Cherrapunji has just one season
Cherrapunji has just one season all round the year: the monsoon. The rainfall varies from heavy to very heavy to medium and occasionally to light. But no month passes by without rain. Another surprise in Cherrapunji is that it rains mostly at night. The Rain God rarely disturbs the day-to-day activity of the town. Cherrapunji, now usually called its old name Sohra, is a hills station situated at an altitude of 1,484 meters in Meghalaya. It has had the most rainfall in a calendar month and in a year, receiving 9,300 mm in July 1861 and 26,461 mm between August 1, 1860 and July 31, 1861.
Cherrapunji is set amid a simply beautiful setting. It has soaring hills, misty valleys, waterfalls, foaming-murmuring streams and rivers, swirling clouds, rich greenery and stunning views. Not many sites can beat this awesome combination. Add to it the eternal monsoon and vacation at becomes magical. The heaviest downpours occur from May to September. The dark-threatening clouds pour rain, with debilitating force. There are gushing streams everywhere. The large raindrops play percussion rhythms on rooftops and windows. And there are waterfalls and waterfalls. The most spectacular among them cascades 1,035 foot down. That is Mawsmai Falls, just a few kilometres from Cherrapunji. The town continues to have its pristine beauty.
After the torrential rain
When the rain eases, orchids bloom. The quaint labyrinth of passages below ancient caves is ready for exploration by visitors. Cherrapunji experiences sunlight and a lot of it. New plants spring forth from the Earth and life resumes with renewed vigour. The Cherrapunji hills have no lush green vegetation one would expect at wet places. They have dense woods in patches. The richness and variety of the flora patches is unbelievable. It is a riot of rare orchids, ferns, and moss. Each little pocket is a paradise for botanists. However, the valleys around Cherrapunji do have lush green cover and very diverse vegetation. They have innumerable endemic species of plants.
Cherrapunji also produces quality oranges and pineapples. It is said that the Cherrapunji oranges are the ancestors of the Nagpuri oranges.
Guwahati (181 km) is the nearest major airport to Cherrapunji. Taxis can take tourists from the airport to Cherrapunji. The Umroi Airport near Shillong (91 km) is the nearest airport. But it has only a few flights from Kolkata. It is a steep 58-km from Shillong to Cherrapunji, along a road perpetually bathed in mist. Buses and taxis too ply to Cherrapunji from Shillong. Guwahati is the nearest railway station. Visitors can travel by bus or taxi from the Paltan Bazaar bus stand in Guwahati.
Cold and wet
Cherrapunji has a mild climate. Its yearly rainfall average is a staggering 1178 cm. It receives the southwest and northeast monsoonal winds. That explains the year-long monsoon. Its average temperature varies from 11.5 °C in January to 20.6 °C in July. That makes Cherrapunji cold throughout the year. So, it will be wise for families to look for thermal wear online and equip each member with adequate protection against cold and also something waterproof.