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Location: Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya
Best Time To Visit: Round The Year

The ancestry of the Sutnga Syiems who once ruled the Jaintia Kingdom is traced back to a mysterious incident, which is said to have occurred in a bygone era at Waikhyrwi.

A legend says that long ago, a handsome young fisherman U Luh Ryndi once caught a big silvery fish as he angled in the river Umwi. When he returned home, where he lived alone, he put the fish over the fireplace. Forgetting all about it, he left home the net day for hunting. When he returned, he was surprised to find his house cleaned up and the food prepared. His queries to his neighbour about the good Samaritan who has done his household chores in his absence drew a blank. Luh was mystified.

Next day, he hid himself in the hope of resolving the mystery of the unknown hand who had tended to his house the earlier day. At dusk, Luh spied a sudden movement over the fireplace where he had kept the silvery fish. He was stunned to see a mermaid coming out of the silvery fish he had caught. She slowly assumed full human form. She was tall, stately, fair, longhaired, blue eyed and with perfect feet. She was an angelic lass of flawless beauty. She went about the house setting things in order and preparing the evening meal.

On questioning by Luh Ryndi, she told him that she was Ka Li Dakha, the silvery fish he had caught at Umwi. He married her and they lived happily together near Sutnga. They had five children, two girls and three boys, namely, "Ka Raputong", "Ka Rupanga", "U Syngkhlein-am", "U Bania-am" and "U Tetia". One day U Luh Ryndi and Ka Li Dakha went together to fish at a pool at Waikhyrwi also known as "Thwei Syiem". As he tried to fish, Ka Li Dakha jumped into the pool, resumed her mermaid form and disappeared into its water. He tried to fish her out again and again, but failed to do so.

He threw his fishing rod in disgust and disappointment, tip downwards. The rod, which struck the base of the pool, later sprouted giving rise to a species of Bamboo whose branches fork downwards. This species of bamboo can still be found growing near the Waikhyrwi pool.

Years later, when there was a search for to unite the Jaintia Dollois, U Luh Ryndi claimed the right for his children citing their divine origin through Ka Li Dakha. His claim was accepted. His elder daughter was recognised as the ancestral Queen Mother of the Sutnga Syiems, and, his younger daughter as the ancestral Queen mother for the Khatsawphra Syiems. Although the Jaintia Kingdom is no longer there, the pool at Waikhyrwi exists in all its pristine beauty till today.


Jowai: 8-km

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