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Tourist Places To Visit In Balpakram National Park
Balpakram National Park, situated in the Garo Hills region of Meghalaya, was established in the year 1987 and covers an area of more than 200 sq. km. The park includes the famous canyon that has given it the moniker of the ‘land of the eternal winds’, and which has often been compared to the Grand Canyon of the United States. The national park also includes the Balpakram plateau and the surrounding forests, which are home to numerous indigenous and exotic species of plants and animals. Since the national park is a protected region, travelling visitors require prior permission from wildlife authorities before they can plan their trip to Balpakram. For more details about what this place is like, here is what we recommend among the top places to visit when in Balpakram National Park.
Flora and Fauna at Balpakram National Park
A wide range of plant and animal species call Balpakram National Park home and draw tourists in large crowds to the region. The chief attraction of Balpakram is the red panda, which is one of the rarest species in the world to be found here. Other exotic animals like the wild water buffalo, barking deer, bison etc. also reside here, apart from several endemic species like the Asian elephant, baboons, wild boar, monkey and about 8 different members of the cat family alone, including tigers and leopards. Reptiles found here include the king cobra, viper, python, and krait among many others, and birdwatchers will get to enjoy views of the hornbill, kingfisher, oriole, peacock etc.
The floral pride of Balpakram includes rare species like the carnivorous pitcher plant, apart from orchids, drosera, and some other indigenous rare plants that are believed to have medicinal value according to the locals.
Mythical Spots of Balpakram National Park
Apart from the amazing plant and animal species, there are a number of spots in Balpakram National Park that are famed for having mystical properties, some of which are even considered sacred by the locals. The most famous among these is the Goncho Dare gorge/canyon that locals believe to be the residing place of the spirits of their dead. A large Boldak tree with a depression around its trunk is where they believe the spirits tether the animals that have been killed at their funeral to rest here, before moving on to their final resting place in the gorge.
Another interesting feature here is a large, apparently magnetic rock that is believed to magnetically draw any animal or bird that wanders close to it, which is never able to escape from the rock and consequently dies. The rock, however, does not appear to affect humans. Other inexplicable events occurring at the park include a small lake called Chidimak with water that appears charcoal black, and the rock Matchru that is covered in animal footprints even though all the rocks around it are completely smooth.
Balpakram National Park Caves
Some of the most well-known caves in Meghalaya can be found around Balpakram National Park. With beautiful limestone formations that make up numerous stalactites and stalagmites here, the caves make up one of the highlights of visiting Balpakram. One of the most famous ones here is the Siju-Dobakhol cave, which is located along the banks of the Simsang river. Almost 5000 metres long, it is the third-longest cave in the country and contains some lovely river passages. The Tetengkhol-Balwakol Cave, located in the Nengkhong village, is also known as the Cave of Dwarfs and is the second-longest cave in the country. Don’t forget to pay a visit to other prominent caves like the Bok Bak Dobhakol and the Dobhakol Chibe Nala here as well.