Mawlynnong - A Trek - II
LIVING CLIFF BRIDGE
In Meghalaya, the rubber tree serves a dual purpose in the villages, surrounded as they are with dense jungle, deep ravines and rapid streams. The villagers use the roots of these trees to span the banks of the innumerable turbulent rivers and streams, linking one village to the other. The second use that they are put to is to wed stones to the slippery paths down below. In time, these stones act as steps resembling a ladder. At other places, the roots themselves are fashioned like steps.
The trek from Mawlynnong village to the gorgeous Umterming waterfall and then to the living cliff bridge and back takes about 6 hours. The distance covered is 14 kms. The first part of the journey is a steep climb to Thiepsky village. If you stop awhile and look back, you’ll see the vast expanse of Bangladesh. Once you reach Thiepsky village, the gradient eases and soon you are upon an RCC bridge spanning the Wah Shilingjashai river. We are informed that a living root bridge painstakingly built by the villagers over 300 years ago was washed away a few years back. The RCC bridge connects Shilingjashai village to Nongthymmai and Thiepsky villages. The waterfall is very broad, rapid and gushes down to a bottomless ravine, “down to a sunless sea”. It is truly a wondrous sight! This part of the trek takes about one hour and is roughly 3 kms far.
After a much-needed rest, we start off through thick jungle. The ups and downs start taking their toll on us. Legs refuse to obey but we trudge along. You may come across large upright boulders that have a sort of crown made of sturdy, long roots. Our guide informs us that these are boundary pillars planted during olden days. If you brushed against them, your legs and knees would hurt the next day onwards. The only remedy would be to return to these boulders and place a crown over them. Your aches and pains would vanish! After about 4 kms, the living cliff bridge comes into sight. It has taken us 2 hours. The bridge is used by the villagers to go down to their plantations of betel nut, betel leaf, broom, black pepper, orange, pineapple and tezpatta.
It is a huge rubber tree with mighty branches on the edge of a precipice. It resembles a sentinel guarding the way to the treasures below. Some of its branches have been shaped into steps that cradle your foot as you climb down gingerly. Other roots merge large stone to the earth to offer support and to act as stepping stones. Our guide tells us that every day, villagers come to this tree and pull the budding roots fashioning them, teaching them, coaxing and cajoling them to make the cliff bridge stronger. The principles of ecology were long put into practice in these parts.
The easy way out is to drive from Mawlynnong towards Shillong to a junction (28 kms; 1 hour) just short of Pynursla. Take the sharp left turn towards Shilingashai village. It is only 10 kms away but takes 1 full hour because of the bad road. You tell the driver to return to a pre-designated spot near Mawlynnong while you descend to the cliff bridge 40 minutes away. Once done, you return halfway and proceed to the Umterming waterfall. From there, trek to Thiepsky village and then back to Mawlynnong. The time taken for this trip is 2 hours and the distance covered is 6 kms.
Mawlynnong-Junction near Pynursla – 28 kms – 1 hr (veh)
Junction near Pynursla-Shilingashai – 10 kms – 1 hr (veh)
Shilingashai – Cliff Bridge – 1 km – 40 mins (trek)
Cliff Bridge to Umterming waterfall – 1.5 kms – 50 mins. (trek)
Umterming waterfall to Lad Thiepsky – 1.75 kms – 1 hr. 15 mins (trek)
Lad Thiepsky to Mawlynnong – 3 kms – 15 mins (veh)
Veh=41 kms = 2 hrs. 15 mins
Trek=4.25=2 hrs. 45 min
Total 45.25 kms = 5 hrs + 1 hr (lunch break & rest)
- Hiking and Walking
Mawlynnong - A Trek - I
ASIA’S CLEANEST VILLAGE – MAWLYNNONG (CLUSTER OF STONES)
The road to Asia’s cleanest village, Mawlynnong (Cluster of Stones) is through some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable. You start with deep gorges and smooth plateaus with clear blue skies on your left. One side of the road hugs the cliffs while the other side is the brim of a deep ravine. Just as you start feeling dizzy, the scenery changes to your right and is equally breath-taking. You would be missing the opportunity of a lifetime if you don’t get down from your vehicle and click a few shots of the unfolding beauty.
