Why does one travel? Is it for the attraction of places or the connection that our soul seeks? The essence of traveling differs based on the varied perspectives of individuals. Life becomes more meaningful when we connect to the energy around us and embrace the beautiful moments. Each moment instills in us a blistering pool of inner peace.
Meghalaya in the North-Eastern corner of India is a nature lover’s paradise. The Abode of clouds as it is known otherwise is encompassed with majestic waterfalls, caves, hills and unique cultures. From Root Bridges to Rock Capital of India, Meghalaya reflects the attachment of the people with nature and its music. Well, who wouldn’t love to explore such a beautiful place?
On the 24th of August,2019, we set out to Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya with This Travel Company in the quest of its least explored waterfalls. A five hours of journey through the green hills shining against the blue sky and the music of Dire Straits, we reached the Paradise Adventure Camp – The Gateway to Phe Phe Falls. By the Jowai-Dawki Road, this campsite located beside a river provides the best of facilities. Not only does it have unique miniature huts and cabins but also cottages for comfy stay. There is an abundance of space for pitching tents as well. Kayaking, Swimming, and hiking to the Phe Phe falls are some of the activities we were eagerly waiting for.
Watching colourful butterflies swinging by the flowers collecting nectar was soothing. As we kayaked to cross the river, fun and enthusiasm of each of us roared. A half an hour walk to the Phe Phe falls (also known as Paradise Falls) will introduce you to a vast array of exquisite landscapes, lakes, and flora. The peculiar carnivorous plant, which we once read in our textbooks are also found here. Yes, we are talking about Pitcher Plant.
Phe Phe falls is a two-tier waterfall. Phe Phe is a Jaintia word which translates to Paradise (Jaintia is one of the major ethnic groups of Meghalaya). The location of the waterfall makes it more thrilling. Descending a steep hill, through the shrub bamboo plants, the sight of the waterfall in the backdrop of the blue sky and the range of hills layered with light and shadow on the other side, we entered the realm of paradise. The waterfall has its own charm and essence. The water is as blue as the sky, clean transparent and above all cold. Plunging into these waters and refreshing ourselves was a pure delight. With feet immersed into these chilling waters, and eyes closed, the sensation of sprinkling of water from the Fall touching the skin gave a strange kind of peace. To stare at the constant motion of the waterfall for minutes, to just be absorbed in the beauty around are moments I live for. A single cloud formed right above the waterfall to bid us goodbye as we were returning to the camp.
Meghalaya trip is incomplete without the clear night skies and rain. Under the stars, beside the river, with music and barbeque, our evening commenced. Our happiness doubled when we witnessed the milky way galaxy through the lens of eminent photographer Manabendra Choudhury. We hurried to our cabins when the rain eventually downpoured. With the sound of the rain, guitar, we sang songs that helped reminisce our old days.
Chasing waterfalls on the next day we reached the Sua Ludong Falls. The Jaintia word Sua refers to the last of water in the same place, while Ludong means the rocks by the side of the fall in its surroundings. Located about 6 km ahead of the Paradise Adventure Camp, Sua Ludong is another exquisite waterfall in Jarain, Meghalaya. Enjoyed by the local kids, they were seen swimming, diving and playing in the waters of Sua ludong. As we dipped our feet, the rain blessed us with a new perspective of the beauty of the waterfall. The natural pool danced delightfully with the splashing of each raindrop. The scene was such that the waterfall became the lead artist while the raindrops joined its synchronized dance moves. As we returned from the waterfall, the rain stopped. This Sua Ludong experience was perhaps meant exclusively for us.
Traveling indeed provides a platform to explore oneself, to experience something out of our comfort zones. Meeting new people, sharing experiences and learning from everyone and everything, travel is the best gift one can give to oneself. To all the folks out there, gear up, pat yourself and let’s bond with the energy and beautiful moments around us.
N.B: Please do correct me if the local names of the the waterfalls have different interpretation.
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