4.5 / 5

Elephant Falls

📍 Elephant Falls, MeghalayaView map ›

🗓 Best Time To Visit:September to May

⏰ Open Hours:Monday to Sunday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

🎟 Entry Fees:INR 20 per person

🎒 Traveller Types:Nature lovers, Adventure seekers, Photographers

🔍 Known For:Natural beauty, Three-tier waterfall, Rock formations

📍 Distances:12 km from Shillong, 96 km from Guwahati Railway Station, 118 km from Guwahati Airport

🚶 Things To Do:Trekking, Photography, Picnicking

💰 Budget:INR 100-500 excluding transportation

👟 Trek Difficulty:Easy to Moderate

👁️ Viewpoints:Multiple viewpoints with wooden bridges

💡 Tips:Wear comfortable shoes, Carry water bottles, Avoid visiting during monsoon due to slippery paths

Have questions about Elephant Falls?Ask the Tripoto Community ›
Elephant Falls Shillong: A Complete Guide to Visiting the Three-Tiered Waterfall

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to witness a majestic waterfall that cascades down three levels of rocky cliffs? If yes, then you should definitely visit Elephant Falls in Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya, the abode of clouds.

Elephant Falls is one of the most popular and scenic attractions in Meghalaya, attracting thousands of tourists every year. It is also known as Ka Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew in Khasi, which means the three-step waterfall. The name Elephant Falls was given by the British, who saw a resemblance of an elephant in one of the rocks near the waterfall. However, the rock was destroyed by an earthquake in 1897.

By the end of this article, you will have all the information you need to plan your trip to Elephant Falls and enjoy its beauty and charm. So, let’s get started!

History and Legend of Elephant Falls

Elephant Falls is not just a natural wonder, but also a cultural and historical treasure. According to legend, there was once a powerful Khasi king named U Syiem Sajar Nangli, who ruled over the region. He had a beautiful daughter named Ka Likai, who was married to a man from another clan.

However, her husband was jealous of her love for her son from her previous marriage and killed him. He then cooked his flesh and served it to Ka Likai, who unknowingly ate it. When she realized what had happened, she was overcome with grief and anger and jumped off the cliff near the waterfall. The waterfall was then named after her as Nohkalikai, which means the leap of Ka Likai.

Photo of Elephant Falls 1/6 by

The waterfall is also associated with another legend, which explains the origin of its name Elephant Falls. According to this legend, there was once an elephant named U Pliang, who lived near the waterfall. He was very friendly and helpful to the people who lived nearby. He would often carry them across the river or help them with their chores. One day, he fell ill and died near the waterfall. His body turned into a huge rock that resembled an elephant. The people then named the waterfall after him as Ka Kshaid U Pliang, which means the waterfall of U Pliang.

These legends add a touch of mystery and magic to Elephant Falls and make it more than just a sightseeing spot. They also reflect the rich culture and history of the Khasi people, who have lived in harmony with nature for centuries.

Also read: Shubham's Trip to Living Root Bridges and numerous waterfalls in Meghalaya

How to Reach Elephant Falls

Elephant Falls is located about 12 km from Shillong city center and can be easily reached by various modes of transport. Here are some of the options you can choose from:

By car:

You can hire a car or a taxi from Shillong or Guwahati (the nearest airport) and drive to Elephant Falls. The road is well-maintained and offers scenic views of the hills and valleys along the way. The journey takes about 30 minutes from Shillong and about 3 hours from Guwahati.

By bus:

You can take a bus from Shillong or Guwahati to Upper Shillong and then take another bus or a shared taxi to Elephant Falls. The bus fare is around Rs. 50 per person and the taxi fare is around Rs. 10 per person.

By bike:

You can rent a bike from Shillong or Guwahati and ride to Elephant Falls. The bike rental charges are around Rs. 500 per day and you will also need to pay for fuel and parking fees.

By trekking:

You can also trek to Elephant Falls from Shillong or Upper Shillong. The trekking route is about 10 km long and takes about 3 hours to complete. The trekking trail passes through forests, villages, streams, and bridges and offers stunning views of the waterfall and its surroundings.

Some tips and suggestions for reaching Elephant Falls are:

- The best time to visit Elephant Falls is during the monsoon season (June to September), when the waterfall is at its fullest and most spectacular.

- The timings for visiting Elephant Falls are from 9 am to 5 pm every day. The entry fee is Rs. 20 per person and Rs. 50 per camera.

- You should wear comfortable shoes and clothes and carry a water bottle, a hat, a sunscreen, and a raincoat or an umbrella.

