-By Soul Sword-
The Noh Ka Likai waterfall in Sorah (Cherrapunji) is one of the most picturesque waterfalls in India. It is the tallest plunge waterfall in India. Unlike other waterfalls which are crowded with tourists, this is located in a secluded and calm place quite far from Shillong.
We took a taxi up to the entry point and from there it just opened out into an open landscape atop a hill surrounded by clouds. I was wondering why we were in this place where I couldn’t even hear the falls when I was told to walk towards the edge and take a look from the fencing.
First and foremost, the view was a breathtaking one and I could see the falls across the valley plunging a whole 1115 feet into the crystal clear blue-green plunge pool. It was a clear white ribbon of water with a subtle sound of the plunging waters. It was a contrast to the usual rapid and loud waterfalls that I was used to. From afar it seemed like it took a slow and gentle dive to the pool.
There are 2 ways to approach the falls. One is from the viewpoint where there are stairs which go down halfway and from there it is a 30-minute trek, down to the foot of the falls which will bring you near the plunge pool.
The second way is by trekking to the tip of the falls following the path of the legendary Ka Likai.
The legend has it that there was a young widow named Ka Likai who lived with her infant girl. Likai’s husband had died on his job (porter) and left her with no income so she took on her husband’s job as a porter which required her to work for long durations leaving the infant with others. She was talked into remarrying by her female friends since they felt that both she and the child needed a man’s support. So Likai remarried but when she came back from work she used to spend all her time at home with her child. This made her second husband jealous as she was not giving him enough attention. One day when Likai was out working, her husband killed the infant and cooked a meal out of the child’s meat. Likai came home tired and hungry to an empty house and saw the meal. Since she was famished she ate her meal and went to chop beetle nuts which she usually had with betel leaves. She found a severed finger near the chopper and she was horrified when it dawned on her of what she had actually eaten. Furiously she ran out of her house brandishing a hatchet and she ran up to to the edge of the waterfalls and jumped from there to her death. The waterfall is named Noh Ka Likai after her. In Khasi language ‘Noh’ means leap, Ka is addressing the female gender, hence meaning Leap of Ka Likai.
The trek retraces her footsteps to the tip of the waterfall and a breathtaking view from along the waterfalls. On the way, there are small pools where you can bathe in the chilling waters but it is advisable to take the locals along with you. I was disappointed that I did not have time to go on this trek but I have heard it is a tough one. Upon searching, I found a link on Youtube where the trek is covered and it is definitely worth a watch. You can see it here:
The best time to visit the falls is from December to February where the water flow is considerably lesser and approachable. The visit to the Noh Ka Likai waterfalls had a soul-stirring effect on me and was a memorable experience.
Meghalaya is a beautiful state In India with a lot of places which are connected with different legends and it is interesting to explore. The locals are very friendly and helpful. I can’t wait to revisit Meghalaya – ‘The abode of clouds’ . . .