There is something about waterfalls that fascinates everyone. Is it the sheer power of a swollen river descending and cutting through the rocks? Is it the thunderous roar that warns the approaching traveller even before the waterfall is not to be seen yet? Maybe it is the sight of it from a distance, juxtaposed against thick green forests or immovable cliffs, forever in motion, never stopping.
When you are in Meghalaya between May and October, you will have your fill of waterfalls in their most prominent form – an outcome of the rainy season. Some of them – like Dainthlen, Noh Kalikai, Krangshuri are quite well-known and remain an essential part of any Meghalaya itinerary. However, there are thousands more waterfalls spread across the landscape – some rarely explored even by locals because of difficult terrain.
For now, we keep it simple! If you want a mix of popular, easily accessible spots and relatively offbeat locations – here are some recommendations.
Elephant Falls, Shillong
If there is one waterfall that you can visit with the entire family, including those who don’t want to break too much sweat – it would be the Elephant Falls, located just a few kilometres south of Shillong.
Easy accessibility does not diminish the grandness of this natural site. The railed walkways bring visitors up close to the spray and the power and one can descend to the pool at the bottom – a favoured ground for photography sessions with family and friends.
Noh Ka Likai Falls, Sohra
Noh Ka Likai Falls is one of the icons of the Khasi Hills – because of the splendorous sight and dizzying drop and also because of the legend attached to it. But the real joy of this waterfall is when you venture up close. One can hike to the top of the waterfalls and gaze through a natural window of rocks at the green carpet of forests and sky. Several other scenic trails take you to the base of the waterfall. Always choose a local guide for the best experiences.
Lyngksiar Falls, Sohra
Another Sohra wonder, the multi-tiered Lyngksiar Falls is named after a fragrant flower that grows in the area. Photographers will relish the prospect of exploring this area and the multiple perspectives on offer. Enjoy the drive on the open countryside and panoramic views that come along before you hike down a light descent sprinkled with rock formations and natural pools (or a flowing stream during the wetter months).
The best time to visit is during the post monsoons – where you can avoid the relentless downpour and trek easier but also get to see the waterfall in its peak volume.
An 80 km drive from Shillong, Rynji Falls is tucked in some scenic rural landscape in the middle of the Jaintia Hills. Rock formations around the river and cascade and moderate nature trails add to the excitement of getting there. Many fishing enthusiasts love to try out their luck in the pools and streams below the falls. The Moopun Falls is another place to visit close by – around 3 kms north.
Khudoi Falls, West Khasi Hills
The West Khasi Hills offer some of the most secluded and off-beat destinations in Meghalaya. Located near Mairang town, Khudoi Falls is a raging sight even in the driest of months and features two drops split by a large pool. The approach offers beautiful views of the wooded country and gentle hills.
Khudoi Falls can be part of an exciting itinerary where you explore this sparsely populated and exceedingly scenic region of the state. Nearby attractions include Lum Kyllang – a legendary monolithic rock and Mawphanlur – a picture-perfect hill-top destination known for its idyllic scenes and mini-lakes.