Mawsynram is a small hamlet nestled in the East Khasi Hills district of the Indian state of Meghalaya. It is situated around 69 km southwest of the state capital, Shillong, and 15 km west of Cherrapunji. Mawsynram is known for being the wettest place on earth, with an average annual rainfall of over 11,000 millimeters.
Location and Geography
The geography of Mawsynram is characterized by its hilly terrain, deep valleys, and lush green forests. The village is located on the southern slopes of the Khasi Hills, which is a part of the Meghalaya Plateau. The Meghalaya Plateau is one of the wettest regions on Earth, and it is known for its unique rock formations, caves, and waterfalls.
Mawsynram is situated at an altitude of around 1,400 meters above sea level, and it is surrounded by several high mountains. The village is also home to several rivers and streams, which flow through the valleys and create beautiful waterfalls.
The area around Mawsynram is rich in flora and fauna, with a variety of plant and animal species found in the forests and hills. This rocky, hilly region is abundant with bamboo and broom grass, a species of delicate, fragrant, olive-hued grass that is traditionally cultivated for the production of Indian brooms.
Reasons Behind Mawsynram’s Record-Breaking Rainfall
The record-breaking rainfall in Mawsynram can be attributed to three primary factors:
- The convergence of warm and moist winds from the Bay of Bengal during the monsoon season, which is forced to converge over the Khasi Hills, results in concentrated moisture.
- The east-to-west alignment of the hills places them directly in the path of the airflow, leading to significant uplift and cooling, which results in further condensation and more rain.
- The uplift over the hills is continuous during the monsoon season due to the vigorous winds in the upper atmosphere, resulting in virtually non-stop rainfall.
Things to Do and Places to Visit
If you’re planning a trip to Mawsynram, there are plenty of things to do and places to visit. Here are some of the top attractions:
Visit the Mawjymbuin Cave
Mawjymbuin, also known as Krem Mawjymbuin, is a must-visit spot in Mawsynram. The cave, formed by the constant deposition of calcareous sandstone and weathering, boasts a height of over 200 meters. Visitors can enjoy a stunning view of the entrance from the slightly open viewing spot on the first level. The cave is also famous for its dome-shaped Symper rock, providing a dazzling view of the surrounding valleys and hills. Adventurous visitors can explore the many difficult-to-reach entrances, while the picturesque scenery of green mountains adds to the cave’s natural beauty.
Visit the Mawsmai Cave
Mawsmai Cave is a popular attraction in Mawsynram, located 6 km from Cherrapunji. It offers a unique opportunity to explore and learn about caves. The cave is naturally illuminated by sunlight during the day and also has additional lighting for visitors. It is spacious in some areas, but visitors may need to squeeze through tight spaces in other parts of the cave.
The historic pillars in the cave are formed by the natural joining of the roof and floor. While the cave provides shelter to various bats and insects, it is not recommended for older visitors or infants. The best time to visit is during the post-monsoon season.
Visit the Mawlyngbna Village
Located 15km away from Mawsynram, the heavenly village of Mawlyngbna is a must-visit destination that adds to the natural beauty of the region. The village is situated atop a hill and boasts rich fossils of animals, as well as natural springs that supply fresh and clean water year-round. The outskirts of the village feature a broadleaf forest that is home to the endangered pitcher plant.
Mawlyngbna offers visitors an array of attractions, including streams, caves, hills, a natural hot spring, and picturesque waterfalls. Adventurous activities such as zip-lining, swimming, fishing, and boating are available, and visitors can even camp in one of the two cottages. Exploring the natural beauty and cleanliness of the village provides a soul-refreshing experience that is not to be missed.
Try the Local Cuisine
In addition to the natural beauty and adventurous activities, Mawsynram also offers a unique culinary experience that should not be missed. The local cuisine is influenced by the abundance of fresh produce and traditional cooking methods that have been passed down through generations. The dishes are a unique blend of flavors that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
One of the must-try dishes in Mawsynram is jadoh, a popular rice and pork dish that is seasoned with a blend of local spices. Another popular dish in Mawsynram is dohneiiong, a pork curry that is cooked with black sesame seeds. In addition to these two dishes, there are many other local delicacies that you can try during your visit to Mawsynram.
Best Time to Visit
Summer (April – June) is the ideal season for a trip to Mawsynram, with pleasant and warm weather providing relief from the extreme heat of northern India. The average temperature ranges from 14-20⁰C with mostly clear skies, perfect for exploring the village’s attractions and hiking in the surrounding terrain. Although this is typically the driest season, occasional light showers may occur, so bringing appropriate rain gear is recommended.
How to Get to there
The nearest railway station to Mawsynram is Guwahati Railway Station, which is located around 160 km away. From Guwahati, you can take a taxi or bus to Shillong, which is the capital of Meghalaya, and then another bus or taxi to Mawsynram.
The nearest airport to Mawsynram is Shillong Airport or Umroi Airport in Shillong, which is around 87 km away. From the airport, you can take a taxi or bus to Mawsynram.
Mawsynram is well connected by road, and you can take a bus or taxi from Guwahati or Shillong to Mawsynram. The roads are narrow and winding, so be prepared for a bumpy ride.
Mawsynram is a must-visit destination for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and anyone looking for a unique travel experience. With its record-breaking rainfall, stunning natural beauty, and friendly locals, Mawsynram is sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors. So, pack your bags, grab your rain gear, and head to Mawsynram for an unforgettable trip.