In the rain capital of India


Cherrapunj_eeThe writer visits Cherrapunjee expecting to be lashed by rain. Instead, she is greeted by ‘the wettest desert’. Thankfully, pretty-as-a-picture sights and abundant legends keep her riveted

As a child, geography was my favourite subject and memorising trivia was my pasttime on summer nights when power-cuts were common. My mother would ask me, “Which is the wettest place on earth?” and I would enjoy saying Cherrapunjee — enunciating the lyrical syllables filled with mystery. Now years later, I was in the Northeastern state of Meghalaya, driving from Shillong to Cherrapunjee (which by now had been unseated by neighbouring Mawsynram). When this state was carved out in 1972, it was called Meghalaya or the abode of the clouds referring to a geographical phenomenon where the monsoon clouds move unhindered over the Bangladesh plains and hit the Khasi hills, funnelling up the deep valleys and gorges, bringing heavy rain. I had expected a land plagued by rain and instead had arrived in the dry season when the parched terrain has earned it its peculiar moniker — ‘the wettest desert’!

Full report here Hindu


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