Also dubbed as the Abode of the Clouds, Meghalaya is a region that is known for its stunning scenic beauty. Filled with lush green hills, fertile valleys, meandering rivers, sparkling streams and lake and striking waterfalls, Meghalaya is a tourist’s dream destination. Over the past few years though, the region has been pushing forward to carve a niche for itself as a premier wellness destination in India. The region has also slowly been gaining more popularity as a potential wellness hub in north India.
Potential Benefits of Meghalaya as a wellness destination
Meghalaya is literally pollution free and is a hub for traditional herbal medicine. The peacefulness of the location along with its natural medicinal facilities would make the region a great wellness retreat for those seeking to rejuvenate their body, mind and soul.
Abundance of medicinal plants and herbs
Wellness tourism aims at healing the body and mind via therapies that use natural ingredients. Meghalaya is home to more than 850 species of medicinal herbs out of which nearly 80% are already being used for healthcare purposes in the state. It can also be said that over 1200 of the total 3200 medicinal plants in India are found in Meghalaya alone.
Abundance of traditional healers
Wellness therapies incorporate a blend of traditional healing techniques and modern medicines to rejuvenate the body and mind. The abundance of medicinal herbs in the region makes it a natural home for several traditional healers, most of whom use almost 120 species of plants and herbs to heal patients.
Initiatives taken by the state
With great potential to become a major wellness hub in India and abroad, Meghalaya has started to take the necessary initiatives to promote herbal and wellness tourism in the region. Reports created for the same purpose highlight the factors that would influence the same.
Project destination Meghalaya
The annual budget presentation of the state government saw the introduction of project Destination Meghalaya, which focuses on transforming the region into a major wellness hub for locals and tourists alike. The project would focus on integrating government as well as private investments in several industries like health, tourism and wellness.
The project would allow the state to promote herbal and wellness tourism by allowing existing medicinal centers to become an important part of the overall wellness tourism industry. These medicinal centers would also be able to ask for and use the grants amounting to Rs. 1.73 crore that was sanctioned by the National Medicinal Plants Board during the fiscal year 2014-15. The money thus received, will be used to raise herbal plantations and promote other similar activities.
The rise of herbal plantations would in turn, quell the fear of traditional herbal medicine practitioners regarding the disappearance of medicinal herbs from forests, as well as the ignorance of the younger generations about these priceless medicinal herbs.
The Destination Meghalaya project will have the state playing the important role in devising and initiating programs to set up retreats that would focus on herbal treatments, Ayurvedic therapies, yoga centers and so on. These retreats would employ as well as seek the advice of indigenous people who have exceptional knowledge about these medicinal herbs used for rejuvenation and holistic healing purposes. The project will also identify potential locations that have valuable medicinal plants, and transform these areas into centers focusing on conducting educational herbal trails. The existing medicinal centers will be integrated into the component of wellness tourism and would be allowed to operate in a regulated manner.
Meghalaya is all set to promote its health and wellness tourism industry to new heights. However, it all depends on the government’s decision to support the same idea and provide financial assistance for the same purpose.
Meghalaya has launched a ‘Destination Meghalaya’ project to promote wellness tourism in the region. Being known for its rich repository of medicinal herbs and plants, the region has the potential to become one of the premier wellness tourism destinations in the country.