Cheerapunji (also spelled as Cherrapunjee and Charrapunji or called by its historical name, Sohra), is a town in East Khasi Hills district in the Indian state of Meghalaya. The town receives 11,777 millimetres (463.7 in) of rain per year, but that is less than half as much rain as in the days a few decades ago when it was still known as the wettest place on Earth.


View onto the Bangladesh Plains below, from Cherrapunji


The original name for this town was Sohra, from the days when it was the capital of a local chieftainship. The town's name was pronounced "Churra" by the British before morphing into Cherrapunji. There is a monument to David Scott (British Administrator in NE India, 1802–31) in Cherrapunji Cemetery.

Although Cherrapunji still receives a lot of rainfall, locals nevertheless have to walk for several kilometres for potable water and also face agricultural difficulties associated with topsoil erosion.


Cherrapunji is in a dramatic location, on a plateau 600 metres above the surrounding valleys which, given the amount of rainfall, are naturally lush and full of diverse vegetation.


Cherrapunji receives both the Southwest and Northeast Monsoons, which combine to form a single monsoon season locally. The months with the highest rainfall are June and July, followed by August, September and May, but effectively, April through October can be considered the monsoon season. November through February constitutes the dry season, with March a transitional month of moderate rainfall. The dry season is also the cooler season, with average low temperatures at approximately 5°C (41°F) during January, the coldest month.

Get in

By plane

Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, is the nearest airport to Cherrapunji, and is accessible from Guwahati.

By car

Shared Sumos are available from Mawlong Haat, Barabazar in Shillong, for ₹70 per seat.

Local taxis also travel to Cherrapunji, and give you the option of stopping at a few viewpoints and sights on the way from Shillong to Cherrapunji (Elephant Falls, Mawkdok Dympep Valley View and others), as well as visiting spots in Cherrapunji (the Mawsmai Cave, Cherrapunji Eco Park, the Nohsngithiang Falls or Seven Sister Falls). The cost is ₹1300 - ₹1500 for a 7 hour trip from Shillong to Cherrapunji and back.

Shared sumos are also available near the petrol pump at Cherrapunji back to Mawlong Haat, Barabazar, Shillong for ₹70 a seat.

Get around

Upper Cherrapunjee (Sohra), where main market area, and lower Cherrapunjee, "By the Way" hostel area, are separated by 4km. Both location have Sumo stand and if you are dropped off at the wrong location, shared taxis (8 people in Maruti Alto) ply between for ₹20 per person.


Seven Sisters Falls




Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, January 23, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.