Through the Garo Hills, two mountain ranges pass, called the Arabella Range and the Tura Range, which forms the great Balpakram Valley in between. Balpakram area is considered to be sacred for the Garo community due to their belief that the spirits of the dead sojourn here. The Nokrek Peak is the highest point in the Garo Hills, which is covered by a thick film of lush forest. The hills are also decked with splendid waterfalls, enriching the environmental coherence of the place.
Flora and Fauna of Garo Hills
Garo Hills are known for its abundance of wildlife with a unique range of flora and fauna. The Nokrek National Park comprises herds of wild elephants, many rare varieties of birds and pheasants along with rare orchids. Garo Hills is densely forested and hence one of the richest spots in bio-diversity.
Divisions of Garo Hills
The Garo Hills have an area of approximately 8,000 sq. Kms which forms the western part of Meghalaya. Garo Hills comprises 5 districts; North Garo Hills, East Garo Hills, West Garo Hills, South Garo Hills and South-West Garo Hills. West Garo Hills is one of the largest districts of Meghalaya located in the western part of the state. Tura is the largest town having a population of 70,000.
Tribes of Garo Hills
The Garo Hills are mostly dominated by the tribes known as Garos. The Garos call themselves Achik-mande. In the Garo language Achik means ‘Hills’ and mande means ‘Man’. So, Achik-mande means the Hills people.
Festivals in Garo Hills
Festivals in Garo Hills include Wangala Festival, which takes place every November at the hills. This is a harvest festival held in honour 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.
Tourism in Garo Hills
These are locations in and around Garo Hills which are tourist spots. These include: