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Tourist Places To Visit In Tura
Tura is a complete package in terms of the perfect holiday destination. Nestled in the foothills of the Tura mountain range, the offbeat village is situated in the West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya in northeast India. Tura is a town that offers satisfying solace from the monotony of routine life and offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy the spellbinding beauty of Tura’s natural wonders and leave the town thoroughly rejuvenated. Some of nature’s very best creations are on display here, with a large presence of native wildlife and tribal populations that call this place home. Here are all our recommendations with the top places to visit when in Tura.
Situated towards the eastern side of the town, the Tura Peak stands at a height of almost 900 metres above sea level and offers amazing views of the yellow plains of Bangladesh. The mountain also has a reserve forest, a cinchona plantation, a tourist bungalow and an observatory on its slopes. During the colonial rule in the country, a foot track was made here for the regional Deputy Commissioner’s use. Now that Tura Peak has become famously popular among trekkers and mountain climbers, the trail serves a very convenient purpose. The ambience and tranquillity of the surroundings are sure to mesmerize your senses, which you can enjoy to your heart’s content by staying in one of the guesthouses present here.
Pelga Falls is the beautiful location of a waterfall around 7 km from Tura in the foothills of the Garo-Khasi Hill ranges. Popular for the sport of angling and also a famous picnic spot, Pelga Falls receives plenty of visitors looking for a good trekking and camping location. A footpath was constructed here by the State Tourism Department that allows travellers to reach here easily. The Garo Bamboo Bridge, also popular among tourists, is located nearby as well. The natural beauty of the location remains largely untouched and features a wonderfully serene ambience, perfect for a daytime retreat. A lot of local musicians have known to visit this place and use the ethereal beauty of the region as inspiration for their compositions.
Nokrek National Park
Nokrek National Park was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the year 2009 and is located close to the National Citrus Gene Sanctuary, which is home to some of the rarest species of plants and animals. The park is located just 2 km away from the town of Tura and can be reached via the Tura-Asanang-Daribokgre road. The national park has been named after the Nokrek mountain peak, which is believed to be the highest peak in the Garo Hills at over 1400 metres height, and houses species like the red panda, Asian elephant and even tigers. Nokrek is also the first biosphere reserve of its kind in this part of the country and the least disturbed forest in the sub-Himalayan region.
One of the longest cave lines in the Indian subcontinent, the Siju Caves are situated close to the banks of the River Simsang and consist of numerous labyrinthine chambers. More than half of the caves remain unexplored even today, with sunlight reaching parts of its sections for only a quarter of the day. The caves are also home to countless bats, which has given it the nickname of ‘dabokhol’ or ‘bat cave’. A remarkable tourist attraction with extensive stalagmite formations on display, the Siju Caves are best visited with adequate preparation for a cold setting, since temperatures can dip as low as zero degrees during the winters here.
Located near the Siju Caves close to the River Simsang, the Siju Sanctuary is home to a great variety of endangered and rare bird species that reside here in the company of other protected species that are native to higher elevation regions. Birdwatchers are true lovers of this sanctuary for the sightings of birds like the Siberian ducks that migrate during the winters, the rare peacock pheasant, and many other migratory birds like the Indian bustard, flamingos, crane etc. The emerald green surroundings of the park are home to some regional species like stags, panthers, nilgai etc. as well.
Around 110 km from Tura, the Naphak Lake is a breathtakingly scenic spot that is popular among tourists for fishing and bird watching. The enchanting location is perfect for spending some leisure time with friends and family while spending an idle afternoon fishing on the lake. The proximity of Siju sanctuary in the region brings in large flocks of migratory birds during the winters, which will prove to be a haven for bird watching enthusiasts. Early morning strolls by the lake in the vicinity of the majestic hills will rejuvenate your senses like no other place.
Balpakram National Park
Covering an area of 220 sq. km. and situated at a height of 3000 feet above sea level, Balpakram National Park is famous for its pristine natural beauty and was declared to be a conservation site in 1987. Today, it is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna with key species including the Indian bison, red panda and the barking deer. The name Balpakram can be translated to ‘land of perpetual winds’, and it is a place of immense charm and breath-taking scenery. There are also exotic herbs and plants here that are known to have medicinal value and are of great significance to the locals. A deep gorge in the national park is often compared to the Grand Canyon in the United States; it is referred to as the ‘land of the spirits’ among the locals, who believe that the spirits of their dead reside here before moving on to their final abode. Truly a traveller’s paradise, Balpakram is a must-visit when making a trip to Tura.
Rongbang Dar Waterfall
Also known as Rongbang Dare, the waterfall is located close to Rombagre in the East Garo Hills. It is one of many stunning waterfalls in Meghalaya and can be reached via the Tura-Williamnagar State Highway just a few kilometres from Tura. Monsoons are usually the best time to visit the Rongbang Dar waterfalls, which have been formed from a tributary of the river Simsang and spill from a height of more 120 metres. The mesmerizing surroundings of the falls draw numerous visitors regularly, with evergreen bamboo adorning the forests nearby and creating a true spectacle for the eyes of the passers-by.
Garo Hills are part of the Patkai hill range located across the Indo-Myanmar border. The name of the hills has been taken from the Garo tribe who call this place home. Spread across an area of 8000 sq. metres, the hills offer magnificent views of the subtropical forests that surround the region and are home to several endemic species of birds and animals. Nature lovers will love the lush landscapes of the hills that appear to have popped right out of a painting, and trekking enthusiasts will find plenty of trails to indulge in some hiking activities.