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Many localities and sub-localities in Shillong city, Meghalaya have a history and story to tell. From Mawlai to Motphran, Laitumkhrah to Laitkor, the derivation of their names could surprise many of you.
Let's start with Laitumkhrah locality! Laitumkhrah is one of the costliest areas in Shillong, providing access to all the basic amenities required for settlement.
Laitumkhrah is a census town in Shillong, derived from the Khasi language, "Lait" meaning free and "Umkhrah" means river Umkhrah.
Mind you it is not "Laimu" as most people pronounce it nowadays. Give credit to the people who named this place - it's pronounced "Lait-Um-khrah".
The name of the place means an area located across the river Umkhrah or, if we refer to the Khasi word "Lait" which means free and "Umkhrah" which is the name of the river, it would mean - Free from the River Umkhrah.
Laitumkhrah houses old historical buildings; however, with constant development in the area, most of the older buildings have been replaced with modern architectural settings.
This locality is known for accomodating renowned and well-established educational institutions like St. Margaret’s Higher Secondary School Shillong, Loreto Convent, St. Edmund’s School and College, St. Anthony’s School and College, St. Mary’s School and College, Don Bosco Technical School and the National Institute of Technology Meghalaya besides others.
Not just educational institutions, the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Shillong, and several other prominent church buildings are also found in Laitumkhrah.
Laitumkhrah also houses the famous Ramakrishna Mission Shillong.
Apart from religious buildings, this locality also houses the Nazareth Hospital, which is one of the oldest hospitals in Shillong.
If Iewduh (Meghalaya's largest traditional market) is the number one market place, then Laitumkhrah would arguably be the second.
In the Laitumkhrah market, you can get fresh vegetables, pork, beef, chicken and other necessary items.
By Preetty Chambugong Marak