The ‘Land of Perpetual Winds’ to the outside world but the tableland is in the south eastern corner of the Garo Hills. It has an importance for both Garo and Hindu religious beliefs. Balpakram, which is declared as a National Park in 1987, is the land of scenic beauty, lying at an altitude of nearly 3000ft above sea level, covering an area of 200 sq.km.
It is vast tableland of dense forest, teeming wildlife and quite an unknown rich bio diversity spot in India. it is a home many rare and exotic species of fauna, some endemic to the area, many almost extinct, evokes interest among wildlife enthusiasts. The Garos consider Balpakram to be sacred as the land where the spirits of the dead sojourn. The steep rock cliffs of the canyon are believed to be the natural habitats of the gonchos or evil spirits. Interesingly, on the Khasi hills border, there is a natural water tank of the rock, which is perpetually clear and transparent.
The main fauna of Balpakram is birds. There are hundreds of species of birds are found. Apart from birds there are other wildlife like langur, cheetal deer, leopard, different reptiles and many other. But the main attraction is to explore the mythical and fiercesome terrain of this high altitude. Acres and acres of vast tableland is covered with ground orchids and other herbs and bush in multi colour blooms present an unforgettable sight.
In and Around
MYSTERIES OF BALPAKRAM NATIONAL PARK
The Garo tribes revere it as a sacred place, so far the aspect of mystery is still remained unsolved. The legendary ape-like creature called mande barung is similar to Yeti of Tibet. The tribal calls it “forest man” in their own language. In 2008, BBC reporter Alastair Lawson and passionate Yeti believer Dipu Marak travelled throughout the area and found strong evidence of some unusual animal (or man) living out there. You can read the whole story here.. On the trail of the’Indian yeti’
There are more than 45 interesting sites in this area that are considered sacred and revered by people. Some of them are mentioned below.
There is a place in the middle of plateau where one can witness all types of footprints of jungle animals. Locals are believed the place was once an animal market, but the mystery part is that, that is only specific region where your find numerous footprints whereas other rocks are totally clean.
This is a massive rock, which has an incredible magnetic force, pulling any animals or birds towards the hollow from where they can’t come out forever. However, the magnetic force has no effect on human beings.
This small stream is situated 1 km from Menggo Kol, resembling the intestines of a pig. It also emits rotten smell. The stream is believed to cover by the spirit of monster Wakmangganchi aragondi.
The best suitable time for visiting this place is from November to March.
How to Reach
Reaching Balphakram National Park : Tura can be reached by road from Guwahati. One cannot find any motorable roads here so trekking is the only option.
Guwahati is the nearest airport that leads to the Balpakram National Park from Shillong and Guwahati.
The nearest railway station is Guwahati that lies 220 kilometers away from the Tura.
The Meghalaya government offers different modes of transport which leads to this park. The closest village from the Balpakram National Park is Tura which is nestled at a distance of 167 kilometers.
Stay / Eat
The best place to stay is in Baghmara Tourist Lodge. A small but quaint lodge perched on a small hill top, giving you a full view of the surrounding areas. You can also opt for Balpakram forest guest house (Hatisil). There are other few options like PED guest houses of Mahadeo (10 km away for Balpakram), Rongra ( 30 km ahead of Balpakram)