The heart wrenching story behind the tallest waterfall of India

In my previous blog, I spoke how the 5-hour long trek to rainbow falls and then coming back to Cherrapunji made us tired like anything, but all these efforts gave us some of the best travel memories of our life.

 (To know about the itinerary, how to plan, what to pack, Read my blog “Planning for Meghalaya“)

We had plans of exploring the pretty town of Cherrapunji today and some sightseeing including the famous Noh-Kali-Khai Waterfalls. The Noh kali Khai falls are the tallest waterfall of India, falling from a height of 1115 ft. This majestic fall is one of a natural wonder that you should not miss on your travel to Cherrapunji. The best time to visit would be either during the monsoon or just after the monsoons from June to November

Noh kali Khai in peak Mosnoons (image source:

We headed towards the Noh Kali Khai falls for which I was waiting from a long. The drive was pleasant with lofty hills sloping on both sides of the road in distance and there were these stretches of grass fields, no wonder why they call it Scotland of east.

Enroute Noh-Kali-Khai, I was not wrong in calling it Scotland

Doesn’t it look like a location from GOT?? Maybe!

The Name Noh Kali Khai has its own story, A story that might melt your heart. The literal meaning of Noh Kali Khai is ‘Jump of Ka Likai’ the prefix ‘Ka’ is used in Khasi language for female. Hence it means Jump of lady Likai. The story is as follow:

Likai was living a life of porter in a village near to the waterfall. As her husband died at a young age, she was taking care of her young daughter by being a single mother. The young child needed a father and in the persuasion of other villagers, she married another man. As the kid was very young and Likai was very protective of her hence she used to take care of her most of the time when she was home. The man did not like all of Likai’s attention that was thrown to her children. Out of this jealousy, he did something so terrible you can’t even imagine.

One fine evening her husband cooked dinner for her. Likai, who came home after a hectic day at work, sat for dinner. She could not find her daughter in the house, she thought that her daughter must be at a neighbor’s place. While eating food, she found a tiny finger in her food. I hope you can imagine where this story is leading. Her husband out of hatred for the young kid cooked her and fed her to her mother. Likai, on the realization of such a ghastly act, became fury in madness. The fact that she had eaten her own child dawned her like anything. She ran and ran into the forest screaming and crying until she reached the edge of the waterfall where the water leaps off the precipice, She then jumped and threw herself into the deep canyon.

It is the unfortunate of this breathtaking waterfall that it is associated with such a heart-wrenching story.

We reached the falls viewpoint, but to our disappointment, the water was not that much in the fall. Majorly because we were there at the beginning of summers when most of the falls are dry, post the monsoons they get a boost and if you see the picture below, the entire canyon can be seen with a number of waterfalls thundering there with the major one in the center the Noh Kali Khai.

The Noh Kalikhai as witnessed by me
Noh kali Khai in peak Monsoons (image source:

We spent quite a time there admiring the beauty of this place and the giant fall right in front of us. There is a tiny market there at the viewpoint where you can souvenir and some local handmade craft items. There are also stalls that sells homemade pickles of varied taste. There was this cafe at the edge of the canyon with a great view of the entire valley. We had our lunch there, they made a fine Omelets and egg rolls.

A house in the village near to the waterfall

After spending a good time there, we left for the million years old Limestone Arvah caves in Cherrapunji. Read my next blog about how we became the treasure hunters in the dark deep caves of Meghalaya.


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