Heritage Tourism: Meghalaya’s New Museum at Old Assembly Building

Exploring Meghalaya’s Heritage Sites with Chief Minister Conrad Sangma

Meghalaya’s Tourism Potential

In a recent interview, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma emphasized the importance of leveraging the tourism potential of heritage sites in Shillong and other parts of Meghalaya. He revealed plans to open a small museum in a portion of the historic old Assembly building in the capital city Shillong.

11th International Tourism Mart

Mr. Sangma made these remarks on the sidelines of the 11th International Tourism Mart, which showcased the tourism potential of the northeast, with a particular focus on Meghalaya as the host State.

Preserving Historical Importance and Natural Beauty

Shillong, often referred to as the ‘Scotland of the East,’ holds significant historical importance and boasts pristine natural beauty. The Chief Minister expressed the need for a generic policy to promote heritage sites from a tourist perspective as part of the overall strategy.

Plans for the Legislative Assembly Building Site

Discussing the historic Legislative Assembly building site in Shillong, Mr. Sangma mentioned plans for its preservation. Despite the building being damaged by a fire nearly 20 years ago, the government has left it untouched. However, with the construction of a new Assembly site underway, they expect to shift by September 2024.

Preserving British-Era Structures

The old Legislative Assembly building, a British-era structure, holds a rich history dating back to undivided Assam. Mr. Sangma outlined plans to collaborate with the Speaker to establish a small museum or site within the area, preserving its historical significance.

Preservation of Other Heritage Sites

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In addition to the Legislative Assembly building, the Chief Minister highlighted the heritage value of the Raj Bhavan building and Rabindranath Tagore’s house, emphasizing the need to preserve and promote these important historical landmarks.

Balancing Tourism Development and Environmental Protection

Responding to a question regarding the state’s strategy to balance tourism-related development and environmental protection, Mr. Sangma emphasized the government’s focus on sustainable tourism and ecotourism. He also highlighted the importance of creating policies that do not place immense pressure on certain tourist sites.

Incorporating Sustainable Tourism Practices

The government’s focus on sustainable tourism and ecotourism reflects a commitment to preserving Meghalaya’s natural beauty and historical heritage while promoting responsible tourism practices.

In conclusion, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma’s emphasis on leveraging Meghalaya’s tourism potential and preserving its heritage sites demonstrates a commitment to sustainable tourism that balances development with environmental protection. The initiatives outlined by Mr. Sangma will play a crucial role in ensuring that Meghalaya’s rich historical and natural heritage is preserved and promoted for future generations to enjoy.

Keywords: Meghalaya, tourism potential, heritage sites, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, sustainable tourism, historic preservation, Shillong, International Tourism Mart, environmental protection, responsible tourism

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