|District||East Khasi Hills|
|Talukas||Mawsynram C.D. Block|
|• Total||2,788 km2 (1,076 sq mi)|
|Elevation||2,000 m (7,000 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Mawsynram (Pron: ˈmɔ:sɪnˌrəm) is a village in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya state in north-eastern India, 65 kilometres from Shillong. It is reportedly the wettest place on Earth, with an annual rainfall of 11,872 millimetres (467.4 in), but that claim is disputed by Lloró, Colombia, which had an average yearly rainfall of 12,717 millimetres (500.7 in) between 1952 and 1989  and Lopez del Micay, also in Colombia, with 12892 mm between 1960 and 2012. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Mawsynram received 26,000 millimetres (1,000 in) of rainfall in 1985.
Oxford geographer Nick Middleton's book on people who live in extreme climates, Going to Extremes (ISBN 0-330-49384-1), chronicles his visit to the village, and describes how the inhabitants cope with such extreme precipitation.
Mawsynram is located at 25° 18' N, 91° 35' E, at an altitude of about 1,400 metres (4,600 ft), 16 km west of Cherrapunji, in the Khasi Hills in the state of Meghalaya (India) . The name of the village contains Maw, a Khasi word meaning stone, and thus might refer to certain megaliths in the surrounding area. Khasi Hills are rich with such megaliths.
Climate and rainfall
Under the Köppen climate classification, Mawsynram features a subtropical highland climate with an extraordinarily rainy and lengthy monsoonal season. Based on the data of a recent few decades, it 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 the vast majority of it falls during the monsoon months. A comparison of rainfalls for Cherrapunji and Mawsynram for some years is given in Table 1.
Primarily due to the high altitude, it seldom gets truly hot in Mawsynram. Average monthly temperatures range from around 10 degrees Celsius in January to just above 20 degrees Celsius in August. The village also experiences a brief but noticeably drier season from December until February, when monthly precipitation on average does not exceed 60 mm. The relative dearth of precipitation during the village’s “low sun” season is a trait shared by many areas with this climate.
Table 1: Comparison of rainfalls for Cherrapunji and Mawsynram for some years.
|Year||Cherrapunji Rainfall (mm)||Mawsynram Rainfall (mm)|
Three reasons can be cited for high rainfall at Mawsynram:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
Located in Mawsynram, is a cave named Mawjymbuin. Inside this cave is a pair of notable speleothems - breast-shaped stalactite over a massive stalagmite which is shaped by nature into a Shivalinga.
- "Mawsynram". Wondermondo. 2010-08-28. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- The Tribune, Chandigarh, August 2003.
- The Scotland of the East! The Hindu, October 15 2007
- "Mawjymbuin Cave". Wondermondo. 2010-08-28. Retrieved 2010-08-29.