Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mawsynram-Wettest Place in the World

Mawsynram is a village in the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya state in north-eastern India, 56 kilometers from Shillong. It is reportedly the wettest place on Earth, with an annual rainfall of 11,872 mm (about 39 feet), but since it has no meteorological department in the area, Cherrapunji is still officially considered the place recording world’s highest rainfall.

Based on the data of a recent few decades, Mawsynram located about 9 km west of Cherrapunji in the state of Meghalaya (India) appears to be the wettest place in the world or the place with the highest average annual rainfall. Mawsynram, receives nearly 12 m of rain in an average year, and a vast majority of it falls during the monsoon months (June to September).

Three reasons can be cited for high rainfall at Mawsynram:

1. The warm moist winds of the northward-moving air from the Bay of Bengal during the monsoon, which cover an extensive area but are forced to converge into the narrower zone over the Khasi Hills, thus concentrating their moisture.

2. The alignment of the Khasi Hills (east to west) places them directly in the path of the airflow from the Bay of Bengal, producing a significant uplift (plus cooling, further condensation and thus more rain).

3. Finally, uplift over the Khasi Hills is virtually continuous in the monsoon period because the lifted air is constantly being pulled up by vigorous winds in the upper atmosphere, hence the rainfall is more or less continuous.

Being one of the well known spots of Meghalaya, Mawsynram is frequented by nature lovers enjoying a walk by its steep and down sliding slopes, breathing in the fresh air, loving the clear blue sky, the wind that brushes their face, catching glimpses of the mountain birds and the nearly deafening sound of the roaring waterfalls.

One of the known caves of Mawsynram is the Mawjymbuin cave. Years of weathering due to dripping of mineralized solutions and deposition of calcium carbonate has given rise to some spectacular stalagmites, which are study of great interest for the geologists.

This beautiful land of abundant natural beauty has immense tourist attraction. The ethnic tribes, their habitat, arts and handicrafts that form their culture attract many.

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