Umiam Lake, Meghalaya

This is the first post of the Meghalaya series. Second part is here.

A check of weather forecast on the internet told us that most of the week we’d spend in Meghalaya would witness rains. Our helpful planners at ChaloHoppo echoed something similar. We had seen “similar” forecasts for Bangalore too (monsoon months), but what we experienced in the coming week was totally different from the rains in Bangalore. Obviously, we went into the abode of clouds – we couldn’t have asked for anything else 🙂 I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. Rewinding a bit, after waking up at 3AM, catching a 6AM flight to Guwahati, followed by a 3 hour drive, we reached Umiam lake – our first stop in Meghalaya. We did not want this to be a stop-n-go visit, so we had planned to stay a night at one of the boat-houses in the lake.

Umiam lake, also called Barapani, is actually a reservoir – a man-made entity to harness the waters of Umiam river for generating hydro-electricity. To reach our boat-house, we had to take a short 10-minute boat ride from the water sports complex, off the GS road (Guwahati – Shillong highway). A small drizzle set-in during our boat ride, like a teeny-tiny preview of what’s to come. Though we reached at mid-day, the cloudy weather made it seem like evening. Our host, Mr. Pearson, was most warm in welcoming us into his very comfortable boat-house. Wanting to make full use of the time we had (before rains locked us in), we dumped our luggage at the boat-house and set out to explore the lake’s surroundings on foot.

Our home for a day, at Umiam lake

Our home for a day, at Umiam lake

The lake is mostly surrounded by forested hills all around. Mild hill-rises sprout above the water at several places and provide a rough path to walk on. These are either slushy or covered with grass. At places, we found vast meadows with carpet of tiny wild-flowers, reddish-brown straw grass too.

Exploring Umiam lake on foot

Exploring Umiam lake on foot

Meadow with tiny wild flowers and reddish-brown grass

Meadow with tiny wild flowers and reddish-brown grass

Mild ripples fluttered on the water surface. The water surface reflected several shades of green from the surrounding greenery. There was ample area to walk for hours. Every now and then, we’d stop to catch our breath a bit, only for our breaths to be taken away by the scene in front of us. Clouds would  occasionally envelop the upper parts of the hills around, draping them in a mysterious shroud. A lone fisherman went about his business oblivious and carefree of the imminent rains.

Mild ripples, green water surface

Mild ripples, green water surface

Stopping to catch a breath, only for our breath to be taken away by this scene

Stopping to catch a breath, only for our breath to be taken away by this scene

A fisherman carries on, oblivious and carefree

A fisherman carries on, oblivious and carefree

Umiam lake panorama

Umiam lake panorama

Every now and then, the skies would brighten up, luring us to a hope of a wonderful sunset. But, it wasn’t to be. In fact, towards evening, it rained heavily and we had to be confined indoors. Another things that I had not anticipated was the coldness of weather. I had mistaken high humidity levels in the weather forecasts to reduce the chill factor – well, it did not! Piping hot tea and maggi were absolute lifesavers here.

We had a nice early sunrise the next morning. I made a short timelapse video – first showing the sunrise and then the rains we witnessed the previous evening.

After breakfast, it was time to move on to our next destination. So far, the rains had not affected us much. But all this was soon about to change. It hit us when we were least prepared.

Saying bye to our lovely home for a day

Saying bye to our lovely home for a day

 

0 Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Journey to Nongriat village - PhotoMithra - […] This post is the second of a series of posts about my travel to Meghalaya. Read the first post was…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: