Elephant Falls was the British name of what the local Khasi people once referred to as Ka Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew (or "Three Steps Waterfalls") since the falls actually consisted of three sections in succession. We learned from a sign here that the British renamed the falls because there used to be a rock resembling an elephant near the left side of the main falls (which I think was the bottommost one). However, that rock was destroyed in an earthquake back in 1897.
Of the three waterfalls (all of which were easily reached by the same short and easy walking path), Julie and I thought the bottom tier was the most impressive. The walking path gently descended from the entrance, and I recalled it was practically almost completely paved with lots of stairs and a bridge traversing the stream between the 2nd and 3rd falls.
Then after descending the last flight of steps alongside the third (bottommost) waterfall, there was a shelter and a little bit of a platform for photo taking while a rope was put beyond the platform to discourage swimming. The photo taken at the top of this page was between the last of the steps and the viewing platform at the base of Elephant Falls.
To give you an idea of how short this excursion could be, we spent about 30-40 minutes to take in all three waterfalls, including the short walking and the photographing. I believe there was an entrance fee and opening/closing hours, but I don't recall what they were during our visit in November 2009.
Even though we didn't think this was a total blockbuster waterfall, we did think it was a pleasant diversion due to its accessibility (it allowed us to get close to each waterfall, unlike many of the taller ones we saw in the Shillong or Cherrapunjee area). As a matter of fact, we saw a film crew shooting either a movie, TV show, or commercial upstream from the falls as we were passing in and out of the turnoff for the car park.
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