Address : Cherrapunjee
City/District : Cherrapunjee
State : Meghalaya
Cherrapunjee, also known as Sohra, is a high-altitude town in the northeast Indian state of Meghalaya. It's known for its living root bridges, made from rubber trees. To the northeast, Mawkdok Dympep Valley View Point overlooks verdant gorges. In the surrounding hills, the Noh-Kalikai, Dain-Thlen and Kynrem waterfalls plunge from forested clifftops. South of town, Mawsmai Cave is illuminated to show its stalagmites.
The history of the Khasi people – native inhabitants of Sohra – 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 Khasi hills came under British authority in 1883 with the submission of the last of the important Syiem, Tirot Sing Syiem.
The main pivot on which the entire superstructure of Khasi society rests is the matrilineal system.
The original name for this town was Sohra (soh-ra), which was pronounced "Cherra" by the British. This name eventually evolved into a temporary name, Cherrapunji, meaning 'land of oranges', which was first used by tourists from other parts of India. It has again been renamed to its original form, Sohra.
Despite abundant rainfall, Sohra faces an acute water shortage and the inhabitants often have to trek very long distances to obtain potable water. Irrigation is hampered due to excessive rain washing away the topsoil as a result of human encroachment into the forests. Recent developments of rain-water harvesting techniques in the area have greatly helped the town and its neighbouring villages.
There is a monument to David Scott (British Administrator in NE India, 1802–31) in the Sohra cemetery.
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