Located high above the misty valleys and the foaming rivers, Cherrapunji is a striking location in the heart of Meghalaya, a North Eastern state of India. The town of Cherrapunji is alighted on an escarpment and is always ensconced by the churn of clouds.
Situated at an elevation of 4,690 ft Cherrapunji is considered as one of the wettest places on the Earth. Cherrapunji is also known as Sohra or Churra (the land of oranges). The misty town of Cherrapunji receives a huge amount of rainfall, where the amount of rainfall can be measured in feets instead of millimeters.
Cherrapunji is located at a distance of 58 KMs from Shillong, the capital town of Meghalaya. This misty town can be reached within an hour or two from the capital town. The road from Shillong to Cherrapunji is beautifully decorated by green nature which most of the time remains bathed in clouds.
Located on India – Bangladesh border, one can get an exquisite view of the Bangladesh plains from the ridges of Cherrapunji. Cherrapunji is generally inhabited by the Khasi Tribe, the local inhabitants of the town from the British Era.
Cherrapunji is primarily renowned for its vivacious waterfalls. Besides, the waterfalls the town of Cherrapunji is also famous for the living root bridges, a local engineering marvel. You will also find various caves at Cherrapunji which will give you an ethereal experience of caving. However, don’t forget to take guides while you go to explore the root bridges and the caves.
How To Reach
Cherrapunji is the second most prime town of Meghalaya and is thus well connected. One can reach Cherrapunji by air or by train.
- To reach Cherrapunji you need to board a flight from your nearby airport to Shillong Airport, commonly known as Umroi Airport, located 80kms away from the town of Cherrapunji. However, flights to this airport are very rare and often get cancelled due to dicey weather conditions.
- The best way to reach Cherrapunji by air is to fly to Guwahati Airport (Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport) in Assam. There are lots of private and shared cabs standby outside the airport which can further drive you to Cherrapunji.
- In Cherrapunji, there is no railway station. So, to reach Cherrapunji by train one needs to board a train from their nearby railway station to Guwahati. Located 145kms from Cherrapunji it is the only way to reach Cherrapunji via train. The journey would take around 5 – 6 hours depending on the present scenario of that day. From Guwahati Railway Station, one can hire a private or shared cab to Cherrapunji.
- To travel within the town of Cherrapunji you can hire a taxi. Taxis are available throughout the town.
- If you are looking for a more convenient way, it is better to hire a private vehicle to visit all the sightseeing points in Cherrapunji.
Best Time To Visit
One can visit Cherrapunji during any time of the year. You can visit Cherrapunji according to the time of the view you want to relish it. Below are noted the times when one can visit Cherrapunji.
- March to May sees the advent of summer in Cherrapunji. However, being a mountainous town the weather remains pleasant and offers you with quite a clear view. However, the waterfalls during this time remain dry and thus, one cant experience the real beauty of it.
- June to September sees the monsoon. This is not the time to visit Cherrapunji as it rains almost throughout the day and thus one cannot get a clear view of sightseeing places in Cherrapunji. However, this is the time when the waterfalls remain in its full flow enriching the beauty of the surrounding area.
- Mid of September to mid of October is one of the ideal times to visit Cherrapunji to experience the beauty of the waterfalls of the town.
- October to February is the best time to visit Cherrapunji as the weather remains cool during this time. It is also the best time as during this time it rarely rains and so the weather remains clear offering you with the best view of the sightseeing places in Cherrapunji.
Where To Stay
Cherrapunji being the second most prime town of Meghalaya has an abundant number of hotels and homestays. One can opt for any one of them among the long list. For hotel recommendations please look at the end of the article.
Places To Visit
Located at a distance of 5 KM from the main town of Cherrapunji, Nohkalikai Falls is one of the most iconic places to visit in Cherrapunji. Plunging from a height of 1,120 ft Nohkalikai Falls is the tallest waterfall of India and 4th tallest waterfall of the world.
The fall tucks right out of the evergreen rain forest of the Khasi Hills and gushes down to a green pool. This pool has a strange feature and changes its colour according to the season. During the summer and monsoon the pool remains green and with the advent of winter it changes to blue. Being rainwater fed, Nohkalikai Falls remains in full glory during the monsoon. The envelope of greenery and mist along with the roaring water of the fall gives a fable effect to the place. However, there is a sad story related to the name of this fall.
