Not Mawsynram or Cherrapunji, Mahableshwar is wettest place on Earth

Sumit Singh

Mahableshwar, Maharashtra (India), August 7, 2019 : Mahabaleshwar, a hill station in Sahyadri mountain range (Western Ghats), has become the wettest place on Earth, beating Cherrapunji and Mawsynram.

Since June 1 this year, Mahableshwar recorded 5485.5 mm rainfall, while Cherrapunji recorded 5346.3 mm rainfall. This season has one of the wettest August month in Mahableshwar, a small town and a municipal council in Satara district, Maharashtra.

The climate of Mahabaleshwar ranges very normal annually. Not so hot temperatures in summer, very heavy rainfall in monsoon and cold enough in winters.

Venna Lake in Mahabaleshwar have recorded temperatures between 0 °C-4 °C several times during winters despite being in a tropical area. Because of the low temperatures during that time, frozen dew drops is reported and the areas surrounding the whole lake turns white.

Very heavy rainfall is a normal occurrence during monsoons. During July, 10–12 days of continuous rains with 100–200 mm rains each day can be seen each year.

With one of the few evergreen forests of India, it served as the summer capital of Bombay province during the British Raj. It features several elevated viewing points, such as Arthur’s Seat. West of here is centuries-old Pratapgad Fort, perched atop a mountain spur. East, Lingmala Waterfall tumbles off a sheer cliff. Colorful boats dot Venna Lake, while 5 rivers meet at Panch Ganga Temple to the north.

It has an average elevation of 1,353 metres (4,439 ft). Located about 120 km southwest of Pune and 285 km from Mumbai, Mahabaleshwar is a vast plateau measuring 150 sq km, bound by valleys on all sides. It reaches a height of 1,439 m (4,721 ft) at its highest peak above sea level, known as Wilson/Sunrise Point. Mahabaleshwar comprises three villages: Malcolm Peth, Old “Kshetra” Mahabaleshwar and part of the Shindola village.

Mahabaleshwar is the source of the Krishna River that flows across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The legendary source of the river is a spout from the mouth of a statue of a cow in the ancient temple of Mahadev in Old Mahabaleshwar. Legend has it that Krishna is Lord Vishnu himself as a result of a curse on the trimurtis by Savitri. Also, its tributaries Venna and Koyna are said to be Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma themselves. An interesting thing to notice is that 3 other rivers come out from the cow’s mouth apart from Krishna and they all travel some distance before merging into Krishna which flows East towards the Bay of Bengal. These rivers are the Koyna, Venna (Veni) and Gayatri. The Savitri river flows Westward via Mahad to the Arabian Sea.

Climate of the area is suitable for cultivation of strawberries, Mahabaleshwar strawberry contributes to about 85 percent of the total strawberry production in the country. It also received the geographical indication (GI) tag in 2010.