Garo Hills - A Tete a Tete with the City :
Location : North Eastern India, Western Meghalaya
Founded In : 1972
Best Time to Visit : March and July
Places to See : Siju Cave, Siju Bird Sanctuary, Nokrek, Sisobibra, Imilchang Dare, Williamnagar, Bhaitbari, and Ronngbang Dare
Souvenirs : Hand made articles, wooden cutlery, knives, cotton bags, shawls, osier work, dried flower decorative articles, wire mesh artwork, silk materials.
Garo Hills - The Tale of the City :
The history of Garo Hills goes back to the Koches, Meches, Kacharis, and Chutiyas who originated from the North West. It is also said that the region Asong Tibetgori, was the place of origin of the forefathers of Garos. It is said that the forefathers of the Garos from the plain regions of Kamrup, came from the Himalayas, and halted at Gondulghat. After being in Armingaon for some time, they came to Kamakhya crossing the River Brahmaputra; the Garos occupied this place till the KOches invaded them. There was a lot of migration from the region of Guwahati to the Garo hills and then settled in the present day Garo Hills. The earliest people who immigrated were those who were in Mymensing in the region of Bangladesh, and who later on in present day Garo Hills. It is said that the Chiefs of the neighboring villages entered into personal feuds formed the history of Garo hills. During the Mughal period the Garohills comprised of estates like Karaibari, Kalimalupura, etc. The Zamindars of these estates were in conflict. Under the British the Garos came under their control gradually.
Garo Hills - Down the Ages :
The Garo Hills, the Zamindari land which were divided into many Nokmaships finally became Zamindari Estates, with the Zamindars being in constant conflict with each other. When the East India Company got control of the Bengal Diwani then the estates along the Garo Hills also came under the British. But the Zamindars were not in charge of managing the estates which were actually ruled by the Garos. This led to a conflict between the Garos and the Zamindars. The situation came to a juncture where the Garo Hills had to be annexed in 1973. The First Deputy Commissioner, Captain Williamson, divided Garo Hills into the East Garo Hills and the West Garo Hills in 1979. Down the ages, Garo Hills comprises of the two parts and is a great place of scenic beauty and historical tales to relate.
Garo Hills - A Rendezvous :
The Garo Hills, the beauty of nature in the northeastern part of India, are divided into the East Garo Hills and the West Garo Hills. Predominantly inhabited by the tribals, the area is one of the wettest regions in the world. With the largest town Tura in the West Garo Hills, the wildlife sanctuaries here with their varied flora and fauna, offer the best kind of scenic beauty for the tourist. The natural caves, and the cloud covered mountains are a feast for the traveler’s eye. Added to this, the waterfalls here make the perfect ambience for a tourist to rest and relax. The bamboo forests which look like they dance to the tune of Nature’s blessings mesmerize the tourist and he goes back with a lot of nostalgia.
Garo Hills - Travel Kitty :
Tourists visit tourist spots to get rejuvenated and relaxed. The Garo Hills both the East Garo Hills and the West Garo Hills offer the best kind of relaxation spots and experience for the tourist. The mesmerizing ambience, sheer scenic beauty and the picturesque backgrounds of the peaks and the waterfalls add beauty to the tourist’s eye and he asks for more. The travel kitty from this beautiful spot is the ambience and the typical greenery that surrounds this wonderful paradise. Besides, Handmade articles, wooden cutlery, knives, cotton bags, shawls, osier work, dried flower decorative articles, wire mesh artwork, silk materials are also available here and provide the ideal travel kitty.
Garo Hills - Joie de Vivre in the City :
With a perfect setting for a relaxation schedule, and the right ambience to enjoy the tour of the place, the Garo Hills, the wildlife haven has its picturesque surroundings as its joie de vivre. The tourist here is totally taken in by the sheer simple beauty of the place and gasps for more. The historical past which takes the place direct to Tibet, makes the place a very intriguing one and the traveler coming here goes back with the perfect nostalgia that is needed of a wonderful heaven like this. A person coming here would get to see the following:
Siju Caves :
The River Simsang originates from the South Garo hills and has the Siju Caves hanging on its right side. The Siju Caves lie on the right bank of this river. The locals call these caves as the Dobakhol meaning the cave of the bats. It has countless labyrinths and also many chambers inside. No one has as yet explored the full length of these caves. The caves are very deep and the depth has not yet been ascertained. Completely devoid of light, this has a continuous flow of water coming out of it. This stream is home to a lot of aquatic animals and has also the lovely stalagmites and stalactites forming here. These caves are very similar to the grotto in the Isle of Capri. These grottos are blue in color and are very resemblant of the Siju Caves.
