Cherrapunji, about 56 kms. from Shillong. Cherrapunji is the old administrative headquarters of the Khasis. It is amazing to see this place which looks so dry on a sunny day and in the monsoons, the water comes in torrents and in a matter of minutes it falls on the cliffs and is absorbed in the gorges and the plains below. This place once held the record as the wettest place on earth according to the Guiness Book of Records and has an annual rainfall of nearly 11000 mm, but this record has now been broken by Mawsynram. Even after receiving so much rainfall, this place still has a four month dry season from November to February.
Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya, one of the smallest states in India and home to the Khasis. It is also the headquarters of the East Khasi Hills district and is situated at an average altitude of 4,908 feet (1,496 m) above sea level, with the highest point being Shillong Peak at 6,449 feet (1,966 m). The city had a population of 314,610 at the 2011 census. It is said that the rolling hills around the town reminded the European settlers of Scotland. Hence, Shillong is also known as "Scotland of the East."
Shillong has grown in size and significance since it was made the civil station of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills in 1864 by the British. In 1874, on the formation of Assam as a Chief Commissioner's Province, it was chosen as the headquarters of the new administration because of its convenient location between the Brahmaputra and Surma valleys and because the climate of Shillong was cooler than tropical India. Shillong remained the capital of undivided Assam until the creation of the new state of Meghalaya on 21 January 1972, when Shillong became the capital of Meghalaya and Assam moved its capital to Dispur inGuwahati.
Barapani, nestled in the hilly tracts of Meghalaya, has a long legend behind its name. The legend suggests that two sisters from heaven, once decided to come down to earth. Therefore, one day both the sisters made their way to Meghalaya. But, unfortunately, both of them could not reach the earth together: only one of the sisters could reach Meghalaya. Therefore, the sister who reached the destination cried her heart out for the loss of dear sister.
In fact, the Umiam Lake in Barapani of Meghalaya is said to have been formed from the tears of the lonely sister: the literal meaning of Barapani is 'Vast Lake'.
Legends apart, Barapani in Meghalaya is one of the most picturesque spots of Meghalaya. Many tourists from across the world come to Meghalaya allured by the scintillating mountains and the shimmering lakes.
Furthermore, Meghalaya Barapani seems to be a heavenly abode. The high mountains, the rich valleys, yielding plains, etc. seems to provide the city with a serenity, which is rarely to be found. The fluffy clouds, enchanting hills, winding roads, the broad country side - indeed makes Barapani a celestial bliss.
In this context, it can be said that Barapani at Meghalaya forms the perfect landscape for an exotic tour. The ethereal landscape of Barapani is said to be an angler's paradise. The lakes and rivers in Barapani seems to be the most happening spot in Barapani.
The lakes in Barapani also seems to a major attraction due to the fact that tourists can enjoy boating. Therefore, enthusiasts flock together in the lakes to enjoy boating with the help of motorboats, water scooters and sail boats.