If the blissful sight and rushing sound of a gushing waterfall delights you, Meghalaya is one such state where you can get your heart’s thrill. This hilly state of north-east India abounds in spectacular waterfalls making it a waterfall chasers dream destination. The elevated terrain and ample rainfall makes for the appearance of waterfalls that are both healthy and dramatic and are a fascinating sight for tourists especially in monsoons and remain an equally compelling sight year-round.
Being a hilly region Meghalaya is pleasant and beckons through the year. Monsoon is the best time to enjoy the cascading waterfalls in their pomp glory, however, be warned many places in the state experience incessant rains at that time of the year resulting in occasional roadblocks due to landslide which makes it a tad difficult for travelling in the monsoon season.
Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya which is located at an altitude of 4,908 feet above sea level itself has a number of waterfalls including some popular ones like Bishop Falls, Spread Eagle Falls, Crinoline Falls and Beadon Falls. We set our trail on Sweet Falls located 8 kilometres from the city. The uniqueness of this waterfalls it that it’s almost like a picture. From the fantastic viewpoint, Sweet Falls burst out from amidst lush green forest making it one of the most natural waterfalls in that area. Elephant Falls is very popular with tourists and located just outside Shillong a mere 12 kilometres away. It descends in two falls, both can be viewed from very close proximity from a staircase which makes them accessible. However, this very feature, the artificial staircase also does the waterfall a disservice by cutting back on its natural splendour.
Deep in the West Khasi hills is Nangstoin and located around 25 kilometres from here is amazing Langshiang Falls. The natural vista surrounding the falls and the gorge through which it descends make for a stunning sight even if one doesn’t take into account the fact that this is amongst India’s highest waterfalls.
The East Khasi hills of Sohra, in Meghalaya has some of the state’s most bewitching waterfalls quite close to one another and can be visited within a couple of hours by road. One of the tallest waterfalls of India Nohkalikai Falls was at the top of our list. With a chilling folk tale to add to its mystery and the dramatic cascade of over 1,000 feet, what also stands this falls apart is the breathtaking vista that surrounds this waterfall in the form of wide gorges and deep valleys. Even though the viewers gallery give one a pretty good view of the falls, there is also a steep staircase leading down for the adventure seekers who desire a closer looks.
It’s a pity that Nohsngithiang or Mawsmai Falls doesn’t flow year round but when it’s in full flow, bustling over the naturesque canyon, it is easily the most iconic of all the waterfalls in the north eastern state and a photographers delight. There are a number of streams side-by-side which gives it a wide span and its unique beauty. Tumbling into a green misty valley below only adds to the whole mystical experience.
Another majestic waterfall, Kynrem Falls is impressive during monsoons but remains a fairly pristine sight even when not at its prime. This falls is accessible through Thangkharang Park with Bangladesh as its backdrop. At a noted 1,000 feet it is India’s seventh highest waterfall and a must visit.
Besides these popular ones on your drive through Meghalaya you are bound to chance upon a number of smaller ones that are waiting just for you to discover.