Meghalaya is a land of blues, cerulean, and turquoise and all shades in between— a trinket, a needle stream, a lake, a river, a waterfall, they are all dressed in blue.
Shnongpdeng - The earth is sepia cradling crystalline blues
Meghalaya is about her valleys, hills, and the colour blue. After our night out in Shillong, we heeded to her hues and calls and headed towards Shnongpdeng. Through fields of sepia, which make you wonder if you are in Ireland amidst whiskey-soaked valleys, you reach the splintering Krang Suri falls nestled in Jaintia hills in Jowai.
A short afternoon hike to the falls and lunch at a hotel by the falls, with the freshest ingredients and warmth of home cooked food to keep us warm for the setting sun and dipping mercury, we chose to follow the setting sun towards the sleepy Umngot River.
Tip: The sun calls it a day long before you do, so always carry a head torch for any late afternoon treks.
The sun bid us goodbye, and the moon welcomed us as we reached Umngot River. A short moonlight trek on the bamboo bridge would lead us to our campsite. The senses are truly heightened at this time. The only sound you can hear is of the river flowing beneath you, the feel of plump pebbles under the soles of your shoes, and the spectacle of the moonlight shimmering on the water, guiding you as it dances in the river.
The night was about to get better—there was music of the soulful kind in the air; music that makes everyone tap their feet or just hum along to lyrics you may or may not know; the music stays all night till the moon dips into the river and there’s just the sound of the river flowing. When you experience such an enchanting evening under a glimmering moon, there is a peaceful sleep that envelops you, as you cuddle up inside your warm tents.
Sunrises, cliffs, and the translucent Umngot
There is a reward for anyone who wakes up with the lark; the sunrise at Umngot. The sunlight does a million splendid things on the sleepy waters, and you spot a million lichen and fish in the translucent waters.
One doesn’t need snorkel gear to spot life under water—a boat ride is all you need. All along the cliffs, falling over the crystalline clear waters, you spot dancing fish and fishermen singing songs as if calling out to the fish. You cannot help but wonder at the close relationship the people here share with their surroundings.
The river is surrounded by cliffs on either side, and some look like they were chiselled just to let you stand high and jump into the waters below.
After much hesitation and cold feet and a whole lot of coaxing, I did make that jump, from the cliff into the blue below. The exhilaration of the jump and the feeling of being engulfed by blue waters is something I would leave for you to experience, but the million different ways of feeling these moments will stay with me for life.