Cherrapunji is a town in the East Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya, an eastern state in India.
It is credited as being the wettest place on Earth. Till date, it holds the all-time record for the most rainfall in a calendar month and in a year: 9,300 mm in July 1861 and 26,461 mm between 1 August 1860 and 31 July 1861.
Currently another place, also in Meghalaya, called Mawsynram, is the wettest place on Earth.
The name "cherrapunji" means 'the land of oranges' was first used by tourists from other parts of India.
Despite perennial rainfall, Cherrapunji faces an acute water shortage and the inhabitants often have to trek long distances to obtain potable water.
Due to excessive rain, heavy soil erosion occurs as a result of human encroachment into the forests.
Cherrapunji lies on the windward side of the Khasi Hills and receives both the southwest and northeast monsoonal winds.
The extreme amount of rainfall at Cherrapunji is perhaps the best-known feature of orographic rain in northeast India.
A notable feature of monsoon rain at Cherrapunji is that most of it falls in the morning.
Cherrapunji is also famous for its living bridges. People of Cherrapunji have over hundreds of years, developed techniques for growing roots of trees into large bridges. The process takes 10–15 years and the bridges typically last hundreds of years, the oldest ones in use being over 500 years old.
The locals living in and around Cherrapunji are known as Khasis. They have a 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.