Cherrapunji, traditionally called as Sohra, is known to the world as the wettest place on earth. Though this credit now goes to Mawsynram, Cherrapunji still maintains its supremacy in terms of its amazing tourist attractions. Cherrapunji is located at about 60 km from Shillong in the East Khasi district of Meghalaya and is famous for its pristine beauty, spectacular waterfalls, root bridges, caves, valleys, and several fascinating natural attractions. Unlike Shillong, Cherrapunji has not yet fully commercialized. The city is well known for its single and double-decker root bridges, the trekking to which is highly risky and adventurous. Travellers who plan to visit Meghalaya can combine Cherrapunji and Shillong in their travel plan. Taxis and regular bus services are available from Shillong to Cherrapunji.
Double Decker Living Root Bridges: Cherrapunji is the only place in Asia to have double-decker living root bridges. Trek to these bridges is quite difficult as it involves thousands of steps. The Umshiang Double-Decker Root Bridge, Mawsaw living root bridges, The Ummunoi Root bridges, and Umkar Root Bridge are the famous root bridges one should visit in Cherrapunji.
Seven Sister Waterfalls: Also known as Nohsngithiang falls, this spectacular waterfall plunges from a height of over 1000 feet and consists of seven segments.
Nohkalikai Waterfalls: It has an amazing height of 1115 feet and is considered as the tallest plunge waterfalls in India.
Wah Kaba Falls: It is also known as Canyon Waterfalls due to its locational significance that resembles a canyon.
Mawsmai Caves: These caves are narrow and dark, and are known for their stalagmite and stalactite formations. It is quite adventurous to explore these caves.
Arwah Lumshynna Cave: This cave is easy to approach and the approach path has beautiful flowers, greenery and vegetation. Million years old fossils of birds and fish can be seen here.
U Lum Lawshynna Caves: A stream runs through this 1 km long cave and the travellers get the feeling of walking in a river.
Mawmluh Caves: This cave is 4.5 km long and is one of the longest caves in India.
Mawkdok Dympep Valley Viewpoint: This viewpoint offers stunning views of the valley and the Cherrapunji town.
Ka Khoh Ramhah Park: Also known as the Pillar Rock, it is a nice picnic spot, which has a huge rock in the shape of a cone.
Eco Park: It is one of the cleanest parks in Cherrapunji, which offers beautiful views of the Green Canyons.
In addition to the above, there are many other places to visit in Cherrapunji including Thangkharang Park,Khasi Monoliths, Ramakrishna Mission Ashram, Don Bosco Shrine, Presbyterian Church, etc.
Though Cherrapunji cannot be characterized as a shopper’s paradise, it is an ideal place to buy handicrafts made from cane and bamboo, tribal jewelry, wooden artifacts including mementos and furniture, woven Khasi shirts, fabrics, and many other traditional items. Best quality orange flavored honey is a popular item in Cherrapunji. One can also buy fresh spices and Meghalaya tea of distinct flavor and taste.
Pork momos, jado, rice and red meat dishes, especially pork, are the popular dishes in Cherrapunji. Assamese and Khasi flavors can be found widely in the cuisine. Sohra Pulao is a specialty dish cooked with vegetable and oil, but without spices. One can also taste South Indian dosa and idli, Chinese noodles, and North Indian non-vegetarian dishes in some restaurants. Some of the good restaurants in the town include Orange Roots, Avroon Restaurant, and Chef Cherrapunjee.
Unlike Shillong, Cherrapunji is not highly commercialized and one cannot expect too many bars, cafes, restaurants and entertainment centers in this rainy city. The city goes to sleep early in the night, but those who want to have drinks and entertainment can enjoy at their hotel or resort.
There are several wonderful natural attractions in Cherrapunji including waterfalls, caves, root bridges, etc., which provide a lot of memorable moments to the visitors. Besides sightseeing activities, travellers can involve in adventurous trekking, rock climbing, canoeing, cave exploring, and camping. In the evening, few hours can be spent in the markets for shopping the traditional items of Cherrapunji.