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For a long time, Cherrapunji was known as the world's official wettest place, but now this honor belongs to Mawsynram, a neighboring village.
Cherrapunji's annual average rainfall is often recorded as 11,777 mm, and that of Mawsynram at 11,872 mm.
Like Cherrapunji, Mawsynram is the best place to witness the beauty of the rains. It is situated in East Khasi Hill district of Meghalaya, 15 km west of Cherrapunji. Situated at an altitude of 1400m, Meteorologists believe Mawsynram's location plays a huge part in it receiving huge amount of rainfall. The village is close to Bangladesh and the Bay of Bengal is the reason Mawsynram receives a heavy and very long monsoon season.
The name of the village contains ''Maw'', a Khasi word meaning ''stone'', which might refer to certain megaliths found in the Khasi hill area. The village is also famous for the gigantic formation of a stalagmite, which resembles the shape of a 'shivling'.
People use thick grass to sound-proof their huts from the deafening sound of wind and rain. Like Ants, the people here, take extra preparing for the wet season. They buy and stock-up foodgrains, as it becomes highly difficult to go food shopping during the wettest months between May and July.
The women of Mawsynram use rain covers known as ‘knups’, using bamboo slivers, plastic sheets and broom grass to create a rain shield that resembles a turtle shell, which is then worn on the head. These are large enough to keep rain off the whole body right up to the knees.
Bamboo and broom grass that is used to make Indian brooms- are among the chief plants grown in the rocky, hilly region of Mawsynram. One of the pastimes for the residents of Mawsynram is the centuries-old tradition of ‘siat khnam’ which means shoot arrow which is a leisure activity. In this game, the people take part in an archery contest and gamble by placing bets. Angling in the ponds around the village is another activity.
Mawsynram village has stylish bamboo dustbins everywhere and Polythene cover use and smoking is is completely banned in Mawsynram village.
The best time to visit Mawsynram is between the months of September and November. The rainfall is the least during these two months and the weather is absolutely pleasant. But, those who want to enjoy the rains, the rainy season is the best time to visit Mawsynram. Note: Landslides still occur regularly, blocking the only paved road connecting the hillside hamlets.
Mawsynram has some amazing trek routes and majestic streams and waterfalls. The drive from Shillong towards Mawsynram is a challenge for drivers and requires exception skills. Only SUVs or four-wheel drives can handle the terrain. The road leading has some of the most panoramic and breathtaking views in the country.
The village is also visited by large number of tourists owing to the Mawjymbuin Cave. These are natural cave which is famous for stalagmite whose shape is similar to that of Shiva lingam. The Hindu devotees has virtually made the cave as a place of pilgrimage and it is visited large number of devotees every year.