The village is about 85 kms from Shillong on the way to Dawki on NH-40. It takes about 3 hours to reach there. Barely 4 kms from the international border of Bangladesh, it is hot and humid here. The main forks along the way are the Umtyngar Bridge, from where you take the left road; the Laitlyngkot junction, from where you continue ahead, neither to the left that takes you to Smit, nor to the right, that takes you towards Cherrapunjee through Laitkroh and Kyrdemkhla villages. The third junction is at Langkyrdem where you take the right hand-side road going towards Pynursla. At the fourth junction, take the left side road leading towards Pongtung village. You will then come across Mawpron village, Saitboknom village, Nongsharngam village and finally to Mawlynnong village. The last 18 kms into Mawlynnong is through bad road.
Accommodation had been arranged at the village itself, next to the Church of North India by the ‘Epiphany Society for Rural Uplift, a co-operative society of the village. There is a large bamboo house with two rooms, each with two beds, a lobby, a verandah and a sit-out separated by a bamboo bridge. Don’t look down if you suffer from vertigo. The flooring is made up of slim bamboos strung together. It’s wobbly and needs getting used to. The river Wah Rymben flows below. There’s a smaller house, again made of bamboo, with one room and three beds, plus a kitchen. The bathroom is modern but a few feet away from the two houses. The presence of electricity is reassuring. Decent, wholesome food is available in-house. Night falls early to the sounds of crickets, insects, gurgling water and your own breathing. What more does one want?
The living root bridge is located in Riwai village. It is about 3 kms drive from Mawlynnong village and takes roughly 15 minutes. You then climb down for about 10 minutes to reach Wah Thyllong River which flows down to Bangladesh. The sight of the bridge is fascinating. It is almost 300 years old. It connects Riwai village to Nohwet village. Olden day villagers, seeing the potentiality of the two rubber trees on opposite ends of the bank, harnessed its roots towards one another, forming an eco-friendly, strong bridge.
For the Niriang (type of bees) waterfall, located in Lungpengsniang village and formed by the river Sitbakon, you return to your vehicle and proceed for about 4 kms. You then park your vehicle and go down towards the river. This also is a steep descent. However, the falls is a very pleasant sight and one that stays in your memory for a long time to come.
Once back on the road, you return to Mawlynnong village to the ‘Balancing Rock’, called ‘Mawryngkew Sharatia’. (Maw=stone; ryngkew=earth; Sharatia=name of the god). This defies logic and science. The boulder is black, long, huge and massive. You look at its base and see it perched atop a very small foundation, totally balanced. One wonders how gravity really works. Earlier, the Khonjee clan (one of the Khasi tribes) used to offer sacrifice and do ‘puja’ here. After their conversion to Christianity, this place fell into disuse. Now, only tourists visit this rock.
Owing to the absence of flat land, no paddy can be grown here. The villagers have to depend on Shillong for that commodity. However, they grow betel-nut, betel leaf, broom, black pepper, orange, pineapple and tezpatta (bay leaves). The square neat stones, cut from large boulders, are a unique feature of this village. It is used for building houses, retaining walls, steps and for seating arrangements.
A walk around Mawlynnong village (87 families; 495 people) reveals how really clean this place is. You see the children taking care of the litter and the elders also keeping their village clean. It is the tourists who litter the place. Now with the village durbar declaring the entire village a smoke-free zone, Mawlynnong village may have no equal in this world for its passionate adherence to cleanliness and eco-friendliness. Our guide was Bah Henry Kharrymba (+919615043027), our cook, Kong Osana Mawroh and the housekeeper was Bah Ryngkatbor Kharrymba (+918014206740). For reservations of either house, contact the Society’s office at Shillong (+91364-2502420) or Ms. Kerol Laloo (+919863115302). The village Secretary is Bah Rishot Khongthohrem.
- Adventure Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Feast your eyes - Lum Khyriem Viewpoint
Forget the much-touted Shillong Viewpoint. There’s a much better option to view the scenic splendor of Shillong and its closer too. You don’t have to fight the traffic to get out of the city till you reach the junction from where you turn left at Upper Shillong. You don’t have to feel like a suspect at the Easter Air Command gate while the sentry checks your credentials endlessly. You don’t have to mingle with the hoi polloi and wait for your turn to climb up to the tower to view Shillong. You don’t have to buy anything just because it’s on sale there. And you don’t have to munch away even though you have just finished your meal.
