Meghalaya: Garo Hills

 

The Garo Hills of Meghalaya

The pleasing forests, extended its green terrain through Tura and Aravalli hills, is covering a sprawling area of 8000 square km. 4,00,000 Garo people, are residing on the east, west and south districts of Garo hills. They like to call there inhabited places as Achiks Land. Tura, the district head quarter of west Garo hills, is located at an altitude of 657 meters. Dotted hills, pleasing landscapes and cottage like Garo homes on the rugged slopes will offer you a mesmerizing trip away from the gripe and grime of the humdrum city life. The fascinating and overwhelming cosmos has everything to attract you. Young legs can trek to Tura hills, about 5 km higher up, located at an elevation of 1400 meters, to watch the agreeable sight of the sunset. Enthusiasts who are high on their energy can also walk through the slender tract hidden by the woods, to the highest peak of Garo hills, Mokrek, at an elevation of 1457 meters. 
Biosphere Reserve, about 2 km away from the Nokrek, built in 1985, is a groove of atypical Memangnarang (Lime), covering a huge 47 square km of land. The tough road to Biosphere Reserve has lot to offer.

Sasategar sanctuary, the oldest sanctuary of the world is reserving different species of insects. Rishap Hair reserve and Sincona garden are other imperative attractions of Garo hills. The garo society believes in various myths. They have norms to marry their mother-in-laws. Combatant garo people wrangle with each other on trifling issues. They are addicted to alcohol called Chu which is prepared by rice. They also love to eat meat. The process of preparing eatable item from dog meat is amazing. It’s like a chicken roast.
Oangala, a festival of Garo community, continues for 4 days and 4 nights, entice a large number of holiday makers. On this special carnival all of them ask for the blessings from their deity (Misi-A-Gilpa-Saljong-Galapa). At the end of the fiesta, the Dance of a Hundred Drums is also very attractive. Garo community celebrates the festival with great joy, vibrant dancing, and delicious local delicacies.

Baghmara: Baghmara, the district head quarter of southern Garo hills, about 127 km from Tura, on the banks Simsang River, is located in between Arabella and Tura. Baghmara is nestled in the Balfracram valley.
Baghmara reserve forest, about 4 km away from the city, spread over an area of 44 square km, has denizens like langur, elephants along with variety of birds.

Tourist Bungalow, atop the dilso hills, is a nice and pleasing place to spend a day in the serenity.

Road to Siju cave and sanctuary, located at a distance of 50 km away from Baghmara, will fascinate tourists with its soaring Khara hills at one side and mesmerizing greeneries on the slopes of the bottomless ravine at the other side. Stop your car once and look downside at the Simsang River. The valley has pitcher trees which eat insects.
The nearby Napak Lake is a dreamland for the birds. Fishermen also enjoy fishing, sitting on the quiet banks of the Lake.

Hire a car and travel 40 km from Baghmara towards Shillong and then walk for 5 km more to reach Balpakram wildlife sanctuary. The astonishing richness along with the natural vista of the Balpakram woodlands is gratifying. The breezy sanctuary is also well known in the vicinity as the abode of perpetual winds. Japanese TV Company has named the straight and deep valley of the adjoining river as “The mini grand canyon”. Witness the spirituality around the banks of the little pond, chirimak.

You can hire your own vehicle or avail a bus to Balpakram from Tura. You can complete this Balpakram tour from Tura on the same day. The bus to Balpakram touches the Bangladesh border on its way to Balpakram. Rugged and undulating hills are located in the shades of woods of Rhododendron and orchids. Even though the elephants are present in large numbers here but slow Lorries, binturong and pitcher plants are the other habitants of this spot. If you are lucky enough then you can see the wild inhabitants along with various colorful moths and butterflies.

Siju cave or the cave of bat, lies 30 km towards the north of Baghmara, is located on the banks of Simsang River. The water drops create a wet cave floor. Plenty of flora and fauna are there in the cave due to the presence of the perennial water streams. The cave is made up of lime stones. This finicky cave resembles the blue gotta of Kapri island. The walking tract inside the cave will give you an audacious feeling. The local name of the Siju cave is Dobakkol.
Balpakram wild life sanctuary, located at a distance of 167 km from tura, has now got the status of a national park in 1987 but the calm and quiet sanctuary doesn’t attract crowd due to the lack of earnest initiatives. 220 square km of lands are rich with 240 species of plants, 7 types of cats and 40 kinds of mammals. The wilderness of the birds will engross your mind. The dark and opaque forest is wet due to a hefty amount of rain falls throughout the year. The sight of Smilchang Dare waterfall is an additional bonus to the tourists.

Where to stay: The best place to stay at is Baghmara. Baghmara Tourist Lodge, forest bungalow and few ordinary hotels have come up in and around the town. You can also stay at Siju forest bungalow or tourist lodge on the Simsang river bank. Try our hotel booking links.

How to reach: Take a bus from Shillong, Siliguri or Guwahati. You can also hire a car from Shillong.Back to Meghalaya