I Travelled to the World's Wettest Place During Monsoons and It Was Magical


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!

The journey

Photo of I Travelled to the World's Wettest Place During Monsoons and It Was Magical 1/3 by Adete Dahiya
(C) Kanj Saurav

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.

The destination

Photo of I Travelled to the World's Wettest Place During Monsoons and It Was Magical 2/3 by Adete Dahiya
(C) Kanj Saurav

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.

Photo of I Travelled to the World's Wettest Place During Monsoons and It Was Magical 3/3 by Adete Dahiya
(C) Kanj Saurav

I got some chai, a few snacks and then we were back on our way to our first stop – the Khreng Khreng Falls. When we reached, the sky had cleared up again. I was so mesmerised by the view, I almost didn't hear the driver say that it could start raining again, any minute. And it did! But the thing about waterfalls is that they are most beautiful in the rains! It was a sight to behold.

We stayed there for about an hour before moving to meet our guide at the Krem Puri Caves, which is believed to be the longest sandstone cave system in the world, setting the record at 24.5 km! The breathtaking maze of caves is touted as a hub for ancient fossils and several rare species of flora and fauna. When we reached, parts of the cave were filled with water with rain also dripping from above, but the guide took us through a simple-to-follow circuit.

(C) Kanj Saurav

Photo of Krem Puri Cave, State Highway 4, Meghalaya, India by Adete Dahiya

After we hiked around the caves, it was time to head back to Shillong. All I can say is that after witnessing the rains in Mawsynram, I don't think I can replicate the experience anywhere else in the world. I just hope once I am back in Delhi, my chai tastes just as delicious in the monsoons as it did here. And for what it's worth, I think a lot more people should give this a try – travelling to Mawsynram during peak monsoons.

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