Friday, 29 December 2006

Daytrip to Cherrapunjee - Earth's Wettest Place (?)

Moving on we got to beautiful Cherrapunjee close to the Indian-Bangladeshi border.

As mentioned Meghalaya is very much a state defined by water. This is spectacular Nohkalikai Falls. It's huge and the setting for it is spectacular. And I was even lucky to catch a few rays of sunshine on the strip of rocks below the falls.

Look at that pool of water. It's unbelievable turquoise.

Another lovely waterfall. Notice the van on the top left side to get a sense of scale.

Seen from a different angle.

As this sign shows Cherrapunjee has long been known as the rainiest place in the world. However, Ironically Cherrapunjee suffers from serious droughts for large parts of the year. And to add insult to injury nearby Mawsynram has recently taken over the title as the rainiest place in the world!

Beautiful steep cliffs visible from Cherrapunjee. Notice the difference in vegetation between the almost barren hills on the top and the lush valley below. This interesting contrast is yet another phenomenon caused by Meghalaya's water. The heavy monsoon rains wash away the top soil of those areas that are the most exposed to the rains. This means that no serious vegetation can settle here. However lower lying areas not so exposed directly to the furious downpour have access to plenty of water and thus become very lush.

A further example of the relatively a barren landscape caused by the monsoons. It is no wonder Meghalaya was known as the Scotland of the East in colonial times.If you look closely on the top of the hills you can see traces of landslides caused by the monsoon.

A few more pictures from the trip on the way to Cherrapunjee:

Getting lunch packed for the trip in a small local restaurant.

Akia and Crystal coming back from a snack run near the restaurant.

Large piles of traditional Khasi baskets. You'll see more of these in future posts.

A wonderful gorge being filled with sunlight penetrating through the skies.

A curiosity: A big house being built on top of a small house.


Bob and Elaine said...

Beautiful pictures. I grew up in Mawlai a suburb of Shillong, so we often went to Sohra. My brother James still lives in Mawlai and runs tours.
Bob Perry

Esben said...

Hi Bob. Thanks for your comment. Shillong is not the worst place in the world to grow up, I think. I assume Joan, who has commented elsewhere on my blog, must be your sister?

SatyabrataSingh said...

Wow, I was there this easter weekend 6-08Apr, 2007.

And we have the same pics of the place

SatyabrataSingh said...

Oh Wow, I was there recently with my family - 6-8 april, 2007.
Stayed at the - Orchid Lake Resort,
what a beautiful place, and the sites nearby places was excellent.........

Santanu Banerjee said...

nice trip man.

I also did cherrapunje on a motorbike. Couldnt spend much time here as time was limited but like it very much.

Anud said...

hey man, nice pics, i grew up in north east, i had lived there till i was 18, but never was able to go to cherapunji, though a couple of time to shillong. but sure i will go there some day.

visit me at

Esben said...

Hi guys,

thanks for all the nice words. Cherrapunjee is a very nice place, and I do hope to go back to there and see other parts of Meghalaya also.

ricky said...

I'm haapy to see my state in web-site from Bangaluru. Usually no one knows about the place, by this web-site i guess it will be visible to all.

Esben said...

Hi Ricky,

Yes, I certainly hope some people will be inspired to visit the state after reading this. For me Meghalaya stands as one of the truly great surprises in India. There is very little focus on this area, but it has great tourist potential. In fact we're going back there in December this year to see the living bridges :)