Cherrapunjee is a hill station in the North East Indian state of Meghalaya. Located at an altitude of 1430 meters, Cherrapunjee is famous for having very high rainfall. The nearby village of Mawsynram (Arial distance of about 15 km) has recorded the highest rainfall in the world. The Bangladesh Border and the plains of Bangladesh are quite close to here. Cherrapunjee is surrounded by beautiful valleys and hills which attract many tourists from India and abroad.
The place is locally known as ‘Sohra’ - a subdivision town in the East Khasi Hill District. The British mispronounced the word Sohra as Cherra and the Bengali word Punjee, meaning a cluster, got added to the name later. In 2007, the state government, at the request of the locals, removed the name Cherrapunjee and reinstated the original name of Sohra. However, in tourist parlance, Cherrapunjee continues to remain the name of the place.
For anyone who loves the monsoon rain, Cherrapunjee is the ideal place to visit. The beauty of this place lies in its almost mythical mystic nature throughout the year. There are waterfalls, caves and living roots bridges in the nearby area.
Nearest Rail station / Airport in Guwahati. It is located 150 km from and takes about 4 hours to reach Cherrapunji / Sohra from Guwahati. Many tourists also visit the area as part of a day tour from Shillong. The capital of Meghalaya, Shillong is located about 55 km away and the travel time is a couple of hours.
The total population of the town is about 15,000 according to the 2011 census. The majority of the population is Khasi, though there are other communities as well. It is the homeland of the Khasi tribal community.
Winter and Monsoon are the dominant weather in Cherrapunjee because of heavy rainfall throughout the year. Cherrapunjee holds two Guinness world records for the maximum amount of rainfall.
Living Root Bridge
Living Root Bridge is one of the major attractions for tourists here. This bridge is a marvel of local tribal engineering. The Khasi people join the root of Rubber trees and over the years the living roots of the tree form a bridge that is used by people to cross water streams. It is an excellent example of the harmonious co-existence of humans with Nature. There are several living root bridges spread over Meghalaya, and all of them have to be reached on foot. There are two such living root bridges near Cherrapunjee one of which is a double-decker root bridge.
Meghalaya is famous for its innumerable caves. Caving enthusiasts from all over the world visit Meghalaya for its caving experience. The Mawsmai cave is the most touristic and easily accessible cave that can be accessed by almost anyone. It is situated close to Sohra. There are pathways, handrails, stairs and bridges built inside the cave and there are also halogen lights inside. Most of the cave is wide and high enough for a person to move freely, however, there are certain areas where one may need to seat down or even crawl partially. For most people who have never experienced caving, this is an experience of a lifetime. The entry and exit points to the cave are different here.
This is one of the largest and the best waterfalls in the area and can be seen from a variety of angles. On a clear day during monsoon, this place can give you some amazing views. The waterfall is 340 meters in height.