Nestled amidst the lush green forests of the Khasi Hills, Mawsynram has been crowned the rainiest place in the world. It has passed its neighbour and former holder of the title - Cherrapunji with a fine margin. Mawsynram receives about 11,873 mm of rainfall annually while the annual precipitation of Cherrapunji comes in at about 11,777 mm. The natives here have adapted to a certain lifestyle which allows them to survive the intense downpour that this locale witnesses almost everyday. Mawsynram also has a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing. It is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and backpacking travellers.
Cause of Heavy Precipitation
The location of the village itself contributes to the extreme weather conditions in Mawsynram. It lies 15 km west of Cherrapunji, perched at an altitude of 1400 m above sea level. This quaint village exhibits a highland climate with characteristically long monsoons followed by a relatively brief dry season. Research into this unique climate has shed light on two reasons for the constant precipitation. The warm moist air arising from the Bay of Bengal during the monsoon season is forced down as they approach Khasi Hills, which results in heavy rainfall over Mawsynram. The second reason is the alignment of Khasi Hills, which obstructs the airflow from the Bay of Bengal, causing a significant uplift.
Adapting to the Rainy Weather
Continuous rainfall can get in the way of regular life, but not for the people of Mawsynram. The residents of Mawsynram have developed unique tactics and strategies to ensure that the rains do not completely disrupt their lifestyle. The houses here are predominantly soundproof to keep out the deafening pattering noises of the rainfall. Traditional full-body umbrellas called Knups are a popular method of protection used by the natives. These umbrellas are made of bamboo and banana leaves. Schools and classes are often cancelled and the local residents spend most of their time within their homes. The primary diet during the rainy season comprises boiled potatoes alongside a native dish called tungtap, a chutney made of chillies, tomatoes and fermented fish.
Places to Visit Around Mawsynram
The persistent rainy weather of Mawsynram is not the only characteristic that attracts tourists. The beautiful landscapes, viewpoints and gushing waterfalls in and around the area draw in many nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Nohkalikai Waterfalls, the fourth highest waterfall in the world, cascades down the dramatic slope of Khasi Hills, making for a picturesque sight. Khreng Khreng Viewpoint presents awe-inspiring sights of Mawsynram Village, offering tourists a birds-eye view. Other places that one must visit include Mawsmai Falls, Mawlyngbna and Phlangwanbroi Village.
Where to Stay
The village of Mawsynram is located in close proximity to the town of Cherrapunji and the city of Shillong. Both these destinations offer exquisite hotels and resorts. Woodstock Farmhouse, our property in Shillong, is a quaint and elegant bread and breakfast. It is a representation of the true vibe of Shillong. The lodge has relaxing living spaces and excellent dining facilities.