Shrouded in Mist

A Drive Through East Khasi Hills To Pynursla

The car moved at a slow pace and it literally felt like we were riding through the clouds. The mist was so thick that we could barely see even 10m. ahead of us. “I hope you’ve switched on the fog light”, I heard my sister’s anxious voice while nephew and I were more concerned about our rumbling stomachs. We had a light breakfast earlier in the day and now it was well beyond lunch time. The thick mist made it impossible to know what lay on either side of the road. Our plans of having lunch at one of the roadside small eateries, locally known as Kong’s Shop, seemed like a far cry. My brother-in-law, who was at the wheels, had to meticulously concentrate on the road and maneuver the continuous turns. One wrong move and the car could easily topple down into the deep valley, which wasn’t visible at all but very much existed.

Pic 1: The clouds moving through the valley, clicked on the way back when the mist had cleared for a little while.

We had left Shillong a few hours earlier with the aim to drive around the countryside. It had been raining heavily for the past few days, right from the day I arrived here on the 3rd of May. Heavy rains lashed the city this morning too. However, for the first time the rains had stopped and the day seemed brighter though the sun continued to remain elusive. We headed towards Pynursla completely forgetting the fact that this part of Meghalaya always remains shrouded in mist during this time of the year. As we started the drive, all I could visualize was the perfectly tarred winding roads with pine-covered hills on one side and the deep valley with various shades of green on the other. Just as I had seen it at other times.

Pic 2: Umtynger River somewhere just after leaving Shillong. The muddy water is an indication of the heavy rainfall.

Pynursla town is a quiet small hamlet located in East Khasi Hills about 53 Km. away from Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya. This region is not very popular among tourists and that makes it a great destination for the locals. It’s enroute to Dawki and Mawlynnong, places that are thronged by tourists. The drive from Shillong to Pynursla is simply stunning because of the lush green landscape. I had seen a few resorts in this region the last time I had visited, some of which were under construction. Perhaps some people do come here afterall, but certainly most wouldn’t stop here.

Initially, the experience of being enveloped in the thick mist gave us the thrills. The ecstatic feeling of moving through clouds, surrounded by the thick curtain of white, and with near zero visibility was indeed exciting. Soon it gave way to unease as we were missing out the scenery of the landscape that we had in mind. We kept thinking it would reduce and the mist would fade away. But it continued in the same state and the entire route remained whitewashed.

Pic 3: When the mist had cleared for a little while on our way back.
Pic 4: The beautiful road that could be clearly seen just once while on our way back.
Pic 5: Somewhere a small waterfall and the associated landslide.

Driving very slowly and carefully, we arrived at Pynursla town only by late afternoon. It was 3.30 PM by then. Our stomachs were revolting and the first thing we did was to put it at ease by grabbing some lunch at a small local restaurant. Concerned about the mist on the way, we could take no chance of hanging around in the quaint little town.

It was market-day and the town wore a colourful look. With a lot of self-restrained, we controlled the urge of walking around and left for Shillong immediately. Our hopes of getting some views on the way back was once again strangulated by the thick stubborn mist that simply refused to go away. This time we noticed signs of landslides that would have happened in the recent past. At one of the bends, we noticed the clouds moving very fast and the green valley was revealed in parts. That was our moment! Of course, we had to stop the car, step out, and soak in the surroundings. But it hardly lasted just a few minutes.

Do not miss this video, it’s a small one created by nephew on that day’s drive.

We reached Shillong safe and sound, just before darkness descended. I heard my mind quietly hoping to go for a drive in the same route on a bright and sunny day before I take leave from Shillong.  

Leaving you with two images of the same route clicked three years ago on a clear day.

Author: neelstoria

Traveling, Gardening, Trekking, Hiking, Storytelling, Writing, Nature, Outdoors, Yoga, DIY

30 thoughts on “Shrouded in Mist”

    1. LOL ! A man never tires when his fav Sis in-law was around 🙂
      That was on a lighter note ! No I wasn’t exhausted as we are used to such type of weather! Yes, I had to be very careful driving through the mist no doubt!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Glad to see you getting back to beautiful places. This is one of my favourite things about Meghalaya: driving slowly through dense fog, noticing the small things that are visible. So different from the sweltering heat in the plains. I hope you weren’t badly affected by the floods.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Flood happens only in certain pockets. My home is far away from those places, thankfully. But the incessant rains and accompanied cold is not allowing us to be outdoors as much as we would wish to. It would never get so much cold during the rains (except winter rains, if any) earlier. This time the cold is quite exceptional. Global warming is happening right here, right now!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As much as I always hope for good weather (i.e. blue skies and good visibility) whenever I go to places high up in the mountains, there’s is something pleasant about going on a trip with thick mist like this. The temperatures are cooler and the gentle breeze carries wet air to your face. Too bad the mist persisted throughout your stay in Meghalaya, but such is life. We can’t always time our trips to perfect weather.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right, mist in mountains and hills have a charm of their own. Like my brother-in-law kept saying enjoy this experience, it’s different. I am still in Meghalaya and will be here at least for another month or so. Hoping to see some sunny weather too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s great to know that you’re staying in Meghalaya for more than a month! I once read an article with beautiful photos about the tree roots bridges in the state, and the story really fascinated me.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. My home is in Meghalaya. I was born and brought up here. Moved to Bangalore for job and that’s my second home now. My family lives in Meghalaya, so I come here at least once a year. I have several posts on the beautiful places of Meghalaya. Here’s the root bridge one:

          Bridges that Breathe

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Those are the same bridges in the article! So amazing. I hope one day I’ll be able to see them in person. Such a shame about the inconsiderate tourists during your visit, though.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sure this would have made your drive unforgettable, although it is risky. I had a similar experience a couple of years ago. I was driving from Delhi to Jaipur during the winter. It was barely 6 PM and visibility was less than 50 meters. I don’t think I will ever repeat such an adventure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Definitely unforgettable. This is most certainly one drive to remember for the rest of our lives!
      Yes, it’s quite scary like you have experienced. Generally the mist does reduce after a while but not this time. It just remained in the same density all through the day.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I don’t quite know the difference between fog and mist. Am eternally confused between the two. I just googled now. Yes fog is thicker. Not sure what this was – fog or mist or cloud. It’s not uncommon for clouds to literally descend down here. I just know that we were shrouded in complete white with near zero visibility. Only when an approaching car would come really close, we would know about it.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Pleased to see you are where we all dream to be but never get round to do as much as we want! Mountains, undulating roads, crisp cool flowing water, clouds, mist, heaven! Well… the monsoon is nearly upon us and I hope this year at least I do not waste too much time indoors on the mundane. Enjoy and tank up on the ethereal. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But the rains are playing spoil sport this time. Heavy rainfall happening every single day, stopping only for a while only to start all over again. It’s quite miserable as it’s limiting our outdoor activities. The accompanied cold is not the least inviting. It’s unusual, at least the cold. It never used to be like this before. Rains were common but not the extreme cold. People are saying this has been happening since last year.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautifully penned down, as usual! Though we missed the beautiful landscape along the route due to fog, the drive was nonetheless enjoyable 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your post made me want to start off on my Shillong trip right away! I mean who wouldn’t ? Such lovely mist covered mountain lined roads.. looks straight out of a fairytale! But yes, it also gets so difficult to observe the surroundings once its gets super misty. Plus its quite dangerous to drive under such circumstances.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: