Trek to Noh-Ka-Likai falls, Cherrapunji

Trek to Noh-Ka-Likai falls, Cherrapunji

Before I dive into the trek to Noh-Ka-Likai falls, let me relate to you the the folklore from which these falls derive their name. The falls are 1115 feet in height and very voluminous during the monsoon season. Trekking during monsoons is risky, maybe even suicidal, however, rewarding.

Noh Ka Likai falls as seen from the top

The tragic folk tale of Ka Likai

A young woman named Ka Likai lived with her husband and her daughter from a previous marriage, who she loved a lot. Her husband was jealous of the little girl. One day when Likai came back from work, he surprised her with a meal he had cooked. She ate it without suspicion but when she looked around for her daughter, she couldn’t find her. Later, She discovered severed fingers in a basket. Overcome with grief, she committed suicide by jumping off the cliff next to the falls. Noh ka Likai translates to ‘Leap of Likai’, based on this tragic story.

The story of Ka Likai

How to reach

Cherrapunji is 56 km from Shillong and the journey takes about 2 hours between the two places. I reached Cherrapunji from Mawphlang. I visited the sacred grove there and hiked the the David Scott trail about which you can read in my blog post.

From Shillong, you can take a shared cab to Cherrapunji or Sohra as it is locally known. You can hire a cab for yourself or you can rent a scooter from many bike rentals in Shillong.  In case you have taken a shared cab to Cherrapunji, you may have to pay extra for Noh Ka Likai falls.


You have to pay Rs.10 or Rs.20 per person if you want to view the falls from a distance. For trek to Noh-Ka-Likai falls, you need to pay Rs. 50 per person. The trek can be classified as medium level difficulty and if you have any injuries, you can leave it for another day. The guide fees are Rs. 500/group. I went with three other people I met along the way, so, we distributed the guide fees. If you are an experienced trekker, and have full confidence in your hiking abilities, you can choose to do it on your own.

How long is the trek

The trek itself requires only 2 hours but you may want to spend longer time there. I highly recommend spending more time.

What season is best for this trek?

You can only do the trek in the dry season, it would be suicidal during monsoons, though it would depend on your trekking experience. I went there in November.

The trek to the top of Noh ka Likai Falls

The arrows would direct you towards the trek. The grassy land will soon give way to a beautiful trail surrounded by trees and foliage on both sides which will gradually start going down, eventually turning to a steep descent. You need good trekking shoes that would not slip.

It starts gradually

Our guide trekked in his slippers, it’s all about the skills in the end.

The picture was taken on our way back, this is the way you descend as well

At the end of the descent, you will come across large rocks. Go left to go to the top of the falls.
You will have to cross some water, I chose to take my shoes off but the water was cold and the rocks underneath, a bit slippery.

Hop over these rocks, some of them can be slippery because of the moss
Our guide was kind enough to take my shoes while I crossed this umm extremely shallow water, it was slippery so holding on to the rocks is recommended, look at the guide living thug life though

You will find yourself in a canyon cut out by the water. This entire area is filled by water during the monsoons and this would give you an idea of the width of the falls and the volume it carries. You will come across this landscape.

You will see crystal clear green pools underneath that form the body of the falls in the dry season.

Down the rabbit hole

The most thrilling and enjoyable part is going down one of the holes.

Go down this hole
Slide down this rock and hop on to the other side
The other side, mind your head

Beautiful vistas open up as you reach the edge.

Standing on top of the falls at 1115 feet , that stream of water falling down are the Noh Ka Likai falls
Everything for this view, totally worth it all

Before going back, I recommend you walk to the other end to find beautiful waterfalls there. You can relax on the big rocks under the sun.

The beautiful falls on the other end
The beautiful falls at the other end

You then walk back to the initial point and start your ascent back. This trek was possibly the best part of my trip to Meghalaya and I highly recommend it.

There was plastic litter here as well. The local people have to make rounds to clear it, and yet some of it must make it’s way into the waterfall. Please be mindful of not causing damage to this beautiful landscape. After all, our nature is our legacy and we must do our bit to protect it.

Picture credits

All pictures were clicked by my friend Priyanka Kunwar, a travel enthusiast, and Vineet, another traveller I met during my trip. As I had run out of space on my mobile, they were kind enough to share their pictures of the trek to Noh-KA-Likai falls. You can follow Priyanka on instagram on covering_coordinates.

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