It’s Raining…!!!

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What???Are you mad???How can you think of such an idea???Have you gone nuts!!!
These are the comments I heard from my best friends when I first told them about the destination I planned to travel during last year monsoon….I think you have already guessed the destination…or maybe not….yes…

It is the raining capital of the world…CHERRAPUNJEE…..yes…I know
what you are thinking…Cherrapunjee
…at the time of monsoon….it was a horrible idea…but it turned to be one of the memorable one….the stills are still raining in all of our
minds…. After a long debate and based on my previous record as a tour planner after all …they had to say YES!!!…now who are they??? They are my friends as well as colleagues from Cognizant..Me,Sutanu,Avinash,Nabanita,Titan,Arunjyoti,Anustup,Sonali Di and Pritha… and it turned out to be an Adventurnizant!!!
Now the adventure starts from Kolkata itself…we could not avail tickets to Guwahati on a single flight…we had to break it to a 5/4 package…but hey no problem the flights have just five minutes
difference in landing time…first one will land at 7:00 and next one at 7:05….oops…the second one is Air India…at the last moment it got delayed by THREE HOURS only…..
The fifer of the first flight now had to wait at the Assam Capital for 3 hrs…So, what to do for three hrs??How about resting our souls at the banks of Bramhaputra??It was quite an environment at the banks of one of the widest rivers in the world….it was clam ,peaceful, some locals were catching fish and we are capturing the moment of rest…just not in the shutter…but in our souls…!!!
At last the Air India flight landed…we had already crack a deal with a car to take us to Shillong….The Capital of Meghalaya…The road was awesome… Sometimes it was lush green hills, sometimes green paddy fields of ASSAM, sometimes red hills, we took our lunch at a roadside dhaba…the food was awesome…but the main food attraction was the ANARAS…you
know….pineapple…

The locals selling pineapple at almost every bend of
the road…We reached Shillong at around 4 oclock….THREE CAPITAL
Cities of INDIA states in one single day….quite an
achievement….Started of KOLKATA(Capital of West Bengal), Stopover at GUWAHATI(Capital of ASSAM)…reached SHILLONG(Capital of Meghalaya)….it happens only in INDIA….!!:)
Just before entering the capital around the road of the biggest lake we had ever seen, Barapani for locals, for the outsiders Umium We got the first rain of Meghalaya, I would not believe if rain can be so dense if I would not have seen that!!!

After reaching Shillong we again cracked a deal with the same car to take us to Cherrapunjee….where we had already booking at Cherrapunjee holiday resort….en route to Cherrapunjee…we had a sneak peak at Elephanta falls…
Quite boring right…all was going fine till now….but wait…while booking ticket for Elephanta falls we only took one ticket for one camera…but seeing the beauty of Elephanta falls everyone started to use
their point and shoots…we ignored the notice board that breaking any
rule will incur 5000 INR of penalty or 6months jail. The guards took 6
cameras from us and asked for the fine….We nearly ended up in jail…but as it is India we got away using a 500 INR note….Thanks to the corruption….
Now after the mini unwanted adventure we started off for
Cherrapunjee…..it was already Twilight, but it was time we saw such a
colorful sunset….we already knew about the rain in Cherrapunjee….but
would not have known that Cherrapunjee has such a sunset to offer….the road was also adding to the environment….the Khasi and Garo
range….the road bends…a memorable twilight….what else do we need to
add to the adventure!!!!
Wait man….we have not started off yet…..after reaching the village Cherrapunjee….we asked the way to the resort…..and the locals told us that the resort is in upper cherra range and it is FIFTEEEEEEEEEN kilometers away from the actual village…..
O M G!!!!I was just feeling like SITA….Mother Earth please let me in….!!!
Otherwise the other 8 guys would kill me to death…..
The resort was in upper cherra region in the Lakhtinskew village above
the hill…..it was already past 7:30 in the clock and the driver told us that he never gone that far…..he don’t know the path at all….this time I was thinking of killing myself for selecting the destination in the first place….the roads were empty…we were going through a jungle in the hills….thanks to the milestones of the resort we found away….I was continuously hearing bullies from friends during the 15k pat……..
During the path around the hills and the jungles, we saw city lights, beneath the hills…there were too many houses….now everyone start speculating that it would be the Shillong…but Shillong has higher altitude than Cherrapunjee…then how on earth we could see city lights from Cherrapunjee…..also we heard the sound of waterfalls…it was a breather for everyone except me as I was still cursing myself for choosing the destination….the driver was so much scared of the path and the emptiness of the roads that he requested us to arrange an accommodation for him at the resort as our driver….he could not get back through the path alone….!!!!!! I was already in the Cemetery…