Welcome to Lum Khyriem Viewpoint! It’s on top of a hill near the BSF bastion. You go down to Polo bazaar and then ask your way to the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health & Medical Science (NEIGRIHMS). When you come to Ishyrwat junction, take the right hand turning and go up the road. Near the summit, you’ll see a track road leading off to your right. It is just next to the yellow-coloured wall of the BSF bastion. It would be better to park your vehicle here and walk for about 10 minutes to a small hillock. Climb atop the large boulder and be the monarch of all that you survey.
The view from up there is fantastic! You get a full 180 degrees panoramic view of Shillong. To your left is Smit village, then Madan Rting, Happy Valley, Nongthymmai, Laitumkhrah, Malki, Upper Shillong, Lumdienggiri, Mawlai and stretching to your right would be Mawiong and Umiam. The air is unpolluted, the ambience superb and the silence defeaning.
This viewpoint is a mere 6 kms away from the city. It would take you barely 20 minutes to reach. Go in the late afternoon and wait for the lights to be switched on, one by one. When it’s fully lit, a carpet of lights awaits you. Feast your eyes upon it. And take a swig!
- Hiking and Walking
Bishop Beadon Falls or Sonapani
This twin delight formed by the rivers Umshyrphi and Wah Umkhrah, is located in Mawlai Nongkwar locality of Shillong. At the junction formed by Thangkhiew Petrol Pump, Stanley Roy Building and the road leading into Mawlai locality on the National Highway, there is a road that branches off towards the 132 KV Mawlai Grid Sub-Station of the Electricity Board. Go up that road and keep to the left when you reach the junction. From there, the two falls are barely a 5 minutes drive. Don't stop at the site where the other tourists are photographing themselves. Rather, continue down till you come to a concrete viewpoint on your left. You'll get a better view from there. Afternoons are a better time to click the falls as by then the sun would be over the hill.
As you look across the deep gorge, the left one is the Bishop Falls formed by the river Umshyrphi. It is shorter than the right one which is the Beadon Falls formed by the river Wah Umkhrah, but prettier. The second one is longer and narrower. The locals refer to these falls are Sonapani after a maiden, called 'Sona', supposedly committed suicide here. As you look from one waterfall to the other, you'll see a road running right across the hill. This is only for the electricians on duty. At the end of the road, on the right hand-side is the graveyard for the locality.
If you really want the best view, continue downwards and cajole the security guard of the Mawlai Grid Sub-Station to allow you inside for a brief while. Keep to the left of the sub-station, walk past the building till you come to a clearing. The twin waterfalls await you!
- Family Travel
Nongkhnum River Island
If you love nature, the outdoors, are somewhat adventurous and have a few days to spare, go to Nongkhnum river island in Meghalaya. From Shillong, proceed to Nongstoin, the district headquarters of West Khasi Hills. From there, the island is barely 14 kms away. It is truly worth it. However, during the summers and the moonsoons (Apr-Aug), the place can become inhospitable. Winter is the best time for the long treks. A complete writeup, along with the folklore is below.
NONGKHNUM RIVER ISLAND
Nongkhnum island is the biggest river island in Meghalaya and the second biggest in Asia, after Majuli island in Assam. Located barely 14 kms. from Nongstoin, the district headquarters of West Khasi Hills, it is 20 to 25 sq. kms in area. The island is formed by the bifurcation of the river Kynshi river into the Phanliang and the Namlang rivers.
Legend has it that River Kynshi, is the daughter of U Mawtheng Sohmen and Mei-Ramew. After the death of her parents, she went in search of a better place. During this journey, she got married to Bynther. Both then proceeded in search of more fertile land for cultivation.
As time went by, they were blessed with two daughters. Thereafter, the entire family continued on their journey till their daughters grew up. At last, they met one youth, who was attracted to their eldest daughter and he came along with his parents to meet them. They were then engaged. The Lyngdoh tied the nuptial knot of the two. The place where the marriage ceremony was performed was named Siarpa and the Lyngdoh was named U Lyngdoh Siarpa.
This was a time of happiness on one side and sadness on the part of the younger sister, who was yet to be married. The Lyngdoh then suggested that the elder sister, along with her husband, proceed on one side, while the younger one would proceed alone. Both should make arrangements to meet again at a certain place so that she too would be given in marriage. All the family members agreed to this suggestion. Before they set out, the Lyngdoh performed the indigenous rites and placed a three-point stone - one point for the eldest daughter and her husband, another for the youngest daughter and the third point for the parents.
