Cherrapunji is a city in the state of Meghalaya, India that experiences monsoon season throughout the year. It is recorded to be amongst the world's wettest regions. It is often referred to as the 'Land of Oranges'. It is a popular tourist destination because of its pristine and natural beauty.
Best time to visit
During the span of May to August, heaviest rainfall takes place. The whole region is full of dark, menacing clouds. Hence, it is advisable to visit this place in the months of September and October.
The state of Meghalaya is well connected to all metropolis cities of the nation. Shillong lies at a distance of 60 km from Cherrapunji and it has a domestic airport. Guwahati that lies at a distance of 181 km has the nearest railhead, and also has an international airport.
This city has many private hotels that offer comfortable options of lodging. Hotels such as The Circuit House and the Dak Bungalow require prior permission from the administration.
Cherrapunji is famous for its oranges. Apart from this, rice is the staple food of this region. Fish and meat are also consumed. Khasis also ferment rice-beer, and make spirit out of rice or millets by distillation. Use of rice-beer is a must for every ceremonial and religious occasion.
- As Cherrapuji is a monsoon destination and experiences heavy rainfall during most of the months, it is advised not to go there specially during the monsoons. Always carry your monsoon gears namely, umbrellas and raincoats with you when in Cherrapunji.
- Always be safe and alert while driving in the hilly areas like Cherrapunji as the road are narrow at some places with sharp turns.
- Be careful while trekking around the hills. A little careless may prove to be risky. It is also advised that you avoid moving around the isolated areas alone.
Cherrapunji lies in the state of Meghalaya. Meghalaya is well connected to all parts of the nation. Its capital Shillong, has its own airport that caters to the need of all tourists. The drive from Shillong to Cherrapunji is a pleasurable one. There are many taxis and buses that ply to this route. These places are at a distance of 60 km from each other.
Shillong (Umroi) airport is the nearest to Cherrapunji. Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya and is well connected to other major cities of the nation. Indian airlines run a 50 seater ATR German aircraft on this route.
Gopinath Bordoloi Airport in Guwahati is the nearest international airport to Cherrapunji.
There are flights from New Delhi or Kolkata to Guwahati. Flights from Kolkata operate on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Guwahati acts as the nearest railhead to Cherrapunji. Although it lies at a distance of 181 km from this region, buss or taxis can be availed from the railway station. Guwahati railway station is well connected to the entire country and regular trains carry passengers to and from.
The state transport bus station lies in Paltan Bazaar, near Guwahati Railway Station. A tourist can catch Assam state and Meghalaya state transport buses to Shillong. Apart from this, there are many private luxury coach operators nearby, who also ply their buses. There is also the tourist taxi stand that provides tourist taxis up to Shillong.
States buses run frequently between Shillong and Cherrapunji. The tickets too are affordable.
The Shared Taxis currently charge Rs.150 per person, and take in 5 persons. Sumo Maxi Cabs charge Rs.90 to Rs.100 per person to Shillong, and take in 10 passengers
Shopping in Cherrapunji
Even though Cherrapunji is not a shopper's paradise, a tourists can pick up some souvenirs in remembrance of their stay at this beautiful wet city. While here, a person must shop for oranges which are famous even in Central India. Sayang and Saflang are popular fruits grown locally in the regions. These are packed in banana leaves and sold on the local street markets around the city.
What to buy and where to shop?
Tribal jewellery and orange-flavoured honey are a must buy. Among handicrafts, cane, bamboo and wooden artifacts can be brought from Cherrapunji.
A few miles away, Bara Bazaar in Shillong attracts lot of tribal Khasis. This market is mainly run by women who sell everything from gold jewellery to spices and textiles.
Apart from this, there is also Police Bazaar that has many food stalls along with shops selling various other things. The market is popular for its locally produced wooden and bamboo handicrafts. Forest-made honey is a specialty of the place. Hand-carved knives and bamboo cutlery are among other artifacts available in this market.
Beautifully woven traditional Khasi skirts called jain-sayem made of silk are an expensive yet worthy buying.
Places to Visit in Cherrapunji
- Double Decker Root Bridge
- Dainthlen Waterfalls
- David Scott Memorial
- Eco Park
- Khasi Monoliths
- Krem Phyllut Cave
- Krem Mawmluh Cave
- Cherrapunjee Theological College at Nongsawlia
- Ram Krishna Mission
- Nongsawlia Presbyterian Church