In Khasi language ‘Noh Ka Likai’ means the leap of Likai. Likai, a Khasi girl, remarried her then present husband, who believed that Likai loved her daughter more than him. One day when Likai went out for work he killed the daughter and cooked her flesh for Likai. As she returned from work he gave her that cooked flesh as a meal. After the meal when Likai went to search for her daughter she found her daughter’s finger in the betel – nut basket. Founding out the truth she fled away and jumped from the cliff of the fall. The local peoples named the fall Nohkalikai Falls on behalf of her memory.
Nohkalikai Fall is open from 9AM to 5PM and has an entry fee of Rs 20 Per Person. There is also a fee of Rs 20 for cameras.
Seven Sister Falls:
Located at a distance of only 4 KM from the town of Cherrapunji, Seven Sisters Falls is another prime place to visit in Cherrapunji. Also known as Mawsmai Falls or Nohsngithiang Falls, this fall is the 4th highest waterfall of India. Seven Sister Falls is located near Mawsmai village. This falls plunges from a height of 1, 033 ft and spans over an area of 230 ft.
This fall is a cluster of seven waterfalls placed adjacent to each other, thus forming the name Seven Sister Falls. This seven falls signifies the seven neighbouring states of North East India – Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram and Meghalaya.
The lights of the rising and setting sun gives a soothing golden hue to the plunging water giving it a glittering effect. With picture perfect surroundings this place is a bliss for the shutterbugs. Seven Sister Falls is open from 9 AM to 5 PM.
Dainthlen Fall is located at a distance of 11 KM from the town of Cherrapunji. This is another popular waterfall and a prime place to visit in Cherrapunji. Dainthlen Falls cascades down from a height of 296 ft and has a tale associated with it.
According to the common peoples of the place, once there was a huge python named Thlen who lived near the fall. This python was doused with power and greed. Sometimes later few brave local men caught the snake and destroyed its hood with a large stone near this fall, thus giving it the name Dainthlen. Tourists visiting the fall can catch a glimpse of the natural rock cravings of the python.
To view the Dainthlen Falls one needs to carefully walk through a slippery road for a few minutes from the parking lot to reach the fencing area. To get one of the best views of this fall one needs to cross the stream to the other side. This is only possible when the water level remains low. This place is picture perfect during the sunrise or the sunset.
Dainthlen Fall remains open from 6 AM to 5PM and has no entry fee. However, there is a parking fee of Rs 20.
Wah-Kaba Falls, another well known falls and place to visit in Cherrapunji is located around 7.5 KMs from the town on the Shillong – Cherrapunji highway. This is a seasonal fall and is completely fed by rainwater.
Wah-Kaba Falls cascades down from a height of 190 meters and plunges down to a deep george. Situated upon the main highway this fall is easily accessible. One needs to make a short hike through the flight of stairs to reach the viewpoint of the fall. You will also spot a similar small fall like the Wah-Kaba Falls on the way to it.
Wah-Kaba Falls is open from 6 AM to 5 PM and has an entry fee of Rs 10.
Located around 17 KM from Cherrapunji, Kynrem Falls is located within the area of Thanga Karang Eco Park, another place to visit in Cherrapunji. Like many other falls of Cherrapunji, Kynrem Fall is another tallest waterfall. This fall plunges from a height of 1,001 ft and is the 7th largest waterfall of India.
Like all the other falls of Cherrapunji, Kynrem Falls is also rain fed and shows its main glory during the monsoons. This fall surges in three steps from a hill top and is best viewed from the viewpoint within Thanga Karang Eco Park.
Kynrem Fall can be viewed from 6 AM to 6 PM and incurs an entry fee of Rs 10.
Double Decker Root Bridge:
Double Decker Root Bridge is another prime attraction point for tourists in Cherrapunji. Double Decker Root Bridge is a living bridge and is Located at a distance of 15 KM from the main town in Nongriat Village. It is one of the best places to visit in Cherrapunji.
Snuggled amongst the deep green forest, Double Decker Root Bridge is a local engineering marvel. This bridge was crafted centuries ago by the local Khasi peoples and is only one of its kind in the whole world. This partial man made bridge was formed by intertwining the aerial roots of the rubber tree with the trunk of a beetel tree placed across the flowing stream. It took around 10 – 15 years to grow the complete bridge as the roots kept on growing on their own intertwining amongst themselves.
