Meghalaya is abound with a number of natural waterfalls thanks to the presence of the wettest places on earth, namely Cherrapunjee and Mawsynram. Although the pole position is currently held by
Mawsynram, it is Cherrapunjee which attracts a large number of tourists throughout the year. Cherrapunjee is blessed with abundant natural beauty, picturesque hills, exclusive living root
bridges, serene lakes and cool weather.
It is probably the only place in the country which experiences monsoon throughout the year. The presence of different types of clouds close to our and the ever changing weather made the place extremely fascinating. However, we came to know about a very unnatural thing about Cherrapunjee during our stay. Despite receiving perennial rainfall throughout the year, there is huge shortage of drinking water. Due to this reason, people have to trek for hours to collect clean water for drinking.
From the Dainthlen Falls, we moved on towards our next destination which was also in Cherrapunjee. It was the Nohkalikai Falls which is considered to be the tallest in the country in
the category of plunge waterfalls. The scene of thick lines of water falling from a height of around 340 metres was simply awesome.
The local residents told us that the strength of the falling water decreases during the winters (December to February) when the small plateau over the waterfall over which the rain gets collected becomes comparatively dry. We could also spot the plunge pool which has been formed at the bottom of the falls. It has an unusual greenish colour and the current was very strong.
Nohkalikai stands for Jump of Ka Likai according to the Khasi Language. It is named after Likai, a local Khasi woman who committed suicide by jumping off the hill close to the waterfalls. We were extremely saddened when we came to know about the legend behind the naming of the falls.
An innocent lady named Likai lived in a nearby village called Rangjyrteh had unknowingly eaten meat prepared from her own infant’s body. It was her second husband who had committed the sin as Likai was too busy in earning and then looking after her baby. We left the falls with a heavy heart and couldn’t believe how a man could do such a thing.