Cherrapunji located in Meghalaya is a beautiful valley that is located at a distance of 56 km from Shillong, the state capital. It is set at an altitude of 4,500km above the ground and provides one of the most majestic views in India. Cherrapunji is also known for orange honey, orange groves, and limestone caves. Due to this, Cherrapunji is also known as Sohra or Churra, means "orange country."
Another notable feature of Cherrapunji is that its cliffs offer spectacular vistas of Bangladesh's plains and it has the fourth highest waterfall in the world, the Nohkalikai Falls, which sits at a distance of 5 km from the hill station. Cherrapunji is in the middle of the jungle and one of the few places where you can find living bridges, where people have cultivated techniques for growing roots from trees into large bridges over many years. Typically, the process takes 10015 years and the bridges persist for several hundred years, with some of the oldest spans in use reaching over 500 years old.
As reported by Guinness World Records, this misty valleys have the distinction of being the wettest place on earth, where rain is measured in feet, not millimeters. There are no other places on earth that have as much rain as Cherrapunji, which boasts the second-highest rainfall on earth, with 2,300 km of rainfall over two years. It is also popularly known to be the only place in the country that rains throughout the year. This is because monsoon clouds coming in from the Bay of Bengal are stopped by the high ridges of Cherrapunji which in turn, makes the town affected by monsoons from both the North-East and the South-West. Despite the amount of rain, the town has a serious water shortage, and inhabitants must travel considerable distances for getting fresh water. However, as a result of the frequent rain, soil erosion has impoverished Cherrapunji's land and the surrounding valleys of the hill station.
Best Time To Visit
Cherrapunji is one of those rare places which can be visited at any given time of the year because of its pleasant weather. While some say it is better to visit the hill station from September to October, some say Cherrapunji's weather is gorgeous during the months of November to February. Based on tourists scores, it has been revealed that most of the tourists prefer visiting Cherrapunji from early March to late April and therefore, the hill station can be very crowded during that time of the year.
Even though it rains in Cherrapunji during all the seasons, the weather of the hill station witnesses certain variations, despite being cloudy most of the time. The rainy season at Cherrapunji is humid, generally overcast, and warm, whereas the dry season is chilly and comparatively clearer.
The temperature generally ranges from 5°C to 23°C throughout the year, with temperatures seldom falling below 2.7°C or rising beyond 25°C. Starting from mid-May to the end of November, the warm season persists for almost 6 months, with an average daily high temperature of above 21°C. However, from mid-December to the first week of February, the chilly season persists for a little over 1.5 months, with an average daily high temperature below 16.5°C. While August 15 is thought to be the warmest day in Cherrapunji, January 12 is considered to be the coldest day of the year.
How To Reach Cherrapunji
The Government of Meghalaya has received a Dauphin helicopter from Air Pawan Hans to conduct regular air services to passengers on the Guwahati- Shillong-Tura sector. After arriving in Shillong, it is very easy to take a bus or cab for reaching Cherrapunji.
The nearest railhead to Cherrapunji is Guwahati which is at a distance of 181 kilometres from the hill station. From Guwahati's Paltan Bazaar station, one might either ride a bus or rent a cab.
Cherrapunji is 60 kilometres from Shillong which is Meghalaya's capital. There is a steep motorable road that goes up to Cherrapunji. From Shillong, buses and taxis run to Cherrapunji.