Words: Ian Kupar \\ Photo: Banjop, Greg Warjri
Located in the north-eastern part of India, Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, is home to the wettest place on earth: Mawsynram, which receives a record rainfall of 11,872mm(467.4 in).
The clouds were looming and we had not seen the sun for weeks. Another rainy day in August and we decided to pack up and head down to West Khasi Hills in Weiloi village and ride down a well known plateau called ‘’Symper’’.
So with just enough money for a tank of gas, cameras and some food, we stacked our bikes in the rack and started the trip. Our destination was about 60kms from the city. To our bad luck, it started raining heavily halfway! With little hope, we kept our fingers crossed and continued our journey through the narrow curvy roads of the countryside.
It was already noon when we reached the spot. It was still raining and to make things worse, the place was covered in thick fog! Our trip was pretty much ruined. So after a cup of tea in a local stall, we decided to head back to town.
Banjop, our cameraman, who is also a professional kayaker, tried his luck, and called his friends down at Mawlongbna which was another few Kms from the planned spot. To our luck, we got the news that it was sunny there! And without wasting further more time, we rushed towards the spot.
Just halfway down the road, the rain stopped and we could see the sun as we approached the place. After a quick lunch, we made our way towards the thick forests and wildlife that surrounded the village. Greg and Banjop were very much familiar with the place. In fact, they knew the place better than the locals out there. As for me it was my first time there and it was indeed a beautiful place. It was tiring hiking through the uneven landscape and thick vegetation whilst carrying our bikes along.
But the long tiring hike was rewarded as we ended up in a beautiful river bed which had something that looked like a natural Jacuzzi. After a nice bath and a few more hikes, we reached the other side of the village. Another light lunch in the tea stall and we packed our stuff and started the trip back home.
Well the riding part didn’t play much due to the change in plans but we somehow made the best use of our hardtails, riding on every train possible which included huge bedrocks, some with flowing water which was slippery and almost impossible to ride, singletracks with thick jungle roots and walking stone bridges. Definitely one of the places to visit in Meghalaya. In addition to the beautiful natural landscape, the place also has fossils encrypted on some bedrocks and an awesome view of Bangladesh.
If you visit Mawsynam, the wettest place on earth then this place is just around the corner and is a must to visit while you are here.
Big thanks to Greg and Banjop for a rad trail day!