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Ka Syiem Jitlakhai

U Maw Shyllaitbit lies to the west of the town of Mustoh and it is a huge rock that can be seen from parts of Shella District. It is believed that this was where the Queen-Goddess Jitlakhai lived along with her subjects.

Queen Jitlakhai was an extremely beautiful woman, whose hair was golden in colour, long and enchanting. Queen Jitlakhai used to bathe in the Umbloi river and her hair being very long, flowed downstream and reached the plains. It so happened that her hair was found by a fakir. He was taken aback by the golden colour of the hair and its mind-boggling length! The fakir rolled some of the hair and took it to his king. The king was baffled and determined to find the woman to whom the hair belonged. He thus prepared an army with soldiers, elephants and tigers. The king followed the Umbloi river upwards till he reached Shella. But when he reached Shella nobody told him about where Queen Jitlakhai was. There was a deep trench between Shella and Mustoh which the King wanted to cross. The King schemed to bribe a poor man into telling him where Queen Jitlakhai lived. The man took the King to where the Queen lived.

On seeing her subject, Queen Jitlakhai appeared and it was then that the King asked her to marry him. She refused his offer of marriage and when the King saw that she would not relent, his soldiers held her by force hoping to take her away. At that moment Queen Jitlakhai screamed and prayed. It was then that she turned into "rngai” which can be translated as an apparition or a ghost. Instantaneously her castle also turned into stone. It was from then onwards that people called this rock "Maw Shyllaitbit". To this day the appearance of a metal door can be seen on the rock. People believe that Queen Jitlakhai turned into "rngai” and no one has ever seen her since.

"Ka Syiem Jitlakhai" is an engrossing Khasi folktale that tells the story of a queen with long golden hair. 👸
Reference: 'Ka Jitlakhai' written by E. Weston Dkhar (1978)

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