Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Nohkalikai Falls and Living Root Bridges

P3080023A couple weekends ago I visited Cherrapunji/Sohra with my Australian linguist friends, which is the first place foreigners entered Meghalaya. We had heard there were quite a few sights to see, and were not disappointed. Cherrapunji is a beautiful place if you manage to be there when it's not raining (this area is the rainiest spot on earth, due to the high mountains that drop severely to Bangladesh on the south). And we managed.

P3080019We took a nice hike to Nohkalikai falls, which is named after a lady who jumped from the top. The story is that kong Likai fell in love and got married to a young man from her village. They were very happy and had a child. Soon after the child's birth the husband died. Ka Likai was having difficulty providing for the family and remarried. The new couple were still very poor, and the new husband started to dislike his stepchild. One day when Likai was out of the house he killed the child and used it as meat for a meal. When Likai returned home she found dinner prepared, and though she wondered where her child was, her husband assured her that the child was only playing, and as she was hungry he convinced her to eat. As soon as she had eaten a piece of meat, she knew it was her own child that she had eaten, and full of remorse she ran to the waterfall and jumped off.

P3090070The waterfall itself is quite beautiful, though the story is rather sad. The next day we trekked down over 2,000 stairs (and back up in the afternoon) to get to a number of living root bridges that local farmers have trained slowly over the last 150 years. Apparently this kind of bridge is quite common in the War-speaking areas in the mountains at the border of Bangladesh. According to this blog, they are not common anywhere else. Here's some video:

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