Sweet Falls, a dreaded beauty in Shillong
Alternatively referred to as Kshaid Wetden the beautiful waterfall that’s the source of so many tragic stories is ironically named “Sweet Falls”. These waterfalls are 315ft in height and are 5km away from Happy Valley. The route to the waterfall is not very well maintained and the falls are surrounded by slippery stones that make them dangerous to navigate.
Unlike other layered/ tiered waterfalls in Meghalaya, the sweet falls is unbroken and resembles a thick rush of water falling from a very highly perched extra large drainage pipe. This is one of the steepest falls of Meghalaya and the water falls down with a tremendous force in the absence of rocks or anything else to break its flow. Naturally, the force of the water makes it impossible to bath or stand directly underneath the falls. Anyway, the beauty of the Sweet falls is best enjoyed from a distance as there are no barricades for protection.
The area surrounding Sweet Falls is quite beautiful and is filled with trees like eupatorium, phegopteris, lantana, osmundastrum, rubus etc. There are brightly colored railings near the falls but they don’t look reliable enough to lean on. Once you arrive at the falls, you will be pleasantly surprised to hear the chirping of hundreds of birds... for some reason birds seem to throng this place. There is a shed nearby which makes it ideal for travellers to rest a while and gaze at the wonderful beauty of the falls.
In spite of the negative publicity, the sweet falls is still very popular as a picnic spot and there is a butterfly museum and a mini zoo nearby as added attractions. You have to take some steep steps down to reach a place that offers a great view of the falls. Unlike other waterfalls, you can’t physically experience the sweet falls as it has been marked as a danger zone by the government.
Sweet Falls, Shillong
Photo: Meghalaya Tourism
If the occult or haunted stories intrigue you then don’t miss visiting the sweet falls. The locals firmly believe that the falls are haunted. In fact people say that “go in groups of odd numbers to the sweet falls and you will return in groups of even numbers”.
There have been numerous suicides and accidental falls at the sweet falls. In 2001 November two people from Manipur drowned in the falls while in March 2013 an IIM student fell into the sweet falls while photographing the natural beauty around.
Such cases have enveloped the lovely place with an aura of fear and you will find the tourist traffic less as compared to Shillong’s other popular waterfalls. This may be a blessing in disguise as you can enjoy the beauty of the place in an undisturbed way. However do wind up your visit by 4.30 p.m as flocks of unsavory local boys roam about here in the late evenings.
How to reach
Vehicle Entry Fee: 70 INR
Location: East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya
the drive to the sweet falls will take you through luscious pine forests making the journey as enjoyable as the destination. The falls are 12 km away from Police Bazaar and you can ask the cab driver to take the Hopkinson Road to NH6 and then drive on to Demthring before reaching the Mawshbuit Sweet Falls Road. Alternatively, you can also drive in passing the Gorkha Rifles Training Center road as it is relatively well maintained.