The three groups then set out on their journey. The first group comprising of the eldest daughter and her husband on a separate route, the second of the youngest daughter who went alone on another route and the third, comprising of the parents, remained at the Siarpa pool, awaiting news of their earlier decision. When both the sisters departed on their separate journey, there was a split in the Kynshi river at Khnumsoij.
As time went by, the youngest sister met one young handsome person whose name was Synbe, who was also attracted to her. Thereafter, he accompanied her on the journey at a faster pace in order to inform her sister of the good news. After a short time, both the sisters met each other and were very happy and grateful to Lyngdoh Siarpa as his suggestion had come true.
The Lyngdoh was again called upon to perform the marriage ceremony of the youngest daughter, where the Minister was also invited to attend. This was a happy occasion for the whole family as they would no longer have to part ways, but could continue on their onward journey together till they reached the river blessed by the Gods. As a mark of gratitude to the Lyngdoh, they presented him with a beautiful forest, situated along side the Kynshi river. The Lyngdoh made this his home. This place is known as the Law Lyngdoh (Sacred Grove) Siarpa.
PLACES OF INTEREST IN NONGKHNUM ISLAND
Nongstoin-Lad Lawse.... 5 Kms
Lad Lawse-Mawduh .... 5 Kms
Mawduh-Mawthar.... 2 Kms
Mawthar-Nongkhnum.... 2 Kms
Total .... 14 Kms (approx)
Suggested Trekking Routes
1)Weinia Falls (near vehicle parking lot) - Shadthum Falls - Phanliang Lake, Sandy Beach and Phanliang Hut - Flat Land - Sohkhe Falls - Vehicle Parking Lot ..... roughly 25 kms.
2)Weinia Falls - Langchiang Falls and Langchiang Lake and return - roughly 16 kms.
3)Weinia Falls - Sohkhe Falls - Phanliang Hut - Shadthum Falls - Phanliang Hut ..... 12 kms.
- Hiking and Walking
Sights of Cherrapunjee
In hill areas, distances measured in kilometres don't matter. What matters, imo, is the time taken from place A to B. From Shillong, you can easily traverse the distance to Cherrapunjee ('Sohra', is the local name from the Khasi word, 'soh-niamtra', meaning 'oranges'), in 1 hour 15 minutes (Cherrapunjee Circuit House). You can easily go to Cherra, see the important sights and return to Shillong in one day. However, you will never experience the magic of Sohra that way. For an out-of-the-world exhiliration, go there in the late evening, stay the night and watch the mystery unfold itself early morning! That way, even if the fog envelopes you the previous evening, the clear day next morning will be your reward!!
1. A visit to Sohra (Cherrapunjee):
1) Introduction – Mawkdoh:
Barely an hours' drive from Shillong (54 kms), towards the plains of Bangladesh in the south, is the rainiest place in the world, Cherrapunjee, or Sohra, in the local language. The place derives its name from ‘sohniamtra’ or orange, which was later contracted to sohra. During the winters, the place is a sea of oranges. These are mainly exported to Bangladesh. It is the seat of the Syiem (king) of Hima (realm) Sohra. Located at an altitude of 4,200 feet above sea level, it was the first place the British choose as their station in the Khasi-Jaintia plateau. Established in 1829 by David Scott, it continued to be the headquarters of the British till it was shifted to Shillong in 1865-66. The drive itself offers a unique sight of mist-covered mountains and a panoramic view of the plains of Bangladesh. Stop for a moment at Mawkdok bridge to take in the wondrous sight.
A trip to Sohra, especially during the monsoons, is extremely rewarding as then, you can view all the falls in their majesty. Counting the falls, there are almost a dozen places you can visit. All these spots are quite close to one another and all are motorable. Most of them have some story or a myth surrounding them.
2) Dain Thlen Falls:
Before reaching Sohra, between Laitrynwew and Pohsohmen villages is a road that branches off to your right. If you follow that road -ask for proper directions from the friendly villagers along the way - you will come to 'Dain Thlen Falls'. This road curves and leads you on to Sohra. Story has it that one day in the hoary past, the people became weary of evil, which emanated from 'Thlen', which literally means python in Khasi, but actually symbolises evil. They slew the 'Thlen' and then held a grand feast. However, one greedy individual hid a few pieces of the meat for later use. Unfortunately for mankind, like the phoenix rising from its own ashes, the 'Thlen' revived itself from these pieces and till today, we have evil in this world.
