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Cherrapunjee -- About Cherrapunji

The locals traditionally call it Sohra, however, the world knows it by the more popular name of “Cherrapunjee” or "Cherrapunji". Once the wettest place on earth, Cherrapunjee today is the second rainiest place on earth after Mawsynram. Cherrapunjee receives close to a whopping 12 m of rain every year.
Though the status of the most rainiest place on earth has changed from Cherrapunji to Mawsynram (about 16km from Cherrapunji), Cherrapunjee still reigns supreme in terms of tourist attraction and infrastructure compared to Mawsynram.
Cherrapunji attracts lot of tourists because of its abundant natural beauty, package of valleys and waterfalls, caves and canyons, evergreen misty landscapes and heavy rains.
Tucked away in North East India, Cherrapunjee is located around 60 km from Shillong in the East Khasi district of Meghalaya. The Umshiang double decker Living Root bridge at Nongriat and many other root bridges are found in Cherrapunji (Sohra) & Mawlynnong.
Cherrapunji is a must visit destination known for its varieties of cloud formations and quick change of weather fair to foul and vice versa, lush green plains, numerous waterfalls and a trek to the single and double decker root bridges. The trek from Cherrapunjee to the living root bridges is not for the faint heart as it requires a lot of stamina and grit to trek down to these natural wonders of nature.
Cherrapunjee has a few fascinating stone gorges noted among which are Riat-Maw-Iew, Maw-Laikhlieh and Riat-U-Shain. The famous Mawsmai Cave with charming stalactite formations is located 9 k.m. away close to the Mawsmai falls.
Be it the mystical hues or the lofty Khasi hills reaching out to hug the blue sky, Cherrapunji offers many magical charms to enthrall visitors. Nature lovers can experience amazing caves, natural trails and unique natural phenomenon of inter wined root bridges. The journey to Cherrapunji is in itself an experience worth savouring.
Gushing waterfalls, foggy mountains and roads, dense equatorial type vegetation add to the beauty of Sohra. A visit to Sohra is a walk in the clouds, a wisp of imagination and raindrops on your cheek, a place where clouds and rain play in their own time wrap.

Cherrapunji Rainfall

Cherrapunji receives the full brunt of the monsoon because of its location. Situated at a height of about 4500 feet above Mean Sea Level on the summit of the Southern ranges of the Khasi Hills, it receives the monsoons approaching directly from the Bay of Bengal on through the Sylhet district of Bangladesh. The average annual rainfall is around 4900 mm per year. Heavy rainfall of 17,930 mm in 1988, 14,865 mm in 2003, 14,821 mm in 2004 and 14,970 mm have also been recorded.

Living Root Bridges aren't built, they are grown

Living Bridges of Cherrapunji - the double decker root bridge and single root bridges are unique in the world and are a sight to behold. The bridges are tangles of massive thick roots, which have been intermingled to form a bridge that can hold several people at a time. Khasi people have been trained to grow these bridges across the raised banks of streams to form a solid bridge, made from roots. The living bridges are made from the roots of the Ficus elastica tree, which produces a series of secondary roots that are perched atop huge boulders along the streams or the riverbanks to form bridges.

The root bridges, some of which are over a hundred feet long, take ten to fifteen years to become fully functional, but they’re extraordinarily strong – strong enough that some of them can support the weight of fifty or more people at a time. The bridges are alive and still growing and gain strength over time.

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