The legend behind the Nohkalikai

The legend behind the Nohkalikai

Nohkalikai Falls is the most brilliant and tallest plunge waterfall in India. At 335 meters it is the highest plunge waterfall in India. Just a 10 minutes drive from main town of Cherrapunji, the fall is located at another blunt end of the plateau.From the edge of the cliff the waterfall looks like a white rope in a sea of green forests. Nohkalikai Falls was named so after a tragic Khasi legend.

According to the legend, in a village 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 a meal was ready.

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 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. ‘Noh’ means to jump in Khasi.

 


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