Just a few kilometers from the main town of Cherapunji is the Eco Park- a unique Park on the edge of a cliff. Set up not too long ago, it looks more like an effort to tap the natural beauty of the plateau and the blunt cliff which offers stunning view of the plains of Bangladesh. The last of the few sandy soil supports the grassland that turns golden in autumn. The strenuous rain has washed away the soil and no trees grow in the park. Scythed by streams that run on bed of red rocks, this place is a testimony of the fast changing landscape.
It is believed that today’s Cherapunji landscape was shaped by the 1897 greater Assam earthquake. It left me wondering whether if this park is among one of the many places whose landscape was redrawn by the 8.1 magnitude earthquake. I tried imagining how it would look like before it was distorted into deep gorges and mighty cliffs.
Set up by the Government of Meghalaya, the park has a green house built for preserving and raring indigenous orchids. Many streams crisscross the park and made it a nice place for a picnic. Most families bring packed food and eat out in the open. On a clear day, one can see the plains of Bangladesh spread below like a green carpet. The wind blew gently from beneath. If you stand close enough to the cliff you could feel the gentle breeze moistened with the water from the many small waterfalls. From the opposite side, this cliff is marked by series of waterfalls, which are also known as the Seven Sister Falls, named after the seven North-East states. But it hardly is a grand sight in autumn and winter as it is in summer. The water dries out a few weeks after the rainy season and only 3-4 falls survive the drier spell.
Eco Park charges a minimal entry fee. It can be best enjoyed during autumn and spring. In summer the stream swells up and it could be dangerous for families with kids.