The South Garo Hills are at the forefront of Meghalaya's tourism industry, and they offer a pristine environment that is still largely untouched. If you're searching for bragging rights about discovering unusual places, this forested area may be the answer.
The magnificent South Garo Hills are stunning, lush, and varied; they are irrigated by the spectacular Siju River while the woods shelter uncommon and distinct species. The main settlement is Baghmara in the South Garo Hills; however, tourists may also stay at William Nagar town (located in the East Garo Hills.)
If you're heading out to see the South Garo Hills for the first time, there's a lot to see and do, so here are some of our favourite Cachar attractions:
Siju Cave is named after its proximity to the Simangsang River. It lies on the banks of the Simsang River and is locally known as Dobakkol (bat cave).
Siju is India's third-longest cave, and it has some of the finest river passages in the world, according to tradition. Siju is a tunnel-like cave that has a constant flow of water cascading down from the ceiling. The cave consists of numerous chambers and passageways, which are complemented by stalagmites and stalactites.
The cave has beautiful limestone rock formations that may be seen deeper inside. The Siju bird sanctuary is located across the river, providing fascinating riverine scenery and a trove of birds for birdwatchers to observe. During the winter, migratory birds are common sightings, such as the Siberian duck. Siju is home to a variety of other interesting avian species. The lesser or grey hornbill is occasionally observed in Siju. The peacock pheasant is one of the uncommon birds seen here.
Baghmara, located in the South Garo Hills District on the shores of the Simsang River, is the headquarters of the South Garo Hills District. The Baghmara Reserve Forest lies 4 kilometres ahead of this settlement, on India's and Bangladesh's shared border.
The Baghmara Reserve Forest is home to a wide range of pitcher plants that consume other animals. The forests are home to numerous waterfalls, streams, and rivers. The vegetation is thick here, with little waterways cutting through the woods. Most wildlife enthusiasts come to this forest to glimpse the elusive leopard. The winter is an excellent time to visit the forest because many migratory birds rest there. Langurs thrive in these areas.
The Balpakram National Park, located to the southeast of William Nagar, the administrative centre of the East Garo Hills district, is 143 kilometres distant.
The name Balpakram translates into ‘Land of Perpetual Winds,' and it is aptly named as winds constantly blow through this area at 3,000 m above sea level. In 1987, the dense forest tableland was declared a 'National Park,' on which Balpakram is situated. It is notable for its exotic flora, fauna and rich diverse species, as well as its spectacular panoramic views over the River Valley. The park's vegetation is formed of sub-tropical and deciduous plants and trees, which are ideal habitats for water buffalo, elephants, black bears, sambar, and several feline species, including the marbled cat and leopard, as well as the uncommon stump-tailed macaque.
Bird-watchers will be pleased to learn that the numerous and very beautiful water bodies in this region attract a wide range of bird species, including white cheek partridge, and the Indian roller. The ancient forests and sacred valleys of Balpakram are nestled in a part of India known as the Garo Hills, which is said to be inhabited by mystical creatures.
The Garos call it the land of spirits, while there is also a tale that connects Balpakram to the epic poem, Ramayana. Then there's the mystery of a Garo version of the Big Foot or Yeti, known locally as the Mande Burung that is said to have been sighted in the National Park of Nokrek alongside other fascinating beings.