Perched high above the foaming rivers and misty valleys, surrounded by swirling clouds on a ridge, lays Cherrapunji (4500 ft). If you’ve been thinking of planning a vacation to some famous tourist destination, you may opt for this one which got a much-coveted entry into the Guinness Book of World Record as the wettest place on Earth, a place where rainfall can be measured in feet rather than in millimeters. Recently, the climatic changes may have eliminated this place from the slot of topmost wet place but yet it retains its unusual facets, pristine beauty, perpetual mists and clouds. Appropriately, Cherrapunji lies in the state of Meghalaya which is also called the abode of clouds.
A short history of Cherrapunji – A retrospective glance
Previously, the faces of Cherrapunji didn’t change with the seasons but with the pattern of rainfall it received. The heaviest rainfall spans for 5 long months from the month of May till September. The dark and menacing clouds are fully blown with rain and it was said to have descended on earth with the force of a whiplash. Throughout these months, Cherrapunji turns into a sea of gushing streamlets everywhere. The drops of rain beat endlessly on treetops and rooftops creating an interesting tattoo of awesome sounds which can’t be found in any of the North East states. 1861 was a record-breaking year when there was 22,988 mm of rainfall in this place.
The Khasis and the other residents of this place, the flora and the fauna respond according to the change of mood of Rain God. You will soon find soft shades of gray skies and rainbows which can become a photographer’s delight. Rainbows continue to make unanticipated guest appearances throughout this time of the year.
Best places to visit in and around Cherrapunji
Cherrapunji being a scenic town in Meghalaya is known to be the only place in India which receives rainfall throughout the year. Here are few destinations which you should visit in this place.
- Nohkalikai Falls: Nohkalikai Falls is one of the best destinations in Cherrapunji. The splendid waterfall is the tallest plunge waterfall in India as it falls from a height of 1115 feet. This is also the 4th highest waterfall in the world. The waterfall roars while on its way down and this is a breathtaking sight.
- Mawsmai Cave: Nature has got its dark side too. Once you visit Mawsmai Cave, you will get a thrilling experience as you explore the darkness now being aware of how long you have been walking through the cave, squeezing yourself and trying hard not to get hit on your head. When the cave is lit, you can enjoy the minute details of the cave and also notice the formation of rocks.
- Thangkharang Park: Overlooking the Kynrem Falls, 12 km away from the city, the Thangkharang Park is located at the edge of a cliff. From there you get to see the 180 degree view of the Bangladesh plains and so are the beautiful views of the majestic and mighty hills and Kynrem Falls.
- Dainthlen Falls: Dainthlen Falls is situated around 5 km away from the city. As per prevalent stories, the people there killed a big snake which lived nearby the cave. The rock carvings which you find there seem to represent symbols of evil and greed. This one being a soft waterfall doesn’t have roaring sounds and the atmosphere there is electric.
When is the best time to visit Cherrapunji?
The weather conditions in this town remain comfortable and pleasant almost throughout the year. As mentioned earlier, this place receives heavy rainfall throughout the year. Hence, the best time to visit Cherrapunji is between the months of October and May as the weather then remains pleasant and cool. Summer in Cherrapunji starts with the coming of March and ends with the month of May. May is considered to be the wettest summer month and therefore it is best to avoid the month of May.
Therefore, if you’re planning to be a witness to this place which shares a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, you can definitely plan a trip to this awesome landscape.