I've always been a person who loves the rains. So, last year in August, I decided to do the impossible and head to the wettest place on the planet during peak monsoon.
With an annual average rainfall of over 11,000 mm, Mawsynram is a small village located 60 km from Shillong in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya. It holds the record for receiving the maximum amount of average rainfall a year in the Guiness Book of World Records!
I made a day trip to Mawsynram from Shillong, for which I hired a cab. It was cloudy but dry when I left the hotel. But as we reached about midway, I started noticing the very first layer of clouds. I asked the driver to stop the car and stepped out. Within minutes I was engulfed by clouds that had come down to the ground. I took the sight in for a few minutes before we started on our journey again. Throughout, I kept the windows rolled down, popping my head out every now and again to feel the misty air on my face.
The road leading up to Mawsynram offers a unique landscape. The multi-layered, green hills you see here cannot be found in other parts of India. As we drove to our final destination, we crossed a number of villages such as Nonglwai, Tyrsad, Umlangmar, and Weiloi. All of these places, perhaps unheard of on India's travel map, had very few people in sight.
By 12 in the afternoon, as we reached our destination, the weather changed again. The sky started to rumble and we were greeted by slow rain showers that turned into a downpour within a few minutes. I had packed a change of clothes and shoes, and so I decided to step out of the car and experience this beautiful phenomenon first hand.
The nostalgia of dancing in the rain as a kid was overwhelming. But just like that, within the next few minutes, the sky was clear again and the rain gone. And all I needed then was a hot cup of chai. Surprisingly, there were quite a few stalls alongside the road with Khasi women selling tea and snacks.