Nohkalikai Falls is located in Cherrapunji of Meghalaya, one of the wettest place on earth. It is India's tallest plunge waterfall that falls from an altitude of 1,115 ft. The pool of water formed from the falls is somewhat greenish in colour. Surrounded by lush green and misty clouds, the waterfall is mostly rainfed.
This mystic waterfall that can leave any visitor spellbound, sadly is tagged with a tragic legend. The Khasi word Nohkalikai literally translates to "Jump of Ka Likai". Here, "Ka" is a prefix that is given to the female gender in the Khasi language. Likai is the protagonist of the ghastly story that you are about to read.
The Story Of Nohkalikai Falls
The legend of Nohkalikai Falls is as follows...
Likai was a young mother who stayed in the village of Rangjyrteh, which is found nearby the waterfall. Widowed at a young age, Likai had to be a porter, the job of her deceased husband.
She had a little baby girl who she could not give her complete attention to. Naturally, when she was home, she would spend all her time with the baby. Through the persuasion of other women from the village, who insisted that the baby needed a father, she got married to a man.
The new husband turned out to be petty and was jealous of all the attention she showered on the baby when she was home. His pettiness led him to do something so ghastly, that this beautiful fall was unfortunate to be tagged with.
One day he cooked a hearty meal for his wife. Likai who came home after a long day of work was starving. She looked around for her baby but could not find her. Assuming that the baby was in the neighbour's house, she settled down to eat the meal cooked by her husband.
I hope you see where this tragic story is going. The man was so envious of the baby, that he chopped the poor baby and cooked her for the meal that he fed to Likai! He threw away the head and bones of the baby before Likai reached home!!
Unaware of this horrendous act, Likai sat down to eat her routine betel leaves and nuts after having meals. Near the basket of betel leaves, Likai saw a tiny finger that she knew belonged to her daughter. She wrapped her head around what had taken place. Petrified and enraged of the events, she ran and ran till she reached the edge of the falls, and finally jumped to her own death. Due to this legend, it is named as Nohkalikai Falls.
Best Time To Visit Nohkalikai Falls
The unfortunate legend must not stop you from visiting the falls since it is nature at its best. The monsoon months of June to September are the perfect time to visit Nohkalikai Falls, since the waterfall will be brimming with water.
December to February can be avoided since it is a dry season and the Falls will have reduced amount of water.
Places To Visit Around Nohkalikai Falls
Mawsmai Caves found about 12 km from the falls offer an exciting experience of exploring dark caves. Nohsngithiang Falls and Dainthlen Falls are the two other awe-inspiring waterfalls that can be visited nearby.
Living Roots Bridge is another fascinating spot to visit in Cherrapunji. Here, there are two rows of bridge formed by aerial roots of the rubber trees, which is strong enough to hold up to 50 people at once!
How To Reach Nohkalikai Falls
By Air: Located about 166 km North from Nohkalikai Falls, is the Guwahati International Airport which is the closest one. It connects to all major cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and a taxi or a bus can take you to the falls from the airport.
By Train: Guwahati Railway Station is the closest railhead, located at a distance of about 140 km. A government bus or cab can be taken from here.
By Road: The drive from Guwahati to Cherrapunji is a 4-5 hour drive. From Cherrapunji, it only takes 10 minutes to reach the falls. Tourist Taxis from the airport and railhead or inter-state buses can take you to the falls from Guwahati.