India Explored: Destinations: Cherrapunjee: Posted By Arunchs



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Posted on: Sunday , May 18, 2008 At 13:02 PM

Destinations: Cherrapunjee

It is the right time to be in Cherrapunjee. It pours heavily in monsoons, but some rains would have started in April and it will be pleasant this time. It can drizzle once in a while and can be intermittently foggy and sunny.

Overview. Needless to say, Cherrapunjee was known as the place where it rains the most on earth. How-ever, most of us don't know that Cherrapunjee does not bear the crown anymore, which is now lost to Mawsynram, 2 hours away from Cherrapunjee. 'Cherra' is how  it is usually called by people from surrounding regions. But in pre-British days, Cherrapunjee's original name was Sohra. The government of Meghalaya has now re-instated this name, and Cherrapunjee is now officially Sohra.

plateau of Cherrapunjee

Orientation. Cherrapunjee is an hour's drive from Shillong. It is a high plateau with pleasant weather and can be cloudy most of the year. It rains heavily in the monsoon season, but intermittent rains keep falling much before. The plateua has some interesting places to see, such as waterfalls, limestone caves and green vistas all around. To the other end of the plateau is a deep fall and below it is Bangladesh border. Dawki, a checkpost on the border after Cherra is a place of crossing to Bangaladesh by road.

Places to see in Cherra are spread over a large area. There is no public transport to many of these places, and it would be necessary to hire a taxi to go from place to place. Alternatively, you can take day-trips conducted by Meghalaya Tourism that depart daily from Shillong. If you are staying for a long time, you can do many long pleasant walks.

Sightseeing and Activities

Nohkalikai Falls. This is one of the tallest waterfalls in India, second only to Jog Falls. A small narrow channel of water falls into a deep gorge, which can be witnessed from an opposing cliff or you can walk down the gorge. The waterfall is said to be named after a woman who fell from the cliff.

Nohkalikai Falls

Seven Sister Waterfall. This is a series of waterfalls that fall off a cliff overlooking Bangladesh. With no habitation or population anywhere in the view of the fall except a small tourist facility near the cliff, this place feels like no man's land. The fall is named so because on a good season you can see at least sevel different falls side-by-side falling off the cliff.

Seven Sister Falls

Mawsmai cave. This is a cave 250m long, which is part of the tourist itinerary. The cave is wide enough for a person to walk comfortably, and a local association has installed lighting for tourists. Interestingly, cave has two openings and you can walk out from the other end. There are a few more caves in this region, and adventure companies in Shillong can assist you in exploring them.

Mawsmai cave

Root bridges. A species of Rubber Tree that grow in the region have a peculiar character of spreading their roots flatly across streams. They grow near streams, and their roots tend congregate together and stretch across the stream, forming a natural bridge few feet wide. The locals have been using these bridges for many years. The region around Shillong have a few more odd attraction in terms of flora, such as insect eating Pitcher Plants.

Ramakrishna Mission. A Ramakrishan mission is established on the plateau of Cherrapunjee, which hosts a museum consisting of ancient artefacts that were used in everyday life of the tribals.

Mawkdok Valley. This is a long and green valley, and a beautiful stop-over on the way from Shillong to Cherrapunjee.

Mawkdok Valley

Eco-Park. An eco park has been established by the Meghalaya government in the plateau, which hosts a few flowers and an orchidarium.


Cherrapunjee town is a small settlement and you may not find many tourist amenities, so most people tend to stay in Shillong. Cherrapunjee Holiday Resorts is the only good option for staying in the plateau.

How to reach.

Cherrapunjee is an hour's drive from Shillong. You can hire a taxi for the trip. You can also choose to take daily sighseeing trips conducted by Meghalaya Tourism. They depart daily but is subject to availability of sufficient tourists for the day, so check ahead.

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By Meena| Posted on:25 Aug 2008

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By Meena| Posted on:25 Aug 2008

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By Meena| Posted on:25 Aug 2008

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By pOLo| Posted on:11 Jun 2008

Some of the info here is incredible... thanks a ton for sharing. Enjoy your posts tremendously
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By arunchs| Posted on:23 May 2008

@hit the road, haven't tasted Tamul. Tell me about it. @Uriah Heep, well, I have only one identity. And that is not what you are referring to :) But it would have been nice to roam around UA in a black pulsar though :)
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By Uriah Heep| Posted on:22 May 2008

nice photos..this time again.... you in your profile pic look like a guy called Salil from delhi...he uses a canon dlsr 350d and rides a black pulsar to a lot of places in the UA Hp hills... could you be him...i wonder
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By hit the road| Posted on:19 May 2008

You brought back those memories of my Cherrapunjee visit! Thanks...I had visited this fanastic place maybe 14 years back, and even then it didn't live up to its image of being the place with the highest rainall. The rumour of re-naming it to Sohra was there even then. Ah...the cave and the the way you tasted Tamul?
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