With high expectations I kept on gazing towards the sky. A dark grey cloud surrounded by its fairer companions hovering over the distant hills kept chasing my cab and grew in stature as I entered Cherrapunji. It was an invigorating moment. After all, I was about to experience rainfall in the wettest place on earth! My joy knew no bounds when the first droplet grazed my eyelashes. To my utter dismay, Sohra (historical name of Cherrapunji) had different plans for me. I roamed around the entire day in anticipation, only to realize at the end that the first raindrop to fall on me was indeed the last one. Sohra (Cherrapunji) is a 2.5 hour drive from the state capital, Shillong. The scenic meandering road cuts across the East Khasi hills offering spellbinding views of numerous waterfalls and deep gorges. Predictably there are several places along the road with designated viewpoints.
With every bend of the road, I expected a change in the landscape, searching for a steep climb, expecting huge mountains to emerge from the horizon and hoping the clouds to transform to a menacing greyish hue. My over enthusiasm had made me forget the fact that I was driving from Shillong to Cherrapunjee which are at similar heights above the sea level and I was unlikely to encounter steep ghats and hairpin bends. I came to my senses when my driver suddenly stopped the car and asked me to venture out for another view point. Seeing the deep gorges and the first waterfall of my visit I realized that I was already at 4000 feet above sea level.
Rarely have I seen such a beautiful plunge pool at the end of a fall. Falling straight as an arrow from a height of 1000 feet, this is the most beautiful fall in Cherrapunji. The blue puddle is a unique feature of Nokkalikai Falls and is best viewed on a bright sunny day. I was fortunate to get a glimpse of it during a brief period of sunshine.