Nohkalikai Falls is the tallest plunge waterfall in India. Its height is 1100 feet (335 metres). The waterfall is located near Cherrapunji, India, one of the wettest places on Earth. Cherrapunji is located in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya and is home to five of the most famous waterfalls of the State that have now turned into favourite tourist destinations. One noteworthy among these list of five is the Nohkalikai Falls, which is also India’s tallest plunge Waterfall standing tall at a height of 1115 feet (340 meters). As per the Khasi folklore, an interesting story exists behind this waterfall’s name.
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The name ‘Nohkailikai’ in the local Khasi Tribal language means the ‘Jump of Ka Likai’. This is linked to a legend about a local women Likai who jumped off the cliff next to the falls; According to legends, in a village called Rangjyrteh, upstream from Nohkalikai Falls, a woman named Likai resided but had to remarry after her husband died. Ka Likai (Ka is the prefix given for the female gender in Khasi) was left with her infant girl with no means of income. So she had to become a porter herself. Her work required her to leave her daughter unattended for long intervals but when she would be at home she would spend most of her time taking care of her infant. Ka Likai, who married a second time, couldn’t pay attention to her second husband. The jealous husband killed the infant and cooked her meat after throwing away her head and bones. When Ka Likai returned home, she saw nobody in the house but except for a meal that had been prepared. She wanted to go look for her daughter but she ate the meat as she was tired from work. Ka Likai usually had a betel leaf after her meals but she found a severed finger near the place where she usually cut betel nuts and betel leaves. Ka Likai realized what had happened in her absence and went mad with anger and grief and started running as she swung a hatchet in her hand. She ran off the edge of the plateau and the waterfall where she jumped from was named Nohkalikai Falls after her.Just about 90 km from Shillong city is Cherrapunji – ‘the Rainiest Place on Planet Earth’ where the clouds cease to clear the sky and drops of rains continue to fall on your windshield in the majestic three-hour drive from Shillong to Cherrapunji. Nohkalikai Falls are fed by the rainwater collected on the summit of the comparatively small plateau and decrease in power during the dry season in December – February.
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