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Garo Hills, Shillong Overview

Situated close to the Indo-Bangladesh Border, the Garo hills are part of the Patkai hill range, which extends across the Indo-Myanmar border. The hills get their name from the Garo tribe who inhabit the area. The Garo Hills, spanning across 8000 sq metres of area, offer magnificent viewpoints, densely populated with subtropical forests and rare endemic species of animals and birds. For ease of administration, the area has been divided into five districts: the East Garo Hills, West Garo Hills, North Garo Hills, South Garo Hills, and the South West Garo Hills. The Nokrek peak is the highest peak of this hill range, but the Arabella hills and the Tura peak also offer some breathtaking scenery. The Nokrek Biosphere reserve, one of the most important national parks with international importance, is located in this nature-rich area. The hills are also decked with splendid waterfalls, enriching the environmental coherence of the place.

The Garo tribe are a culturally rich ethnic group, attaching tradition and significance to many parts of their natural surrounding. In doing so, they protect and respect their habitat, thereby preserving the immaculate allure of their surroundings. The tree of Boldak Matchu Karam, the rock of Naka Chikong, and the lake of Napak are all examples of these traditions, and the maintenance of the same attracts hordes of tourists all year round. Between the months of September and December, the post-harvest festival of 100 Drums Wangala is celebrated with great pomp at the Asnang village, now becoming a multicultural attraction with neighbouring tribes participating in the festivities with great enthusiasm as well. The largest town in the hills is Tura, which is also the most developed area and home to all the important administrative buildings.

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Best Time To Visit Garo Hills

September to May is the best time to visit these hills as the weather is quite pleasant and appropriate for sightseeing.

Stay Near Garo Hills

Tura is the largest town in this region and is the best option for travellers looking for accommodation within the Garo hills.

Sightseeing Around Garo Hills

The Garo hills is a galore of ecological biodiversity.

Nokrek Biosphere Reserve:
One of the most important national parks, the Nokrek biosphere reserve was added to UNESCO's official list of biosphere reserves in 2009. The famous red panda, Asian elephants and the rare slump-tailed Macaque may be found here. It is also the home of the plant Citrus Indica, first discovered by researchers in this region.

Balphakram National Park: Another important biological gold mine found in these hills, the Balphakram National Park is famous for its canopy-covered gorge and unique physical and biological formations. These parks, along with the rows of thick trees seen populating the slopes and valleys of the Garo hills make it an ecological hotspot.

Siju Caves: The third longest cave system in India, the fascinating Siju Caves have been made of limestone deposits over centuries, situated by the beautiful Simsang river. One can find rare bat species here.

Rongbang Falls: A tributary of the Simsang River, the stream of these majestic falls may be seen on the Tura Williamnagar Road, but the experience of the sheer beauty and magnitude is worth the short trek one must make to the base of these falls. Flanked on either side by massive verdant hills of bamboo, this site is sure to leave the viewer with memories of euphoria and wonder.

Activities At Garo Hills

Nature Walk: The Garo hills are a hotspot for natural biodiversity, evidenced by the large Nokrek Biosphere reserve and the neighbouring Balphakram National Park. The Selbalgre Hoolock Gibbon Reserve is a great spot to view the rare Hoolock Gibbon. There are a number of picturesque waterfalls around the hills as well.

Trekking: With limited road connectivity, one must trek through this scenic landscape in order to reach many villages past the outskirts of Tura. The Tura Peak and Arabella range offer magnificent views from a top, with the Tura peak being relatively easier to scale.

Tips For Visiting Garo Hills

All the roads constructed are not meant for vehicular use, and some destinations require a certain amount of trekking on foot. Some amount of physical activity and trekking is expected of those wishing to travel around the hills.

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