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The gruesome story behind India’s tallest waterfall

The Xennial
·2-min read

Did you know this dark story of Cherrapunji’s Nohkalikai Falls?

Nohkalikai Falls is India’s tallest waterfall. Located in Cherrapunji, one of the wettest places on earth, Nohkalikai Falls are a tourist attraction. But did you know the gruesome legend behind these falls?

The story goes that there once lived a widow called Likai upstream from the falls. To make ends meet she became a porter. However, the meagre income wasn’t of much help. She would also spend hours away from her new-born baby. 

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The Nohkalikai waterfalls in the lush green forested hills in the Khasi hills in Meghalaya in Northeast India.
The Nohkalikai waterfalls in the lush green forested hills in the Khasi hills in Meghalaya in Northeast India.

To help sustain herself and her infant daughter, Likai agreed to remarry. She continued to worked hard all day and when at home, she’d take care of her baby. This made her new husband jealous who didn’t like the fact that he wasn’t getting to spend any time with his new bride. In a fit of envy, the husband killed the baby and cooked her flesh.

When Likai returned home that day, she was famished and ate the meal that she assumed was made for her. She looked for her baby but figured that her husband may have taken her outside or that the baby may have been somewhere in the village.

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Photo taken in Cherrapunji, India
Photo taken in Cherrapunji, India

Likai was in the habit of having betel leaf after her meal so she reached out to the place she kept the leaves. Instead, she discovered a severed finger and instantly realised the horror of what had happened.

She was beside herself and ran off the edge of the cliff and jumped to her death. As a result, the waterfall was named Nohkalikai or the ‘fall of Likai’ as a grim reminder of the tragedy.

Want to know more about the gorgeous Meghalaya? Click here.

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