State : Meghalaya, in the north east of India.
Best time to Travel : Through out the year.
Weather Conditions : Monsoon is the only season at Cherrapunji. It is the Wettest Place in North East India, receiving railfall throughout the year round.
Location : Cherrapunji is just 60 km from Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya.
Nested high on the southern fringes of Khasi Hills amid the rolling clouds Cherrapunji also called Sohra is a picturesque, mesmerizing little town carved out of a dissected plateau in the north eastern state of Meghalaya. The pristine beauty of Cherrapunji with its luxurious pine forested hills, gushing white streamlets, numerous waterfalls, and its rejuvenating temperate climate with perpetual veil of clouds imparts an unmistakable Scottish touch to climate and more often than not, it is actually referred to as “The Scotland of the East”.
The name Meghalaya literally means “Abode of the Clouds” and as the name suggests it is one of the wettest places on the earth receiving the highest rainfall in the world with Cherrapunji holding Guinness book of World record as the wettest place on earth. This status of Cherrapunji has however changed due to the Global warming and heavy deforestation Cherrapunji has slipped to the second place with close by Mawsynram holding the record for highest rainfall. Cherrrapunji travel guide will provide a better insight on the place.
Places to see
Cherrapunjee is famous for its limestone caves and the culture and literature of Khasi. Look around, and you will notice that Cherrapunjee is filled with waterfalls and greenery everywhere making it an extremely scenic place. The entire town comes to life during the monsoon season and this is one place the clouds are sure to bring joy. The drive to Cherrapunjee takes you through winding paths that overlook the valleys adding beauty to the surroundings.
The Nohkalikai Waterfalls starts off as a clear bubbling stream and turns into a majestic waterfall gushing down the rocky precipice into a deep gorge. Situated a few kilometers from Cherrapunjee, the Nohkalikai Waterfalls can be viewed only during the monsoon season. But when it is alive, it comes down in full force almost creating a deafening sound with a huge swirling mist.
Thangkharang Park and Kynrem Waterfalls
The scenic Thangkharang Park is around 12 kilometers from Cherrapunjee. This is a must see spot as it overlooks the vast plains of Bangladesh. The views from the hilltop are beautiful and criss-crossed plains with wide rivers on their final leg to their journey to the sea are visible from here. The Thangkharang Park is managed by the state Forest Department. The Kynrem Falls can be viewed from across the park. The falls are about 1000 feet in height and qualify for being the highest falls in the state. While at the park, also check out the giant 200 feet Koh-ramhah, a natural single rock formation, shaped like an upside down basket.
The Dainthlen Waterfalls are on the way to Cherrapunjee. The drive to Dainthlen itself is a treat to the eyes as it has vast grasslands and stretches of rock formations. Popular as a picnic spot, tourists can also get a peek into village life at the Rangjyrthei village that is on the other side of the falls.
Double Decker Root Bridge
Considered as a feat of bio-engineering, the Double Decker Root Bridge is located at the Tyrna village. This is a two-tier living root bridge that can carry 50 or more people at a time and is over 100 feet long. While these bridges take 10 to 15 years to become fully functional, they get stronger every day. The life span of the bridges is estimated to be about 500 to 600 years after they are well formed. The Umshiang River flows beneath the living root bridges.
The Kshaid Dain Thlen Falls has a special significance for the Khasis (and is popular for its legends). The thundering Nohsngithiang falls are also very impressive. The Cherrapunjee Meteorological Observatory, Ramakrishna Mission Museum, First Presbyterian Church, David Scott Memorial, etc. are the other places you could include in your list.
How to Get There
Reach Cherrapunji By Air
Guwahati airport is the nearest major airport to Cherrapunji. It is located 181 km from the city. To get to Cherrapunji town, you can hire taxis from Paltan Bazaar bus stand in Guwahati or get a pre-paid taxi from the airport itself. Technically, the Umroi Airport (91 km) near Shillong is the nearest airport to Cherrapunji. However, the airport receives flights from Kolkata only and that too, with very low frequency.
Reach Cherrapunji By Road
Buses for Cherrapunji leave from the Sohra Bus Stand in the Bara Bazaar area of Shillong.
Reach Cherrapunji By Train
Guwahati acts as the nearest railhead to Cherrapunji. Although it lies at a distance of 181 km from this region, bus service or taxis can be availed from the railway station. Guwahati railway station is well connected to the entire country and regular trains carry passengers to and fro.