Visiting Cherrapunji

Have you ever wondered How Cherrapunji the world’s wettest place on the earth is? Well I did, when the monsoon rains ravaged Chennai. Cherrapunji also known by the common name Sohra is widely regarded as the one of the wettest places on the earth. Cherrapunji receives an average rainfall of 11,777 mm per year. This incredible statistics inspired me to explore Cherrapunji.

I somehow managed to reach Guwahati by flight but the real adventure starts from the road trip to Sohra (‘that’s how the locals call Cherrapunji’). It took me five hours to Cherrapunji but the on road scenery is best I have ever experienced. The magnificent view of Khasi hills is a treat to every traveller. The monsoon rains made the forest and farmlands astonishingly green.

Once, I have arrived at Cherrapunji the whole green pasture which entertained me through the gruelling five-hour travel had vanished. The effect of heavy rainfall is clearly visible in the Eroded hills and scattered forest lands of Cherrapunji. I had made sure that I visit Cherrapunji during its monsoon season which is July and nature didn’t disappoint me. Most tourists opt to visit Cherrapunji when the weather is calm and sunny but What’s the point in visiting the rainiest place when there will be no rain. This my kind of travel and it is way too extreme if you are visiting Cherrapunji during monsoon.

The nature and climate of Cherrapunji may be extreme and hostile but the landscape is truly breathtaking. Sohra is the home of countless waterfalls which flows in hysterical velocity. Some of the waterfalls fall directly on the roads!. I had pre booked a guesthouse and the room was warm and aesthetically designed to comfort the travellers during gruelling monsoon. I had retired to bed early to recover from my tiredness.

The early morning of Cherrapunji welcomed me with rain. After all, I am at World’s rainiest place during its rainiest month. I unpacked my arsenal and armed myself with a raincoat and started to explore Sohra.

The heavy rainfall at Cherrapunji had created many caves all around its hills. Most of the caves are not accessible for tourists but some can be reached by road. The world inside these caves are quite contradicting to the world we live in. Inside the caves of Sohra you can see many new creatures and I spotted several bat species which I had never seen before. The different limestone formations inside these caves can be admired for ages. But my stomach was craving for some food so I left the caves with a heavy heart.

The unique landscape of Khasi hills of Sohra is the home of numerous waterfalls. The Nokhalikai is the most beautiful one of the lot. The thunderous noise of the waterfalls will test your eardrums, the heavy monsoon rains and clouds made the visibility down to zero. But the locals have informed me that Nokhalikai falls is better viewed during winter seasons.

Apart from caves and falls, hikes and trekking are quite famous in Cherrapunji so I made plans and arrangements for the next day and retired to my room. The locals had informed me that Nongirat village is good for hiking.

I left early in the morning to reach Nongirat village, where the “Double decker live root bridge” was waiting to invite me. The bridge is man-made using the live roots of an ancient rubber tree. These types of rubber trees can be seen only north-east India. After completing my hike to Nongirat village, I felt my trip at Cherrapunji was completed as my body temperature spiked up due to everyday drenching.

I returned to my concrete forest a couple of days later but the experience at the world’s rainiest place during it’s rainiest time will remain as one of the best memories I ever had.

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