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Meghalaya Trip With My Girl Gang By Shilpi Banerjee

Meghalaya, also known as "the abode of clouds," is a picturesque mountain state that separates the Assam valley from the plains of Bangladesh. Cherrapunji is among one of the wettest places on earth. Floating clouds, rain and drizzle, impressive waterfalls & diverse flora enhances the beauty of this place. This place has few of the longest caves of Asia.  I decided to visit Meghalaya with 3 of my friends.

For those interested in Meghalaya trip, AWI recommends travelling with Bayberry Adventures, who are our trusted partners.

To reach there we boarded a flight till Guwahati and then drove to Cherrapunji. The drive and the highway were so peaceful, throughout way we saw many flowers like orchids, roses, hibiscus. As far as you can see, there are betel nut trees and bamboo bushes. When we reached Cherrapunji in the evening, we stayed in Santana Homestay. It was very neat and clean. The family was also very friendly and cooperative. The weather was good so we decided to light some fire and cook our dinner outside. We cooked two varieties of fishes, and relished, eating them very much.

On the second day we woke up early in the morning and went for a walk through the narrow roads of Sohra, the name by which locals refer to Cherrapunji, which means ‘Land of Oranges’.  As soon as we started from our homestay, it started raining, but we continued our walk because we wanted to enjoy the rain in one of the wettest places on earth. We witnessed the mesmerizing beauty of the sunrise standing on a cliff. The sky turned golden, the rain stopped and a cool breeze started blowing. There was a chameleon sitting on a branch nearby making sound which felt like it was chitchatting with us about the beautiful sunrise. 

Soon we returned to have our morning tea and breakfast consisting of - Maggie, bread butter and boiled eggs. Now we were ready for our first trek to Wei Sawdong. We started our trek around 7 in the morning. The trek was exciting, there were steps, bamboo ladders, stones, rocks boulders over which we crossed and finally reached the Wei Sawdong waterfall. It took around one and half hour to reach there. It is a three-step water fall, which I had never seen before. Well, I believe each and every waterfall in Meghalaya has its own identity and charm. We sat beside the waterfall and played in the water. The whole experience was so relaxing. As an adventure lover, I always want to do something extra . So, while my friends were sitting beside the water, I climbed the rocks till a cave like formation adjacent to the third step of the waterfall. That was thrilling. The whole place was surrounded with lush green trees. After spending some quality time there we started climbing up. People generally says that the uphill trek takes more time but we completed that in same one and a half hour that it took us to climb down . I believe that while doing any trek one should always enjoy the moment and the beauty of mother nature. After reaching the top I saw few local people cutting woods for building their small hut. I also helped them in cutting the wood using a hand saw.

After enjoying the serene beauty of the Wei Sawdong water fall, we drove to the Dain-Thlen waterfall. This place has a dramatic table-top landscape. The gushing waterfall cuts through the hard rocks and the high plateau of Sohra before it cascades down into the dense forest. The thundering sound of the Dain-Thlen waterfall, the open landscape, the surrounding hill rocks and the wind which is constantly blowing gives it the feel of heaven. The floating clouds, the tiny water droplets take away all the worries and leave behind a peaceful smile. There were water puddles on the table top surface and big and flat rocks. We sat on one of the flat surfaces and ate some snacks, and rested there for some time. Though there were small garbage bins made up of bamboo but we carried all the wrappers and plastic bottles back along with us. It is our duty to keep the area clean and pure like it is. 

We were so fascinated by the beauty of that place, we wanted to spend some more time. But as you know in the North-eastern areas sun sets early and we had another destination planned for that day so our friend and our tour guide Aslam suggested us to go to our third destination of that day, the Arwah Cave. Arwah cave is among one of the many ancient caves of Meghalaya. It is famous for its fossils which you can observe in the lit-up interior, especially towards the end of the cave. There are crustacean shells and fish bones fossilized in the lime stone wall of the caves. The underwater streams have continued to flow through the cave for centuries. While walking towards the entrance of the cave we heard a loud noise of an animal and the realized that it was a big size flying squirrel jumping from one tree to another. Throughout the railings of the path towards the cave we saw many red spiders weaving their web, which reminded me of the movie Spider-man. The scenic beauty of the path consists of lush green forest and different varieties of ferns, orchids and other flowers enhances the beauty of the trekking path. Meanwhile it started raining and when we reached till the parking it was raining heavily. We were hungry so we decided to go to the famous vegetarian restaurant of Sohra - ‘The Orange’.  After having a filling lunch, we headed towards the Seven Sisters waterfalls. This water falls is also known as Nohsngithiang water fall and is one of the major tourist attractions in Sohra. It is in the east Khasi hill district and one of the tallest waterfalls in India. As this is a rain fed fall so the best time to visit this place is during monsoon. (June-August) After enjoying a cup of hot tea at the view point of the seven-sister water falls, we finally headed back towards our homestay. On the way we visited a local market and bought some local vegetables.

We ended the day with cooking and relishing local food of Meghalaya consisting of Khasi Chicken, edible ferns which is locally called Dhekiya and local mushroom. 

Stay Tuned for exciting details on the next leg of my journey through the enchanting mountains of Meghalaya.

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