The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) has set the deadline of 2020 to complete the construction of the Khasi Traditional Medicine Institute at Lum Sohpetbneng near Barapani in Meghalaya.
Executive member in-charge of Traditional Medicine, Titosstarwell Chyne said in a report placed before the House during the Council session in Shillong on Monday that the executive committee expects the of the institute will be completed by next year,.
He informed that the total cost of the project was Rs 5,77,92,000 which was sanctioned by the Centre, adding that the delay in completing the project was due to time taken to obtain the forest clearance, according to reports.
With regards to the number of traditional healers who have been registered under the Khasi Hills Autonomous District (Protection and Promotion of Khasi Traditional Medicine) Act, 2011, the EM was quoted as saying that as of today, there are 30 traditional practitioners.
However, their registrations have been stopped because of the need to further improve the Rules, he added.
The EM further informed that the Khasi Traditional Medicine Commission (KTMC) has been reconstituted and members have been appointed.
Lum Sohpetbneng, where the institute is being constructed is popularly known as ‘Navel of the Earth’.
It is a very sacred place for the Seng Khasi believers. According to legends, the Golden Vine Bridge that connected Heaven and Earth was situated at the peak of U Lum Sohpetbneng. However, as sin started to creep into the earth, this ladder was broken down.
Legends also say that the Ki Hynniewtrep (meaning ‘Seven Huts’) which comprise of the seven sub-tribes of the Khasi community were the first settlers on earth. There is an annual tribal pilgrimage that is held on the first Sunday of February, when the Seng Khasi people would trek for about an hour and half to reach the top of this peak to perform their rituals and rites, and perform some of their traditional dance and songs.
For visiting tourists, the brilliant view of the countryside from the top of the hills, along with the vastness that surrounds the area is absolutely breathtaking. U Lum Sohpetbneng peak is at a height of 1,344 m, and is near the Umiam Lake.