- You should avoid littering or damaging the environment and respect the local customs and traditions.

What to Do at Elephant Falls

Elephant Falls is not just a place to see, but also a place to do. There are many activities and attractions that you can enjoy at or near the waterfall, such as:

Photo of Elephant Falls 2/6 by
(c) East Mojo


You can hike down the stairs and walkways that lead to the three levels of the waterfall. Each level has a different view and atmosphere and you can admire the beauty and power of the waterfall from different angles. You can also hike up to the top of the waterfall and enjoy a panoramic view of the valley below.


You can capture some amazing photos and videos of Elephant Falls and its surroundings. The waterfall offers a perfect backdrop for nature and wildlife photography, as well as portraits and selfies. You can also experiment with different angles, lighting, and filters to create stunning images.


You can take a boat ride on the pond near the first level of the waterfall. The boat ride is relaxing and fun and gives you a closer look at the waterfall and its flora and fauna. You can also feed the fish in the pond or watch the ducks swim by.


You can try your luck at fishing in the stream that flows from the waterfall. The stream is home to various species of fish, such as trout, carp, catfish, etc. You can either bring your own fishing equipment or rent it from the local vendors. You can also cook and eat your catch or release it back into the water.


You can buy some souvenirs and handicrafts from the shops and stalls near the waterfall. You can find items such as bamboo baskets, wooden carvings, shawls, jewelry, etc. that are made by the local artisans. You can also buy some snacks and drinks from the vendors or eat at the nearby restaurants.

Nearby Places to Visit in Meghalaya

Elephant Falls is not the only attraction in Meghalaya. There are many other places that are worth visiting in this beautiful state, such as:

Photo of Elephant Falls 3/6 by

Shillong Peak:

Shillong Peak is the highest point in Meghalaya, located about 10 km from Elephant Falls. It offers a breathtaking view of Shillong city and its surroundings. You can also visit the Air Force Museum and the Shillong View Point near the peak.

Photo of Elephant Falls 4/6 by

Umiam Lake:

Umiam Lake is a large man-made lake, located about 15 km from Elephant Falls. It is a popular destination for water sports, such as boating, kayaking, jet skiing, etc. You can also enjoy a picnic or a camping on the banks of the lake or stay at one of the resorts nearby.

Photo of Elephant Falls 5/6 by

Mawlynnong Village:

Mawlynnong Village is a small village, located about 90 km from Elephant Falls. It is known as the cleanest village in Asia and has won several awards for its cleanliness and eco-friendliness. You can visit the living root bridges, the balancing rock, the skywalk, and the church in the village or interact with the locals and learn about their culture.

Photo of Elephant Falls 6/6 by


Cherrapunji is a town, located about 50 km from Elephant Falls. It is known as the wettest place on earth and receives heavy rainfall throughout the year. You can visit the Nohkalikai Falls, the Seven Sisters Falls, the Mawsmai Cave, and the Nongriat Village in Cherrapunji or enjoy some adventure activities such as trekking, zip-lining, caving, etc.

These are just some of the places that you can visit in Meghalaya after exploring Elephant Falls. There are many more places that you can discover on your own or with a local guide.

You may also like to check out: Meghalaya Waterfall Hopping: A 3 Day Guide To The Most Stunning Cascades In The Abode Of Clouds

Elephant Falls is one of the most amazing places to visit in Meghalaya. It is not only a natural wonder but also a cultural and historical treasure. It offers something for everyone, whether you are looking for relaxation, adventure, or education.

If you are planning to visit Elephant Falls in Shillong, we hope this article has helped you with all the information you need. We also hope that you have enjoyed reading this article and learned something new.

If you have any questions or comments about Elephant Falls or Meghalaya tourism, please feel free to share them with us below. We would love to hear from you and help you with your travel plans.

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get ready to explore Elephant Falls and Meghalaya with Tripoto. You will surely have an unforgettable experience and create some wonderful memories.

We hope you have enjoyed this article and found it useful. If you did, please share it with your friends and family and let them know about this amazing destination.

