Cherrapunje situated 1300 meters (4290 feet) above sea level and 56
kilometers (35 miles) from Shillong is famous worldwide for it's enormous
rainfall. The town has one of the highest rainfall totals which occurs between
June and the middle of October. The average rainfall here is about 1143
centimeters (450 inches).In 1974, 2456 centimeters(967 inches) of rainfall was
recorded, with 930 centimeters(366 inches) in July alone. The maximum rainfall
for a single day was 1876, when 104 centimeters (41 inches) fell in a 24 hour
Below--pic--(a waterfall at Cherra)
Cherrapunjee was a rich heritage and was the first British outpost in this
part of the country. David Scott, the political agent of the East India Company
came to the Khasi hills in 1820 and changed the settlement into a little piece
of England. He called it Cherra Station and made it the official headquarters of
the British Raj in the Khasi and Jaintia hills. It was selected as a sanatorium
for European pensioners in the East India Company's service.
For those who love adventure, the area - luxuriant with tropical
vegetation and innumerable varieties of ferns, mosses and orchids - has deep
gorges, countless rain- fed rivulets from peaks, and roaring waterfalls.
Cherrapunje also overlooks the vast plains of Bangladesh.
On the slopes of the hills around Cherrapunje there are many betel nut
plantations and extensive orange groves. It is said that in the olden days ,
oranges from Garhwal , Sikkim and the Khasi hills were carried by Arab traders
into Syria. When the crusaders invaded Syria, they took the oranges back to
southern Europe and propagated throughout the region.
In the olden days Khasis cremated
their dead by this river, a place which is considered to be infested with
ghosts. Today it is a place for picnics and recreation.
- Dwar Ksuid (Devil's Door)
At Nartiang, 65 kilometers (40 miles) northeast of Shillong, in the Jaintia
Hills there are giant monoliths. Up to 8 meters high and 76 centimeters (18
inches) thick, they were supposedly built by Mar Phalyngki, the Goliath of
Jaintia legend. One of the stones is said to have been of Mar himself.
- Wildlife Sanctuaries And National Parks
Meghalaya, within it's limited geographical area, is endowed with elevations
ranging from a couple of hundred meters in the south adjoining the Bangladesh
Plains to well over 1500 meters (4950 feet) at the summits of the central
plateau peaks. There are few places in the world where topical and sub-tropical
species of flora and fauna occur in such concentrations and numbers. The state
has two National Parks - Nobrek and Balpakram, and two wildlife sanctuaries -
Nongkyllem and Siju.
- Balpakram National Park left--pic-(guards at the balpakram
Balpakram in Garo means 'The wind blows continuously'. But according to Garo
legend, Balpakram is the 'Land of the Disembodied spirit'. After death, human
spirits on their journey to the spirit land sojourn there for a while. Also, the
spirit of the dead person must cross there before it returns to earth.
Balpakram is a fertile virgin land. The unsurveyed belts of limestone and
coal deposits, along with the varieties of seashells fossilized into rocks in
the Balpakram Hill provide immense scope for geological and archaeological
studies. The forest forms a natural habitat for a large number of rare and
indigenous flora which are scarcely seen outside the sanctuary. The place is
also famous for it's rare species of valuable medicinal herbs. The dikge muni
(The herb of sleep) is the most difficult one to get. It is preserved by
vultures in their nests high up on the rocks beyond anyone's reach. Those who do
try to reach it by means of ropes, fall asleep suddenly due to the herbs
- Nokrek Biosphere And Siju Caves
Nokrek Biosphere Recessive is located in the Garo Hills. This reserve
is one of the least disturbed forest tracts of the sub-Himalayan ranges. It is
one of 13 biospheres in the country.
The Garo Hills contain many natural limestone caves. The famous Siju Cave is
located very close to the Nophak lake near the Simsang River game reserve. The
cave has a formation of stalactites and stalagmites that resemble those in the
famous Blue Grotto in the Isle of Capri. The cave is filled with water and is
miles long. Bats breed in large numbers in the cave.
Meghalaya | Shillong |