3) Ka Jingthang Syiem
As you continue on your way to Sohra, you will come across Pohsohmen village. By the side of a small stream, on your right-hand side, you will notice two raised platforms. These rectangular platforms, called Ka Jingthang Syiem or The Royal Pyre, were used as the funeral pyres of the Syiems of Sohra. The larger one was for the Syiemsad or the ruling Syiem's mother, a post venerated by the local people. The gentle slopes of the hills behind these provide a perfect backdrop to these sombre monuments.
4) Noh Kalikai Falls:
Once you reach Sohra proper, go up to the main market place. Go past the Ramakrishna Mission till you arrive at the awe inspiring Noh Kalikai Falls. Mythology has it that Ka Likai, a pretty damsel, married for the second time. Her husband, somehow, despised his stepdaughter. One day, when Ka Likai returned home, she was pleasantly surprised to see that her husband had already prepared the evening meal. Without a thought, she partook of the meal. Later, when she asked her husband the whereabouts of her daughter, he calmly replied that she had just consumed her daughter's flesh. Appalled, she checked the pot of meat only to discover the remains of her daughter. In sheer horror, she rushed out and flung herself over the cliffs adjacent to the waterfall. Since then, the falls is called Noh Kalikai or the leap of Ka Likai. After taking in this view, you can walk up to the edge of the plateau and see the plains of Bangladesh. On return, you have to pay a token amount for your vehicle at the gate.
5) David Scott Memorial:
You can rest and relax in the Circuit House. Only, prior permission is to be obtained from the Deputy Commissioner at Shillong or the Sub-Divisional Officer at Sohra. While turning in to the Circuit House, on the left-hand side, you will see an imposing monument, dedicated to David Scott. The David Scott Memorial was erected by the British in recognition of his "Eminent Services". The plaque eulogises this "Most Zealous, Able And Intelligent Servant".
6) Mawsmai Caves and Mawsmai Monoliths:
A visit to the Mawsmai Caves and Mawsmai Monoliths in Mawsmai village, is a must. The Sohra Syiemship (kingdom) of the days of yore, was located at Mawsmai. The entrance to the village boasts of the only monolith in Meghalaya with a crown of stone. Houses right behind these monuments, spoil the view. You can, however, go behind the monoliths for a photo. A little further off, is the entrance to the cave. Though the entry point (there is an entry fee) of the cave is narrow, once inside, you will find plenty of room. Take off your shoes and roll up your pants as there is ankle-deep water at some places. Recently, this cave has been lit up by means of a generator nearby. The sight of the millions of colours is simply breath-taking, while the stalagmites and stalactites appear like mammoth chocolates. On your way back, you have to pay a token amount for your vehicle at the gate.
7) Observation Tower and Nohsngithiang Falls:
Once you return, you can enjoy a well-earned meal or tea and snacks at the well-equipped Observation Tower while feasting your eyes at the Nohsngithiang Falls or the Mawsmai Falls. This is a series of falls, which plunge down over 700 feet. Let your eyes follow the course of the water and you will see the mist-covered hills, the river below and further on, the soaked plains of Bangladesh.
8) Thangkarang Park:
Thangkarang Park is a beautiful picnic spot. There is an entry fee, but it's worth it. Constructed in the 'eighties, this spot features plenty of concrete benches and greenery. A few waterfalls enhance the view while the snaking road sport some vehicles.
9) Khoh Ramhah:
Once you return to the main road after your visit to Thangkarang Park, go ahead for a few kilometers and then once more, branch off to your right. Barely a kilometer away, you will come across another captivating picnic spot with a legend. This is the famous Khoh Ramhah or the basket of the giant. Actually, it is an enormous stone in the shape of a Khasi basket. There is also a waterfall between two imposing stones. It is believed that a giant used to carry this colossal stone, so the name, Khoh Ramha, or the basket of the giant.
10) Religious Places:
If you are interested in religion, do visit three places, all located within Sohra. One is the Cherrapunjee Theological College at Nongsawlia. Established in 1888 by the Welsh Presbyterian Missionaries, it imparts training to the local preachers to spread Christianity. The second is the Ram Krishna Mission, established in 1939. If you visit Sohra during April, don't miss the Shad Suk Mynsiem (Dance of the Joyous Heart) performed in the school playground of the Ram Krishna Mission. The third halt is the Nongsawlia Presbyterian Church, established in 1846 by Rev. Thomas Jones, who brought Christianity to this part of the world.
