On my recent trip to Shillong and Guwahati we had one off day, Sunday. And all four of us were rearing to go. So we hired a cab and off we went. The itinerary was almost completely decided my our well behaved and patient driver. He first took us to the Shillong View Point (where there was a lot of mist and hardly any view but I except these things now) and then we were on our way to Cherrapunji. He told us we would stop at the Elephant Falls.
The First Waterfall at Elephant Falls, Shillong
If you click on that link above it will take you to Tripadvisor where the opinion is quite divided on this attraction. I belong to the camp that thought the falls were beautiful. Some people mention that the water level was low when they visited. Not so in my case. There are three waterfalls in all and the first one is the most spectacular. There was a reasonable crowd at the attraction but the place was still reasonably quite. The waterfall has two parts and the complete picture is something like this.
The trail is well marked. At the entrance there is a small fee for people as well as for cameras. I do not remember the exact amount but I am sure it was less than 40 rupees with the camera for an adult. There are notices all around urging the visitors not to enter the water or climb the rocks. People paid heed to them.
The Second Waterfall- Elephant Falls, Shillong, Megalaya
The second waterfall is the smallest of the three and hence it was the most neglected one! Everyone, myself included, would hurry past it. When I saw it I thought it was not the actual second waterfall, that might be below. So I too went past it quickly.
The Third Waterfall- Elephant Falls, Shillong
The third waterfall was also a beauty. This was the only waterfall where the pool was shallow and people would wade a little to get their pictures clicked. To reach the waterfalls a little walking is involved. That itself gave me an idea how fit I am for my trek to Annapurna Circuit, Nepal in June. I was not tired with this small walk but 5-6 hours of similar terrain and I can see from here what is going to happen to me later in June.
So I will remember the waterfalls not only for their beauty but also for the warning they gave me about my fitness levels!
I cannot believe that a few months before I was talking about cancelled trips! I have traveled a lot since then. I went to Gulmarg, then we first went to Jagatsukh, then to Sri Lanka and finally I traveled for work to Guwahati and Shillong. And I never thought I would say it but I feel tired today.
Actually between Sri Lanka and Shillong there was hardly a gap! I arrived on 23 April, late at night, took a colleague out for lunch on 24th along with completing paper work for another visa (let me get it and the details to fall in place and then I will talk about the destination. All I can say now is that I am excited) and left the next day for Guwahati from office itself. Now that was hectic. I landed yesterday night at Delhi and today I was back at work (I save leaves for travel so no off day for me just because I am a little tired).
I have never traveled like this before and I have to say I found it hectic. I am not saying that I would ever give up on a trip because it was hectic. But before this stretch I never thought of travel and hectic in the same sentence.
Also with functional internet connection at both Sri Lanka and North East India I managed to keep blogging which adds to something, I don’t know what. Don’t get me wrong, I love having internet connection while I travel but it means after everything is over I have to find some time to write a post. I know this is self imposed and no one is forcing me to do it but then it probably adds to the fatigue. And I can hardly fall asleep if I have not blogged that day!
The Sea at Mirissa Beach, Sri Lanka
Also I started missing home food. We are no great cooks and the food is very average at home but after a few weeks of being on the road I was longing for some daal, chawal and ghar ka sabzi. This is also a first for me! Of course I missed my daughter too, a little more than all my previous trips this time!
So while I am looking forward to my trip in mid May (I do hope all the chips fall in place) but from now to 9th I want to recover first. I am going to keep my weekends free and not cram anything else in between. Or so I hope!
Barapani or Umiam Lake in Shillong is a beautiful place. I got only a glimpse of Umiam Lake or which is also known as Barapani. Our taxi driver from Guwahati to Shillong told us that he would stop by it for a few minutes if we wanted to. We wanted to stop as soon as we spotted the water body but he told us that he would stop the car at a view point in front of this vast water body.
Our stop was for a few minutes as we had business in Shillong town. I could only take a few hurried shots of the Umiam Lake without the risk of being late. There were only a few other vehicles at this spot. It was not crowded at all but it was early in the day. After clicking the picture above, I quickly went looking for another spot so that I could get a view without the trees and I was partially successful.
Umiam or Barapani, Shillong
After 10 minutes in all we were on our way. We saw a few boats and all of us expressed the wish to go for a boat ride if only we had time. For quite sometime I kept wondering how would it be if had all day to spend by the Umiam lake, to see the sunset from there. And that has been the dominant mood about this trip to Guwahati and Shillong. But then I should not complain too much as the trip was for work.
I can’t make up my mind if I should be thankful that I got to at least visit Assam and Meghalaya or if I should be sad that I got to see so little of it. We had only Sunday when we had no work and we headed to Cherrapunji to make the most of it. But I feel that one day was just too little in the beautiful state.
I think I will end up choosing to be happy because I at least got a glimpse of two states in India that I had not visited earlier. And they are beautiful, Shillong a little more than Guwahati in my opinion.