Captivating Elephant Falls of Shillong

Want to see a captivating waterfall in Shillong? Have you heard of Elephant Falls? Want to know more about this falls? Check out this article, where I have described the location, a brief history, why this name, and what to see in and around this Falls.

Imagine a captivating waterfall just 12 kms from a town? This is in Shillong, Meghalaya. Read on and join me on a journey to Elephant Falls, a captivating green tourist attraction not worth missing while in Shillong. The falls are surrounded with green vegetation that provides a serene and peaceful environment only filled with the sounds of the water falling down the stones. This by itself is a perfect backdrop worth clicking and making it a memory forever. This place is a perfect picnic spot for all ages and is visited by a lot of travellers each day. Not only tourists, but even the locals visit these falls during the rainy season to experience the mighty force of water gushing down the falls and enjoy tis magnificence.

The display about the falls


Elephant Falls is in the East Khasi hills district, Upper Shillong area where the Eastern Air Command of Indian Air force also resides. This place is reachable by taxi and is an important itenary of Shillong local tour. Once you reach the open area with a parking lot you will find many souvenir shops and small tea, cold drink, snacks hotels. The shops have displayed many cane, wood and bamboo items, majority of them are handcrafted. In one corner are a few steps which go down into the forest. This is the way to the Falls. You can visit the falls through the day, upto sunset and through the year. But obviously the best times are during or just after the rains. Water flow will be much more than the other months of the year.

View opposite the falls


The Khasis are the locals and they always called this falls as Ka Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew, three step waterfalls. Consisting of three sections in successions. The mountain stream flows down through two successive falls set in the glades of fern covered rocks which are truly breathtaking. According to Khasis these two smaller falls are the Wei Iaplam Falls and the Wir Phang Falls. The British renamed the falls as Elephant Falls because once upon a time there was a rock resembling an elephant near the left side of the main falls. This rock was sadly destroyed in an earthquake in 1890s.

Opposite the falls


Beyond the flat parking area, were trees and I asked the taxi driver: Where is the falls? This is because the falls were nowhere to be seen. So he pointed to a right hand corner, and asked me to walk down the steps. A well paved footpath and a small wooden bridge facilitate access to these falls. When you start the descent, you can hear the sloshing sound of the waterfall. It is close and you come across the ticket corner where you pay a small sum of Rs.20 to Rs. 10 for adult or children to gain entry into the waterfall area. The same path leads to all the three waterfalls and is an easy trail.
  • The first fall: After going down a few steps you came to small open area, and on your right you can see the first falls. The falls are surrounded by the forest. Move around and enjoy the magnificence of the fall. Now believe me, tread the path further and you are ready to step into another world. The walking path gently descends from the entrance, and is completely paved with stairs and a bridge which traverses the stream between the 2nd and 3rd falls.

  • The second fall: Enjoy the breath taking view of two falls from the bridge: one in front of you and do an aboutn turn and you can see the other fall just below the bridge. This bridge is completely surrounded by tall trees and is hidden from direct sunlight. Hence even in the afternoon this place is filled with shade.
    Descend more of these steps to go to the third waterfall. Watch your step, in some places the stairs have quite a height.

  • The third fall: After descending the last flight of steps alongside the third waterfall, there is a shelter and a small platform. The waterfall forms a small pond here. There are a few stones in the water, and you can stand on them to get a lovely photo with the waterfall in the background. There is small rope across the pond to discourage people from moving beyond that point for either photography or for taking a dip in the pond. If you are standing right in front of the falls, then you can see mountains and complete greenery on both sides of you. This cherishing image has stayed in my mind, even now and I am sure that it will never be forgotten. Once you have filled your thirst for this natural beauty you can start the climb up the stairs at a slow and steady pace.

Parking area of Elephant Falls of Shillong

What to do there

Photography and Photography and Photography! Each and every nook and corner along the way from the parking area to the lake and through the waterfall is worth a click. The pathway is a flight of stone steps, a small bridge, and few footpaths. Localites choose this place as an ideal get away from the hustle and bustle of city lifeOn holidays many localites pack their picnic lunch and enjoy a day out with family and friends at this stunning Elephant Falls.

Lastly, in the entire area of the Falls, there was no speck of plastic, foils, paper or any dirt. The place was neat and clean, thanks to the stringent government norms regarding keeping Meghalaya clean. So, dear readers: enjoy and take back the magnificence and the stunning beauty of the Elephant Falls with you, but do not leave any waste behind. So I am sure if you ever go to Shillong, then you will not miss out on visiting this captivating Elephant Falls and enjoying its magnificence and stunning beauty.



Guest Author: Dharmendra14 Jun 2016

The article has been so informative that it was almost equivalent to me visiting this beautiful place.
Could you please suggest the right time to visit the elephant falls?

Guest Author: Aravind Kamanth28 Jun 2016

We made a trip to elephant falls last year in the summer season, but monsoon is the best time to visit this falls.

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