The rivers, cliffs, bridges and waterfalls of Cherrapunji

The state of Meghalaya in India is home to Cherrapunji, which was known for getting the highest rainfall in India. Strangely, the perennial rains do not provide adequate potable water to the inhabitants of Sohra (the historical name for Cherrapunji meaning ‘land of oranges’), and many of them trek several miles to get potable water.

Cherrapunji enjoys a unique climate, and its pristine beauty with fresh dew drops from the rain can rejuvenate your body & spirit. The waterfalls in the region complement the climate and the pleasant surroundings. The Noh Sngithiang falls, Dain Thelen falls, and Noh Kalikai falls are among the important waterfalls in the region. The Cliffs of Cherrapunji also offer an alluring view of the Bangladesh’s plains resembling a beautiful green carpet.

As a tourist, you’ll have plenty to look forward to when it comes to sites, experiences, and unbelievable views. Living Double Decker Root Bridge is made up of Indian rubber tree, connecting the two sides of Umshiang River flowing beneath. It presents an innovative mix of engineering and nature. Krem Phyllut to the south of Cherrapunji is known for its caves. The caves have three separate entrances and two river passages within the caves. Locals, as well as tourists, can always be seen crowding the caves.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

There are numerous mysterious and astonishing cave systems around Meghalaya. The most popular among them is the Maswmai Cave located about 6 km from Cherrapunji. These caves are well lit and provide an astounding view for the visitors. Dawki is in the Jaintia Hills and represents a small town on the border with Bangladesh and is famous for the river Umngot. Tourists flock here for a boat ride on the Umngot River. If you’d like to head to the river, book a cab from Shillong. This town is also a major centre for Indo-Bangladesh trade.

Mawlynnong is a small village in the eastern Khasi district and was the recipient of the cleanest villages in Asia award in 2003 and again for the cleanest Indian village in 2005. Mawlynnong is often referred to as ‘God’s own garden.’ This town is a sight to behold especially during monsoon with all around lush greenery. The natural beauty of the village is enhanced by the waterfalls and abundant flowers.  Every individual in the village is responsible for keeping the village clean, and bamboo garbage bins can be seen at every nook and corner. This village is about 100 kilometres from Cherrapunji and offers an alluring view of the vast fields of the bordering Bangladesh.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Nohkalikai is the 4th highest among all waterfalls globally and falls from about 335 metres off a verdant cliff portraying natural and immense magnificence. This waterfall is considered the pride of the state of Meghalaya and figures among other grand and beautiful waterfalls in India. Abundant vegetarian and non-vegetarian food options are available in Cherrapunji. Momos and rice beer are the specialities of the region - do not give them a miss.

The ideal time to visit Cherrapunji is when it receives minimal rainfall. November to April receives the least rainfall and is the best time to visit the region while facing the rains as little as possible. The temperatures in winter can drop to 5 degree Celsius, so you should avoid those months if you do not prefer lower temperatures. The nearest airport is in Shillong whereas the closest railway station is in Guwahati. The easiest way to reach Cherrapunji is to book a taxi with Savaari Car Rentals from Shillong all the way up to Cherrapunji. The steep mist covered road offers an enticing experience during the journey. Regular bus services are also available from police bazaar bus stand in Shillong. Happy Vacationing!

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