South Garo Hills

South Garo Hills is a district in the state of Meghalaya in India. The administrative headquarters of the district is at Baghmara.

The area of South Garo Hills was previously included in the East Garo Hills district and was carved out as a separate district on 12 April 2012 along with West Garo Hills and North Garo Hills.

South Garo Hills District shares its boundary with West Garo Hills District in the north and south-east, the Bangladesh Cox’s Bazaar district in the southern part and Bangladesh Rakhine State (formerly Arakan) in the west. The international border of South West Garo Hills is within 10 km from the district headquarters, Baghmara.

There are 3 police stations in the South Garo Hills District.

The district administration is headed by a Deputy Commissioner, who is an IAS officer. There are four subdivisional offices at Baghmara, Williamnagar, Songsak and Rongara.

South Garo Hills District has 3 assembly constituencies: Chokpot, Baghmara and Rongjeng.


South Garo Hills was previously included in the East Garo Hills district. On 12 April 2012, South Garo Hills along with West Garo Hills and North Garo Hills were created as separate districts.


The district is located between 24°13′N and 25°36′N latitude and 92°26′E to 94°15′E longitude. The southern part of the South Garo Hills District borders the Indian state of Meghalaya, while its northern part shares an international boundary with Bangladesh Rakhine State (formerly Arakan). The Bangladesh-India border within South West Garo Hills district is located about 10 km from the Baghmara town.

The topography of the South Garo Hills District ranges from flat land to undulating peneplain, with hill ranges extending up to 2600 m above MSL in the western part.


The climate, in general, is mild and warm in the south and cool and temperate in the north. The temperature in summer varies from 33°C to 50°C while that in winter varies from 4°C to 30°C.

Administrative Divisions

South Garo Hills district issegregated into four blocks:

  • Baghmara: HQ in Baghmara
  • Chokpot: HQ in Chokpot
  • Gasuapara: HQ in Nagrajora
  • Rongara: HQ in Rongara


According to the 2011 census, the South Garo Hills district has a population of 142,334 people, or roughly similar to Saint Lucia's. This places it 604th in India (out of a possible 640) according to the latest census data. The district has a population density of 77 people per square kilometre (200/sq mi). Its population increase rate for the decade 2001-2011 was 41.19 per cent. The South Garo Hills has a gender ratio of 944 females to 1000 males and a literacy rate of 72.39%.


The majority of the population of the South Garo Hills district is Christian. In fact, Meghalaya as a whole has been named by Open Doors as the second least-reached state with regard to Christian missionary work.


South Garo Hills is one of the poorest districts of Meghalaya. The economy of the South Garo Hills District is dependent on agriculture and related industries.

One of the main crops produced in this district is betel leaves, which are grown almost exclusively in all the blocks of the South Garo Hills District. Apart from betel leaves, other crops produced are maize, oranges, rice and pineapple.


The district has numerous rivers which are the main source of water for irrigation purposes. Some of these rivers are Balpakram, Rongara Nokrek and Betling etc. Nengkrek River, Nodungkiat River and Punshi River are the main rivers of South Garo Hills District.


Tourist attractions in South Garo Hills District: Rongara Wild Life Sanctuary, Chokpot falls, Punshi River and Nengkrek fall.

Nature Reserves

Rongara Wild Life Sanctuary is the only reserve forest of the South Garo Hills District.

Hot Springs

Kakikang Hot Spring is an important hot spring located in the South Garo Hills District.


Any Ranglong is the highest peak in South Garo Hills District. Other major peaks are Nengkharak Peak, Thokapot Peak, and Dipanda Peak. Aside from these, there is Nokrek Peak (1520 meters), Rajabasa (1175 meters) and Tikrikilla (1045 meters).

Religious Sites

Saharan Temple (with Jani stone inside), Church at Pedaldanga, St. Anthony Church (Matri), St. Paul's Church (Pedaldanga) and Bethel Marthoma Church (Dorangla).


Betling Cave, Jadim-Jadim Cave, Kylleng-Kylleng Cave and Rani Ban (Rani Bam) are the major caves of South Garo Hills District.

Places of interest in South Garo Hills District

There are several places of interest in the South Garo Hills District; however, tourism does not get its due priority. Few of the most visited places are -

1. Baghmara Lake: The serene and pristine surroundings of the lake make this place ideal for picnics or spending weekends with family.

2. Rongjeng Waterfall (Kynriam): Situated on top of a hill, it is an enchanting scene to watch this waterfall at any time of the year with mist rising from its deep waters.

3. Rongara Park: A combination of lush greenery and dense forests, it is a refreshing sight for nature lovers who come here to relax amidst the chirping of birds and whistling of winds.

4. Thokapot Waterfall (Ramdia): A serene and pristine place, this waterfall is a heavenly sight during the rainy season.

5. Balpakram National Park: It is one of the most noteworthy national parks in Meghalaya. The lush greenery and diverse fauna make it a must-visit destination for all nature lovers.

6. Betling Caves: It is an amazing place to explore.

7. Mawprem Eco-park: A perfect getaway from the humdrum of city life, this park has a picturesque water body and resorts. Visitors can take a boat ride inside this resort and enjoy the serenity around them.

8. Parambol Lake: This lake is located on top of a hill at Umroi. With its enthralling surroundings, it is the perfect place to spend holidays with your loved ones.

9. Mawjymba Waterfall (Mawprem): This waterfall is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the South Garo Hills District. It is an ideal destination for adventure seekers and picnickers.

10. Garobadha: A natural bridge found in the river Dakshin, it is a must-visit destination for nature lovers who wish to explore the beautiful scenes of nature around them.

11. Umngot River: The romantic scene of this serene river is soothing and encouraging for lovers, who wish to spend some quality time together.

12. Pynthorlang Falls (Umpling): This is one of the highest waterfalls in Meghalaya with a height of almost 240 feet. It is an ideal destination for adventure seekers looking for extreme fun and thrill. It’s impressive beauty makes it an ideal destination for photographers too.

13. Nokrek National Park: It is an ideal place to unwind amidst the serenity of nature surrounded by hills and dense forests.


The people of the South Garo Hills District speak a Tibeto-Burman language known as A'Tong.

Folk Dance & Music/ Festivals

Sangken or traditional festivals are celebrated by the people of this district. It is a conglomeration of numerous folk dances and songs performed to please Gods and Goddesses. The most famous folk dance/festival of South Garo Hills District is Sangken Pola.


The languages spoken by the people of this district include A'Tong (the language of the indigenous people), Bengali, Nepali and Hindi.

Christianity is the largest religion in South Garo Hills District, with 62% of the population following it. Other major religions are Hinduism (29%), Islam (6%) and others (3%).

The following are prominent churches in the S.G.H district: The Roman Catholic Church, Atong Baptist Church (ABC), Presbyterian Church of India (PCI) and Rhenock Baptist Church (RBC).


The district has a single airport at Umroi. It also has a helipad at Baghmara. The nearest railway station is in Tura which is about 60 km from the district headquarters.

There is 1,768 km of roads in the South Garo Hills district, of which 857 km are national highways and the rest are state highways.

How to Reach South Garo Hills District?

By Air: The nearest airport to the district headquarters is Tura Airport, which is about 60 km from the Baghmara.

By Train: There is no railway station in South Garo Hills District; however, it has a railway station at Tura, which is about 60 km from the district headquarters.

Best Time to Visit South Garo Hills District

The best time to visit this district is from September to February, as the weather is amiable and pleasant.

Districts of Meghalaya

Jaintia Hills Division