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Things To Do In Tura
One of the largest towns in the West Garo Hills district of the north-eastern state of Meghalaya, Tura is located right beneath the Tura peak and is a treasure trove of places to explore and interesting things to do. The true splendour of Tura cannot be defined in mere words, but the picturesque beauty of the district capital coupled with its dreamy ambience and natural wonders make it one of the most ideal holiday destinations in this part of the country. The aesthetic appeal of its surroundings and the warmth of its local residents make Tura a wonderfully pleasant town to spend some time in. Read on to know more about the top things to do when you visit Tura.
Trek to the Top of Tura Peak
At a height of 872 metres, the Tura Peak overlooks the town of Tura and is believed by the locals to be a pious guard of the town. The peak was earlier known as Dura; the name was changed after being constantly mispronounced as Tura by the British. On the vast stretches of greenery on the slopes of Tura Peak is a reserved forest, with an observatory and a forest bungalow also in the vicinity. The mountain serves as a prime spot of cinchona farming as well. A foot trail was constructed on the peak during the rule of the British, which was originally meant for the use of the Deputy Commissioner of Garo Hills. Today, the Tura Peak is a popular location for trek enthusiasts and the foot trail serves a very convenient purpose for the same. From the top of the peak, one can enjoy wonderful views of the Brahmaputra Valley and the golden plains of Bangladesh.
Explore the Siju Caves
The Siju Caves are situated along the banks of the River Simsang and are a very unique creation of nature. Known to be the third-longest cave line in the Indian subcontinent, it consists of numerous chambers within in the form of labyrinths and mazes. In fact, the caves are so deep that a major portion of them remains unexplored by humans. The caves are also home to a large number of bats, which has given it the nickname of ‘dabokhol’, or the ‘bat cave’. Only about a quarter of the cave receives sunlight in a day, the rest of the chambers remain dark and cold rest of the year. Visitors will also get to see stalagmite formations in the cave that have formed over the years. During the winters, the temperature inside can dip to zero degrees; travellers are advised to come dressed in appropriate woollen wear.
Bird Watching at Siju Sanctuary
Siju Sanctuary is a bird sanctuary located near the Siju Caves close to the River Simsang. It is home to an extensive variety of protected and rare bird species, along with other native animals as well. With migratory birds like the Siberian duck, European cormorant and the rare peacock pheasant making an appearance each winter, the Siju Sanctuary is truly a bird watcher’s paradise. Other birds that call this place home include cranes, flamingos, the Indian bustard and many more. Visitors will also get to see native species like stags and panthers here.
Camping at Pelga Falls
Pelga Falls is a beautiful waterfall location and a popular picnic spot about 7 km from Tura in the Garo-Khasi foothills. The State Tourism Department has constructed a footpath till Pelga Falls that allows easy access to visitors travelling to the region. The location is also known among sporting enthusiasts as a great spot for angling. The visual appeal of Pelga Falls and its enchanting surroundings make it a lovely place to reconnect with nature. Being a popular location for trekkers as well, it isn’t uncommon to see visitors setting up camp here at various spots. The Garo Bamboo Bridge built over the Ganol River is also popular among tourists and is situated nearby.
Day Trip to Balpakram National Park
The Balpakram National Park is situated at a height of about 3000 feet above sea level and covers an area of 220 sq. km. near the Garo Hills. The name ‘Balpakram’ means ‘land of perpetual winds’; the charming grace and pristine beauty of the park compares with no other in the region. The national park was established in the year 1987 and is not home to an extensive variety of flora and fauna. A very deep gorge present in Balpakram, known as the ‘land of the spirits’, is often associated with the popular Grand Canyon in the United States. Situated at a distance of about 167 km from the town of Tura, Balpakram National Park can be reached only via road and makes for a good daytime excursion on your visit to Tura.
Fishing at Naphak Lake
Naphak Lake is situated about 110 km from Tura and is a beautiful serene location perfect for spending an afternoon out fishing on the lake. The river Simsang also flows nearby and visitors get to indulge in a little birdwatching activity here as well. The Siju bird sanctuary is situated close by and large flocks of both native and migratory birds can be seen flying over the lake. Surrounded by enchanting hills and a peaceful ambience that will appease your senses, Naphak Lake is a great place to simply spend some leisure time with your family and friends.
Enjoy the Beauty of Rongbang Dar Waterfall
The Rongbang Dar is located near the Rombagre in the East Garo Hills district a few kilometres from the town of Tura. One of many other stunning waterfalls in Meghalaya, it is connected to Tura via the Tura-Williamnagar highway and is formed from a tributary of River Simsang. The best time to enjoy the Rongbang Dar waterfall is during the monsoon season when the beauty of the region increases manifold. The surroundings of the waterfall are enchanting, to say the least, and their visual appeal is enhanced by the appearance of water falling in different tiers instead of a single stream from a height of over 120 metres.
Explore Nokrek National Park
Situated just 2 km away from the town of Tura, Nokrek National Park was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the year 2009 and is the first biosphere of its kind in northeast India. The park has been named after the Nokrek mountain peak, which is known to be the highest peak in the Garo Hills district. Home to a wide range of species like the red panda, Asian elephant, marbled cat, tigers etc., the national park is located quite close to the National Citrus Gene Sanctuary, which also houses some of the rarest plant and animal species.
Explore the Garo Hills
The Garo Hills are part of the Patkai hill range across the Indo-Myanmar border. Named after the resident Garo tribe, the hills offer exquisite viewpoints amongst dense forests that are also home to plenty of endemic plants, bird and animal species. One of the most significant national parks in the state, the Nokrek Biosphere Reserve, is also located in this area. Visitors get to explore splendid waterfalls and trek through the lush landscapes across the hills, which often appears like a painting on a canvas designed by Mother Nature. Camping on the grassy hills is also a popular choice among the hikers here; spending a night under the starry sky of Tura is sure to be an unforgettable part of your trip.