Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrWith a height of 1,115 feet, Nohkalikai Falls is considered the fourth-tallest waterfall in India. It is also the most-visited destination in Cherrapunji . While fog and mist is the main villain in this land, people often have to wait in patience to get a view of this splendid waterfall. The area around the waterfall is thick in greenery and has remained largely untouched. The waterfall is fed by rainwater from a small plateau in the hilltop and as the steam plunges down into a water-pool below, the water looks strangely green.
According to the Khasi legend, the name ‘Nohkalikai’ has been derived after a local woman named 'Likai'- who jumped off the waterfall’s cliff to death.
The flow of the water in Nohkalikai Falls diminishes during December – February as the rainfall become scanty during this time.
Places around Cherrapunji also serves as the international border between India and Bangladesh.
GeologyThe Northeastern part of India has a hilly terrain. The presence of innumerable hills in and around this region has given various natural wonders, which are worth for a visit. Of all the state in Northeast, Meghalaya is one of the most beautiful states in India. The vast tract of mountains, giant waterfalls, flora and fauna has given this state a unique presence in the country.
Unlike the Himalayan range which is mainly famous for taller mountain peaks and rugged terrain, the mountains in Meghalaya known as Khasi Hills are full of greenery. It is mainly due to the abundance of rainfall that occurs in some part of this state. Cherrapunji is one such place in Meghalaya which is referred to as one of the wettest place on the Earth. Owing to such large downpour all throughout the year, the forest of Cherrapunji is sub-tropical in nature and is a home to varieties of the rare breed of spices and plants.
Despite such heavy rainfall, Cherrapunji is a traveler delight. Every year tourists from all over the world visit this location to enjoy the scenic beauty of the wet and wild natural terrains. It is also due to rain that Cherrapunji also houses many important waterfalls and Nohkalikai Falls is just one of them.
Places to see in CherrapunjiIf you are planning to check out Nohkalikai Falls, you can also add other interesting places in Cherrapunji that are worth a visit, such as :
Eco ParkThis park is situated in the east of the Khasi Hills and is arguably the best spot to catch a glimpse of the plains of Sylhet in Bangladesh. Besides, the park also has a wide collection of rare orchids.
Dainthlen WaterfallsThis fall is located around 3.1 miles from Cherrapunji and is an ideal picnic spot. The scenic beauty of the location and the adjacent village, Rangjyrthej, is worth a visit to catch along with a glimpse of the waterfall.
Krem Phyllut CaveThis famous cave of Cherrapunji is 3,287 feet in length having three entry points. Inside the cave has two river passages and is another major attraction for tourists. The cave is opened all days from 9 AM – 4:30 PM.
Thangkharang ParkThis park is located around twelve kilometers from Cherrapunji and is under the control of the State Forest Department. You may be charged with a nominal entry to step inside the park, but its worth as the scenery is stunning with the plains of Bangladesh lying in front of you.
Nongsawlia Presbyterian ChurchThis famous church was established in 1846 by Rev. Thomas Jones. It is through this establishment that Christianity had spread in this region.
Ram Krishna MissionIf you visit Cherrapunji in April, be sure to visit this famous mission as they organize a traditional colorful Khasi festival called Shad Suk Mynsiem (Dance of Joyous Heart).
Setting aside the important places to visit, Cherrapunji is also ideal for adventure tourism. One of the most significant trekking routes is Double Decker Living Root Bridge in a village called Nongriat. Cherrapunji is also favorable for rock climbing and also river rafting which starts from Nongthymmai till Mynteng Bridge. However, be sure to carry a guide if you plan for such adventures.
How to VisitCherrapunji is a small place and you can plan your trip to visit all the places of interest along with Nohkalikai Falls. If you plan to travel by flight, you can either land at Shillong or Guwahati airport. Both these airports are well connected to the other part of the country.
The nearest rail-head of Cherrapunji is Guwahati at a distance of 112 miles. The rail station is also well networked with rest of the country. From Guwahati rail station, you can avail local buses or hire private taxis to reach Cherrapunji.
Best Time to VisitCherrapunji probably don’t see any other season besides monsoon. Most of the time, Cherrapunji is covered in dark clouds and mist making it quite impossible to check out the area. The best time to visit would be during September – October.
As a note of caution- its best not to visit Cherrapunji during the monsoon months, which starts from middle of June and continues till the end of August.
What to eatOranges are famous in Cherrapunji. Rice is the staple food in this region accompanied by spicy meat and fish.
SouvenirsTribal handicraft and orange flavored honey are the best buy as a souvenir in Cherrapunji. All these items are available in Cherra Bazaar. Also you can visit Police BazAar where there are a number of shops that sells local handicraft product made of bamboo, cane and wood.
Where to StayThere are a couple of hotels and resorts in Cherrapunji. Some of them are budget friendly while others are expensive. If you plan to visit during the peak season, it is ideal to book the hotels beforehand.
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Author: SubhasishMitra. Last updated: Feb 08, 2015