Proudly boasting itself as the “Wettest place on Earth” and quite living up to it, Meghalaya is the ultimate romance of Nature during Monsoon! The exhilarating beauty which the nature displays in its favorite season is something one cannot afford to miss.
A glimpse of the otherwise subtle and serene krang suri falls during monsoons: https://www.instagram.com/p/BZQ-NDenaQ0/?taken-by=thevagabonddreamer
It is around June-September, when monsoon is at its peak in this region. The giant clouds rising from the Bay of Bengal showers unending rain during this season, making Meghalaya so uniquely beautiful. That’s the reason; it’s also called the “Abode of clouds”. You can expect to see amazing waterfalls in their full flow, lush green land, some temporary waterfalls created due to the heavy downpours, caves at their best at this time. The air is full of mist and you can almost be lost in a blanket of clouds. Though there will also be times when the sun would peep in a little and make it warm for you to step out in the open. All in all, it’s a scintillating natural blessing which must be experienced!
But, (yes there is a But!) How do you know what to carry and what not? There will be rains, and that a lot of it. Plus you haven’t been to the North-East India yet, but you really want to witness the epitome of beauty in Meghalayan Monsoons! Well, fret not; we are here to the rescue! (You can thank us later!!)
Here’s a guide on how to pack your bags for the adventure called “Meghalaya in Monsoons”-
- Keep your belongings dry– Your awesome trip to Meghalaya will be ruined if all your clothes and precious belongings are soaked up. It is always smart to be prepared when you embark on an adventure. You would want to get yourself these-
- Rain cover for your bag– If you don’t already have a rain cover, you should get yourself one. It’s of great use, not only for this trip, but a good travel accessory. It provides a decent protection from mild showers and keeps your bag clean and dry.
- Wrap clothes in dry bags/plastic bags– Meghalayan Monsoons are pretty harsh on the downpour and that itself is the beauty. There will be heavy constant showers and your rain cover might not be enough to protect your belongings. You can categorise your belongings into shirts, pants, inner wears, toiletries etc., put them in a plastic bag and wrap them well and then place these wrapped bags inside your backpack/travel bag.
- Take a camera rain coat– Sounds fancy, but this one is especially advised for all the photographers. You wouldn’t want even a drop of water to enter your lenses and turn your awesome vacation into a nightmare! There might be times you want to make a time-lapse of the spell bounding rains or just click random pictures; a camera rain coat will ensure the safety of your beloved gadget.
- Keep yourself dry– Okay, Now Step 1 is done- All your gears are going to be safe and dry! But it’s equally important to keep yourself dry. You wouldn’t want to catch a cold or feel sticky and soaked up!
- Grab a rain coat or a poncho– Now this might look a little silly because it’s obvious. Yet it’s the most important accessory you need to carry. I would prefer a poncho which covers you well along with your backpack if you go for a hike or trek. Though I highly recommend you to try on the peculiar beautiful bamboo umbrellas you can see locals wearing in Cherra and Mawsynram!
- A quirky colorful travel umbrella– When it’s just drizzling and you want to take a stroll out open in the lush green fields, take off those rain jackets and carry this cute umbrella instead. Oh boy! You are going to love those cliché umbrella poses pictures you would click amidst the clouds!
- Handy pair of clothes- If you have packed your bags well and locked them up on the carrier, you would want to keep a pair of clothes in your day pack. You never know you might want to take a shower in any of the lavish natural waterfalls on the way!
- Choose your clothes wisely– Well, you can bid a good bye to your heavy denims and cotton clothes! They aren’t really Monsoon friendly. They soak up moisture and take hours to dry!
- Take quick drying clothes- Carry Light clothes made of materials like polyester clothes or synthetic fabrics like nylon. You can also toss in your workout wears because they are really lightweight and almost water resistant.
- Get those shorts along- If you are particular about not getting your clothes dirty, bring a few shorts with you, these would keep from getting your pants muddy.
- Precautionary clothing- Tag along a wind cheater and a mild warm sweatshirt, the evenings tend to get cold and windy, plus it’s almost always walking through clouds and mist. Unless of course you are Robert Downy Jr.(Iron man :p ) blessed with superpowers.
- Towels are important- Keep extra lightweight quick dry towels with you. A handy small towel in the purse or a day bag is a must.
- Happy feet is the secret to a happy trip– Even if you don’t plan a trek or a hike, your trip will involve some walking. While traveling, it’s important to have dry and happy feet and for that, you should:
- Carry extra pairs of socks– For obvious reasons, they will get wet-a lot!
- Waterproof Slippers– A pair of waterproof and anti-slip flips flops or sandals. Don’t get your high heels or very expensive delicate leather shoes.
- Hiking Boots- Sturdy waterproof hiking boots if you plan to walk to the double-decker living root bridges or trek the David Scott trail or any long hike/trek,
- Good long hiking socks- This too if you plan a trek, will keep your feet safe from Leeches and insects who love to say Hello in Monsoon.
- Medicines and repellents– Now a basic first aid box should be taken everywhere no matter how short a trip is. A few other essentials you might want to toss in-
- Mosquito Repellents– Do not, I repeat Do not forget Mosquito Repellents! Monsoon Season is the Mecca of Mosquitoes and Meghalaya is home to innumerous of these tiny monsters. There’s a variety of body repellents available in the form of gels, creams or liquid etc. Grab any of these as per your needs. (Don’t rely on those stupid anti insect apps on phone).
- Anti-Allergic medicines– Carry Anti- Allergic Tablets especially if you are planning a trek, you might happen to touch some plants which give unpleasant results, pop in one of these tablets and you would do just fine.
- Other Basics– Antiseptic cream, bandage, disinfectant etc.
- Reliable camping gears- Plan your adventure with reliable teams and carry good quality camping gears. It would be a shame if you travelled all the way here to have fun camping in the midst of clouds but couldn’t make the most of it.
- Don’t bring your own camp gears– There is no point of carrying your tents and camping gears all the way. It will cost you for carriage plus would be too much of a pain carrying them everywhere.
- Get it from reliable sources– It’s better to choose a well established company who rent out good quality and branded gears. You can’t rely on the quality of camps you get locally.
- Ask an organizer to manage it– If this is a group trip, then why take the hassle of even renting out, ask the experts and experienced campers of Meghalaya to layout and organize the sites for you with totally customizable arrangements!
- Everything else– Some basics which you might miss out on-
- Lighting gears- Bring small Flashlights or Head torch as you might want to go for a walk post evening, but you can’t expect places to be lit up like cities.
- Carry your own power- Portable power banks and extra batteries because with heavy rains comes power cuts and just in case you don’t have electricity, power bank to the rescue!
- ID cards- Though unlike few other North-Eastern states, you wouldn’t need an ILP or any documents, yet having an ID at hand is always smart.
- Awesome music– For definite reasons, no matter how mesmerized you are by the sound of rains and thunder, listening to your favorite songs while you enjoy a hot corn overlooking the mountains is something beyond amazing!
Don’t get intimidated by this list, when you have a closer look you will see that most of the stuffs mentioned here are easily available with you. It’s always awesome to be prepared for fascinating adventures. Visiting the rain capital of the world while it’s at its best is a badass and fun thing to do. Let Meghalaya stun and awe you!
Khublei! (Greetings in Khasi language.)
P.S. I had first written this blog for team ChaloHoppo.