Saturday, 15 October 2011

Umiam Lake: A Picturesque Delight- Day 3

Umiam Lake, also known as Barapani (Big Water) is around 15 km away from Shillong. It was not just another lake, but a place of scenic beauty tucked carefully in the Meghalayan hills. We were spell-bound by its magnificence. The serene lake was surrounded by mountains from all the sides. I dreamt of seeing the sunset there. It would have been amazing. Watching the sun going down over the glowing waters and the lake taking on a magical hue… The sun slowly turns orange, still waters reflect the orange sun and in the distant horizon, a lone boatman steers himself across the waters… Oh, stop, stop, don’t go so close, Vij pulled me back. I was almost in the dreamland. It was love at first sight with Shillong’s blue-eyed beauty called Umiam Lake.
Umiam Lake

Umiam Lake

Umiam Lake

The entire mountainous region with ethereal landscape was reflected in the shining waters of the lake. The journey towards the lake itself was delightful. Several hills, feathery clouds, glistening lake, winding roads and spectacular countryside, all added up to the sheer beauty of the lake that spread its wings in front of us.
I saw some beautiful orchids nearby and the climate of the Umiam Lake is supposedly very encouraging for orchids to bloom. The lake is also popular for water sport adventures like kayaking, water cycling and scooting and boating. Our driver told us that the lake has a floating restaurant with ferry services. We could see the Orchid Tourist home that overlooks the lake.
It is said that this lake resembles the ‘Lochs’, or lakes of Scotland. The legend says that once two sisters came down to Meghalaya from paradise but only one of them reached their destination while the other sister was lost. The one who reached her destination cried to the fullest, grieving for her lost sister and thus a lake was formed as a result of her tears and the lake came to be known as Bara Pani, means big or vast water.

A hydro-electric dam was constructed across the Umiam river stream in 1960s.  The confluence of the two streams Umkhrah and Umshvrpi form the Wah Ro-ro stream in the north-west of Shilolong and joins River Umiam, the main source of water for the lake. The principal catchment area of the lake and dam is spread over 220 square km, which includes Shillong and its adjoining areas, besides a portion of Ri Bhoi district. This dam has Umiam Umtru Hydro Electric Power Project, the first hydel power project in the North-East.

I tried and absorbed some of the calmness of the lake into myself, wish-ing it was as easy as that! I bid a silent adieu as we walk away from the peace¬ful lake and we are back on the road to Shillong in Meghalaya.

No comments:

Post a Comment