Going to a place is a choice you make,
but coming back often depends on
how much of yourself you are ready to leave there.
Meghalaya was one such place that certainly took a piece of my heart, that I only wish could return.
It was a Monday morning in the month of August when I heard from Tripoto that one of my dreams was all set to get fulfilled. Monday morning blues were all gone for good. I started my maiden trip to the north-east on the 31st of August from Delhi after travelling some 2000 odd kms already in two days.
North-east by popular imagination is defined by amazing landscapes and food. But to my senses it appeared to be much much more. I landed at Guwahati – the gateway to northeast and embarked on a 7 day journey.
Bishu was there to receive me and my friends from the Guwahati airport. Standing with a placard in his hand he was like a god’s messenger who was to guide us in this mystical journey to the abode of clouds.
We reached Shillong after a 4 hour drive grabbing a bite here and there of the authentic northeastern cuisine and enjoying the Punjabi folk music that Bishu played for us.
It was 7 but the sun was gone already to take his goodnight sleep. Negotiating with traffic of the hill station we reached its heart in a place beyond our imagination.
It was one of the best Bnb places I had ever been too. Tucked on the top of a hill this house was majestic bungalow with open arms. The owners were extremely friend and in our 5 day stay with them we did connect with them at a deeper level. Especially the little boy who became my new found friend in the Scotland of the north-east.
Contact details – Polo Hills, near Golf Club, Pynthormukhrah, Shillong
Contact Person: Anthony 08794707022
Sip, wallow, walk and wade…
In cool pools and jungle shade.
It was 7 in the morning and we were all set and running to see the enchanting beauty of this famous hill station. Our first stop was a huge church made in blue themed architecture named – and was the biggest in the city.
We reached the Shillong peak in half an hour maneuvering through the scenic beauty of the city. It was misty and cloudy and one of our first encounters with the clouds of Meghalaya. It was indeed a sight to remember. What seemed to be a small town last night showed up as a densely populated valley of beautifully lined houses mostly made of red stone. The roof was tapered and even the biggest of houses resembled the shape of hand drawn huts.
Elephant falls was our next stop. I had seen pictures of it being a well-informed traveler that I tried to but the entrance to the falls seemed rather unusual. But as I stepped ahead this seemed to be a series of falls in one fall. Elephant falls are a group of falls made up of 3 major falls falling down what seemed like staircases of God.
By this time the foodie inside had elephants jumping inside my stomach. As we drove back to the city we stumbled upon Bamboo Hut (I had read reviews about it already but acted as if I didn’t know anything about it). It was a decent size restaurant with bamboo architecture. People were friendly and food was amazing. Especially the choumin…drool yum! The best one I had ever had.
The next stop was Shillong lake followed by the golf course that was near our lovely and humble abode. We called it a night after having a good time with the family and playing cards with the lil’ boy.
I visited Smit, the cultural center of the Khasi Hills, the local tribe of the state. Smit is a pollution-free and pleasant village in the outskirts of the capital city. The natural beauty of the place is a treat to the eye. It grows wide varieties of vegetation, consequently sharing to the economy of the state. The farmers of Smit usually practice Jhum cultivation.
“Even though, goodbye dear Cherra,
And your rain goodbye,
I’m off to my home,
For my life is yonder,
Though my love is here. “
Cherrapunji, or Cherra as I fondly call it is no less than a trip to the paradise. Humble households, smiling and hardworking people but overall a scanty population. Hundreds of small churches with crematories on small hills were also a sight to remember. And yes the pineapples, the juiciest ever in the history of this universe. Period.
High above misty valleys and foaming rivers, ensconced in swirling clouds and perched on an escarpment, lies Cherrapunji. This is a stunning location and the year-round rain earned Cherrapunji coveted entry long ago into the Guinness Book of World Records as the wettest place on earth, the place where the rainfall can be recorded in feet rather than in millimeters.
Amidst all the surprises of Cherrapunji, perhaps the most abiding is the startling realization that the wettest place on earth where it rains every month also has an amazing amount of warm sunshine. When the clouds drift away, there are a series of memorable views, and one can see as far as Bangladesh. Orchids bloom a few feet away from patches devoid of vegetation. Dense woods interspersed by rocky, cliffs furrowed by erosion.
The next day was spent chilling in the home stay mostly as the trek was tiring for most. I instead chose to meet the locals and cook some local cuisine with local ingredients and we had a gala time in the night.
Our next stop was Mawsynram caves followed by a visit to the cleanest place in the world – Mawlynnong. Here are a few pictures for you to have a look.
It was truly no less than a purifying experience visiting this place.
Mawlynnong offers one the opportunity to view natural beauty in abundance from the Sky Walk, a 80 feet high “machan’ or observatory. You can also visit the Living Root Bridge and Natural Balancing Rock. For nature lovers, one day trek offers living amidst nature in all its glory.