Sohara – The historic name of Cherrapunji – a sub divisional town in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya. This name eventually evolved into the current name,Cherrapunji, meaning ‘land of oranges‘, which was first used by tourists from other parts of India. It is the traditional capital of aNongkhlaw hima.
Cherrapunji has been credited as being the wettest place on Earth and holds the record for the most rainfall in a calendar month and in a year. Cherrapunji holds two Guinness world records for receiving the maximum amount of rainfall in a single year: 26,471 millimeters (1,042.2 in) of rainfall between August 1860 and July 1861 and for receiving the maximum amount of rainfall in a single month: 9,300 millimeters (370 in) in July 1861.
The history of the Khasi people – native inhabitants of Cherrapunji – may be traced from the early part of the 16th century. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, these people were ruled by their tribal ‘Syiems (rajas or chiefs) of Khyriem’ in the Khasi Hills. The Khasis hills came under British authority in 1883 with the submission of the last of the important Syiems, Tirot Sing.
The Khasis have an intersting matrilineal culture. After the wedding, the husband of the youngest daughter goes to live with his wife’s family, who own the property of the family, while others live on their own getting a bit of the share. The children take on the surname of the mother.
Cherrapunji is also famous for its living bridges. Over hundreds of years the people in Cherrapunji have developed techniques for growing roots of trees into large bridges. The process takes 10 to 15 years and the bridges typically last hundreds of years, the oldest ones in use being over 500 years old.
The two-tier bridge is 100 feet long in length and is known around the world as the 150-year old man-made natural wonder, which is certainly one of the top reasons to visit Cherrapunji.
Mawsmai Cave, which is the most splendid place to be explored during your visit. What makes it a reason for visiting Cherrapunji is the fact that these are the fourth longest caves in the entire Indian sub-continent and they also have a little pool inside formed by five different rivers.
Cherrapunji is a true heaven on earth. Definitely a place where you can make memories like none other and have the time of your life!
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