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To some extent we all love rains. I doubt whether there is anyone who has never gazed at the rain drops or has never felt like jumping in the muddy potholes during rains in childhood. But what about a place where there is only one season and that's Rainy Season? Sounds fascinating right. Yeah, I am talking about Cherrapunji (meaning “land of oranges”), which used to be the wettest place in the world for many years. It features in the Guinness Book of Records as the place with the highest rainfall ever in a calendar year (22987mm during 1980-81). Although it occupies 2nd place (Mawsynram, a place very closely located, being the 1st) now, it receives considerable amount of rainfall almost every day. Apart from rains, if you want to experience the majesty of the cliffs, plunged waterfalls with lushes of green in the background, then there can't be any place better that Cherrapunji (Sohra) in India.
It was the 3rd day of our Shillong trip. On the previous day, we went to Mawlynnong followed by Dawki. It was a very long day with close to 300 kms of journey back and forth. We were tired and thus started a bit late on the next day for Cherrapunji. Though it was summer, on the way to Sohra from Shillong, as soon as we crossed the Duwan Sing Syiem View Point we felt the difference in the weather. Drizzles accompanied us throughout day till the time we again crossed this spot on the way back to Shillong.
Our first destination was Wah Kaba Falls. My fascination came to a halt when I stood in front of the canyon waterfall Wah Kaba. There was very less water in the falls but, it was grand. I simply lost my words, my legs became numb...felt how insignificant we are. When I was just standing in front of this canyon dumbstruck, suddenly it started pouring. So, our driver literally dragged us to the next wonder...the Nohkalikai falls.
According to legends, the Nohkalikai falls is named after a Khashi women named Likai, who jumped off the cliff of the falls after having the flesh of her daughter, which her envious second husband cooked for her. In Khashi 'Noh' means jump and 'Ka' means female. The Nohkalikai is the tallest plunge waterfalls in India. The view from the view point was breath taking. The only word that come out of my mouth after seeing this falls was WOW!!! There was a restaurant (I forgot the name) in front of the falls from where we got the best view of the falls. Hot aloo paratha served by the hotelier was a cherry on the cake.
Apart from the spectacular view we got one more thing here. This area is famous for cinnamon and I bought 3 bundles of cinnamon sticks for home at quite a reasonable price. I was sceptical about the quality since it was quite cheap, but later my mom and mom-in law confirmed that those sticks were really good.
The Nohsngithiang (Seven Sisters) Falls was also good. But unfortunately, it was without much water. So the best time to visit Cherrapunji is during the monsoon when the nature would be in full bloom.
The next spot, the Mawsmai Cave, added a bit of adventure to our trip. It's a natural limestone cave in the Jaintia Hill. This part of the trip was a true adventure. The cracks were narrow, my husband got stuck in one such cracks with his camera. Every time I had to drop my bag to the other side of the crack and push myself through the cracks. Though, the experience was too good, but as per me, someone who is claustrophobic or have joint pains, should avoid entering this cave.
On the way back our driver took us to the Cherrapunji Eco Park. It was big with good view of the green hills. Unfortunately that time some maintenance work was going on which made most of the part inaccessible. To me it was good but nothing special. From there he took us to the Ramkrishna Mission. Since we were getting late and the weather was leading to heavy shower, we spent only a couple of minutes there and left for Shillong.
The hide and seek of sun and rain made my Cherrapunji trip really a trip to a wonderland.