Cherrapunji in Meghalaya is one of the wettest places on the planet and the only place in India to receive rain throughout the year, is a subdivisional town in the East Khasi Hills district in the Indian state of Meghalaya. There are spectacular waterfalls in Cherapunjee credited for the beautiful landscape. Cherrapunji, also known as Sohra or Churra, means ‘the land of oranges’. The cliffs of Cherrapunji also offer stunning views of the plains of Bangladesh. Cherrapunji is a stunning holiday destination perched over foaming rivers and misty valleys, amidst the swirling clouds. Away from the flurry and chaos of city life, it is a superb place that will refresh your mind and body.
Cherrapunji is noted for having one of the world’s highest average annual precipitation levels, about 450 inches (11,430 mm). In addition, it had the greatest recorded total single-year rainfall, 1,042 inches (26,467 mm) in August 1860–July 1861, and one of the greatest recorded one-month total rainfalls, 366 inches (9,296 mm) in July 1861. This is a stunning location and the year-round rain earned Cherrapunji coveted entry long ago into the Guinness Book of World Records as the wettest place on earth, the place where the rainfall can be recorded in feet rather than in millimeters.
Cherrapunji is the only place on the world map that has just one climate in all seasons, that is, monsoons. Cherrapunji receives both the southwest and northeast monsoonal winds, giving it a single monsoon season. Another surprising fact about Cherrapunji is that it rains mostly at night. Day-to-day activity is not really disrupted by the rain.Another surprising fact about Cherrapunji is that it rains mostly at night. Day-to-day activity is not really disrupted by the rain. The summer months from March to May receive moderate rainfall with much pleasing temperature of 14 C to 23 C. Cold temperature prevails in the winter season falling to a minimum of 7 °C. Temperatures average 11.5 °C (52.7 °F) in January and 20.6 °C (69.1 °F) in August, and the annual mean is 17.3 °C (63.1 °F).
Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Cherrapunji :
Double Decker Root Bridge :
This bridge is amongst the premier attractions of Cherrapunji, is located in Tyrna village. It is a two-tier root bridge that is 100 feet in length. This bridge is an excellent example of bio-engineering and its also known to be unique in the world. which have a carrying capacity of around 50 people at a time. The living bridges are made from the roots of the Ficus elastica tree, which produces a series of secondary roots to form bridges. Some of the living root bridges in Cherrapunji are Ummuoi Root Bridge, Umkar Root Bridge and Mawsaw Root Bridge. Some of these bridges are over a hundred feet long and in fact grow stronger with time.
Located about 6 km from Cherrapunji, Mawsmai cave is one of the main tourist attractions in the Cherrapunji, which is credited as the wettest place on Earth. The striking natural cave is flocked by visitors in great numbers. It is one of the best places for history buffs and experience seekers. There is a light system though, may be it fails occasionally. However, it should add more magic to your exploration. These magnificent caves are formed out of limestone and are quite long and deep. However, tourists can only cover 150 m inside it and the remaining caves are off-limit for the visitors. Getting inside the cave you can see constant dripping of water from the roofs of cave and the formation of stalactites and stalagmites. Further, with great observations, you can also note how the roof and the floor of the cave are joined together to form the iconic pillars. The cave has different types of flora and fauna. If you are looking for something different from greenery and mountain peaks on your trip to Cherrapunji, Mawsmai cave is the place to go.
Nohkalikai Falls :
Nohkalikai Falls is naturally the top destination in Cherrapunji, located at a distance of 5 km from Cherrapunjee. Nohkalikai Waterfalls is a very famous and also the fourth highest waterfall in the whole world. The literal meaning of Nohkalikai is ‘jump of Ka Likai’ and the name Nohkalikai is derived from a tragic Khasi legend. Water plunges from a height of 1,100 ft uninterrupted from the highest point to the foot of the falls making it a spectacular site. The force of water has carved a waterhole which remains blue in the winter and turns green in the summer months. There are two other waterfalls that can you must travel from Cherrapunji, namely the Mawsmai Falls and Kynrem Waterfalls. The view of these natural falls is simply breathtaking. The ideal time to visit Nohkalikai is during the monsoon season when the falls are at its most spectacular. A viewing gallery allows the visitor to take in the vista which is, often, at the mercy of the mist that sweeps in frequently.
Thangkharang Park :
Thangkharang Park, located at a distance of 12 km from Cherrapunjee. Overlooking the Kynrem Falls, the park is located on the edge of a cliff. This park is under the vigilance of State Forest Department Control. Inside the park, visitors can see the Khoh Ramhah rock, which in its shape is like an upside down basket. There is a small bridge that helps visitor to reach the other section of the park and offers a stunning view of the plains and the valley. Monsoon is the best time to visit the park and the Khoh Ramhah rock, when the entire valley is covered in lush greenery.
Dainthlen Falls :
Dainthlen Waterfalls is a good picnic spot located at 5 kms from Cherrapunji. Legend goes that the people of the land killed a big snake that lived in the cave nearby. Being a soft waterfall, you may not hear the roaring sounds of water falling but still, the atmosphere is electric. Tourists visiting the waterfall can explore the natural rock carvings of the snake, which represent the symbol of evil, greed and corruption. Tourists from across the world visit here to see this beautiful waterfalls and the nearby natural rock carvings which depict the battle with the Thlen, that stands as a symbol of corruption, greed and evil. It is soft and does not produce any roaring sound when it falls from a height which is not too steep either.
How To Reach :
By Air : The nearest Airport is Guwahati airport (170 km), Which is well connected to all major city of India.
By Rail : The nearest Railway station is Guwahati Railway station (170 km). Which is well connected to the entire country and regular trains carry passengers to and fro.
By Road : The Meghalaya tourism department runs a daily tourist bus service to Cherrapunji which takes the tourists to all the important attractions of the place.
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