As is evident from the name, the district of East Garo Hils is a hilly terrain. The hills are highly dissected and one major formation is the Arbella Range, which is cuts through the south-central part of the district. The range consists of peaks with an average height of 700 metres above sea level. Another important physiographic feature is the Simsang Valley which runs through the southern part of the district. The River Simsang is the longest river in Garo Hills, which originates in West Garo Hills and flows through East Garo Hills and thence to South Garo Hills. The topography of the rest of the district is of undulating low hills, with altitude ranging from 150 to 600 netres above sea level. Besides the Simsang (Someshwari), the district is also drained by the rivers Manda (Dudhnoi) & Damring (Krishnoi), which have their sources within the district. Other than the Simsang which drains southeastwards, the others all runs north or northwest towards the Brahmaputra.

River System & Water Resources

The district is mainly drained by perineal & non-perennial streams and the drainage system of the district comprises of the following:

1. The Simsang (Someshwari) & its tributaries: The Simsang flows in from the neighbouring district of West Garo Hills, where its source is, it flows eastwards and then southwards within East Garo Hills and then flows out to neighboutring South Garo Hills, and thence to Bangladesh. The Simsang and its tributaries drains more than 50% of the district.

2. The Damring (Krishnai) & its tributaries: The Damring has its source in East Garo Hills and it flows northwards to neighbouring North Garo Hills, and then to Assam and drains to the Brahmaputra.

3. The Manda (Dudhnoi) & its tributaries: The Manda has its source in East Garo Hills and it flows northwards to neighbouring North Garo Hills, and then to Assam and drains to the Brahmaputra.


Seismically, East Garo Hills district lies in in Zone V. Nearly all of the state of Meghalaya, lies on the "Shillong Massif". This is a block-like structure that has not undergone much folding or faulting as compared to the surrounding areas. The main threats to the state come from faults bounding the massif with the surrounding areas. The northern part of the massif has several faults, among the newly identified Oldham Fault that is believed responsible for the 1897 earthquake. The southern boundary is marked by the east-west trending Dauki Fault, along the Bangladesh border. Moderate earthquakes have occurred in this state but the most significant of all was the Great Assam earthquake of 1897. Centred across the state border in Assam, much of Meghalaya was severely jolted.

The Largest Instrumented Earthquake in Meghalaya was on 7 April 1951 - 6.8 (TS) 20:29:12.40 UTC, 25.80N, 90.40E near Rongrenggre, which is a suburb of Williamnagar, the district headquarters of East Garo Hills.


The population of East Garo Hills district consists of two major groups - tribal & non-tribal. The tribal population of the district amounts to 96.54 % of the total population. The majority of the tribal population are the Garos, while the other indigenous inhabitants are the Hajongs, Rabhas, Koches, Rajbansis, Kacharis and Dalus. The small non-tribal population, including the Scheduled Castes is mostly concentrated in the urban settlements of Williamnagar and semi-urban habitations like Rongjeng, Songsak & Rongsak. The distribution of population in the district is uneven and is mostly governed by topography. The population of the district is mainly concentrated in the flatter areas like Williamnagar and Rongjeng. Since the economy of the district is primarily agricultural, the topography and soil type have a great influence on the population distribution. Also the uneven topography which also influences factors such as accessibility to the areas, causes the low density of population in the interiors of the district.

Primary Census Abstract for East Garo Hills District (Census, 2011)

Item Total Rural Urban
Area (in sq. kms) 1517.00 1507.28 9.72
Households 26585 22333 4252
Population in the age group (0-6)
Male 14247 12474 1773
Female 14043 12222 1821
Total 28290 24696 3594
Scheduled Castes Population
Male 248 90 267
Female 162 53 158
Total 410 143 109
Scheduled Tribes Population
Male 69925 59695 10230
Female 68554 57979 10575
Total 138479 117674 20805
Literates Population
Male 44908 34940 9968
Female 37412 28422 8720
Total 82050 63362 18688
Total Workers
Male 33414 27866 5548
Female 24914 23169 1745
Total 58328 51035 7293
Main Workers
Male 28531 23451 5080
Female 12952 11589 1363
Total 41483 35040 6443
     (i) Cultivators
Male 18105 17720 385
Female 9630 9443 187
Total 27735 27163 572
     (ii) Agricultural Workers
Male 1891 1820 71
Female 1039 1008 31
Total 2930 2828 102
     (iii) Household Industry Workers
Male 209 178 31
Female 122 94 28
Total 331 272 59
     (iv) Other Workers
Male 8326 3733 4593
Female 2161 1044 1777
Total 10487 4777 5710
Marginal Workers
Male 4883 4415 468
Female 11962 11580 382
Total 16845 15995 850
(i) Marginal Cultivators
Male 2216 2188 28
Female 7658 7531 127
Total 9874 9719 155
(ii) Marginal Agricultural Labourers
Male 1405 1360 45
Female 3184 3152 32
Total 4589 4512 77
(iii) Marginal Household Industry Workers
Male 140 124 16
Female 244 220 24
Total 384 344 40
(iv) Marginal Other Workers
Male 122 743 379
Female 876 677 199
Total 1998 1420 578
Male 40938 33751 7187
Female 46532 36415 10117
Total 87470 70166 17304
Source:- District Statistical Officer, Williamnagar.