The hills of Cherrapunji are untouched by the dull hands of busy metropolis lives. This region is not yet exploited and this fact adds to their charm, giving all tourists a chance at exploration.
Cherrapunji is the only place in India that experiences monsoon season throughout the year. Tourists love to visit this place because of its hazy valleys, foaming rivers, rolling clouds and healthy flora and fauna. It has many spectacular waterfalls, parks and caves that intrigue a travellers. The view of these falls become extremely rewarding during the monsoons.
HOW TO REACH
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.
Buses for Cherrapunji leave from the Sohra Bus Stand in the Bara Bazaar area of Shillong.
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.
WHAT TO SEE
Double Decker Root Bridge:-
This bridge is amongst the premier attractions of Cherrapunji. It is situated in the Tyma Village and acts as the pride of successful bio-engineering. Basically, it is a 100 feet long, two-tier living root bridge. It gets across at least 50 people or more at one point of time. For such a bridge to become fully functional, a period of 10 to 15 years is required. The best quality about it is that it gets stronger everyday.
Located at a distance of 5 km from Cherrapunji, they act as perfect picnic spots, furnishing a pleasant drive full with scenic beauty to look around for, in order to reach here. Rangjyrthej is a village that lies near these falls that is worth a visit. There is an interesting legend associated with the falls. It is believed that people killed a huge snake living in the caves nearby this place and the natural rock carving made by the snake can still be seen.
David Scott Memorial:-
It is monument which was erected by the British in recognition of David Scott who was considered as the most zealous, able and intelligent servant of that time.
For people seeking little adventure, these monoliths are a must. Many monoliths that were built in the memory of ancestors lie scattered around Cherrapunji. One of them in particular, has beautiful intricate structure of interconnecting underground passages that lie beneath old caves.
Krem Mawmluh Cave:-
It is just half a kilometer to west of Cherrapunji and is considered to be India’s forth longest cave located at a height of 4503 m. The main attractions of this cave include a pool formed by five rivers which are entering the cave and the main entrance which is at a height of 10 km above sea level.
Cherrapunjee Theological College at Nongsawlia:-
It was established in 1888 by the Welsh Presbyterian Missionaries and imparts training to the local preachers to spread Christianity.
Nongsawlia Presbyterian Church:-
This famous church was established by Rev. Thomas Jones in 1846 who brought Christianity in this region.
These waterfalls lie at a distance of 5 km from Cherrapunji. They are very popular as they have earned the title of being fourth highest waterfall in the world with a height of 1100 ft. The view of these waterfalls falling off a steep cliff is majestic especially during the monsoons.
It lies at a distance of 12 km from Cherrapunji. This park is directly under the control of the State forest department. This park overlooks the plains of Bangladesh, and provides a beautiful view of them. There is a nominal entry fee too.
Khoh Ramhah or the Basket of the Giant:-
If you move a few kilometers ahead from Thangkharang Park, you will spot an enormous stone resembling a Khasi basket. Local people of Cherrapunji believe that a giant used to carry this huge stone and hence its name, Khoh Ramhah or the Basket of the Giant.
These waterfalls can be seen from the Thangkharang Park, as they are placed at an altitude of 1000 feet.
Even though Cherrapunji is not a shopper’s paradise, a tourists can pick up some souvenirs in remembrance of their stay at this beautiful wet city. While here, a person must shop for oranges which are famous even in Central India. Sayang and Saflang are popular fruits grown locally in the regions. These are packed in banana leaves and sold on the local street markets around the city.
Cherrapunji is famous for its oranges. Apart from this, rice is the staple food of this region. Fish and meat are also consumed. Khasis also ferment rice-beer, and make spirit out of rice or millets by distillation. Use of rice-beer is a must for every ceremonial and religious occasion.