A plunge into the overwhelming cascades of Meghalaya

Every once in a while we crave to shrug off the monotony of our rather stressful lives and do something that would make us feel alive. Our hollow ambition of coming out victorious at the end of a rat race, perpetually suppresses our guilt of not giving ourselves enough time. Go on and take that trek you always dreamed of, spend time with your family, hang out with your friends a little more, travel!

Trekking along various parts of Meghalaya to get drenched in some of the most pristine and gorgeous waterfalls can definitely be a physically, mentally, emotionally challenging and fulfilling experience.

While the state of Meghalaya is a gem on the face of earth and has many jaw-dropping beautiful sites all over it; these enchanting waterfalls are the hidden beauties of nature. The tough yet breath-taking journey will not only push your patience threshold but the mere sight of a rain-fed waterfall will rejuvenate you to the core.

There is also an uncanny feature about the weather of Meghalaya. It is not only unpredictable, but almost whimsical. So practically, this North-eastern state is the best place if you want to play hide and seek with nature and race against time. Since there are always dark clouds hovering over the falls, it can, in reality, be a blink and miss experience, which means, you may catch a glimpse of the fall from a distance but when you reach, it’s completely enveloped by the clouds.

So let’s take this journey along the paths lesser tread.

Nohkalikai Falls on a clear day
Image: Udayaditya Kashyap

Nohkalikai Falls:

Situated in arguably the wettest part of the world, Cherrapunji, this tall plunge waterfall has a rather ghastly legend associated with it. Noh-Ka-Likai is the Khasi (language of the Khasi tribe of Meghalaya) word for Jump of Likai. So as legend goes, Likai, a Khasi widow and the mother of a baby girl was suggested to get married again by her neighbours and friends since her baby was too small and needed a father. She gave in to the idea, but her second husband was not the best husband. He was extremely envious of her baby as she would spend most of her time with her. With the due course of time his jealousy towards the baby reached a diabolical level and he killed her in Likai’s absence. When she found it out, she couldn’t handle it and jumped off the edge of this waterfall, which later was named after this ghastly incident.

On a cloudy day, when the atmosphere around the fall is hazy, you could only hear the thunderous sound of the water, pan your eyes through the forest and watch looming dark clouds over the fall. The story, coupled with the surrounding might give you chills. Having said that, isn’t that the whole point of exploring and learning new things about new places?

So while you sit there enjoying the glory of the tallest plunge pool waterfall of India, experience another world come alive in front of your naked eyes. Are you going to embrace this new world you just found out?

Elephant falls, shillong
Elephant Falls

Elephant Falls

Named by the British due to a mammoth rock that resembled an elephant, at the bottom of it, Elephant falls is a three-tier fall, cuddled up amid lush green surroundings. The water, clean enough to reflect your image and cold enough to give you chills through your spine. The post-monsoon period is the best time to visit, as the fall looks torrential and glorious during October to December.

This is one of the few falls in the state that is easily accessible. There is a parking lot available close to it, the path is not risky, making it possible for families with elders and children to walk down. Elephant falls are also loved by nature photographers and they could never get enough of its unsullied beauty.

 The Seven Sisters Falls:

seven sisters falls, meghalaya
Seven Sisters Falls

Famous as the Mawsami Falls, this mighty waterfall, roaring down from a lofty height is a marvelous sight to behold. The Seven Sisters Falls are not your regular falls, it cascades from a height of 1033 ft over limestone cliffs of Khasi hills. Murky September clouds floating over the hills, the greenery and watching the water take seven streams as it hits the cliffs is a sight that will make you realize the might of mother nature and how petty we are before her.

On a clear day, watching all of this happening together might make you feel connected with something beyond your materialistic world. This awe-inspiring sight will be with you for a very long time.

Kynrem Falls:

Kynrem Falls, Meghalaya
Kynrem Falls

Located approximately 12 kms from Cherapunji, Kynrem falls is another three-tier falls hidden amid the thick rain forest of the Khasi hills and Thangkarang Park. Cascading from a height of 1003 ft., Kynrem is India’s 7th tallest waterfall. Hire a local guide and trek through the dense forest up to the waterfall. It’s fascinating to see a gigantic fall roaring down with full force from seemingly, the skies. The post-monsoon or pre-winter period is the perfect time to enjoy the moist weather and the earthy smell of the soil after fresh rains. Walk back from where you have started and enjoy bird watching on the way.

Krang Suri Falls:

krang suri falls, meghalaya
Krang Suri Falls

Touted as the best waterfall of Meghalaya and one of the most scenic places in North East India, Krang Suri falls will become your memory for life. Its clear blue water, cool climate and lush green surroundings will instantly transport you to an ancient era. Camping by the plunge pool will be an out-of-the-world experience. The way to the fall is not easy. Slippery rocks, narrow pathways will make your trek difficult, but it will all be worth it.

Having said that, most of the waterfalls are well-maintained with lavatory and changing room facilities in close proximity.

Bophill Falls:

Bophill falls, meghalaya
Bophill Falls
Image: Hello Travel

This is a hidden gem of Meghalaya. Situated at the Indo-Bangladesh border, Bophills Falls, is an unexplored beauty that would be loved by off-beat travelers. The best time to visit Bophills is September and October when the stream of water is at its torrential best and the nature is in its full glory. If you are a nature lover or a photography buff, chances are you already know about this place, and would want to visit again.

 

 

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