Cherrapunji is a small town located in the state of Meghalaya in northeastern India, and is known for its lush greenery and abundant rainfall. It is a popular tourist destination. Here are the top 12 places to visit in Cherrapunji:
Umshiang Double-Decker Root Bridge is an exceptional example of a living root bridge in India, located in Meghalaya. To reach this unique bridge, one must trek for 45 km from Cherrapunji, covering a total of 6500 steps. Along the way, visitors can also witness a nearby waterfall. Unfortunately, due to the influx of tourists, the health of the root bridge has suffered. However, it remains a symbol of pride for Meghalaya, as evidenced by its presentation at the 70th Republic Day ceremony. In order to showcase the impressive craft of building bridges from secondary roots, a replica of the bridge has been constructed in Nangrighat, Cherrapunji. The living root bridges, grown from rubber trees, take around 25 years to mature and can carry the weight of 50 people, operating for an impressive 500 years. These bridges are even honored as the "Tajmahal of Meghalaya." As the roots grow stronger, the bridge becomes even more robust, making them truly unique and remarkable structures.
Nohkalikai Falls in Cherrapunji is a stunning example of natural beauty, cascading 1115 feet amidst lush rainforests. Renowned as the "Fourth Highest Plunge Waterfall in the World," this awe-inspiring landmark is a must-visit destination for travelers exploring the Northeast. The picturesque hiking trail and breathtaking scenery attract numerous hikers and photographers to the area. At the pinnacle of the waterfall, there is a lookout point that offers magnificent views of the cascade and the deep pool below. The lagoon-style pool undergoes a stunning transformation, shifting from aqua to blue to green as time passes.
Mawmluh Cave, located in the small village of Mawmluh near Cherrapunji, Meghalaya, is a must-visit destination for adventure seekers. Known locally as Krem Mawmluh, it is one of the most prominent caves in the region and is considered the fourth longest cave in the Indian subcontinent, boasting over 7 km of cave passages. The cave is situated at an altitude of 4,503 m and requires a trek of around 30 minutes across the mountain and rocky ledges to reach the entrance. Once inside, visitors can marvel at the stunning stalagmite formations and other rock formations, as well as a pool that has formed as a result of five different rivers making their way into the cave. However, visitors should be prepared for a challenging adventure as some areas of the cave are completely submerged underwater during monsoons and some passages require waist-deep pools, belly crawls, and climbs.
During the colonial era, David Scott worked for the East India Company. Sincere and committed to his job, he gave it his all every day. Soon after, he was sent to the North-East Frontier of Bengal as an agent of the Governor-General. He passed away on August 20, 1831. The memorials were built in Saitsohpen to remember David Scott. On one of the monument's pillars is a dedication from the British Raj. The David Scott Memorial Trail is a favorite among hikers.
Dainthlen is one of the most powerful sights you will come across—a gushing waterfall that cuts through the hard rocks and the high plateau of Sohra before it cascades down into lush forests. It is also a culturally significant place for the Khasi tribe. During the drier seasons, you will be able to see the hard, rocky, potholed river bed leading to the falls. According to local folktales, this spot is where a great battle was fought. The Thlen was a giant serpent, an embodiment of evil, who was finally vanquished by the local residents of an ancient village that is now Sohra. The thundering sound of the Dainthlen Falls, the open landscape, the surrounding hillocks, and the capricious winds that constantly blow here provide an apt setting for such a grand legend.
Thangkharang Park is one of the top draws of Cherrapunji, situated just 12 km away from the city center. Adjacent to the Khoh Ramhah rock, the park provides a breathtaking view of Bangladesh, with meandering roads adding to the charm. Visitors can witness the captivating Kynrem falls cascading down in three levels, while two-foot bridges offer mesmerizing views of the expansive lush valleys and plains. The park is also home to the Khoh Ramrah rock, famously known as the Shiva Rock, situated opposite the park's entry gate. This massive rock is in the shape of a lingam and adds to the park's allure. During the monsoon season, a small crossover bridge offers visitors an even more thrilling experience as they can witness the water stream cascading below. The State Forest Department Control manages and maintains the park, ensuring visitors can appreciate the lush greenery and natural beauty to the fullest. A visit to Thangkharang Park is a must for anyone visiting Cherrapunji and seeking to experience its natural splendor.
