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Meghalaya is literally the 'Abode of the Clouds'. The name describes the climatic phenomenon that brings torrents of rain to this region. Meghalaya is a region of great scenic beauty; a panorama of lush, undulating hills, fertile valleys, 250 species of orchids, meandering rivers, waterfalls, sparkling mountain streams and lakes. It was declared the 21st State of India on 21 January 1972. It united the areas of the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Hills. The state approximately 22,429 square kms in area lies between the latitudes 25.10-26.50 N and the longitudes of 85.49 0 - 92.52 E. It is bounded by Assam in the north and the east and the plains of Bangladesh in the south and west. The State is divided into three hilly regions - the Garo Hills (Western Meghalaya), the Khasi Hills (Central Meghalaya) and the Jaintia Hills (Eastern Meghalaya).