Famous as one of the wettest places on earth, Cherrapunji is blessed with numerous gems of nature. It receives average annual rainfall of about 11,430 mm. Though Mawsynram has outranked Cherrapunji to become the wettest place on earth, but the charm of Cherrapunji continues to spellbind visitors. From gigantic caves to awe-striking waterfalls, one can easily get overwhelmed by a multitude of tourist attractions. I have another post that captures caving experience in Cherrapunji. Go through this post to find out, which are the most gorgeous waterfalls in Cherrapunji.
A Quick Glance Through
1. Nohkalikai Falls
Cascading down from 1,115 ft, Nohkalikai falls is the highest plunge waterfall in India. The most unique aspect of the falls is the mystic deep green plunge pool, which gets formed below.
You can enjoy the panoramic view of the waterfall from a viewing gallery located in proximity. Surrounded by lush greenery, Nohkalikai falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Cherrapunji that is a must-visit.
The word “Nohkalikai” translates into “Jump of Ka Likai” in the local Khasi language. Ka is the prefix given for the female gender in Khasi tribes.
There is a heart-wrenching story associated with the falls. A woman named Ka Likai plunged to her death from the edge of this plateau, not able to get over the loss of her daughter.
Ka Likai remarried after the death of her husband. But this man, her second husband killed her infant daughter out of jealousy, as he was not getting the love and attention he expected.
2. Nohsngithiang Falls
Also known as Seven Sisters falls or Mawsmai falls, Nohsngithiang Falls lies just about 1 km from Mawsmai village. Owing to its proximity to this village. it is referred to as Mawsmai falls.
The name Seven Sisters falls is derived from the fact that seven distinct streams constitute one waterfall. At 1035 ft (315 m), it is counted amongst one of the tallest waterfalls in India.
Gushing down the limestone rocks with immense speed, this seven-segmented waterfall presents a spectacular sight to the visitors. The falls are set at such a place that it is illuminated by sun rays throughout the day in a clear sky.
With the sunlight reflecting and refracting by the tumbling water streams, it creates a kaleidoscope of colours. This effect can’t be observed on a gloomy day. You can enjoy the enchanting beauty of the falls from the viewing gallery, located right near the highway.
No trekking is required to reach the viewing gallery. So, even elderly visitors can easily get there, which makes it one of the most popular waterfalls in Cherrapunji.
3. Dainthlen Falls
A little over 30 minutes drive from Cherrapunji town takes you to the charming Dainthlen falls. If you are driving from Shillong, take a detour on a road to the right just before entering Cherrapunji.
This waterfall is situated off the popular tourist circuit of the town. Away from the reach of chaos, it is a great place to delve into nature’s pure beauty.
The falls got its name from a huge snake named ‘Thlen’. Legend has it that the wicked snake lived in a cave adjacent to the waterfall. It had terrorized all the people of the area and they wanted to get rid of Thlen.
One day some courageous men caught the snake and destroyed its hood. The rock carvings near the waterfall are testimony to the violent struggle.
It is one of the offbeat waterfalls in Cherrapunji and is conveniently located in proximity to the road. You can stand on top of the falls to enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of the falls and surroundings. There are barricades for the safety of visitors.
4. Wakaba Falls
On the way to Cherrapunji from Shillong, I ran into the amazing Wakaba falls. It wasn’t part of my scheduled itinerary but I decided to visit here after noticing Wakaba falls board.
Tumbling down 550-600 ft high cliff, it is a multi-tiered waterfall. You should visit this falls right after monsoon when torrents of water gushes down the hill.
The sight of cascades passing through the huge boulders of the gorge leaves an everlasting impression on the beholder. Fed completely by rainwater, it is one of the seasonal waterfalls in Cherrapunji. During winters, there is very little or no water in the falls.
You can’t go to the base of the waterfall or at the top where it originates. Enjoy the captivating beauty of the falls from a viewing gallery.
Sometimes, it gets so cloudy that visitors don’t get clear views of the falls. Given the whimsical nature of Cherrapunji weather, the sky becomes clear in a while if you wait.
5. Kynrem Falls
The magnificent Kynrem falls lies in Thangkharang Park, some 12 km away from Cherrapunji town. Gushing down in three tiers from 1,001 ft (305 m), it is considered the seventh highest waterfall in India.
Like many other waterfalls in Cherrapunji, it is also fed by rains. This waterfall deserves to be seen during the monsoon months when the hill is adorned with many seasonal cascades along with the main falls.
Besides the roaring sounds of the falls, the clamorous sound of cicadas can also be heard all around the place. You can approach the base of the waterfall from the main road and adore the awe-inspiring beauty of the falls.
Since the waterfall makes its way through the main road, there is a small bridge for vehicles and pedestrians to cross. From Thangkharang Park, you can see the upper views of the falls and the vast plains of Bangladesh.
6. Rainbow Falls
Rainbow falls, undoubtedly is one of the most astonishing waterfalls in Cherrapunji. But, it is only for those who dare to climb countless number of steps and make their way through deep forests.
Be assured to get rewarded with panoramic vistas of the falls, when you reach there. This waterfall is named so because rainbows are a common sight near the falls. On a sunny day, a small rainbow appears when the sun rays strike the surface of water streams.
It is situated near Nongriat village in Cherrapunji. The last motorable road to this falls ends at Tyrna village. A visit to this falls including ascent and descent is a full day trip.
It is an arduous trek to the falls through several bridges and rugged steps starting from the base location at Tyrna. From the iconic Double Decker Root Bridge, it is close to 2 hours hike to reach the falls. Local guides can also be hired for the entire trip.
Take a dip in the azure waters of the plunge pool or just sit on a rock to soak in its beauty. The force of the plummeting waterfall seems strong enough to break even human bones. So, avoid going too close to the falls.
Over To You Now…
A trip to Cherrapunji can’t be deemed complete without visiting some of these charming waterfalls. Which all waterfalls in Cherrapunji have you visited? Tell us in the comment section below.
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