• Nohkalikai Waterfalls: Meghalaya’s Tragic Beauty

    nohkalikai waterfalls

    Discover the mesmerizing charm of Meghalaya, a hidden gem in Northeast India, celebrated for its waterfalls, living root bridges, and scenic panoramas. A trip to Meghalaya unfolds a delightful journey for nature enthusiasts, allowing them to immerse themselves in the natural world’s magic. Standing out among the attractions is the Nohkalikai Waterfalls in Cherrapunji, a spectacle of beauty plunging an impressive 1115 feet down a cliff, claiming the title of the tallest plunge waterfall in India.

    Yet, beneath the surface of Nohkalikai Waterfalls lies a poignant narrative. The waterfall draws its name from Ka Likai, a tribal woman of the Khasi Community who once inhabited the nearby forests. The picturesque setting carries a heartbreaking history as Ka Likai chose to end her life by leaping from the cliff, an act that now resonates in the name “Nohkalikai” – the leap of Likai. This shocking tale transforms the waterfall into more than a tourist spot; it symbolizes the profound connection between human experiences and the captivating landscapes of Meghalaya.

    The Tragic Story Behind Nohkalikai Waterfalls

    Nohkalikai Waterfalls

    Nohkalikai Waterfalls, one of the most popular waterfalls in Meghalaya, is nestled in the lush hills of Northeast India. The story behind this magnificent cascade is both enchanting and tragic, weaving together the threads of love, loss, and nature’s relentless beauty.

    In a small Khasi tribal village near Cherrapunji, there lived a woman named Likai. She was known for her unparalleled beauty rivaling the region’s blooming flowers. Despite facing life’s hardships, Likai always carried a radiant smile that warmed the hearts of those around her. She was a mother to a lovely daughter she cherished above all else.

    One day, tragedy struck Likai’s life when her husband met an untimely demise. Left to fend for herself and her daughter, Likai faced the harsh realities of survival. To make ends meet, she took up the laborious job of collecting betel nuts, venturing into the dense forests surrounding her village.

    As Likai embraced the challenges of life, she found solace in the arms of a new love. However, the blissful days were short-lived, for a shadow of sorrow cast itself over her life once again. One day, upon Likai’s return from the forest, her husband surprised her with a cooked lunch consisting of the staple foods of Meghalaya – meat and rice. Pleased by this gesture, she set out to find her daughter so they could enjoy the meal together, believing the three of them could finally form a happy family.

    Despite her efforts, Likai couldn’t locate her daughter. Her husband, attempting to console her, suggested she have lunch first, assuming their little one was playing at a neighbor’s house. Trusting this explanation, Likai happily sat down to savor the meal her husband had prepared with care.

    Once she finished her lunch, Liki resumed her search for her daughter. What awaited her in the house was a scene of unimaginable horror. In the storehouse, among the betel nuts and leaves, she discovered tiny fingers. It took a moment for Likai to grasp the grim reality – her daughter had met a tragic fate.

    Nohkalikai Waterfalls

    The shocking revelation that her husband had cooked and served their own daughter’s meat-filled Likai with an overwhelming mix of rage and grief. Her husband, as it turned out, was a psycho man fueled by jealousy. Driven by envy for the affection and attention showered upon Likai’s daughter, he committed a heinous act, snuffing out the innocent life.

    Bearing the weight of horror and sorrow, Likai ran aimlessly through the forests until she reached the edge of Nohkalikai Waterfalls. Consumed by guilt and unable to cope with her grief, she made a fateful decision. In a moment of profound despair, Likai leaped to her death, merging with the cascading waters below.

    The tragic saga of Likai, the waterfall’s namesake, serves as a haunting reminder of the darkness that can reside within human hearts. Nohkalikai Waterfall, with its awe-inspiring beauty, now stands as a testament to the enduring connection between the human experience and the relentless power of nature, forever etched with the echoes of a heart-wrenching story.

