Sunday, August 9, 2015

Waterfalls of Chirapunjee- Kynrem and Dainthlen falls - 2/2

This post is in continuation to the last post Water falls of Chirapunjee - Nohkalikai and seven sister falls
While Nohkalikai and Seven sister falls are the major tourist attractions in Chirapunjee of Meghalaya.  There are few other falls which are seldom visited. Dainthlen and Kynrem  are two such water falls which attract us with their distinct beauty and Khasi folk tales associated with it.
Kynrem water falls
Kynrem falls thunders down in 3stages from the height of 305 mts and it is  India’s 7th highest waterfall. Due to its remote location and bad road condition generally taxi drivers are reluctant to go there. My driver was kind enough to take me to this waterfall along with my guide Batman. It is about 25kms from Chirapunjee and 10-12 kms from Chirapunjee holiday resort where I stayed. Kynrem falls is located in Thangkhrang  park in East Khasi Hills district. There are many view points to enjoy the waterfall.
View of the fall from a distance is brilliant though the closest view from the road connecting to Bangladesh offers magnificent view of the fall during the monsoon.  In fact, it was not possible to view the falls without getting wet by the water smoke covered around the area. No need to say Monsoon is the best time to visit. It was in its full glory as I was there in June. There were other parallel cascades which adorned the main water falls. 
Kynrem falls

View from the road below
Other parallel cascades along with Kynrem
 Dainthlen water falls
I heard about the Dainthlen falls in the restaurant where I had lunch. It is about 5-8 kms from Chirapunjee. Road to Dainthlen falls passes through the most picturesque part of Chirapunjee. As we moved ahead we reached a plateau and I was not sure whether we are on the right path as there was no mountain to see the water fall. After reaching the fall I realized that we are watching the fall and are right on top of the water fall itself. It is a soft falls without much roaring sound. There is a protective railing from where water descends. I had to do struggle to take complete picture of the water falls. It was already evening and dusk was about to cover. Like any other Khasi water fall, Dainthlen also has a legend. These Khasi folklores are interesting and some are horrific stories like Nohkalikai falls.

Dainthlen is about a serpent, Thlen, who was a monster serpent who was living in a cave nearby. He was not only a cruel monster but also cunning. He had a pattern of killing people. If a group of people were moving around the cave, he would choose half of them to kill. So the safe bet was to walk alone but people were scared to walk alone. Like any other stories, here comes a hero. A brave person from the village decides teach him a lesson. He develops friendship with the serpent by feeding goats and one day when Thlen brings his mouth out to eat goat, the brave man dropped the red hot iron lump into serpent’s mouth and kills him. The people from nearby villages pulls out the snake to the river bed and chops him into pieces. It was believed that every bit of the Thlen to be eaten up, otherwise, Thlen will be able to recreate himself. Villagers were happy that Thlen is no more and didn’t want him to come again. So happily villagers arranged a feast. Then story goes that one of the women kept a piece for her grand child who couldn’t participate in the feast and forgot to feed him. Then Thlen recreated himself and story goes on...
Whatever the legend, the bank of the river does look like pieces of chopped snake meat. It was cracked and chopped. There were not many tourists around. Weather was good. Neighborhood around the falls is perfect for picnic. 

On the way to Dainthlen

Landscape  on the way to Dainthlen

Dainthlen falls, Chirapunjee

Bank of the river from where Dainthlen plunges

 Other similar posts 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Waterfalls of Chirapunjee - Nohkalikai and seven sister falls

Chirapunjee , the wettest place on earth is dotted with innumerable water falls. Chirapunjee during monsoon is enchanting and treat to our eyes. It is just not possible to escape from waterfalls in whichever direction you drive. Though rivers in Chirapunee are of very short length, swollen streams in  monsoon  plunge wherever they find space downwards. The green mountains provide lovely background for the gorgeous waterfalls. It is water water everywhere.  I gave up counting the number of water falls I visited after couple of days. But there are few water falls which are very impressive by their beauty and also because of the stories associated with them. I am posting these stories in two parts. This is the first story.
This is the most common view of innumerable water falls  in Chirapunjee
  Nohkalikai falls
Nohkalikai falls is about 10 kms from chirapunjee. Chirapunee is locally called as Sohra. This is the tallest plunge type water fall in India and the fourth highest water fall in India in terms of height with 335 mts.  Nohkalikai is a rain fed water fall. It will be in its full charisma during monsoon and goes slim during winter. But it depends on our luck to get a good view of the falls in monsoon as it plays hide and seek due to unpredictable clouds and fogs. I kept half a day to test my luck with Nohkalikai. 

View of Nohkalikai falls from Chirapunjee resort
It was an enchanting view from the Chirapunjee resort where I stayed. One sunny day I left for Nohkalikai only to see clouds by the time I reached the falls. I decided to take a walk in the beautiful meadows around the falls. Even after my walk and experiments with selfie and self timer clicks for more than an hour, clouds didn’t give way to the water falls. Apart from the view point on top, there are steps to go closer to the falls. I went down and started waiting. Clouds quickly cleared for a while. But before few clicks again it was covered. After couple of hours of wait I could only get a few good shots. When water plunges down there is an exotic green pool formation at the bottom which was very common around all the falls in Chirapunjee. 

Nohkalikai falls
 There is a heart wrenching story behind such a beautiful water fall. Nohkalikai in Kahsi, a tribal language means ‘ jump of Ka Likai’. The legends goes like this. There lived a woman called Likai in the village Rangjyrteh. Women in Khasi tribes are called with prefix for respect as Ka. So she was Ka Likai. Her husband who was a porter died leaving behind Kali Kai with a baby girl. Having no other source of income for livelihood KaLikai had to join as a porter ferrying iron from one village to other. She finds it difficult to attend to her baby girl. Other ladies of the village persuaded her to get married again  as she needs a man and  her baby a father.  Ka Likai gets into another marriage. But her husband was all jealous looking at the attention Ka Likai was giving to her baby. He couldn’t bear that. One day when Ka Likai was away for work, he killed the baby and prepared a dish. Tired Ka Likai after returning from work, naturally attracted with the delicious inviting smell, eats the curry. Though she thinks of her daughter, she presumes she might be with the neighbors. She finds the food tasty though she couldn’t recognize the meat. After the food, she goes to pick her Kawi basket before going out to fetch the child. To her horror, she finds her daughter’s fingers there. She trembles in shock and pain knowing what she ate was her daughters flesh. Uncontrollable Likai attacks everyone around her and runs away from the place until she reaches the edge of the water falls and jumps in to the fall. In Kahsi Noh means jump. This fall is named in memory of Likai who jumped …Sigh….

This is very disturbing story. Isn’t it? I wish no one should ever face such a painful fate..

Meadows around the falls

This girl enticed me to buy her cinamon by posing to my cameras
Seven sister water falls
Seven sister falls is also called as Nohsngithiang falls. This falls has several strands of cascades falling together. It was not exactly 7 strands. There were more than seven strands when I visited during the monsoon. Due to fog, I hardly got a chance to see them. Water from the falls will flow down to the plains and within few kilometers it enters into Bangladesh plains. I guess, during winter this falls would disappear. I felt that too much hype was given to this waterfalls and there are many were unknown, nameless falls as beautiful as this falls if not more.
Seven sister falls hidden under clouds

Seven sister falls