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The Financial Express

Getting lost in the home of clouds

| Updated: August 15, 2021 10:27:49


Into the clouds. Photo: Fardeen Kabir Into the clouds. Photo: Fardeen Kabir

It’s the abode of the clouds that you will feel the moment you visit the place called Meghalaya. During a trip to the highland, a group of friends of ours literally walked through the clouds that we only used to see above. It’s cool, it’s sweet, an experience that is different. 

As we reached Tamabil land port coming from Dhaka, we started experiencing different beauty of the land on the other side of the border. We felt we were in the magical land of clouds. We rented a car for the entire duration of the tour that took us to various spots. The first place that we visited was Mawlynnong, a heritage viollage which was awarded as the cleanest village in Asia in 2003. Among the Khasi people there, we had our first meal in Meghalaya.

We then set our eyes to the most remarkable sites of Meghalaya – the falls. One of them that we visited is the Rainbow Falls in Cherrapunji.

The trail is named Nongriat trail and it’s roughly 3.5 kilometres long. The whole trail was paved and we were climbing or descending on cemented steps. However, the concrete structures didn’t cause damage to the greenery.

 

A walking bridge over a water-trail, an example of non-invasive tourism infrastructure on the Nongirat trail. Photo: Masafi Mustafa Haider

You get to encounter a bunch of living root-bridges, which are formed using ancient bridge-making techniques of the Khasi people and it employs the technique of alive tree-shaping. 

 

A ‘Double-Decker’ Root-bride on the Nongirat trail. Photo: Ali Akhyar

From quite a good distance, we realised how great a fall we were going to witness. The roaring sound of the water gave us thrill of an adventure. And when we reached there, the name ‘Rainbow Fall’ finally made sense.

A large volume of water falling ferociously from a massive height created this incredible rainbow at the bottom of the fall. As locals said it’s usually calmer at other times, but we fortunately saw the wild Rainbow Fall at its true fierce form during the rainy season. 

The mighty Rainbow Falls! Tiny humans for scale! Photo: masafi Mustafa Haider

We also visited Wei Swadong, Mawsawa, Garden of Caves, and Elephant Falls. We visited the Mawsami cave in Cherrapunji. The caves are quite remote and tough to explore, but once you are inside, you get to see different scenarios.

By spending time in Police Bazar area in Shillong, you can get a glimpse of food, clothes, and overall Khasi culture. We stayed at a place up in the hills and at night, when the lights were lit in the city, it felt like the sky was beneath us.

 

Shilong skyline at night. Photo: Ali Akhyar

In Dawki, you can experience somewhat of a fanfare in the clean water, seeing the riverbed from a boat. What is more surreal is to experience how the full moon rises over the hills and reflects on the beautiful waters over Dawki.

Clear waters and the natural beauty of Dawki. Photo: Fardeen Kabir 

Some may compare the environment of Meghalaya with Bangladesh’s hilly areas, but the Meghalaya experience seemed to be completely different.

Once you are there, lost in the rain and the cloud, you will experience something you’ve never experienced before.

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