Nohkalikai Falls


With a height of 340 meters, the Nohkalikai Falls is considered to be the tallest ‘plunge’ waterfall in India. This is located near Cherrapunji, in the state of Meghalaya. As known, Cherrapunji is the wettest place presently on Earth. These falls are fed by the rainwater that is collected on the summit of a small plateau and these decreases in their power in the dry season. That is, from the month of December to the month of February. There is a plunge pool just below the falls and the water here is of an ‘unusual’ green.

Legend of Nohkal

As a local legend states in the Rangiyteh village, upstream from these falls, Likai, a woman living here found that the only choice she faced was remarrying after her husband died. (‘Ka’ is a prefix used for the female gender of Khasi).She did not have any means of earning and was left with a daughter who was, then, an infant. She took up the potter job in order to feed her child and sustain herself. She had to leave her child, unattended, due to her work. She was working most of the time and the little time she had left, she used to spend in caring for her baby. Ka Likai married the second time as she realized that a baby needed both parents. She had to pay more attention to her infant and could not spend enough time with her husband.

With the passing of time, the husband developed a rage against this child and killed the baby. To add to his merciless act, he threw away the severed head and cooked her flesh. This was done with the intention of hiding any trace of the murder that he had committed. Ka Likai returned to an empty home, but found that the meal was cooked. She wanted t go and look out for her daughter, but was extremely hungry. She ate the meat till the time she could not eat any more.

Normally after a meal, Ka Likai chewed on a betel quid after any meal. This is where she found a severed finger and this horrified her. She realized what had taken place in her absence, and with a hatched in her hand she ran in a frenzied manner. She ran off the plateau’s edge and plunged to her death. She could not bear that thought of cannibalizing her own daughter who was murdered, even though this was done unknowingly. The Nohkalikai Falls are the waterfall from where she had leaped from. These were the reminder of the grief of Ka Likai.

Things to Check Out

  1. Double Decker living bridge route

This bridge is situated in a manner in which this goes over a river, connecting both the sides. The way in which the two different parts connect both the sides of the river is what is fascinating. There are one on top of the other. This is considered to be a ‘natural’ mystery surrounding this beautiful place.

  1. Nohsngithiang Falls

Another name for these falls is the ‘Seven Sister’s’ waterfall. This plunges to 315m depth, making it the highest waterfall in the whole of India. This is located in the area of Sohra of Khasi hills. When lit up due to the sunlight, this waterfall seems to be making beautiful rainbows.

Nohsngithiang Falls

  1. Arwah Caves

Arwah caves are only 4 kms away from the Nohkalikai falls. This is known for fish fossils and bones and also for deposits of limestone. There is a stream flowing through these caves and has managed to aid stalactite formation, assumed to be around million years old.

Arwah Caves

  1. Kynrem Falls

These falls are at a height of almost 305m. This can be considered as the 7th highest waterfall in the whole of India. This is a 3 tiered waterfall situated at the peak of Thankharang. You get a panaromic view of the total countryside.

  1. Mawsmai Cave

This is one cave in Meghalaya that can be easily accessed. These caves are termed as ‘natural’ wonder. This is a one-way journey and the caves are lit well. This 150 m long wonder cave can be considered as a short trip under the earth. The element of adventure vanishes due to the electricity but you are given an opportunity to enjoy and understand the designs and structures on the rocks and the walls.

Mawsmai Cave

6. Ka Khoh Ramhah

Ka Khoh Ramhah is one of the major attractions of Cherrapunji. This is also known ‘Mothorp’ or ‘Pillar rock’. This is a rock shaped like a cone. There is a legend stating the presence of an evil demon.

Ka Khoh RamhahBest Time to Visit Nohkalkai Falls

This Nohkalkai falls are considered to be one of the best gift nature has offered. Though the legend connected to this is sad and disturbing, you should ensure you list this in your ‘must’ see. The perfect time to plan a trip here is during monsoons, that is, anytime between June and September. You can avoid a visit during December and February.

How to reach Nohkalikai Falls

By Train

The closest railhead is Guwhati railway station. This is at a 140km distance. You can take a cab or even a government bus from there.

By Air

The Guwhati International Airport is 166km north from the Nohkalikai Falls. This connects all the major cities like Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Delhi and more. From the airport you can take a taxi to the falls.

By Road

From Guwahati to Cherrapunji it takes 4 to 5 hours when driving. From Cherrapunji to the falls, the distance can be covered in 10 minutes.

As this place, Cherrapunji is one of the wettest places on earth, you come across a lot of mist and fog. For satisfactory viewing of the falls, it is best to choose late morning or even midday.

There is a threat to the healthy flow of these Nohkalikai falls due to commercialization and deforestation. An area that was covered with trees once upon a time now has a lot of mine shafts and coal mounds.