Top Waterfalls In Meghalaya You Must Visit

Each waterfall offers a unique experience, from the towering height of Nohkalikai to the segmented splendour of Seven Sisters Falls, the accessibility of Elephant Falls, and the remoteness of Langshiang
Waterfalls in Meghalaya
Waterfalls in Meghalaya Shutterstock

Meghalaya is a land of natural beauty and cultural richness. The state, aptly named "Abode of Clouds," is renowned for its verdant landscapes, rolling hills, and numerous waterfalls that cascade down its rugged terrain. These waterfalls, each unique in splendour and charm, draw tourists from across the globe. Here, we delve into the allure of five of Meghalaya's most waterfalls, exploring their beauty, the surrounding landscapes, and the experiences they offer visitors.

Nohkalikai Falls

Nohkalikai Falls, at a staggering 340 meters (1,115 feet), is the tallest plunge waterfall in India. Located near Cherrapunji, one of the wettest places on Earth, Nohkalikai is surrounded by greenery and misty landscapes that create a dramatic backdrop for the waterfall's powerful drop.

The name "Nohkalikai" translates to "Jump of Ka Likai" in Khasi, and it has a poignant legend. According to local folklore, a woman named Likai jumped to her death from the cliff beside the waterfall after discovering a tragic truth about her family's demise. This tale adds a layer of mystique to the falls.

Visitor Experience: The viewing point offers a panoramic view of the waterfall and the surrounding valley, especially during the monsoon season when the falls are most voluminous. The trek to the base of the falls is challenging but rewarding, providing a close encounter with the waterfall's beauty. Visitors can also explore nearby attractions like the Mawsmai Cave and the Seven Sisters Falls.

Location: Cherrapunji, East Khasi Hills

Getting There: To reach Nohkalikai Falls, one can take a taxi or bus from Shillong to Cherrapunji, approximately 54 kilometres away. From Cherrapunji, it's a short drive of about 5 kilometres to the falls.

Nohkalikai Falls, Cherapunji
Nohkalikai Falls, CherapunjiShutterstock

Elephant Falls

Elephant Falls is one of the most accessible and popular waterfalls in Meghalaya, located just 12 kilometres from Shillong. The British named it after a rock that resembled an elephant (which has since disintegrated). The falls are known locally as "Ka Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew," which translates to "Three Step Waterfalls."

True to its name, Elephant Falls comprises three distinct sections. The first section is broad and shallow, the second narrows and cascades down a set of steps, and the third is the tallest and most visually striking, where the water plunges into a deep pool.

Visitor Experience: Well-maintained paths and steps make Elephant Falls easily navigable for tourists. The lush greenery and the sound of cascading water provide a serene environment. The falls swell with water during the monsoon, offering a magnificent sight.

Location: Near Shillong, East Khasi Hills

Getting There: Elephant Falls is located about 12 kilometres from Shillong. It is easily accessible by car or taxi, making it a popular day trip destination for tourists and locals.

Seven Sisters Falls

Also known as Nohsngithiang Falls, the Seven Sisters Falls is a seven-segmented waterfall that offers a spectacular sight, especially during the monsoon season. These falls are situated in Mawsmai village near Cherrapunji and are one of the tallest waterfalls in India, with a height of 315 meters (1,033 feet).

The seven segments of the waterfall flow side by side, creating a magnificent view that resembles a bridal veil. The best time to visit is during the monsoon when the falls fully flow.

Visitor Experience: A viewpoint near the falls provides a panoramic view of the Seven Sisters Falls and the lush valleys below. The surrounding area is rich in flora and fauna, making it a great spot for nature walks and bird-watching. The falls are also close to other attractions like the Mawsmai Cave, making it convenient for tourists to explore multiple sites in one trip.

Location: Mawsmai Village, East Khasi Hills

Getting There: The falls are located around 1 kilometre south of Mawsmai village in Cherrapunji. From Shillong, it's approximately a 55-kilometer drive to Cherrapunji.

Seven Sisters Falls
Seven Sisters FallsShutterstock

Kynrem Falls

Kynrem Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in Meghalaya, at 305 meters (1,001 feet). Located in the Thangkharang Park near Cherrapunji, this three-tiered waterfall offers a majestic sight as it cascades down the cliffs in three stages.

The falls are set against the backdrop of Thangkharang Park, which offers lush greenery and panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, including the plains of Bangladesh, on a clear day. The falls are most impressive during the monsoon when they reach full capacity.

Visitor Experience: Visitors can enjoy the serene environment of Thangkharang Park while absorbing the scenic views of Kynrem Falls. The park is home to various plant and animal species, making it a great spot for nature lovers.

Location: Thangkharang Park, East Khasi Hills

Getting There: Kynrem Falls is located about 16 kilometers from Cherrapunji, within the Thangkharang Park. From Shillong, it’s a 60-kilometer drive to Cherrapunji, followed by a short trip to the park.

Langshiang Falls

Langshiang Falls, located near the village of Sangriang in the West Khasi Hills, is another spectacular waterfall in Meghalaya. At approximately 337 meters (1,106 feet) in height, it is one of the tallest waterfalls in India. It is formed by the confluence of the Kynshi River and its tributaries. It is a beautiful sight to see water thundering down rugged cliffs into a deep gorge.

Visitor Experience: Reaching Langshiang Falls involves a trek through lush forests and hills, making it a paradise for adventure enthusiasts. The path to the falls offers scenic views and opportunities for bird-watching. The nearby Nongkhnum Island, the second-largest river island in Asia, adds to the charm of visiting this region.

Location: Nongkhnum Island, West Khasi Hills

Getting There: To reach Langshiang Falls, one can take a taxi or bus from Shillong to Nongstoin, approximately 93 kilometres away. From Nongstoin, it's a short drive to Sangriang village, followed by a trek to the falls.

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