Siju Bird Sanctuary :
The Simsang River running across the South Garo Hills not only has the beautiful Siju Caves, but also the beautiful Siju Bird Sanctuary which has the best variety of birds. The winter season sees many migrating birds coming here and a wild life lover and photographer would find this a heavenly experience. The expanse of the land and the free nature of the wildlife here is the best attraction.
This is the place which is the highest point in the region of the Garo Hills. The lovely green expanse of forests here with their tall trees with thick trunks beautifies the surroundings beyond imagination. There is a National Park here which is home to many wild animals like the elephants and birds and pheasants. It also has a collection of flora, the rare orchids found here in amazing abundance. It is a complete feast for the eyes.
Tura Peak :
Lying at a height of 1400m, this peak offers the best view of the entire area. One can reach here by trekking for 5m. This is a perfect treat for the tourist and the adventure lover. Rock Climbing and hiking is also a major activity here.
Historical Places, Towns and Villages :
This is a place which goes down in Meghalaya history as the venue of the battle between the Garos and the British. Pa Togan Nengminja was the leader of the Garos and the place thus has a lot of historical value. A must see for all tourists coming here.
This lies in East Garo Hills and is the headquarters of East Garo. It is surrounded by the River Simsang. Captain Williamson. A. Sangma was the first Chief Minister of this region hence this area is named after him.
This is a small beautiful village in the West Garo Hills. It is famous for the archaeological discoveries made here. There have been many excavations carried out here and the results have been productive. Artifacts showing the places of religion have added to the historical facts and kindled the anthropological interest.
This literally in Garo language means the meeting place of two rivers. Just a small drive away from the main town of Tura, this preferred and favored picnic zone is a small paradise with its lovely green ambience and eye catching beauty. There is a bridge here made of bamboo cane that is hung over the River Ganol. It connects the two banks of the river. The tourists and picnickers find this a major source of attraction.
Imilchang Dare :
This region of the Garo Hills is famous for its immense beauty and picturesque ambience. The waterfalls are one form of physical features which beautify this place further. With the lush green forests making a perfect setting with their creepers and climbers, the whole scene is very overwhelming and is a memorable one. The base of the waterfalls is home to a wide pool, which is today a swimming zone. It is a naturally created swimming pool. Many fish, and other aquatic species are found here and this is a preferred picnic spot by many tourists.
Rongbang Dare :
This is a perennial waterfall and is most beautiful in the rainy season. This is a place much frequented by romantics and provides a picture that would remain etched in the tourists’ memories. With the bamboo forest hills surrounding the waterfall, the fall looks like a dancing queen in the wind and provides the tourist with immeasurable pleasure. While driving down from Asanangre to Williamnagar, the picture of the Rongbang Dare is a photographer’s pleasure and a tourists’ nostalgia.
Rongdan Falls :
This lies just above the majestic and popular Siju Caves. These caves lying right in the middle of a beautiful forest, give this waterfall its required attention by having the falls cascading down in beautiful tempo.
Garo Hills - Entertainment Factor :
The Garo Hills with their immense beauty and incomparable ambience offer the best touristic experience for a tourist and the entertainment factor here is also equally irresistible. We have many things which provide entertainment to the tourist here by the Festival of Wangala which is an autumn festival. A festival celebrating harvest, this festival is conducted in the winter months of December and November. Patigipa Rarongipr is the deity that is worshipped in this festival after a lot of propiation and ceremonies. There are innumerable rituals and many nights of merriment and enjoyment. It ends with a dance of warriors. This is the dance which is danced to the tune of around hundred drums. This colorful, lovely and vibrant scene is a must watch for any person coming to tour the Garo Hills.
Thus the Garo Hills with their immense scenic beauty, and abundant flora and fauna give the photographers and nature lovers their due and leaves them satiated beyond comparison.
As a person leaves this place he thinks, “Think high, think Garo Hills.”