The long weekend is coming up. If you haven't yet made your travel plans, consider going to Cherrapunjee. Read on.
The delta and mangrove swamp is formed by the merging of three rivers: East of Calcutta, in the North East Khasi hills of Meghalaya, just on the Indo-Bangaladesh border, lies Cherrapunjee (also referred to as Sohra). This is considered as the wettest place on the earth. The area receives almost 450 inches of rain through the year.
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
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
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 reach
Cherrapunjee is located about two hours away from Shillong (about 56
kilometers). Shillong does not have a railway station or a commercial
airport and visitors have to reach Cherrapunjee by road. Regular bus
services are operated by the Meghalaya Tourism between Shillong and
Cherrapunjee. Tourists can use shared taxis to commute between the two
Tourists can also reach Guwahati that is three hours away from
Shillong and is accessible by air and train. Visitors who come to
Guwahati have to travel to Shillong by road and then proceed to
Shillong has many accommodation options ranging from star
hotels to budget hotels. It is advisable to stay in Shillong and travel
back and forth, as Cherrapunjee has limited accommodation options.
The main Cherra bazaar in Cherrapunjee is famous for its
colorful variety of goods including unusual tribal jewellery and
orange-flavored honey. Visitors can also shop for cane, bamboo and
wooden handicraft items, shawls and fabrics in Shillong.
When to visit
The best time to visit Cherrapunjee is during late September or
October after the monsoon. Summer is also a good time to visit. In
winter the weather is very cold because of the hills and during
monsoons there is a heavy downpour.
98% of the annual
rainfall at Cherrapunjee is received in just eight months from March to
October. November, December, January and February get nominal or no
The Living Root Bridge and Double Decker Root Bridge treks are open throughout the year.
There are no night buses from Guwahati to Shillong. So, plan to travel during the day.
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