High above misty valleys and foaming rivers, ensconced in swirling clouds and perched on an escarpment, lies Cherrapunjee (4,500 feet). This is a stunning location and the year-round rain earned Cherrapunjee coveted entry long ago into the Guinness Book of World Records as the wettest place on earth, the place where the rainfall can be recorded in feet rather than in millimeters.Today, climatic changes have edged Cherrapunjee out of the topmost 'wet' slot, but it still retains its pristine beauty, its unusual facets, the perpetual clouds, and the perpetual mist.Appropriately, Cherrapunjee lies in the heart of the State of Meghalaya-the abode of clouds.
Things to see in Shillong (pts 1-10) & Cherrapunjee (pts 11-17)-
1- Shillong Peak is the highest peak of the province of Himalayas, standing at an altitude of 1,965 metre above the sea level. One of the most visited sites of the hill station, this peak provides a breathtaking view of Shillong city and Himalayan ranges. The star-studded night along with the city lights is a treat to witness.
2- Elephant Falls is among most popular tourist sites of the city. The waterfall is located in Upper Shillong area at a distance of 12 km from the capital city of Meghalaya and at a distance of 8 km from Rhino Point, the site can be advanced through public transport. The serene fall is a collection of three smaller falls that combine together to form the stream that falls over fern-covered rocks.
3- Wards Lake is an artificial lake that is enveloped within a widespread garden. Also known as Polok Lake, the water body is located in the middle of the city. The serene horse-shoe shaped lake is frequented by tourists, honeymooners and picnickers. Wards Lake offers numerous recreational activities such as boating, walks along with cobble-stoned paths and fountain dancing.
Along with the Wards Lake is a Botanical Garden that houses an extensive range of exotic plants and flowers.
4- Don Bosco Museum, is a theme museum that has a repository of information on the entire north eastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. The museum exhibits a wide collection of regional artwork, attires, accoutrements, handicrafts, ornamentation, photographs and weapons. Don Bosco Museum is situated within the Sacred Heart Church premises. The museum features seven storey building with seventeen galleries displaying artefacts, paintings and fibreglass items. Besides, the visitors can witness some of the rare dance forms of the Northeast at the top most storey of the museum.
5- Shillong Cathedral is one of the most ancient churches of the region. Heritage monument, known for its beautiful architecture, is a worship place of over 3,00,000 strong catholic in the region.
6- Laitlum Canyons is an upcoming tourist destination at Shillong in Meghalaya. This place is remarkable due to its natural environmental formation.Perched at great heights; it is in fact the edge of a hill which is surrounded by green hills and valleys. The view of grassy plus rocky hills all around and tiny villages far below is really magnificent. Walking down to the valley via an uneven rocky path is rather easy; however the climb uphill is a bit tedious and there is only one shop in the vicinity which offers simple snacks.Laitlum Canyons is not at all crowded and commercialized like other tourist places and is best suited for a secluded and peaceful break from the usual hustle bustle of city life. It is absolutely a paradise for trekkers and nature lovers.
7- Fondly known as the place to record the highest amount of rainfall on the planet, Mawsynram is an enchanting little village situated in the East Khasi Hills district of the state of Meghalaya. Flourishing with healthy green flora and fauna, the village is bound to appeal to the traveller in you, bringing out those suppressed feelings that get buried in our everyday corporate world.The botanical garden at Mawsynram is rich with varied and rare varieties of plants and fruits. If you are a fan of magnificent rock formations, do visit the Dwarksuid – a beautiful pool which is surrounded by eye-catching rocky banks. .
8- Lady Hydari Park encompasses a wide variety of local flowering plants and orchids, and is landscaped in Japanese style.Sprawling over an area of more than a kilometre, the park also features a mini zoo that comprises 73 species of birds, 140 of reptiles and other mammals. Besides, the park also houses a deer abode within it. The best grown blossoms, roses and red rose beds of various colours are the highlights of the park.Along with the garden and zoo, the park premises has a special play area for the children.
9- Meghalaya State Museum is a frequented tourist site that exhibits vast collection of artefacts of tribal era and a collection of ancient scriptures. The museum houses a habitat section displaying living places of tribes, instruments used for day-to-day activities such as hunting and fishing.
10- Mawjymbuin Caves are located at a distance of 56 km from Shillong. These are natural caves with many natural formations inside as well.The major draw here is a giant stalagmite in the shape of a Shivlinga. What adds to the curiosity is the fact that this Shivlinga is constantly bathed in water issuing from a stalactite shaped like a cow's udder.
Pilgrims, geologists, nature lovers, adventure seekers as well as photographers visit the Mawjymbuin Caves. The Mawjymbuin Caves are located near one of the wettest parts of the earth Chirapunjee