U Lum Sohpetbneng, popularly known as “umbilical heavenly peak” or “Navel of the earth”, is situated by the scenic Umiam Lake (Barapani), atop the 1,344-metre high peak, 17 km north of state capital Shillong of Meghayala.
The annual indigenous tribal pilgrimage is held on the first Sunday of February, the Seng Khasi believers would trekked for almost an hour and a half to reach this navel of the earth where they believed once lay the ‘Golden Stairs’ known as ‘Jingkieng Ksiar’ which connected heaven and earth, accompanied with the beating of the traditional drums and songs, to offer their obeisance to god with traditional rituals and rites, dances and songs.
The navel heavenly umbilical peak, symbolises the deep rooted spiritual belief of the Hynniewtrep – the Seven huts people, predominating the West Khasi Hills, East Khasi Hills, Ri-Bhoi and Jiantia Hills districts of East Meghalaya descended to earth from a Golden Vine Bridge, atop the Sacred U Lum Sohpetbneng Peak, to be crowned rulers of creations of the Divine Creator- U Blei. However, the golden ladder was broken when sin crept into earth.
According to a tribal legend, the sub tribes of Khasi race, Khynriam, Pnar, Bhoi, War, Maram, Lyngngam and the now-extinct Diko of Meghalaya, collectively known as Ki Hynniewtrep, which literally means ‘Seven Huts’ referring to the seven families, are the first settlers on earth.
The annual obeisance is accompanied by traditional rituals and rites, dances and songs. Rice grain and water are distributed on the occasion to gain spiritual contentment and good health. This sacred peak is said to be a repository of ancient wisdom and the fountain head of religious philosophy which is shrouded in sacredness and sanctity.