Cherrapunji can be an ideal vacation for the young travelers. There are forests and hiking trails which can bring the kids much closer to nature. Also, the several springs and waterfalls can be a good picnic spot for you and your family.
Since Cherrapunji is basically native to the Khasi Tribes, it is a predominant Christian region. Almost 80% of the members of this tribe are followers of Christianity, they are mostly Catholics or Presbyterian. Although before the 19th century, these tribes were animist. But due to several Anglo as well as American missionary societies, they were gradually converted into the faith of Christianity. Still now, the churches operate several schools and colleges which help them re-enforce their faith among these tribes. Here, the religion is an important part of the curriculum.
It is a beautiful lush green park with fountains and gardens. It is very popular spot for picnic where children can play around and have fun. This park also has a greenhouse where several species of plants are at display.
The Mawsmai Cave is one of the most accessible caves in India. Located here at the Cherrapunjee, this cave is very popular among the tourists as it is quite easy to enter into this 150 m cave.
Cherrapunjee is located on a plateau in the southern part of the Khasi Hills at a height of 1,484 metres above the sea level. Due to its location, it overlooks the plains of the neighboring country of Bangladesh. The valleys in and around the Cherrapunjee have subtropical forests as a result they are covered by lush green forests.
It has a subtropical highland climate. It receives both the southwest and northeast monsoonal winds due to which it has a single prominent monsoon season and is located on the Khasi Hills that increases the level of precipitation in the air.
The majority of the people living in the Cherrapunjee are the members of the Khasi tribes. Their history can be traced back to the early 16th century. Till the 18th century they were ruled by the chiefs also known as 'Syiems of Khyriem'. It was in the 19th century when these hills were annexed by the British troops.
One of the main characteristics of the native society of the people of this region is that it is the matrilineal society. Here, the daughters receive the property. The husband of the youngest daughter goes on to stay with his in laws. The children use the surname of their mother. In the Khasi tribe society, the lineage and inheritance is traced through the daughters of the family.
It is believed to be the highest thrust waterfall in India has an altitude of around 1115ft. It is fed by the rainwater that gets collected from the surrounding areas. It loses its power greatly during the dry seasons of winter from December to February. However, during the rainy season its volume increases over 20 folds due heavy rainfall that this region receives.
The Khoh Ramhah is a very popular tourist destination. It offers some very beautiful views of the surrounding Khasi Hills and the plains of Bangladesh. It is a very popular picnic spot for the locals as well as for the travelers.
One of the greatest tourist attractions of this region are the living Root Bridges. The natives of these regions have ingeniously turned the roots of some species of trees to form pathways over the streams. These living roots over the period of time re-enforce themselves making the bridge last even longer. Some of these bridges have lasted over a hundred year and the oldest one is known to be in existence for past 500 years.
Along the several streams flowing through Cherrapunjee, one can go for exploring along the trails. Across these streams you will come across living root bridges which the locals make out from the roots of the Ficus elastica tree.
The hilly areas of the North eastern parts of India do not have a pronounced nightlife. There are some night clubs in the major cities of this part of the country; otherwise, in the places like Cherrapunjee night clubs are quite a rare sight.
Here live music is in the form of local folk music that is sung by the locals on some occasions like weddings, harvest festivals, etc.
The Cafe Cherrapunjee is quite famous there. Open on all days of the week, it serves local cuisine along with some of the other Indian cuisines. The restaurant at the Polo Orchid Resort is also worth a try.
The Khasi delicacies is a must try for all. The special Pork rice is quite popular with the locals. Cherrapunjee means ‘the land of oranges’ and is located at 4290 ft. It is quite famous for its oranges Apart from selling pork, these eateries also sell other red meat abound in the town. . Rice is the staple food here and is taken along with egg, fish, meat or vegetables. Sohra Pulao, a rice cooked with oil and vegetables without spices is a must have for all. Popular cuisines from other countries can also be found here. Each of these cuisines is modified as per the local taste and availability of ingredients.
There aren't any places to enjoy live music here, which isn't surprising because of the size of the village. This small village isn't the best of places to enjoy music and if you want to hear some live music, then you should definitely wait until you can visit one of the bigger cities.
However, one word of warning, this is a smoke free village so don't expect to be able to bring your cigarettes in and smoke. Also, if you throw anything away, make sure to throw it away in one of the many bamboo baskets around the city.
There are bars available so that you can grab your favourite drink. . Most of the hotels and lodging centers also serve alcoholic beverages. There is a local variant of beer available which is made out of fermented rice. It is popular on occasions like marriages and festivals.
The Cherra Bazaar is a popular market place in Cherrapunji. Here, the tribal artifacts are of exclusive nature and are very attractive. The jewelry, wooden handicraft items, cane baskets and other cane items are very popular souvenir items. The shawls and fabrics are also very ethnic. One more thing worth looking forward to is the orange flavored honey.
The capital city of the state of Meghalaya, Shillong will keep you captivated with its charm. Here, the markets are better than what you will find back there in Cherrapunjee. Here, the Barrabazar is run by the local women and there are several shops selling garments to handicrafts, jewelry and other items.
The Police Bazar is famous for its food stalls and local handicrafts made out of bamboo and wood. International reputed multi brand stores are quite rare in this part of the country.