Cherrapunji is the wettest place on Earth, that is no surprise, but amidst those thick rainforests and heavy showers are numerous known and unknown natural wonders just waiting to be discovered. And if you are concerned about the heavy Cherrapunji rainfall, then relax, the locals have survived there for centuries so that you will last a few days at least!!
Why is Cherrapunji India the wettest place on Earth?
The reason for heavy rainfall in Cherrapunji is quite complex to understand, but essentially, it’s the monsoon clouds that form over the Bay of Bengal that flyover relatively flat terrains until they reach Cherrapunji.
However, once they reach Cherrapunji, they are faced with the steep slopes of the Khasi Hills and to make their way over them, they first need to dump most of their moisture. As a result of which, Cherrapunji receives heavy and frequent rainfall.
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World Records held by Cherrapunji India
Cherrapunji, the wettest place on Earth holds many world records for the highest recorded rainfall in history. But, Cherrapunji Rainfall hasn’t always claimed the number one spot. In the year 1985, a neighbouring town of Mawsynram recorded a staggering rainfall of 26,000 millimetres, beating Cherrapunjiat its own game.
The indigenous people of Cherrapunji India
The indigenous people of Cherrapunjiare referred to as the Khasi. These Khasi tribes have been lived here for centuries and thrived despite the heavy Cherrapunji Rainfall.
After centuries of battling heavy rainfall, the Khasi have developed ingenious ways to turn an otherwise disastrous situation to their advantage. Once such technique is the growing of the living root bridges that take 10-15 years to develop but can last up to several centuries.
The famous living root bridges
These century-old bridges made from tangled old roots are not only synonymous with the Wettest place on Earth but are essential for the survivals of the locals.
The locals use several techniques to ensure that the roots of the trees grow in the desired. The roots are twisted, ties, pulled to merge with the existing bridges and over a period they create natural architectural structure aka Living Root Bridges.
Often scaffolding is made out of perishable material to create temporary structures that are used to train young roots to grow the right way and eventually to replace such structures.
Best Time to visit Cherrapunji
Planning on going to Cherrapunji, make sure you keep in mind the best time to visit. Although it rains in Cherrapunji all day every day, some months of the year are worse and travelling during that time can be quite inconvenient.
- Summer (March-May): Best time to visit Cherrapunji as the region receives relatively low rainfall. Bear in mind that May is the wettest month of the year, so its best to leave before then.
- Monsoon (June-September): Heavy rainfalls coupled with low temperatures make this the most unfavourable time to visit Cherrapunji.
- Winter (November-February): If you can brave temperatures between 5- degree Celsius with occasional showers then winters is the excellent time to visit Cherrapunji.
The landscape is picturesque, and the sights are breathtakingly beautiful this time of the year.
The journey from Shillong to Cherrapunji
Shillong to Cherrapunji is a thrilling and scenic 1.5-hour drive. This is one of the most famous road trips not only in the region but in India.
The roads from Shillong to Cherrapunji can be challenging to manoeuvre, but the scenic views, lush green landscapes and the ultimate destination make it all worth it.
If you are familiar with the region, then feel free to drive or else hire a cab. And if you are an adrenaline junkie, then you could also navigate the route on the bike. But keep in mind that the roads are not in the best conditions and you bets be prepared for any situation.
Cherrapunji has a lot to offer from root bridges, valleys, caves, forest to breathtaking waterfalls. So what are you waiting for? Get up, pack your bags and reach Cherrapunjii!