Motphran is a monument built by the British to commemorate the sacrifice of the Khasis during the First World War. The area surrounding Motphran, known as Iewduh (or Bara Bazaar) is the indigenous and the largest market of the city. Apart from being a local hub, Motphran has a celebrated history that places it as an important tourist destination in Shillong. Motphran literally translates to the ‘Stone of France’. Motphran is a monument dedicated to the porters of the 26th Khasi Labour Corps who had carried arms, ammunitions and other essential items for the British soldiers during the First World War.
The memorial was built by the English to honour the death of all the 67 porters who had died in the war. There is a famous inscription in the monument that is written in Latin by Horace and it reads, ‘Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori’. The phrase translates to ‘It is sweet to die for one’s country’. The British had originally named it Mot France, but since the locals could not pronounce it so, it came to be known as Motphran. Today Motphran has become a busy traffic junction that sees choc-a-bloc thoroughfare throughout the day.