Saturday, Oct 01, 2022
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Add This Tropical Town In Meghalaya To Your Bucketlist 

One if India’s greenest town, Tura is a paradise for nature lovers 

Representative Image: A traditional homestay in Meghalaya
Representative Image: A traditional homestay in Meghalaya Shutterstock

When in the Garo hills, it is hard to ignore India’s greenest towns – the leafy, tropical Tura – a town, 45 km west of Nokrek, where main roads and residential localities blend in with tropical foliage and wandering hoolock gibbons. One of the best hikes around Tura is the climb to Tura Peak, which overlooks the town like a guardian. Apart from this view-filled and exhilarating experience, there are scenic several spots around the town. Here are 3 spots that you should not miss out on: 

Pelga Falls (8km)
Located just 8km away northwest of Tura, this waterfall is tucked away in the pristine forests surrounding the town. A 10-minute hike from the car park leads to the waterfall. During the wet sea- son, the dirt trail tends to be slushy, so caution must be exercised while walking this path. One of the attractions here is a hanging bamboo bridge over the turbulent Ganol River. Built by the locals, the bridge is an excellent example of the traditional Garo craft of bamboo weaving. The viewpoint for the falls is reached by descending a short flight of stairs offering glorious views of the cascade. Pelga is also a popular angling site.
Timing 9.30 am–4.30 pm

Selbalgre Gibbon Reserve (32km)

Representative Image: A family of gibbons in the wild
Representative Image: A family of gibbons in the wild Shutterstock

The tiny village of Selbalgre, 32km from Tura, is home to the unique Gibbon Reserve. Protected by the village community, this wildlife reserve is the ideal habitat for the hoolock gibbon, the only tail-less ape species found in India. Locally known as huro, the villagers consider hoolock gibbons sacred and traditionally believe that if a gibbon is hunted or killed, a curse would fall on the village. The forest reserve lies deep within the recesses of the Selbalgre village, which stretches along the scenic banks of the Selbal stream. A well-marked pathway, bordered by myriad ferns and wild- flowers, leads into the reserve. There is no formal entry gate or a contact point for guides. Although there are no guided tours, locals sometimes volunteer to accompany visitors inside the forest. 

Pro Tip: It is a good idea to carry a pair of binoculars and insect repellant for this trip. Gibbon sightings are typically made early in the morning. Visitors need to hike deep inside the forest. The reserve is also home to a sacred grove – clusters of standing stones can be spotted at various points along the trail.
Timing 9.30 am–4.30 pm 

Songkalwari Fish Sanctuary (37km)

The Simsang River running through Meghalaya
The Simsang River running through Meghalaya Shutterstock

A peaceful drive along hill Road leads to the village of Rombagre, 37km east of Tura. Popularly known as Rombagre sanctuary, the Songkalwari Fish sanctuary lies on the Simsang River and is home to chocolate Mahaseer, as well as other Mahaseer species. The local community protects the sanctuary waters, and angling is strictly prohibited around this area. Head to the viewing platform after buying packets of puffed rice from the kiosk at the site (to feed the fish). Schools of fish can be seen swimming in perfect unison in the clear waters of the river. You can also take the steep, rocky trail going down to the banks of the river. Mind your step while descending -the rocks are slippery, especially during the rainy season.
Timing 9.30 am–4.30 pm 

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