- Family Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Suggestions for Sights In Shillong
Calvary & the Cathedral
Don Bosco Statue
The 18-hole Golf Course and the Golf Club
Ward's Lake & Boating
Shillong View Point
Sweet Falls via Assam Rifles
Spread Eagles Falls
Bishop and Beadon Falls
Crinoline Falls & Crinoline Swimming Pool
Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians
Lady Hydari Park
Elephant Falls via Mytalliang Park
Bara Bazaar for traditional items and handicrafts of NE region from various emporia
- Umiam Lake(Barapani) & Water Sports
- Dwar ka Ksuid (Devil's doorway)
- Orchid Lake Resort Restaurant
- Ka Law Kyntang (Sacred Forest)
- Krem Marai (Marai Cave)
- Symper Rock
- Jakrem Hot Springs
- Mawjymbuin cave
- Kyllang Rock
To Sohra (Cherrapunjee)
- Mawkdok Bridge Viewpoint
- Ka Jingthang Syiem (The Royal Pyre)
- Cherrapunjee Theological College
- Nongsawlia Presbyterian Church
- Noh Kalikai Falls
- Nohsngithiang Falls
- LUNCH at nearby cafeteria
- David Scott Memorial
- Curcuit House Rest + TEA
- Thangkaram Park
- Mawsmai Falls & Cave & Monoliths
- Khohramhah Rock
- Dain Thlen Falls
To Jowai to see:
- Mookyundoor (Outpost)
- Thadlaskein Lake
- Nartiang monoliths
- Nartiang Temple
- U Kiang Nongbah Monument at Syntuk Syiar
To Dawki (70 kms) to see:
- Stone Bridge & Thlumuwi Falls
- Leskha Project
- Rupasor Bathing Ghat
- Dawki Bridge
Give me your dates, I'll make out your itinerary.
Give me your address, I'll mail you brochures and pamphlets
on Shillong and Meghalaya.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Family Travel
Thangkarang Park, Cherrapunjee View Point
This is the best viewing spot of Cherrapunjee. The monsoon is best viewed from this spot. The other side of the cliff is Bangladesh, separated by rivers and forest. But be careful if you travel with a private taxi or private tour operators, then there is a chance that he will take you only to Mawsaram caves and miss this one but this is the main attraction of Cherrapunjee. You can see the complete valley, the seven falls, Bangladesh rivers, forests on a clear day, the joyful play ( Hide & Seek Game) of the clouds ( This is what Cherrapunjee is famous for). The park is very clean with toilet facility. There are small kiosks outside where you can buy some food, chips, cold drinks, cigarettes, tea/coffee even drinks. The best idea would be that you have your lunch here and don't' waste your precious visit time to Cherrapunjee in sitting in a small hotel and having lunch. Spend about an hour or so, you are guaranteed to see Mother Nature's various moods, I am sure you don't want to miss that? Do you? After all you have paid for see Cherrapunjee rains?
The best idea would be that you get your lunch packed from the hotel of Shillong and buy tea coffee or beer from local shops and spend at least two hours here. See Video to confirm my claim)
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Elephant Falls- I
This picturesque place is located about 12-13 kilometer from Shillong town. It has three levels. The Khasi people had named it Three Steps Water Falls ( The original Khashi name is difficult to pronounce: Ka Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew).
It is located in Upper Shillong area which also houses the Eastern Air Command of Indian Airforce. The scenic fall is not continuous and more of collection of smaller falls. It has footpath leading to bottom fo fall where it reaches a small lake. Its name elephant falls was given by British. Because there was a rock by the side of fall which resembled elephant. The rock was destroyed in earthquake in 1897.
- Jungle and Rain Forest
View of Mawsynram
Cherrapunji's yearly rainfall average stands at 11,430 millimetres (450 in). This figure places it behind only nearby Mawsynram, Meghalaya, whose average is 11,873 mm (467 in). Cherrapunji receives both the Southwest and Northeast monsoon showers which give it a single monsoon season. It lies in the windward side of the Khasi Hills. Orographic precipitation results, and monsoon winds are forced to deposit much of their moisture
In the winter months it receives the northeast monsoon showers which travel down the Brahmaputra valley.
