Monsoons of Meghalaya have the power to captivate all hearts. The Nature in motion with some of the heaviest rainfall on earth create some of the prettiest vistas and the most gorgeous waterfalls in Meghalaya during monsoons. If winters and springs of Meghalaya are ideal for photography, monsoons of Meghalaya are ideal for filming the boisterous rain. The thrill begins when the clouds show up midway, and in some places, you may also get to actually drive through the clouds. Embrace the rains and clouds in the wettest place of our planet. You may sneeze, cough and run for medicines later, but all will be forgiven for experiencing the thrill. Rain is not a spoilsport here, it only calls out the locals for a game of football. These places in Meghalaya look most amazing during monsoons.
Cherrapunjee (Sohra, East Khasi Hills)
The white-marked, coal-black, polished roads of Meghalaya that twist and turn with style, look even cleaner during monsoons with the regular wash of rain. While you are having your Formula 1 moment with your shades on or off, hair flown back or set, have a picture or two at the earliest chance you get because clouds have a habit of playing pranks and throwing surprises in this part of Khasi hills. The ever-changing state of the clouds and lavish rain can give a variety of shots and videos to fill your memory card. And the waterfalls on the way throwing up the bulk, you can’t have a gorgeous monsoon than in Cherrapunjee, where even the rocks seem to be strategically placed to enhance the beauty. Waterfalls like Nohkalikai Falls and Nohsngithiang Falls (7 sisters falls) etc., look best during monsoon. While the clouds make you blind, waterfalls make you deaf and of course dumb too, (for the sound of the waterfalls will surely overpower your cries) cry your heart out and dance like nobody’s watching you! This place as a summer retreat can drench all the heat.
Mawsynram (East Khasi Hills):
If you know Mawsynram for the garrulous Mawsynram falls only (for being the fourth largest in the world), well this place tops the chart unofficially for the rains. Yes, it does, with an average of 11,872mm (about 39 ft) that makes it the wettest place on earth, though Cherrapunjee is recorded as the receiver of highest rainfall as there is no meteorological department in this area. If the envelope of mist allows, you’ll find yourself covered in lush green on the most majestic rocks and waterfalls. The market is busy and you will have to maneuver your umbrella through the sea of them in the market. You may see the rain children braving their bones against the rain unaffected, playing football or betting on arrows all drenched. Mawsynram has a lot of caves too. Of all the caves in Mawsynram, Mawjymbuin Cave is well known for the stalagmites, one of which has taken the shape of a massive Shiva Linga. But caves cannot be visited during monsoons as water enters the caves, however, waterfalls are the best during the season.
Laitlum (East Khasi Hills):
Aloof but in peace, the less visited Laitlum Canyons give a closer look at the gorges and hills. This place looks more beautiful during monsoons as it is greener this season. The whole of the plateau can be covered on foot. It’s amazing to get to see every edge of the tableland within walkable range and then to stand at the edge and feel at the top of the world alongside the enormous hills. Whenever the sky is clear of clouds, you can see the depth of the gorges or see the rain feeding the streams. The interesting thing about the rain of Meghalaya is that it rains mostly in the morning. So when you cross the Smit village that falls on the way to the Laitlum Canyon it may rain. Of course, you can’t predict rain in the abode of clouds, but just for the sake of informing you that if it rains just before reaching the 100-year-old Ing Sad of Smit, you will see a greener row of pine trees and a shinier path to the palace. Both Smit and Laitlum are near the style icon of Meghalaya, Shillong that is, so passing through these places on the same day gives you all the tastes -of fashion, culture, and grandness of nature.
Image source: https://www.holidify.com/blog/must-do-things-in-meghalaya/
Mawlyngbna (East Khasi Hills):
Mawlyngbna was once a part of the ocean bed. So when this place evolved into a land, it brought up with it the secrets of the sea. Fossils of sea animals, carnivorous plants that can be seen rarely though (as they have become endangered now) on the way while canyoning and trekking keep reminding one of the ocean floor that it was. Formations on the rocks that look like footprints of huge animals (which is also explained in the folklore that says that this place was a marketplace of the animals in the past), and ‘the Law Adong’ (a forest preserved by the villagers) all of this, along with the beauty of the place makes it enticing for the tourists. The villagers participate in the tourism of the place to give the tourists a complete yet a non-touristy experience. The waterfalls are more active during monsoons and the rivers pass by the beautiful rocks and greenery more swiftly. Clouds are always in action to participate in the surprise party of the ocean bed. What better place than this can be to add to the checklist of summer retreat.
Nongriat (East Khasi Hills):
“You need some rain for the rainbows”. This line that I saw on a website comes to my mind when Nongriat comes to mind. The view of the village downwards while trekking down 3000 steps to Nongriat is no way less beautiful than your willpower to trek it. If you count the deal of trekking down the stairs to how much you get in return under the envelope of lush green, butterflies of all size, and colours enchanting you midway, and insects consistently adding life to the arena, till you reach the extraordinarily indigenous living root bridges, your returns exceed way too much. And if counting the stairs alone would make you tired, then you have another task of counting, of the time taken for root bridges to grow. The Khasi and Jaintia tribe build bridges by guiding roots of rubber tree through hollow canes that take 10 to 15 years to grow. Only root bridges could stand the heavy rain of the place. The Living Root Bridges of Meghalaya are recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. Take a look at the village of Nongriat that glisten in the dew and rain, fresh and full of life and share the happiness of the earth and wisdom of the elders.
Nongkhnum Island (West Khasi Hills)
To get to set foot on the grasses so less trodden and a sight that just seems like being freshly created for you, may make you feel like Adam or Eve. The Nongkhnum Island near Nongstoin, that is very less discovered even by the dwellers, has all the advantages of not being inhabited. The river Kynshi creates some of the most majestic beaches,
lakes and falls to make this place seem like ‘heaven on earth’. The valleys are beautiful with very few inhabitants. Lakes are full of fishes and falls are maddening, especially during monsoon.
The valley tilts downwards from the point where Weinia Fall starts so that one can walk down the hill along the fall, to see the fall from a closer distance. The fall and the rocks shaping each other look splendid. The state of mind that is aimed in meditation (i.e., the zero state of mind) is brought in seconds by the deafening waterfall. The mind frees itself from all the thoughts (even the thought of how grand the waterfall is), and one would just want to keep on lading looking at it. The route makes it possible for the onlooker to see the powerful fall from so close that it almost feels like sharing the aura of the waterfall. And all of it doesn’t end here. If you were awestruck by the closeness of the Weinia Falls, you will have your wish of being a part of it fulfilled by the War Falls, where you can walk in to. And if you are not done with the waterfalls yet, you can move on for some more till you get to see Langshiang Falls in Nongstoin, which is the highest waterfall in Meghalaya.
P.S: While you may have thought after reading this post that these places do not have a scarcity of water, let me tell you drinking water s scarce here. Especially in the elevated areas. That’s because drinking water has to be brought from the lowlands where it gets deposited.