Have you ever desired to relax in a destination that’s on an elevation steeped with natural beauty? Mawsynram is a good place to start. Known as one of the wettest places on earth, Mawsynram is a sleepy town that’s embedded in the traditionally rich state of Meghalaya. Located in the East Khasi Hills district, Mawsynram goes beyond being just a source of trivia. Its richness lies within its natural caves, gushing waterfalls that form a thunderous sound of grandeur, and serene vistas of the landscape. No wonder many tourists have been appearing in this town!
If you have been looking at Mawsynram for a while and thought about unwinding here, then read our Mawsynram travel guide to know more.
Shakespeare once said, “What’s in a name?”. But, for Mawsynram, its name has a deep significance. The “Maw” in Mawsynram means 'stone’ in the Khasi language and this is attributed to the many megaliths it has. These historic megaliths are not only a great treat for history enthusiasts but also a contribution to the overall warm charm of Mawsynram.
There’s not much information about the genesis of this scenic town, but if you dig a bit deeper, you’ll find that Mawsynram was once a princely state under the British Raj and was part of the Khasi kingdom. After independence, Mawsynram was included in the Union of India into the state of Meghalaya.
The climate in this town is the primary factor that sets the overall mood. The rain gods will always favor this quaint town as they bless the residents of Mawsynram with frequent showers all throughout the year. The peak rainy season is when the rain gods feel the need of bestowing heavy showers of blessings in the form of intense downpours! Sometimes, so intense that the heavy sound of the rain drowns the voices of teachers, resulting in classes getting canceled!
Community is what the residents of Mawsynram thrive on. While you’re traveling on this town’s roads, farmers tending to their crops while wearing rain armor, also known as “knups”, can be seen. Knups are basically bamboo sticks and banana leaves weaved together to form a beetle-shaped type of full-body covering to withstand rains and winds.
Food is an important element of Mawsynram’s culture as well. If you ever visit a local restaurant, relish some pulao prepared in a different style, and chicken dishes. Fond of red meat? Then Mawsynram’s pork preparations will certainly satisfy you.
If you’re coming by air, your only option is Shillong Airport, also called Umroi Airport. It’s located at a distance of 85 km from Mawsynram but fortunately enough, many taxis and public buses are available at the airport.
Although the route from the airport to Mawsynram is long, it won’t be lacking in any aesthetic quality. The roads are surrounded by greenery that you’ll never get tired of seeing and the pleasant weather of the place will get you all warm and fuzzy. Approximately, it’ll take you 2 hours to reach Mawsynram from Shillong, but you won’t exactly feel the strain because you’ll be lost in its surrounding beauty.
Driving to Mawsynram is completely doable as well if you have a penchant for long drives and frequent chai stops. The roads to this town are well linked from Guwahati and Shillong and as well as other famous tourist places like Cherrapunji. If you’re talking about distance, Guwahati is around 150 km from Mawsynram whereas Shillong is approximately 60 km. From Cherranpunji, this scenic town is around 81 km. Depending on what suits you best, you can take any of these approaches to reach Mawsynram by road.
Guwahati railway station is your best bet when it comes to train journeys to reach any destination in Meghalaya. Mawsynram is around 150 km away from the Guwahati Railway Station and it’ll take you tentatively 4 hours to reach by bus.
Mawsynram is known for its wet weather and unexpected showers are the norm in this place. That’s why it’s better to carry an umbrella or a raincoat in whichever season you visit. With that being said, Mawsynram’s peak tourist season is during the summer months (April - June) since the weather is more favorable. Temperatures range between a comfortable 13°C and 25°C, making adventure activities and sightseeing pleasant and doable.
Monsoons (July - October) bring Mawsynram to its finest glory as the entire area is covered in a canopy of green. This is because of the heavy downpour it gets and as a result, discourages tourists from entering its land. But, if you’re fond of staying indoors with a piping hot cup of coffee in hand during a heavy downpour, then visiting Mawsynram during this season will be a pleasant experience.
Winters (November - March) are extremely frigid as temperatures sit between 6°C and 10°C. So, you need to gear up with raincoats and umbrellas along with thick woolen clothes. This can get in the way while exploring the outdoors. But, if you prefer the indoors, the best way to make use of Mawsynram’s winter season is by sipping some hot coffee and snuggling with a thick blanket in a secluded guesthouse.
Cabs are the best way to get around the hilly terrain of Mawsynram. They’re efficient, safe, comfortable, and a good bang for your buck as well. If you’re a person who’d like to cover many tourist attractions in a single day, book a cab for an entire day and ask for a discount. That way you can make traveling within the town more affordable and you can spend that saved money on shopping.
It only rains in Mawsynram.