One needs to trek around 3 KMs from Tyrna Village to reach the Double Decker Root Bridge. Tyrna village is accessible by car from the town of Cherrapunji. However, the trek from Tyrna Village to the Double Decker Root Bridge is quite challenging as one needs to cross 3500 concrete stairs in a single way. The total trek takes around 5 – 6 hours to complete.
On the way to the Double Decker Root Bridge you need to cross two unique long iron rope bridges built over the Umshiang River. Besides these rope bridges you will also come across a single decker root bridge. However, the prior one remains as the most iconic one. From Double Decker Root Bridge you can further trek upto the Rainbow Falls, another iconic falls of Meghalaya, where most of the time there is a chance to spot a rainbow.
There is a nominal charge of Rs 20 per person to enter the Double Decker Root Bridge. Don’t forget to hire a guide on your way to the Double Decker Root Bridge. A guide may cost you around Rs 500.
Garden Of Caves:
Garden of caves is located in a remote village of Cherrapunji almost 10 KMs from Laitmawsiang village. It is one of the breathtaking spots in Cherrapunji with 7 points of interest. The 7 points include the kings cave, two warrior rocks, a heart shaped rock, a baby rock, Arshad falls and Umlwai falls.
During the British rule the Khasi peoples used to hide themselves in the caves of the Garden of caves. This garden is surrounded by dense jungle and tall trees. The view of sun rays passing through the tall trees and reflecting on the falls will make any person spellbound. It’s a must visit place for the photographers.
Mawkdok Dympep Valley:
Situated at a distance of 24 KM from Cherrapunji on the Cherrapunji – Shillong highway, Mawkdok Dympep Valley is one of the most alluring places to visit in Cherrapunji. This place is also known as Duwan Sing Syiem Bridge Viewpoint.
Mawkdok Dympep Valley offers a spectacular panoramic view of the place. Untouched by any civilization, here one will get a bizarre experience of nature. To get the sprawling view of the valley one needs to climb down a few stairs to get to the viewpoint.
At Mawkdok Dympep Valley you can catch a glimpse of a striking orange sunset over the lush green valley shadowed with the backdrop of a greyish cool cloud. If you are lucky enough you can also spot a rainbow over this valley. Besides these natural activities here you can also have an experience of zip lining or you can try out the local khasi dresses and click your photographs.
Mawkdok Dympep Valley is open from 6 AM to 6 PM.
Arwah Cave is located at Khliehshnong area just 3.5 KMs away from the main town of Cherrapunji. Arwah Cave is recently explored and is renowned for its fossils and limestone formations and is one of the most popular tourist places to visit in Cherrapunji.
Arwah Cave is one of the largest caves of Cherrapunji and fails the size of Mawsmai Cave, another famous place in Cherrapunji. However, only a small part of this cave is open for the tourist as most of the part remains unexplored. Inside the cave one will find many chambers and narrow tunnels. The part of the Arwah cave that is opened for the tourist is 300 meters long and takes around 20 – 30 minutes to explore. The cave is dark inside and thus one must carry a pocket torch while heading to the cave.
Arwah Cave has two ways through which it can be reached. One is through a pleasant walk and another is through rugged terrain. Make sure to hire a guide before entering the cave. Arwah cave is also famous for the formation of stalagmites and stalactites which are found in certain parts of the cave.
Arwah Cave is open from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM. There is a fee of Rs 20 for adults, Rs 10 for children, Rs 100 for guide and Rs 50 for camera.
Eco Park of Cherrapunji is located near the Seven Sisters Falls and is just 3 KM away from the main town. This park was inaugurated in the year 2004 by the Meghalaya Government for the purpose of promoting tourism. The Eco park is another popular place to visit in Cherrapunji.
Constructed atop of a plateau, the Eco Park offers a stunning view of the verdant hills of Cherrapunji and the Sylhet plains of Bangladesh. At the Southern corner of the Eco Park you will find the originating source of the Seven Sister Falls.
The Eco Park of Cherrapunji has a GreenHouse presented by the Shillong Agri-Horticulture Society which houses a variety of indegineous and hybrid orchids. Besides, you will also find viewpoints, monoliths, playing area for children, footbridge over a blue stream, water conservation area, souvenir shops and a small food joint. The soft cool breeze along with the peaceful and calm environment will refresh your tired soul.
The park is open from 8 AM to 5 PM and has an entry fee of Rs 10.
Lying at a distance of 10 KM from Cherrapunji, Thangkharang Park is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Cherrapunji. The park is situated right next to the Khoh Ramhah Rock, another prominent place to visit in Cherrapunji.