At last after so much travelling..we reached the resort….the resort
owner greeted us with warm welcome…..we had booking for three view
rooms…the rooms were excellent…..he arranged bonfire and a band of locals for us in the resort garden where we had our first meeting with the Crickets of Cherrapunjee…those bugs have some sound……we just got melted with the environment…it was not so hot not so cold….We were still seeing the city lights beneath the hills….the sound of a nearby waterfall…..the song of the local band…9 souls around the bonfire…no sound of cars…no sound of television…no sound of mobile ringtones…..it was unimaginable….!!!But still I was at the firing range for selecting the resort so much away from the actual village….So, after having some heavy dinner we got into bed….!!!!
In the next day morning I got up early after a strong sleep because my bed was along the view window and sunlight came through it…. I had the first view of the valley from where we saw the lights last
night…it was a plain marshlands….any guess….what it could be….come on man….it was Bangladesh…..I was so excited…I got up and got to the resort garden…I cannot describe the beauty….there were hills in front of the garden from where some 5-6 waterfalls could be seen…on other side the plain marshlands of Bangladesh…..and the rain clouds are roaming around us….That is why the land is called Meghalaya…. the house of the clouds…
I shouted for the other guys to see the beauty…they put aside their guns and I am off the firing range….the first time I heard good words from them about the selection of the destination…..we were so busy admiring the beauty that we almost forgot about the plan of trekking…. cooper was ready with the bamboo sticks…cooper…our guide for the trekking….we started off with bamboo sticks in one hand and camera on the other…as the path was quite slippery and steep…and none of us had any experience of moderate trekking….small accidents started to happen….my slr lens also did not survive a minor crash to a rock….we started of around 8 o clock…it took  bout 2 and half hours to reach to the desired….it was a heavenly feeling….it was a root bridge…a tree…made a bridge with its root…over a small river…it was unbelievable…after falling over some 8 times on avg…through a beautiful trek…through the clouds…through the lush green….through the waterfalls…we at last reached the desirable….to see the beauty which is one of its kind in the universe….I cannot describe the feeling…all the tiredness gone….it was a feeling of god….we were
their… only 10 people…along with cooper…in a forest in Cherrapunjee…just beside another nation….on a bridge of inspiration….seeing the impossible….it was the feeling of god….after having breakfast on the bridge which we took with us when we
started of the resort..we started off for resort again…the way back was
more tough as we were trying to get up on the hill….we again followed
the beautiful route through the clouds….we reached back around 12:30….quite a quick trek for 9 inexperienced trekkers…to get down
and up almost 2800 ft. Quite a feat is not it??
After getting back to resort we had our lunch and started off for a
sightseeing….first we got to the Kynrum falls….some people stayed at
the bridge beside the falls…but 4 of enthusiastic us…trekked to the falls….then we visited the pillar rock view point….the wind was blowing at a gentle space…the clouds were resting on the road…we 9 souls admiring the beauty of the hills…the greens…the clouds…the falls….the monsoon….the peace…the sound and smell of
Cherrapunjee….then we halted at the road to take a few time to admire
the 7 sisters falls..but ended up admiring the set…it was like a horror
movie…the clouds were hiding the falls from the outsiders and the wind
was telling us to keep away…..the monoliths aside the roads and the
cemetery on the hills was telling us to stop destroying the nature….we then visited the Mausumi caves…again only 9 of us were their…the cave
