feb 7: Thousands of people from all over the Khasi-Jaintia Hills belonging to the indigenous tribal faith-Seng Khasi thronged the sacred ‘U Lum Sohpetbneng’ (vel of the earth) atop the 1,344-metre high peak, about 16 km from Shillong, today to offer their obeisance to god with traditiol rituals and rites, dances and songs.
It may be mentioned that every year on the first Sunday of February, the Seng Khasi believers trekked for almost an hour and a half to reach this vel of the earth where they believed once lay the ‘Golden Stairs’ known as Ka ‘Jingkieng Ksiar’ which connects heaven and earth. There is deep-rooted belief of the Khasi people that they belong to the sixteen huts dear to God. The inhabitants of these huts descended from their heavenly abode to the earth and back to the heavens through a golden bridge, atop the sacred peak. However, golden ladder was broken when sin crept into earth. According to legends, the sub tribes of Khasi race Khynriam, Pr, Bhoi, War, Maram, Lyngngam and the now-extinct Diko of Meghalaya, are collectively known as Ki Hynniewtrep, which means Seven Huts’ referring to the seven families, the first settlers on earth. The sacred peak is said to be a repository of ancient wisdom and the fountain head of religious philosophy which is shrouded in sacredness and sanctity.