13 June, 2021

No Stones In Bangladesh

No Stones In Bangladesh
'Welcome to the Wettest Place in the World,' proclaimed a signpost as we drove through the clouds into Cherrapunjee, now known by its original name, Sohra. The town is older than the state capital, Shillong, but doesn't look it. Surrounded by a grassy plateau marked with the occasional standing stone and piles of coal from tiny "rat hole" coal mines, it looks like a frontier town. The buildings are mainly modern concrete boxes. Officially, it's not the wettest place in the world either now, although locals are sceptical about Mawsynram village's claims to be wetter. According to them, the PWD official in Mawsynram sent in inflated figures because his official rain measure broke and he began collecting rain with an inaccurate glass bought from the local bazaar.

The road from Sohra to the area's only resort reveals some of the most impressive scenery in India. The tree-clad escarpments of the flat-topped Khasi hills drop dramatically into the plains of Bangladesh. Innumerable waterfalls...

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