    In her profound anguish, Likai sought refuge in the mesmerizing beauty of the Nohkalikai Waterfalls. Legend has it that the waterfall derives its name from the Khasi words “Noh” meaning jump and “Kalikai” referring to Likai. The locals believe that in a moment of despair, Likai leaped from the precipice of the waterfall, ending her life and becoming one with the cascading waters below.

    Today, Nohkalikai Waterfalls stands as a testament to the poignant tale of Likai, attracting visitors from far and wide who come not only to witness its breathtaking beauty but also to reflect on the fragility of life and the resilience of the human spirit. The waters of Nohkalikai plunge dramatically from a height of approximately 340 meters, creating a misty spectacle that captivates the senses.

    As the sun sets over the dense Meghalayan forests, the cascading waters of Nohkalikai Waterfall glisten in the fading light, evoking a sense of both melancholy and awe. The legend of Likai echoes through the rustling leaves and the roaring waters, reminding us that nature, like life itself, is a tapestry woven with threads of joy and sorrow, love and loss. Nohkalikai Waterfall, with its tragic origin story, stands as an enduring symbol of the profound connection between human emotions and the sublime beauty of the natural world.

    Things to Do at Nohkalikai Waterfalls

    Nohkalikai falls

    Nohkalikai Waterfalls, nestled in the lush landscapes of Meghalaya, India, is a breathtaking natural wonder that beckons adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. With its mesmerizing cascade from a height of 340 meters, the waterfall offers a serene yet exhilarating experience. Here are five activities to make the most of your visit: 

    1. Zipline Adventure – Soar Above the Cascading Beauty

    Experience an adrenaline rush as you soar above the cascading beauty of Nohkalikai Waterfalls. The zipline adventure provides a thrilling perspective of one of the most popular waterfalls in Meghalaya, offering a unique and unforgettable way to witness its grandeur.

    1. Hiking Trails – Explore the Enchanting Surroundings

    Embark on an enchanting journey by exploring the surrounding hiking trails. Nohkalikai Waterfalls is not just about the falls; the lush landscapes offer numerous opportunities for adventure seekers looking for the best things to do in Shillong.

    1. Local Cuisine Delight – Taste Meghalaya’s Culinary Treasures

    Indulge your taste buds in a delightful journey of Meghalaya’s culinary treasures. Savor local flavors and dishes near Nohkalikai Waterfalls, making it one of the must-try things to do in Meghalaya.

    1. Photography Expedition – Capture the Beauty in Every Frame

    Capture the awe-inspiring beauty of Nohkalikai Waterfalls in every frame. This photography expedition ensures that you preserve the memories of your visit to one of the most popular waterfalls in Meghalaya through stunning visuals.

    1. Cultural Immersion – Interact with the Khasi Tribes

    Immerse yourself in the rich culture of the region by interacting with the Khasi tribes. This cultural immersion provides a unique insight into the local way of life, enhancing your overall experience of adventure activities around Nohkalikai Waterfalls.

    Best Time to Visit Nohkalikai Waterfalls

    famous waterfalls of meghalaya

    The best time to visit Nohkalikai Waterfalls, one of the popular waterfalls in Meghalaya, is during the post-monsoon season from October to November. During this period, the weather is pleasant, and the waterfall is at its full majestic flow, creating a breathtaking sight. The monsoon rains fill the surroundings with lush greenery, enhancing the overall beauty. It’s advisable to avoid the heavy rainfall season, from June to September, as the trails might be slippery. Choosing the right time to visit ensures an optimal experience, allowing you to witness the mesmerizing charm of Nohkalikai Waterfalls in its full glory.