It holds two Guinness world records:
For receiving the maximum amount of rainfall in a single year: 22,987 mm (904.9 inches) of rainfall between August 1860 and July 1861
For receiving the maximum amount of rainfall in a single month: 9,300 mm (366.14 inches) in July
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Cherrapunjee View Point
There are several view points in Cherrapunjee. This view point where I am standing is nearly 20 KMs before Cherrapunjee. This is where the Cloud play hide and seek game. We stopped here for nearly 20 mts for viewing the clouds. The mother natures turned so many times here that it can not be explained in words. I took about 50/60 pictures of that mood of mother nature to capture the beauty. I also took a few clips of video, just to explain that how beautiful is the place.
It is suggested to spend at least half an hour in this place!
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Cherrapunjee : The Wettest Place on Earth!
Cherrapunjee is the wettest place on earth. It also has third highest waterfall in the world! The place is located 76 kms from the city of Shillong. Best time to visit monsoon to experience the rain, in scorching summer it is very very windy and clouded. But surely there will be rainfall at any time during the day!
Cherrapunji pronunciation (also spelled as Cherrapunjee), is a town in East Khasi Hills district in the Indian state of Meghalaya. It is credited as being the wettest place on Earth. However, nearby Mawsynram has more rainfall nowadays.
It is the traditional capital of a hima (Khasi tribal chieftainship constituting a petty state) known as Sohra or Churra.
The original name for this town was Sohra, pronounced as "Churra" by the British before morphing into the present one. Despite perennial rain, Cherrapunji faces an acute water shortage and the inhabitants often have to trek for miles to obtain potable water. Irrigation is also hampered due to excessive rain washing away the topsoil as a result of human encroachment into the forests. Now the Meghalaya State government has decided to rename Cherrapunjee to its local name "Sohra". There is a monument to David Scott (British Administrator in NE India, 1802-31) in Cherrapunji cemetery.
Cherrapunjee receives rains from the Bay of Bengal arm of the Indian Summer Monsoon. The monsoon clouds fly unhindered over the plains of Bangladesh for about 400 km. Thereafter, they hit Khasi hills which abruptly erupt out of the plains to reach a height of about 1370 m above MSL within a short distance of 2 to 5 km. The orography of the hills with many deep valleys channels the low flying (150-300 m) moisture laden clouds from a wide area to converge over Cherrapunjee which falls in the middle of the path of this stream. The winds push the rain clouds through these gorges and up the steep slopes. The rapid ascendance of the clouds into the upper atmosphere hastens the cooling and helps vapours to condense. Most of Cherrapunjee’s rain is the consequence of air being lifted as a large body of water vapour. Extremely large amount of rainfall at Cherrapunjee is perhaps the most well known feature of orographic rain in northeast India.
You can see Bangladesh from the hills.
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Fruits & Flowers of Shillong
The beautiful Shillong is full of greenery and complete with lots of gardens of flowers and fruits. They produce Orchids, Many flowers, Strawberries, Oranges, and some local fruits. They are visible everywhere in the city in almost all nook and corner.
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Shillong Peak View Point
Shillong View Point is situated about 20 kms away from Shillong town on the way to Cherrapunjee ( The place of highest rainfall on the earth) at an altitude of 5700+ feet. This place is very very windy.Shillong Peak: Shillong's most defining feature, some legends have it that Shillong derived its name from this hill. An ideal picnic spot, at 1965 m it offers spectacular views of the city and the eastern Himalayan ranges. It is also believed that the patron deity Leishyllong has her abode at these peaks and protects the city from here. The views of the light-studded city are especially beautiful in the evening.
Please carry driving licence or an ID of yourself to go there as you have to go by Indian Army cantonment.
There is also an entry fee of Rs.10/- per person plus charges for camera & mobile phone camera of Rs.20/-
Watch Video: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/vv/346d/
Khasi Tribal Woman & Woman Power.
In my view we must see around the city and their culture to know about the place and their culture. Khasi people are considered one of the most loving and hospitable tribes in India. It's matrilineal society, where the descent is traced through the mother, but the father keeps an important role in the household. According to Khasi laws, a woman cannot be forced into marriage, she owns the children and properties. In Khasi tradition, the youngest daughter will also inherit the property. A woman may end a marriage at her will with no objection from her husband. The Khasi have an unusual dedication toward matrilineal customs, most notably similar to the Minangkabaus.