Meghalaya in the monsoon season: A Photo Essay

Nohkalikai Falls at Cherrapunjee on a typical monsoon morning.
Image courtesy: ©Mahesh/Getty Images

I stood there panting. The mist played hide and seek with the silhouettes of the trees. And although my blue umbrella had long given up, my hardy rain jacket was a still putting up a fight against the relentless rain. Telling myself that it was my own doing – that I had chosen to visit Cherrapunjee in the month of July – I looked up, licked a few drops and decided to weather through the gossamer mist surrounding me.

There are these places you read about in school books – and you picture them in your mind, resolving to visit them some day. And while it has since lost the distinction of being the wettest place on the planet to the neighbouring Mawsynram village in the East Khasi hills of Meghalaya, Cherrapunjee was the place to be, for me. Like an old hand trying hard to regain its lost glory, Cherrapunjee kept releasing its monsoon might down on me.

Also read: Best activities for a family holiday in Meghalaya

Also read: A day at the cleanest village in Asia: Mawlynnong, Meghalaya

Here are a few outtakes I managed from my travel through Meghalaya in monsoon season. To experience the monsoon in all its glory, head to Meghalaya!

 

Image courtesy: Gitika Saksena

Monsoon clouds as viewed from the aircraft. I landed at Guwahati airport before embarking on a 3 hour long drive to Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya. While the journey should ideally take 2 hours, it does take a bit of time entering Shillong city with single file traffic.

Image courtesy: Gitika Saksena

The paraphernalia in my taxi was an interesting distraction. Shillong cabs are known for their eclectic interiors.

Image courtesy: Gitika Saksena

Ominous clouds greeted me as I neared Shillong.

Image courtesy: Gitika Saksena

Umiam Lake is a man made reservoir about 15 kilometres away from Shillong. Spread over an expanse of 221 square kilometres, Umiam translates to ‘water of tears’. I stopped by to admire the panoramic vistas.

Image courtesy: Gitika Saksena

The Mawkdawk bridge disappearing into the mist ahead. A few enthusiastic athletes were getting ready for a marathon in the rain.

Image courtesy: Gitika Saksena

The day after, I trekked down to the single decker living roots bridge at Mawylnnong. Monsoons and an early start to the day meant I had the entire bridge to myself! The monsoon-fed stream underneath was at its vociferous best.

Image courtesy: Gitika Saksena

I was craving for a hearty breakfast when I reached Mawlynnong village. Locals greeted me, wearing warm smiles and knups. Knups are traditional Khasi umbrellas, sturdy enough to stand up to the incessant rain and strong winds.

Image courtesy: Gitika Saksena

Nirvana! I tucked into a traditional Khasi breakfast of rice, pork curry and coriander chutney.

Image courtesy: Gitika Saksena

Mist covered Shillong is a must-visit place in the monsoon season.

AUTHOR'S BIO: An economics graduate from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi and an MBA from Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneshwar, Gitika started flirting with photography in 2011 and it has been a constant companion ever since. She enjoys taking photographs related to travel, humanitarian causes, festivals and celebrations and once in a while, likes to connect dots and find the common thread between images of people and places. More on: www.gitikasaksena.com

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