I am blessed to have visited this place with my friend Aparna who took initiative in planning and preparing a detailed itinerary for our trip. In order to ensure that we are able to cover the major sightseeing places. I appreciate her effort in collecting a lot of information and the background to make the visit not only interesting but also meaningful. We were told that this place will be very cold and we need to carry our sweater, muffler and umbrella, also because of the high altitude we may have nausea, so we carried poppins, chewing gums and Apple/Orange ORS
The first day of our arrival, we decided to visit the following places:
Cherrapunjee is a small hamlet, situated at an altitude of about 4823 feet (1484 m). Locally known as ‘SOHRA’. Cherrapunjee is located in the southern most point of Khasi hill sharing the border of Sylhet district of Bangladesh. Cherrapunjee offers a panoramic view of the hilly terrains, deep gorges and valleys with its spectacular waterfalls. It was once having the record of being the wettest place on earth, with an average rainfall of about 1150ms. However, this record has been overtaken by a nearby place Mawsynram
Nohkalikai falls: This has a very sad story attached to the waterfall. This waterfall located 4 kms away from Cherrapunjee and is possibly between 1500 and 2000 feet tall. Known to be the fourth longest fall in the world it carries a pathetic legend behind its name. A woman named Ka Likai had a illegitimate child. After marriage the husband became jealous of her love for her daughter. One day Ka Likai was out for work and her husband killed the daughter, cooked her flesh into a meal. When the woman enquired about her daughter, her husband showed the sign of ignorance.
Before she went to look for her daughter, she thought of eating something and had the meal that her husband prepared for her. After having the meal she found both the wrist of her daughter in the betel-nut basket. Then she realized what had happened, killed her husband with a dagger and threw herself off this cliff of this falls. This is how the falls got its name which means "Fall of Ka Likai."
Ramakrishna Mission: The Ramakrishna Mission is an important landmark overlooking the hills of Cherrapunjee. Started in 1924 by Swami Vivekananda, this institution has grown into a major tourist attraction. The sight of the institution catches the eye of everyone entering Cherrapunjee. The majestic structure of Ramakrishna Mission is a sight to behold. This centre runs a school for children, and lot of women empowerment programmes is held.
There is small prayer room for meditation, which has pictures of saints in meditation posture. Camera is not allowed inside this centre. There also a sale of books, woolen clothes, popular tamarind chocolates which helps in preventing nausea. Almost all the tourist buy these chocolates and continue their journey. We too picked up these chocolates and it was good for the travel.
Mawsmai Cave: This 250m long cave is the major attraction for the tourists in Cherrapunjee. This cave is located 6 kms away from Cherrapunjee near to Mawsmai village. This natural limestone cave is wide enough for a person to walk comfortably, and one can see the myriads of stalagmites and stalactites all over the caves which are growing gradually. We have to remove our foot wear to go inside the caves, the ground is wet and flowing water, slightly slippery, I just went a little to see the cave but did not go right round the cave.
|Entrance of the cave|
Thangkharang Park: Thangkharang Park is situated 12 km from Cherrapunjee. The park is the house of various orchids and birds. One can see the 180 degree view of the plains of Bangladesh on a clear day. There was too much of fog in these parks and could not really see it clearly.
Eco Park: The park is known for several indigenous orchids. Located on the top of a plateau, the park offers stunning views of the Sylhet Plains in Bangladesh. The Nohsngithiang Falls originate from the southern egde of the park.
Nohsngithiang Falls (Seven Sister Falls): It is a seven-segmented waterfall, which plunges over the top of limestone cliffs of the Khasi Hills. The falls only flow during the rainy season. In full spate, the segments stretch most of the way along the cliff. The water falls from a height of 315 metres (1,033 ft) and has an average width of 70 metres (230 ft).The waterfalls get illuminated by the sun from dawn to sunset. This has a beautiful view to see the seven waterfalls together.
Dainthlen waterfall: Dainthlen waterfall, located at a distance of 5 km from Cherrapunjee, is one of the most popular waterfalls. This waterfall has a legend attached to it, according to which it is said that people killed a huge snake living in the cave here to get rid of his terror. Tourists visiting the waterfall can explore the natural rock carvings of the snake, which represent the symbol of evil, greed and corruption.
The driver was very good and took us safely despite being cold and also foggy. We reached shilling late evening, and were very hungry and ready for a sumptuous meal at city centre.Grateful & happy!