Thangkharang Park is looked after by the State Forest Department and houses various floras and faunas. In addition, the park also has a beautiful small fountain, a footbridge and two viewpoints from where one can view the Bangladesh plains and the Khoh Ramhah Rock. The beautiful Kynrem Falls which cascades in 3 steps also originates from this Thangkharang Park. The park also serves as a picnic spot for the locals.
Thangkharang Park is open from 7 AM to 4 PM and has an entry fee of Rs 20.
Ka Khoh Ramhah:
Ka Khoh Ramhah, also familiar as Pillar Rock is one of the major tourist places to visit in Cherrapunji. The rock is a massive one and resembles the shape of a huge cone.
A legend has been associated with this rock. As protriated by the locals, Ka Khoh Ramhah is a fossilized basket of an evil spirit which till date haunts the rock.
There are several roads from Cherrapunji through which one can reach the rock. The place gives an unprecedented view of the place and also the plains of Bangladesh.
Located 4 KMs away from the main town of Cherrapunji, Mawsmai Cave is a popular tourist place in Cherrapunji. It is one of the best places to experience Cherrapunji Tourism and start your caving experience.
Mawsmai Cave is formed with limestones and the only cave in Cherrapunji which is well lit for the visitors to experience the natural formations. The cave is a long one but only 150 meter of the cave is open for the tourists. The opening of the cave is spacious however as one enters the interior the path gets narrower. Even at some places one needs to bend and squeeze themselves to pass through the narrow openings.
The cave houses various floras and faunas and serves as a home to various species of insects and bats. However, Mawsmai cave serves as one of the best places for experience seekers and history buffs.
Mawsmai Cave is open from 9 Am to 5 PM. At Mawsmai Cave there is an entry fee of Rs 20 for adults, Rs 5 for children, Rs 20 for camera and Rs 50 for video equipment.
Monoliths are one of the most prime attractions of Meghalaya with no wonder that they would fail to amaze you. Khasi Monolith is one of the aboves, located in the town of Cherrapunji. Khasi Monolith of Cherrapunji is located near the Mawsmai falls.
Monoliths prevail as a tribute to the old dead members of the Khasi Tribe. These monoliths make an important part of the Meghalayan tribal history. Spread across an expansive space, here you can admire the tribal beauty or just soak in the norms of North eastern cultures.
Don Bosco Shrine:
Located at a distance of 3 KM for Cherrapunji town Don Bosco shrine is a catholic Church located by the side of Ramakrishna Mission. This shrine is one of the biggest shrines in Meghalaya and hosts the relics of the Saint, Don Bosco. For various reasons Don Bosco Shrine took several years to get completed. The shrine was finally built in 1952 and from that year onwards pilgrimage commenced to the shrine.
Don Bosco Shrine is open from 9 AM to 4 PM.
Nongsawlia Presbyterian Church:
Nongsawlia Presbyterian Church is the oldest church in Cherrapunji as well as Meghalaya. Situated at a distance of 1 KM from the town of Cherrapunji on the Sohra – Shella road this is one of the most prominent places to visit in Cherrapunji.
Nongsawlia Presbyterian Church was formed in 1864 and is the first presbyterian church in North East India. This church was inaugurated by Thomas Jones, the founder of Khasi script and the first missionary to travel in Khasi hills. Just beside the church there is a primary school built by Thomas Jones in the year 1843. The original church was devastated by an earthquake and was again rebuilt in 1897.
Nongsawlia Presbyterian Church has a grand structure with an alluring bell tower. There is also a graveyard present at the hilltop from where one can have an amazing view of the Nongsawlia area.
Nongsawlia Presbyterian Church is open from 8 AM to 4 PM.
- Coniferous Resort
- Saimika Resort
- Kutmadan Resort
- La Kapur Inn
- San Naela Resort
- Kor Shongthait Homestay
- Pateng Homestay
Other than the above listed hotels or homestays, there are various other resorts, hotels or homestays in Cherrapunji. You can opt according to your need from the long list.
Apart from the above mentioned places, from Cherrapunji one can also visit Mawsynram village – the wettest place of the earth, Dawki – a crystal clear lake also known as Umngot River bordering the country of India and Bangladesh and Mawlynnong Village – an offbeat destination. However all of the above 3 places are a bit further from Cherrapunji and thus is considered as a day trip destination from Cherrapunji.