The tallest plunge waterfall in India, Nohkalikai Falls is one of the most photogenic places to visit in Meghalaya. It drops from a height of 1115 feet into a pool that changes color from blue to aqua to green. Nohkalikai means ‘Ka Likai’s Leap’ in the Khasi language. The distance from Cherrapunji to Nohkalikai Falls is approx. 7 km and can easily be reached in 20 minutes by cab or taxi.
The water plunging from such a height is a beautiful sight to behold. There are viewpoints from where you can capture the breathtaking views of Nohkalikai Falls. The flow of the water is profuse in summer and recedes in winter months to a small stream, which almost looks like a white rope against the green forest. However, the sight and the surroundings still remain picturesque and are a must-see.
There is a legend behind the Nohkalikai Falls, which we will get into in a second, but before that, you must know there are many fun and adventure activities to perform here. For instance, camping, trekking, bird watching, landscape photography, swimming, and angling. There are steps that lead you to the base of the Nohkalikai Falls but end midway and a trekking trail takes you the rest of the way.
Here is everything you must know about Nohkalikai Fall in Meghalaya
- Fall Timing: You can visit Nohkalikai Falls any time from 9 am to 5 pm
- Duration: 1 to 2 hours
- Entry Fees: INR 20 is charged to see Nohkalikai Falls and INR 20 for the camera.
Nohkalikai Falls Legend
The falls have taken the name from a tragic Khasi legend. As per the fable, a woman named Likai married after her husband who died carrying iron to Sylhet. Ka Likai (Ka – prefix for women in Khasi) was left behind with her infant and no income and decided to be a porter herself. She had to leave her baby with her second husband and didn’t give him much time. Out of jealousy, Ka Likai’s husband killed the infant and cooked her meat, and threw her head and bones away.
When she came home tired, she looked for her baby but she was so tired she ate the cooked meat anyway. She saw a severed finger near the place where she usually cut betel leaves and nuts and realized what had happened. In agony and sadness, she jumped off the edge of the plateau into the waterfall. This place is now known as Nohkalikai Falls. Also, ‘Noh’ means to jump in the Khasi language.
Best Time to Visit Nohkalikai Falls
October to December and March to May is the best time to visit Nohkalikai Falls. The weather is pleasant during this time and you can witness clear skies and fast-flowing waterfalls in its full glory.
How to Reach Nohkalikai Falls
Cherrapunji to Nohkalikai Falls is easily accessible by car or cab. You can even walk from Sohra to the falls. Nohkalikai Falls from Cherrapunji is approx. 7 km away and Cherrapunji from Shillong is about 54 km and takes 2 hours to reach. The drive is scenic with views of mist-covered hills.
The nearest airport and railway station is in Guwahati, Assam. You can take direct or connecting flights/trains from major cities. And after arrival, take a bus, car, or taxi to reach Nohkalikai Falls.
Places to Stay in Cherrapunji
You will find different types of accommodation in Cherrapunji – guesthouses, resorts, cottages, and homestays. They offer decent to great services and offer you time to connect with nature.
Here are some places to stay in Cherrapunji near Nohkalikai Falls –
- Polo Orchid Resort (6.2 km)
- Ibankordor Jungle Resort (6.8 km)
- San Nael La Resort (4.2 km)
- Sulawado Resort (3.5 km)
Places to Visit near Nohkalikai Falls
Here are some of the places to visit around Nohkalikai Falls for a memorable experience –
- Rainbow Falls (1 km)
- Mawsmai Cave (11 km)
- Cherrapunji View Point (9 km)
- Wah-Kaba Falls (8 km)
- Wei Sawdong Waterfall (13 km)
- Double Decker Living Root Bridge (22 km)
Tips for Visiting Nohkalikai Falls
- Hire a licensed guide for the trek,
- Take out an entire day if you want to trek to the falls.
- Always carry a raincoat with you.
- If you walk further from the Nohkalikai viewpoint, you can see Bangladesh.
- Shop for local spices, handicrafts, and honey from the market at the parking lot near the Nohkalikai Viewpoint.