A date with the clouds

4th Jul 2018

Its not just about rains

Photo of A date with the clouds by Mohit Juneja
Photo of A date with the clouds 1/6 by Mohit Juneja
The Abode of Clouds
Photo of A date with the clouds 2/6 by Mohit Juneja
The Scotland of East
Photo of A date with the clouds 3/6 by Mohit Juneja
Cafe Cherrapunji

Cherrapunji town in the East Khasi hills of Meghalaya enjoys the privilege of being on the radar of travellers and explorers, also known as the wettest place on the earth due to the amount of rainfall it receives every year. We were travelling from Shillong to Cherrapunji which is 100km away with the perception of it being the wettest place on the earth. We were groomed for downpour and expected nothing but similar Mumbai rains in juxtaposition to our view the drive made us fall with nature over this 100km ride as we drove among the hills and waterfalls, permuting our ride we halted at each and every point for photographs and stories about the place. The idea for a short road-trip emanated a enjoyable experience for all of us.

Photo of A date with the clouds 4/6 by Mohit Juneja
En route to Cherrapunji
Photo of A date with the clouds 5/6 by Mohit Juneja

The superlative effect of rains on the landscape was perceptible as there were dense green forests, Pine Trees, lush green outfields, blooming flora and fauna supported by the meadows and stream of river flowing through the meadow was scenic and serene at the same time. These landscapes took me to the impression created by Jane Austen’s, Sense and Sensibility describing the wide landscapes with notable reference to the Scottish Highlands. Nature is truly captivating when at its full force and it makes us sink deep into it with itself. Similarly, captivated with magic of nature we wanted to spend hours watching the scenic view and spending some quality time there.

Photo of A date with the clouds 6/6 by Mohit Juneja
Day 1

On our way to Cherrapunji we halted at Café Cherrapunji set amidst the ancient pine trees it was a perfect stop for refreshment. Much to our surprise as we entered the café, newspaper cuttings of UFO sighting around 1960 stating,'UFO once landed here', was hanging on the wall adding more to the mystery of the place. The place also offers accommodation and whole list of activities Ziplining, Scuba diving, Snorkelling, River Rafting, Beach Rural tourism, homestay, trek to strangler fig tree, Bon Fire and Trekking etc.

Photo of Cafe Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Mohit Juneja

On our way to the hotel we hopped in and out of our cab though it was drizzling it didn't hinder our spirit to explore and our next stop was Nohsngithiang falls. One of the tallest waterfalls in India as the water falls from a height of 1033ft. The monsoon season made the water fall at full spate and we could see it from a distance, mesmerised with the beauty in 'abode of clouds'. Do stop for a perfect backdrop for a photograph session.

Photo of Nohsngithiang View, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Mohit Juneja
Day 2

The exploring doesn't stop with landscapes, cafe and waterfalls but it gets deeper as our next stop was Mawsmai caves. Eluding the drizzle and soft rays of sun we entered into the deep dark and mysterious world of caves located 6km away from the town of Sohra. The darkness felt alluring and our explorer hearts were thumping to enter it, with dagger like formations, steep and narrow passage, glistening walls and a hole in the cave roof was ethereal. The caves were lit up by halogen lamps helping the tourist to navigate their way in 40feet deep cave.

Photo of Mawsmai Cave, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Mohit Juneja

Next day our stop was to encounter another natural wonder known as the living root bridge. The living root bridge is located at Mawynnloong and serves an example of the fact that nature is giving. The tribes of East Khasi hills trained the roots to grow from rubber tress indigineous to northeast region. The bridge is around 500years approx. old no one knows the exact age, as we asked the locals but they are safe to walk, also underneath the bridge you can enjoy a natural swimming pool with current of water streaming from a river. The local kids were highly adventurous and pulled out many dives into the water.

Photo of A date with the clouds by Mohit Juneja
Day 3

Asia's Cleanest Village-

East of Cherrapunji is home to Asia's cleanest village (Mawlynnong), another astounding sight with beautiful gardens, colorful flowers and bamboo houses, instigating you for stroll around the village with scenic khasi huts. The community is warm and welcoming of the tourist providing home stays and refreshment to the tourists leaving us with an envious thought as we definitely wanted to stay in the village for longer.

Our hotel provided us a view of Bangladesh plains which is very close to Cherrapunji don’t be surprised if your network provider sends you message saying ‘Welcome to Bangladesh’. Cherrapunji is not just a rainfall paradise but the incessant rains and weather conditions have contributed to the formation of beautiful sights like Mawsami Caves, Living Root Bridge, Ancient Bungalows and the landscapes of this town still waiting to be explored by many for the joy and serenity they offer to travellers and locals residing in the town.

The best time to visit is monsoons though its dreaded by everyone living in the cities but to embrace nature and enjoy its season the best time to visit Cherapunji is July to September

Photo of Mawlynnong, Meghalaya, India by Mohit Juneja