    How to Reach Nohkalikai Waterfalls

    1. By Air: The nearest airport to Nohkalikai Waterfalls is Shillong Airport. From Shillong Airport, hire a taxi or use public transport to reach the waterfall.
    1. By Road: Nohkalikai Waterfalls is well-connected by road, and buses and taxis are available from Shillong. Shillong, being one of the popular waterfalls in Meghalaya, serves as a hub for transportation to Nohkalikai.
    1. By Rail: The nearest major railway station is Guwahati Railway Station. From Guwahati, one can take a train to Shillong and then proceed to Nohkalikai Waterfalls.
    1. Local Transport: Taxis and shared cabs are available from Shillong to Nohkalikai. The road journey itself offers scenic views, adding to the overall experience of visiting this captivating waterfall.

    Navigating to Nohkalikai Waterfalls is relatively convenient, especially from Shillong, ensuring that you can easily access and explore one of the best waterfalls in Meghalaya with minimal hassle.

    Places to Visit Near Nohkalikai Waterfalls

    1. Mawsmai Caves

    Mawsmai Caves

    Explore the fascinating Mawsmai Caves, known for their stunning limestone formations. Just a short drive from Nohkalikai, these caves offer an adventurous spelunking experience.

    2. Seven Sisters Falls

    Seven Sisters Falls

    Visit the Seven Sisters Falls, another jewel among the popular waterfalls in Meghalaya. Marvel at the seven segmented cascades surrounded by lush greenery.

    3. Thangkharang Park

    Thangkharang Park

    Enjoy panoramic views of the plains of Bangladesh from Thangkharang Park. the park is located near Nohkalikai and provides a serene environment for relaxation.

    4. Dainthlen Falls

    Dainthlen Falls

    Witness the beauty of Dainthlen Falls, characterized by its unique rock formations. It’s a short distance from Nohkalikai, making it an accessible and picturesque spot. 

    5. Kynrem Falls

    Kynrem Falls

    Explore Kynrem Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in Meghalaya. The lush green surroundings and the cascading water make it a delightful stop.

    6. Mawlynnong Village

    Mawlynnong Village

    Visit Mawlynnong, known as the “Cleanest Village in Asia.” Experience the vibrant local culture and explore the living root bridges in the village.

    7. Living Root Bridges

    Living Root Bridges

    Trek to the nearby living root bridges, like the Double Decker and Umshiang Double Decker. These unique bridges, created from living tree roots, are engineering marvels.

    8. Cherrapunjee


    Take a trip to Cherrapunji, renowned for its lush landscapes and the Living Root Bridges. The drive itself is scenic, and Cherrapunji offers various attractions like the Mawkdok Dympep Valley.

    9. Arwah Cave

    Arwah Cave

    Discover the Arwah Cave, a lesser-known gem near Nohkalikai. The cave offers an off-beaten-path experience for those seeking solitude.

    Exploring the areas around Nohkalikai Waterfall unveils a treasure trove of natural wonders, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers and those looking to experience the charm of the best waterfalls in Meghalaya and its surrounding attractions.


    The journey to Nohkalikai Waterfalls in Meghalaya is a captivating adventure that blends the breathtaking beauty of nature with the tragic yet poignant tale of Ka Likai. As one of the popular waterfalls in Meghalaya, Nohkalikai Waterfalls stands tall, both literally and figuratively, with its mesmerizing 340-meter cascade. Beyond being a tourist spot, the falls embody the enduring connection between human experiences and the captivating landscapes of Meghalaya.

    The tragic story of Ka Likai adds a layer of depth to Nohkalikai Waterfalls, turning it into more than just a natural wonder. The legend resonates in every drop of water that plunges from the cliff, echoing the profound connection between human emotions and the sublime beauty of the natural world. Despite the sorrowful origin, the falls continue to attract visitors who come not only to witness its breathtaking beauty but also to reflect on the fragility of life and the resilience of the human spirit.

    Whether soaring above it on a zipline, exploring the enchanting hiking trails, savoring local culinary delights, capturing its beauty through photography, or immersing oneself in the culture of the Khasi tribes, Nohkalikai Waterfalls offers a diverse range of experiences. It stands as a symbol of the enduring connection between human emotions and the captivating landscapes of Meghalaya, solidifying its place among the best and most popular waterfalls in the region.