was approx. 150 met. Long..It was dark…slippery….horribly beautiful…..stalactite and stalagmite done a great job with the help of nature…it was already cloudy when we visited the Eco park….an underground falls, two big waterfalls, again we came across the beautiful sunset of Cherrapunjee….it was so colorful..Like windows wallpaper….we had a cup of tea at the Eco park…it was like somras…we were having at heaven….. we were sad as it was the last night of us at the Cherrapunjee….everyone was enjoying but with a heavy heart…still
there were the sound of the crickets…the song of the local band…the
smell of Cherrapunjee…the sound of the falls..But there was a voice of
the inner self..How cruel we are….who gave us the permission to destroy
forest, destroy nature….that night rain came…heavy rain…the rain of Cherrapunjee…..it was telling us please help me survive….please
…please!!!!
The next day morning….everybody started to say why we can’t stay here for the rest of our lives….it was so enchanting..So amazing..So
mesmerizing…the locals are so sweet…the waterfalls are so innocent…the jungle is so full of life….but we had to leave…
On the way back to Shillong we visited the Nokhalikhai falls…again it
was cloud spoiling the scene…sorry…we are the spoilers…he cloud is
protecting the falls from the spoilers…..Then we took a detour to the
Dainthlan falls….the road was full of cemetery…monoliths….rocks and
there was no hints of people….we have not found a single person en
route to Dainthlan….when we got there it was still cloudy..Thought…the cloud would not let us see the spectacle..but then the cloud thought, let’s see how could they destroy the nature after seeing this beauty….Please pardon….I cannot describe it…..the set….the land was rocky…waters are flowing through it and creating potholes….at last adding the flows with each other creating giant waterfall……
Everyone stopped talking after seeing the spectacle….we were on the way back to Shillong…on the way we found that one of ours wallet is
gone…may be to the waterfall…..then we visited the Shillong
peak…after seeing the beauty of Cherrapunjee…it was looking
ordinary…but still the view of the city from Shillong peak…it was great…we had some snacks there and started off or the hotel…After
check in to the hotel of Shillong we got a phone call….some cognizant guy found the wallet and he told us to meet it from him at the police
bazaar..The park street and esplanade of Shillong…what we were also
wondering if so much co incidence is possible or not????
After some shopping and dinner at the police bazaar we got into the
bed….the next day our destinations were Umium Lake and Kamakshya
Mandir…
We started off late next day and visited the Umium at around 10’O
clock….One of us tried to have some activity in the water…he tried
water skiing….the price was quite a huge…so rest of use stepped
aside… Then we again halted to have lunch at the same Dhaba again….and started off for Kamakshya Temple….we were not prepared for the puja stuff and all these because we had a rain to catch o reach Kolkata, but as you know, if god wants.. if nature wants the who are you to stop that….the purohit of the temple asked us to get into the queue…and in only 25 or so minutes the Puja and darshan was complete….thanks to the god…and thanks that everything cannot be described using science….. We saw the sun getting back to rest on the skyline of Bramhaputra after a hard day at office….we were getting back to a hard day at office after a few days of rest!!!!!!!!!
I know it was not a travelogue…I may not have given you enough information about the travel….I just wanted to share the experience of 9 souls…maybe I have failed in it also…but you know you can have the information from Google…but what you cannot find the experience…you can find the pictures in Google…but Google cannot give you the feeling….if you want to feel it just go to Meghalaya….just go to Cherrapunjee…..go to the smell…the sound of waterfalls…the sound ofthe crickets…the song of the locals…go to the HOUSE OF THE CLOUDS!!!!!

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