(Last Updated on : 22/01/2009)
The Garo hills are a part of the range that is called the Garo-Khasi range in Meghalaya
, which is again a part of the Himalayan Subtropical forests. Situated in that range is the capital of Meghalaya, Shillong
. The hills are mostly dominated by the tribals.
The Garo Hills have an area of approximately 8,000 sq. kms. The Garos predominantly inhabit the three district of the State namely East Garo Hills, West Garo Hills and South Garo Hills. Tura is the largest town having a population of 70,000. The localites have their own customs and tradition very different from the city dwellers and also indulge in superstitious acts.
Through the Garo Hills, two mountain ranges pass, called the Arabella range and the Tura range, which forms the great Balpakram valley in between. From the Tura peak one can get an amazing view of the sunset at 1,400m and its peak
can be reached by a 5km trek, by hiking or rock climbing. The Nokrek Peak is the highest point in the Garo Hills, which is covered by a thick film of lush forest. Flora and fauna is in plenty in the hills. The Nokrek National Park comprises herds of wild elephants, many rare varieties of birds and pheasants along with rare orchids. Bhaitbari, Wadagokgre Imilchang Dare, Williamnagar, Rongbang dare, Pelga Fall, Siju Bird Sanctuary, Adokgre, Teteng Cave, Nengkong, Baghmara, are some of the places that has always been center of attraction in the Garo Hills region. Balapakram area is considered to be sacred for the Garo community due to their belief that the spirits of the dead sojourn here.
Garo Hills festivals include Wangala Festival, which takes place every November at the hills. This is a harvest festival held in honor of Saljong, the Sun god of fertility. The others are Rongchu gala, DenBilsia, Mangona, Mi Amua, Jamang Sia, Sa Sat Ra, Grengdik BaA, Chaka, Ja Megapa, Chambil Mesara, AjeaorAhaoea, Dore Rata Dance Do'KruSua, Saram Cha'A,A se Mania or Tata.
Hence the Garo Hills with its vibrancy and vigor can culminate into an interesting holidaying experience. One can feel at paradise with the greenery and the fresh air, which might help to rejuvenate and recuperate.