Meghalaya’s Dew Drop - Cherrapunjee:- Cherrapunjee is among the wettest place on the Earth. An excellent place to sit back and unwind, with its clean and pristine surroundings. With a unique climate gifted to the area, its untouched beauty and an environment similar to the freshest dew drops, Cherrapunjee is sure to refresh you inside out.
The climate and the flattering pleasant air around is complimented by only the waterfalls in the area. These include the Dainthelen falls, Noh Sngithiang falls, Noh Kalikai falls and more. This rainy misty place is also famous for astounding tourists with the lavish spread of the Bangladesh plains from it’s cliffs.
Sohra (so-har-a) was the original name for this town, which the British pronounced as “Churra”. This name eventually evolved into the current name, Cherrapunji, meaning “land of oranges”, which was first used by tourists from other parts of India.
The history of the native inhabitants of Cherrapunji i.e. the Khasi people may be traced from the early part of the 16th century. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, these people were ruled by their tribal “Syiems (Rajas or Chiefs) of Khyriem” in the Khasi Hills. In 1883, the Khasi hills with the submission of the last of the important Syiems, “Tirot Sing” came under British authority.
The main pivot on which the entire superstructure of Khasi society rests is the matrilineal system.
Best Time To Visit : September - May
How To Reach:
Cherrapunjee By Air - The nearest major airport to Cherrapunji, is Guwahati airport. It is located 181 km from the city. You can hire taxis from Paltan Bazaar bus stand in Guwahati or get a pre-paid taxi from the airport itself to get to Cherrapunji town. The Umroi Airport near Shillong, technically is the nearest airport to Cherrapunji, which is about 91 kms. However, the airport receives flights from Kolkata only and that too, with very low frequency.
Nearest Airport : Shillong Airport, Shillong (53.479)
Cherrapunjee by Bus
Cherrapunjee By Railways - 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. Well connected to the entire country and regular trains carry passengers to and fro, is the Guwahati railway station.
Top Places To Visit In Cherrapunjee
1) Double Decker Living Root Bridge
A “root bridge”, it is located in Tryna village. Made of the Indian Rubber Tree this is one of the biggest attractions of Cherrapunji.
A unique attraction and quite an innovative mix of nature and engineering. The Umshiang River flows beneath the bridge.
2) Krem Phyllut
Located south of Cherrapunji, this place is a major tourist attraction owning to the caves it has.
There are three different entrances to the caves and two separate river passages within. This place is always crowded with locals as well as tourists.
Also located in the East Khasi district, this village has won the title of Asia’s cleanest village in 2003 and India’s cleanest village in 2005. This village is also referred as God’s own garden.
The village is very pretty, especially during the monsoons when there is lush greenery all around. The waterfalls along with abundant flowers in the area adds to the natural beauty. The secret of this village to be so clean is that every local here is responsible to keep the place clean. You would find bamboo garbage bins at every nook and corner of the village. This village also offers breathtaking view of the fields of Bangladesh as the border is very nearby. This place is 92 km from Cherrapunji and 90 km from Shillong.
Best way to reach here is by taking a taxi from Shillong or from Cherrapunji. You will find decent accommodation options here as well.
Dawki, a small border town in the Jaintia Hills, and its famous river Umngot is a must visit if in Meghalaya. Sandwiched between India and Bangladesh, Dawki is a major center of trade between India and Bangladesh. The small city, besides being a trade hub is also famous for its tourism scene, with many people flocking to the city in order experience a boat ride in its famed Umngot River and enjoy the nearby sights and sounds
The city becomes a hotbed of tourist activities especially during the spring months as it hosts the boat riding competition on the Umngot River. The surrounding greenery, the cold water of the river and the beautiful suspension bridge on the River Umngot make Dawki a place worth a visit.
- Open Time : Day time
5) Krem Mawsmai Cave
Meghalaya is home to some amazing and mysterious cave systems and Mawsmai Cave is by far the most popular of the lot. Located just 6 km away from the heart of Cherrapunjee Mawsmai cave is a breathtaking maze of caves in the East Khasi Hills of Meghalaya. The well lit caves are a view to behold when the glistening lights meet with the limestone to create countless hues and patterns of light.
Considered to be the most popular of all the caves in the region, Mawsmai Cave is beautiful to say the least. There is plenty of flora and fauna within the cave to catch one’s attention. The length of the cave is just 150 meters which is not the longest compared to the other caves in the region but it surely provides one a glimpse of life in the underground.
- Open Time: 9:30am-5:30pm
6) Nohkalikai Waterfalls
Nohkalikai falls is the fourth highest waterfalls in the world. From a verdant cliff to the ground, it plunges some 335 meters giving the portrayal of immense and natural magnificence. The falls are one of the most beautiful and grand waterfalls in the country and also are the pride of the state of Meghalaya. Tucked in between evergreen rain forest of the Khasi Hill and flowing with all its majesty and might, the falls plunges into a lagoon which is as blue as the afternoon sky.
Nohkalikai Falls is one of the most popular and significant places to see in the North-East.
The name of the falls is attached with a sad story of woman named Ka Likai who remarried a man, who believed that she loved his daughter more than him. So one day while Ka Likai was working outside, the man killed his daughter and cooked her flesh and served it to Ka Likai. She ate the meal and went out to look for her daughter and while doing so she found her fingers in a beet-nut basket. Seeing this she became very upset and plunged to death from the waterfall which was now renamed “Noh Ka Likai”.
- Open Time: 8am-5pm
7) Dainthlen Waterfall
Cherrapunji nestled in “The Abode of Clouds”, Meghalaya, is a destination par excellence. Famous for orange groves, honey and limestone caves, Cherrapunji had been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for receiving the maximum rainfall before handing over the coveted title to Mawsynram, another gem in Meghalaya’s crown. Cherrapunji houses three waterfalls- Mawsmai Falls, Nohkalikai Waterfalls and Dainthlen Waterfalls, out of which Nohkalikai Waterfalls is the world’s fourth-highest.
The Dainthlen Waterfalls is a famous crowd-puller in the city. It is easily accessible by roads and is associated with a legend that speaks of how the locals had killed a python that had been living nearby the spot and terrorizing villagers. The natural rock carvings close-by the waterfalls, where the snake had been killed, symbolizes evil, greed, corruption and attracts tourists at large. It is soft and does not produce any roaring sound when it falls from a height which is not too steep either.
8) Elephant Falls
It is located at a distance of 12 kms from the town and is a very beautiful waterfall. It provides beautiful and breathtaking scenic views to its visitors and is an important sightseeing place especially for the nature lovers.