In school all of us have studied in geography that Cherrapunjee is the wettest place in the world. Ironically when I visited Cherrapunjee there was no sign of rain and it was a bright sunny day. But beyond the rains, Cherrapunjee is a fascinating place.
Cherrapunjee which is also known Sohra is 60 km away from Shillong.
Places to visit in Cherrapunjee are :
1) Mawkdok Dympep valley : Mawkdok view point offers a stunning view of the green valley. Mawkdok valley is famous for Zip-Lining. It is one of the finest places to Zip-line in India. One can Zipline at a height of 500 Feet and enjoy the Bird's eye view of the valley.
Ready to Zipline
Mawkdok Dympep Valley viewpoint
2) Nohkalikai Falls : Nohkalikai Falls is the tallest plunge waterfall in India. Its height is 1115 Feet. There is an interesting story about this waterfall. There was a young woman named Ka Likai who had a daughter from her earlier marriage. Her second husband loathed her daughter. One day on returning home after work she was surprised to see that her husband had prepared an evening meal for her. Likai ate the meal without suspicion,she later discovered her daughter's fingers in the betal nut basket. Distraught with grief and remorse she rushed to the nearby cliffs and threw herself over the precipice adjoining the waterfalls. After that incident the fall was named NOHKALIKAI which means the Leap of Likai. Interesting story,isn't it ? Since this waterfall has the tallest plunge,the view of this falls is absolutely breathtaking, it is definitely one of the most photogenic falls in India.
3) Mawsmai Caves : These caves will leave you spellbound. This magnificent wonder is the handiwork of years of natural abrasion and underground water. Mawsmai cave is one of the most popular attraction in Cherrapunjee. This is one of the few caves which one can explore without a guide.The cave has a narrow entry and boasts of magical scenery inside.
4) Seven Sister Falls : Also known as Nohsngithiang Falls. These waterfalls have a picturesque setting. There are 7 different streams of waterfall. It is believed that each stream symbolizes one of the seven sister states of North-East India. During summers it is difficult to spot all the seven streams of the fall. But during monsoons it looks absolutely dramatic and amazing.
Seven Sister falls during monsoon
Meghalaya beyond Shillong and Cherrapunjee :
Though Shillong and Cherrapunjee continue to remain the most visited places in Meghalaya. There are some other places which are gaining tourist attention and are worth visiting. They are :
Dawki River : Dawki is situated on the south-eastern border of Meghalaya. And is 82 km from Shillong. Dawki is located in Jaintia Hills and is near the Bangladesh border. Dawki river is a hidden paradise. The river has crystal clear water. Boating is the best way to enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of the river. The water is so clear that you can even see the stones and pebbles inside the river. The efforts of the local people is worth appreciating, they have maintained the cleanliness of the river and the surrounding.
Mawlynnong : Mawlynnong which is situated in the East Khasi Hill District was declared Asia's Cleanest Village. This village is also known as God's Own Garden. The village has 100% literacy rate and has a woman empowered scenario that the rest of the world can only dream of achieving. This village is governed by the rules that were set by the tribes. The children get their mother's surname, the wealth is passed on from the mother to the youngest daughter of the family. The people of this village are very friendly and welcoming. Plastic bags and smoking are strictly prohibited in this village. This village has special bamboo dustbins everywhere. Even the dried leaves are thrown straight into the dustbin. People not only sweep their own houses, but also sweep the road outside their house. Now you know why Mawlynnong is the cleanest village in Asia.
Double-Decker Living root bridge in Nongrait Village : The living root bridges of Meghalaya is an innovative way of using nature's abundance for connectivity. These living root bridges are examples of how nature along with human efforts can create marvels. These bridges are man made by weaving in the roots of rubber trees around a betal tree truck placed across a stream. The roots keep growing. After 10-15 years the desired bridge is completed. There are many single decker root bridges in Meghalaya, but the double-decker bridge in Nongrait is the most famous one. Visiting the Double-decker root bridge is not very easy as the trek is a long and tiring one. But the trek is a rewarding experience and is a journey which is hard to forget.
Spending few days in Meghalaya is like going on a date with your own soul. Meghalaya is the perfect place to witness nature-man harmony. Everything about Meghalaya is so beautiful,be it the hills,waterfalls,rivers or the people. The tagline of Meghalaya is "Half way to heaven" and indeed this place is close to heaven.
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