While it’s true that Mawsynram does receive far above-average rainfall, it’s not only restricted to that. Its caves, waterfalls, and flora are other aspects that bring out its richness, identity, and uniqueness.
Also Read: Meghalaya Travel Guide
Located in the East Khasi District of Meghalaya, Mawjymbuin caves is a famous tourist destination known for its religious and historical value. It can be considered a pilgrimage site as many visitors from far and near come to this site to marvel at nature’s creation. Deep inside the hollow remains of the caves, you’ll find a naturally-formed shivling shaped out of a stalagmite, which is why this area has such religious importance. This site is a must-visit for any pilgrimage passing through Mawsynram.
The caves are located at a staggering height of 209 meters. As you scout and walk deeper into the area, you’ll notice that there are several other stalagmites as well. And if you happen to be a budding geologist, then this place would be good to conduct research. When you stand at the entrance of this site, you’ll see that the caves are under a dome-shaped rock, making you reach instantly for your smartphone and click a few Insta-worthy pictures. Just a small word of precaution that these caves get flooded during the monsoons and this causes many points of entry to be blocked. That’s why it’s advised to talk to a local before visiting the place or best, hire a guide.
If you want to admire Mawsynram’s natural beauty in all its glory, then you need to visit Khreng Khreng Viewpoint. With its lush landscape and leafy rolling hills, this landmark is a sight to behold. You’ll find its location in a quaint village called Mawkaphan and it’s just 4 km away from the Mawsynram Bus Station.
If you’re thinking that Khreng Khreng sounds like a cryptic word in Dothraki, then we should tell you that it merely means ‘cracked rock’ in the local Khasi language of the village. From this viewpoint, you’ll get breathtaking views of the Syntein village and other historic places including Lum Iawpaw, and the Umngi river. Visiting this place will help you connect better with nature and if you stay a bit longer, you’ll enjoy the beautiful sunset at the end of the day.
While you’re on your journey to this exotic town called Mawsynram, you can drop by one of Meghalaya’s other gems, Mawlyngbna. This scenic village is located at a distance of 19 km from Mawsynram and it’s a must-visit for those who want to lap up a bit more of nature’s lushness and serenity.
What makes this place so special is its location. Situated on a hilltop, this village will grant you some of the best panoramic views of the Khasi Hills and the Bangladeshi plains. For all our history buffs, you should know that Mawlyngbna is famous for its animal fossils too in addition to its serene environment. So, there’s a little nugget of information for you to chew on.
The villagers of Mawlyngbna get a substantial amount of clean fresh water due to the several springs present within the area. Also, waterfalls including the Um Diengkain and Ar Phalat waterfalls are a huge attraction in this village and are good places to spend some peace and quiet in an otherwise chaotic world. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, the geographical terrain of Mawlyngbna caters to a large range of adventure activities such as kayaking, cliff jumping, zip-lining, fossil park trekking, and more. In all, you will never run out of things to do or see in this village and that’s a star hallmark which will never run out.
Why Is Mawsynram Famous?
Mawsynram is known to be one of the wettest places on earth, even overtaking Cherrapunji. The annual rainfall hits almost 12 meters and that’s why the region is green all year round. In addition, its caves and waterfalls are hallmarks of this quaint town too.
What Is The Meaning Of Mawsynram?
“Maw” in the Khasi language means stone. This is attributed to the many megaliths that surround the lush landscapes of Mawsynram.
How Many Sunny Days Does Mawsynram Have The Most?
February is the month that sees ample sunny days in Mawsynram where you get approximately 20 days of it.
In Which State Is Mawsynram Located?
Mawsynram is located in the northeastern state of Meghalaya.
Where Is The Heaviest Rainfall In India?
It rains for over 267.8 days in Mawsynram every year. This makes it the place that receives the highest amount of rainfall in India, followed by Cherrapunji.
Is Cherrapunji Better Than Mawsynram?
By being the town to receive the highest rainfall in India, Mawsynram beats Cherrapunji with its really cool climate and serene surroundings. So, if you have to choose between Cherrapunji and Mawsynram, then Mawsynram should be your pick!
How Do I Get To Mawsynram?
Mawsynram can be easily accessed via rail, road, as well as air. If you're traveling by air, then the Shillong airport is the nearest airport. In the case of rail, you can arrive at the Guwahati train station which is around 150 km from Mawsynram. And, the roads best connecting to Mawsynram are from Guwahati and Shillong, so you can either take a bus from these two places or decide to take a road trip all the way to Mawsynram.
Why Is Cherrapunji Famous?
Apart from being the town receiving the second highest rainfall in India, Cherrapunji is also known for its living root bridges. You'll be astonished to know that these naturally made bridges can bear the weight of about 50 people at a time!