Luscious ‘Lwai’

An Accidental Rendezvous with the Gorgeous Waterfall

Advertisements

“I have a request and you can’t say no!” demanded my brother-in-law (BIL).

Now, this was coming from one of my favourite persons in the world and it was his birthday too – how could I say no! BIL declared we would be visiting a lesser known waterfall, situated in a remote corner of East Khasi Hills. Sharing my love for exploring nature, that’s how he wanted to spend his birthday. Driving his new car into the wilderness was an added incitement.

Next morning, armed with a pack of sandwiches and fruits, we set out a little later than planned. The midnight birthday celebrations had extended way into late night and we couldn’t bring ourselves to wake up early in the cold January morning.

IMG_6481
Pic 1: Somewhere on the way.

Driving early morning through the winding roads, surrounded by lush green pine forests in the hills is as rejuvenating as anybody’s imagination. The sun was up but its gentle morning warmth did little to ease the chill hanging in the air at that hour. Our windows were rolled up and the music was on as we happily and merrily sang along, though  interrupted now and then by the birthday wishes that kept pouring in.

Soon we were out of city limits and headed towards the village where the waterfall was located. On the way we stopped at Laitlum to have breakfast at a Kong Shop. [I will write about these shops another time].

Situated 25 Km. away from Shillong, Laitlum is famous for its sprawling green meadows and breathtaking valley. We thought our destination was just 30 min away but a couple of local villagers informed that the road beyond was really bad and it would take us another 3 hours. BIL and I contemplated whether it was a good idea, given that we were already late.

Suddenly, I recalled someone telling me about a waterfall around Laitlum. A quick confirmation from the locals and we decided to explore this place instead. Our original destination was pushed for another time.

IMG_0640
Pic 2: The undulating dusty road with open meadows.

The narrow winding road beside the Kong Shop lead to Thangsning village and that’s where Lwai falls, also known as Thangsning falls, is located.

BIL maneuvered his swanky new car meticulously into the narrow village road. The dusty lane with wide open meadows on both sides and a few scantily scattered village homes was an instant dose of excitement and happiness. This is our thing! How much we love such things!

The lane went on for a pretty long distance and there was no indication of any waterfall nearby. There was nobody around whom we could ask. Google was of no help either.

IMG_0671
Pic 3: A small flock of goats basking in the winter sun.
IMG_0676
Pic 4: A village woman carrying a huge quantity of dried grass while managing her children.

We arrived at an intersection where this winding dusty lane met another similar road. Not knowing what to do, we parked our car here. In just a few seconds, another car arrived and parked in front of us. While I stepped out and started capturing a few pictures, BIL went ahead to talk to the two gentlemen who had also stepped out of their car.

Quite surprisingly, they were also looking for the same waterfall. They were native Khasis and had also come from Shillong. One of them had trekked through the jungle to the waterfall before and they were now trying to figure out the motorable road to it. We decided to join them. This was immensely helpful as they could ask around in the local language.

IMG_0650
Pic 5: The concrete cement steps to the base of the waterfall amidst greens of all shades.

In a short while, we located the falls. We parked our cars and stepped out into the soothing lush green hills. The gushing sound of water teased us though the falls wasn’t visible yet.

IMG_0655
Pic 6: We are nearly at the base where the water is flowing on to an adjoining stream.

The sun was strong now and the sky a deep blue. A flight of 250 concrete steps took us down to the bottom of the falls and there it was right in front of us the mesmerizing cascading beauty gracefully making its way down into a pool of pure turquoise.

There were two columns of water falling from a height of about 100 feet. The two water columns seemed to be in some kind of a friendly banter as they giggled excitedly hurrying their way down to touch the pool below as though in some kind of a playful competition with each other.

IMG_0652
Pic 7: The elegant Lwai falls in its entirety. There will be four times more water later in the year.

The turquoise pool shone in its sparkling clear water through which peeped rounded yellow pebbles from the bottom of the pool. Rocks of various shapes and sizes lay exposed all around happily soaking in the winter sun making merry as long as the party lasts. Come rains and all of them will be swallowed by the increasing water of the falls.

IMG_0653
Pic 8: Isn’t that turquoise pool simply fascinating!

My excitement knew no bounds and as always a surge of emotions left me speechless. I sat there gaping at the spectacular site and silently conversed with the white falling beauty, the elegant turquoise pool, the perfectly rounded yellow pebbles, and the little platoon of happy rocks.

IMG_0680
Pic 9: I could sit there and stare at it for ages. I need no one. Only me and the waterfall.

The unexpected rendezvous with the two gentlemen was a pleasure beyond words. Such fluke meetings don’t ever fail to fascinate me! One of them, Antho Syiem is also an ardent nature lover just like us. In those few minutes, he shared his trekking experiences in the remote corners of Meghalaya.

With great pride he introduced us to his YouTube channel – Sorjah, through which he aims to show glimpses of his gorgeously beautiful homeland, Meghalaya, to the rest of the world. And I feel fortunate to be able to share this feeling of pride.

[Sorjah’s video on Lwai falls can be viewed here. Do check out their other videos as well.]

IMG_0681
Pic 10: A selfie with our new found friends.

BIL was elated and his excitement was evident as he slowly and steadily climbed up the steps. With a chronic back problem climbing a continuous flight of stairs is something he would rather avoid but today, he couldn’t stop smiling. And I knew his birthday was made!

IMG_0665
Pic 10: BIL, the happy man, celebrates his birthday with sandwiches and water as the sound of the waterfall sings his birthday song.

Author: neelstoria

Traveling, Gardening, Trekking, Hiking, Storytelling, Writing, Nature, Outdoors, Yoga, DIY

33 thoughts on “Luscious ‘Lwai’”

  1. You planned for a location and visited another. A new unplanned destination. Cool .
    I want to share you something, maybe you are already aware of, You should never trust a local about distance and the time it takes to reach certain point when on a trek, a 30 mins walk for them would be like 1 and half hour walk for us. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a marvelous find. I remember on our drive from Shillong to Sohra we went off the main road to find a waterfall. It was completely unmarked, and we almost gave up. Luckily we decided to push on, and found one of the most beautiful fall we saw. I wish someone had a list of all the waterfalls that you can drive to in the Khasi hills.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fantastic adventure. I like how you shared the search with us so we all got to experience the wait, effort, and anticipation to see the falls. They were even more beautiful than I expected they would be. Your brother in law has great ideas for how to celebrate his birthday!

    Like

    1. Thank you for reading, Todd. Meghalaya has amazing caves and waterfall. Sometime you visit the north east of India. It’s completely different from the rest of India including the Food and culture. For eg, here you’ll find local people speaking English rather than Hindi 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve been more and more intrigued by the north east over the past few months. When we stayed in Maharashtra one of the other guests was from Assam and he made it sound so beautiful – and then posts like yours keep increasing my interest.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Very aptly conveyed in few words how I could celebrate my best birthday ever Neel! You are an inspiration and my best companion ever for nature surfing! Thanks for being there!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pure, chaste beauty of nature… Meghalaya is full of such places, I discovered one such on my own, and there was no one around me! *No one.* Very serene and peaceful, not hit by the tourism wave that spoils the fun.

    Like

    1. Yes indeed. I can totally relate to that, and I often say that if you accidentally bump into a waterfall, you would know that you are in Meghalaya 🙂
      I am still exploring my own state and I know I haven’t seen anything yet.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s