The Um-Nyankanah River is crossed by this enormous stone pillar-supported megalithic bridge. Local lore claims that the Jaintia Kings gave the order to construct this bridge during the Middle Ages. They built a number of these megalithic bridges over a period of 100 years to facilitate trade between their capital cities and to give their armies a means of communication and movement. This stone bridge is one of the historical sites in Meghalaya that history buffs and heritage enthusiasts must see.
Cherrapunjee is home to the mighty Nohsngithiang Falls, which descends from the East Khasi hills into the Bangladeshi plains with nothing but the force of nature. The 1035-foot-tall waterfall is an impressive sight. Seven separate streams come together to form this massive waterfall, hence its alternative name, the Seven Sisters. In the monsoon, when the water crashes down the limestone hills with such a mighty force, the scenery is even more breathtaking. From the splendid sights to the roaring noise, the fun will be at its peak. Nohsngithiang Falls, Cherrapunjee is an attractive sight. When the sunlight strikes the water, a prismatic effect happens. The Water seems to glow. The south-westerly location of the waterfall is a delight as the sun illuminates its beauty from sunrise to sunset. A rainbow is a frequent sight, and the lucky ones may be blessed with the benevolence of nature.
Mawsynram is a serene hamlet located in the East Khasi Hill district, just 15 km from Cherrapunji, and it holds the distinction of being the wettest place on Earth, receiving an annual rainfall of over 11,000 mm. The copious rainfall drenches the village in greenery, and the houses are covered in thick grass to muffle the deafening sound of the downpour.
Despite the surge in tourism, Cherrapunji remains a peaceful haven, offering solace and seclusion to those seeking an escape from the frenzied city life. For nature enthusiasts, Mawsynram is a must-visit during the peak monsoon season, when the vibrant hues of the landscape come to life. The people of Mawsynram are known for their warm hospitality and friendly nature, making it one of the safest destinations in India.
The Meghalaya government created Eco Park as a tourist destination, perched on a high plateau. From the top of the hill, you can witness breathtaking views of the lush green hills intersected by waterfalls, as well as the Sohra valley. The park also boasts a serene blue stream. A stunning crossover bridge offers sweeping vistas of the verdant Sohra canyons and the expansive Sylhet Plains of Bangladesh. Home to an incredible variety of orchids and the source of Nohsngithiang Falls, Eco Park is easily accessible via road from Shillong. It showcases the diverse beauty of India's North-Eastern landscape and is a must-visit tourist spot in Cherrapunji.
Located on the southeastern edge of Meghalaya, Dawki is a charming and picturesque town situated approximately 82 kilometers from Shillong. Nestled in the embrace of the Jaintia Hills, the journey to Dawki is full of exciting twists and turns, with lush vines and deep gorges dotting the landscape. The town's main attraction is the stunning emerald-green Umngot River, which meanders through it. This river is renowned for being one of the cleanest in India, a remarkable feat in itself. It flows between the Jaintia and Khasi Hills before emptying into Bangladesh. Boating on the Umngot River is an incredible experience, almost like floating on a sheet of clear glass. Dawki also offers adventure activities such as kayaking, camping, zip-lining, and snorkeling, making it a true wonderland and one of the most beautiful places to explore in Cherrapunji.
The Mawkdok Dympep Valley is an irresistible attraction on the Shillong-Cherrapunji highway. With its vast expanse of lush greenery, it beckons to all nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. The most exhilarating way to enjoy it is by ziplining, feeling the refreshing breeze and the rush of aerial sports.
The valley is accessible via a series of descending steps. Against the backdrop of cool, cloudy skies that transform into a gorgeous orange at sunset, the valley's sprawling beauty is truly breathtaking. So, take a break from your drive and treat yourself to a short, invigorating trip to this enchanting valley.