Elephant Falls Reviews

Close to Shillong's most astounding Peak, (i.e Shillong Peak) a little street goes astray somewhat further to the edge of the mountain. Out of the blue, a stream ascends from the higher level and sloshes downstream, running on rocks shaping the Elephant Falls. These falls are only 12km from Shillong and couple of minutes drive from Shillong Peak. I figured out how to cut down the taxi charge to Rs.500 in the wake of haggling, for both Shillong Peak and Elephant Falls. It was late night when I achieved Elephant falls. The remainder of the brilliant light waited seemingly within easy reach. The taxi halted suddenly at a parking garage encompassed by keepsake shops and little tea lodgings. I could as of now hear the sloshing sound of the cascade; it was close. Soak steps lead down to the cascade and I am initially met by a ticket counter. As I gaze at the ticket, I stood amazed at the bizarre name of the cascade. Like the name of numerous different places in Meghalaya that have their beginning in English, I thought about whether at all the name was given by the British. The British colonized numerous spots and give names as though they were depended with giving names. For one I was certain it wasn't the Khasis who named the falls. There were no elephants in this piece of the State. Local people for the most part concoct names they can identify with in their very own reality. As I achieved the primary fall, I was taught by a billboard that peruses, 'Why Elephant Falls?'The unique Khasi name for the falls was 'Ka kshaid lai pateng khohsiew' (three stages water falls), due to the way that the water falls in three stages. Obviously it was the British who named it 'Elephant Falls' a direct result of a stone that takes after an elephant close to the falls. In any case, the stone was devastated by a tremor in 1897. In any case, the name hasn't changed.The first fall is wide and covered up between trees. The second fall is restrained and relatively unimportant in winter, when the water level subsides. The last and the third cascade is the tallest. Elephant Falls is described by clear water streaming over dim sticking rocks with no specific structures. The lofty advances can be excessively inconvenience for children and elderly people.
Owing to its Mesmeric Views , Elephant falls definitely takes the topmost place in the list of things to do in Shillong. The waterfall is eccentric due to water flowing in three different steps. Unlike the name suggests the waterfall isn't elephant shaped but gets its name after the Britishers named it after an elephant shaped stone that was initially situated at the falls. It's a gorgeous waterfall, very well maintained and gets chilly as you walk down towards the fall. The walk down the stairs is simply a walkway to paradise and once you reach downstairs , you'll know that every bit of this walk was totally worth it. The water is almost blueish green in colour and super clean. There's a stone path downstairs where one can stand and get pictures of oneself with the waterfall. TIP : Step carefully on the stones - Avoid losing balance and falling into the water as it's really cold down there , the temperature falls to about zero to six degrees and you do not want to fall sick.
This waterfall is around 10-12 km from Shillong City, and we went straight to it before checking in our home stay. In the parking area of the waterfalls, there were many shops selling local hand-made souvenirs like hats, caps, lockets, table cloths, dream catchers, etc. We decided to become a little tourist-y, and bought 3 hats, one for each of us. It had been a while any of us three had bargained, so we did it for a good 10-15 minutes, drifting from shop to shop until finally getting the best price! We entered the waterfall premises, which clearly stated that the fall was divided into 3 parts, each of them having a different view. While there was not much water in the fall, small water streams coming down on fern covered rocks looked very serene. There were quite a number of people there, most of them clicking pictures. Elephant falls is best for an evening visit, and took us half an hour to go around it and come back.
Shillong is full of waterfalls and water-bodies. From the Wards lake, to the Sweet Falls and the Bishop-Beacon Falls, these water bodies make up a large part of Shillong’s tourist attraction. Since, our trip was more about journeying rather than nestling into one place, we had to make a choice as to the place we would visit, so we decided to go to Elephant Falls. The name might suggest a water-body of elephantine proportions, but that really isn’t the case. The name came up due to a rock that shared a likeness with the animal, a rock that incidentally isn’t there anymore. Elephant Falls is more a collection of numerous falls that finally flow into a small lake, a series that you can walk along as you trace the flow of the water. Aided and abetted by the greenery of the Khasi Hills, where it is located, the Falls make for a lovely walk while being serenaded by the sound of the gushing and falling water.
The picture explains everything, it is a beautiful water fall and a perfect spot for photos, there's a park as well just in front of the fall where you can sit and chill, but as were already late we just stayed there for 45 minutes. After which we started our journey back to Shillong with an awesome weather and a bag full of memories. With this our two days bike trip to Meghalaya came to an end. And I would suggest this to everyone that, 'Once a year, go somewhere you have never been before'. TOTAL EXPENDITURE- Rs. 6,000. TWO PEOPLE- 3,000 PER HEAD. INCLUDES FOOD, TRAVELLING, HOTEL AND OTHER EXPENDITURES.Frequent Searches Leading To This Page:- Shillong road trip tours, Weekend Getaways From Shillong, Places to Visit near Shillong, Places to Visit in Shillong
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