The Tragic Story Behind Nohkalikai Falls- India’s Tallest Plunge Waterfall
Just around 5 km from Cherrapunji, dive through the table land, hike for a few metres and there you are, you arrive at the breath taking view of the Nohkalikai waterfalls. Gushing down from a height of 1150 ft (340m), Nohkalikai falls is the tallest plunge waterfall in India, and fourth highest waterfall in the world. The waterfall is one of the most popular tourist attraction of Cherrapunji, not only for its panaromic view but also its lush green surroundings and misty clouds.
This majestic waterfall that leaves any visitor stunned, is sadly tagged with a tragic legend. Nohkalikai is a Khasi word which literally means “Jump of Ka Likai” (here “Ka” is the prefix given to the female gender in Khasi language).
The Legend of Nohkalikai:
According to the legend, in a village called Rangjyrteh, upstream of Nohkalikai falls, lived a woman named Ka Likai, who had to remarry after her husband’s death. After her husband’s death Ka Likai, herself became a potter, in order to feed her infant daughter. She used to go out for work the whole day and whenever she was home she would spend most of the time with her daughter. She remarried, realizing that her daughter required love of a father too. But things went the other way round, her new husband hated her daughter, since Ka Likai gave all her time to the little one. One day when Ka Likai was out for work, this cruel man killed her daughter and cooked her flesh as meal, throwing away her head and bones. When Ka Likai was home, she was astonished not to see her daughter around. Thinking that the child would be playing at the neighbour’s place, she thought of having her meal first. After her meal, Ka Likai usually had a betel leaf. When she went near the basket of the betel leaves, she found a severed finger nearby and realized what had happened in her absence. She went mad in anger and grief and rushed towards the cliff. Ka Likai ran off the edge of the plateau and threw herself down. And, so the fall was ever since named after her as “Nohkalikai Waterfalls”
This unfortunate legend must not stop one from visiting the falls since one can experience the beauty of nature at its best.
Best Time To Visit Nohkalikai Falls:
Monsoon months of June to September are perfect for the visit, since the waterfall will be brimming with water.
How To Reach?
· By Air: The closest Airport is the Guwahati international Airport (located around 166 km from the Nohkalikai Falls), which connects to all the major cities of India. A Taxi/Cab or a public transport bus can take you to the falls from the airport.
· By Train: Guwahati Railway Station is the nearest railhead, located at a distance of around 140 km. A public transport bus or cab can be taken from here.
· By Road: It takes around 4-5 hour to drive from Guwahati to Cherrapunji, it takes only 10 minutes to reach the falls from Cherrapunji. Tourist Share Taxis from the Airport/Railhead can take you to the falls from Cherrapunji.
Things To Do:
You can enjoy the scenic waterfall while having a cup of Tea/Coffee at the restaurant near the viewpoint. You can also buy local spices, locally made coffee, handicraft articles from the vendors nearby.
Places To Visit Around:
· Mawsmai cave (11 km)
· Nohsngithiang (Seven Sisters) Falls (10 km)
· Eco Park (10 km)
· Double Decker Living Root Bridge (22 km)
· Elephant Falls (42 km)
· Mawlynnong: Cleanest village of the world (76 km)
Hope this will make you visit the waterfall and keep you well informed beforehand.