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About Meghalaya

About Meghalaya

About Tura, Meghalaya

Tura is a city and a municipality in West Garo Hills district in the Indian state of Meghalaya. One of the largest towns in Meghalaya, Tura is a valley located at the foothills of the Tura Hills and right below the Tura Peak. The climate in Tura is moderate throughout the year and has a large number of interesting and unexplored areas. The native god Durama was believed to reside in the hills. The name Tura is said to be a corruption (by the British) of the god's name.

It is part of the Siwalik Hills ranges. It is 220 kilometres from the nearest city Guwahati and is also the district capital of the West Garo Hills district. It is filled with small rivulets and green valleys all around. The principal languages are Garo, [[Hajong language/Hajong], Koch language/Koch, Bengali, Hindi and English. In 1973, the town was made the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tura.

The capital city of Shillong is 323 kilometres away and can be accessed via buses or the shuttle helicopter service.

Tura is a cultural and administrative centre of the Garo tribes. To visit popular tourist destinations such as Balpakram, Nokrek and Siju cave, one needs to pass through this town.

The State of Meghalaya is situated on the north east of India. In the hills of eastern sub-Himalayas is Meghalaya, one of the most beautiful state in the country. Nature has blessed her with abundant rainfall, sun-shine, virgin forests, high plateaus, tumbling waterfalls, crystal clear rivers, meandering streamlets and above all with sturdy, intelligent and hospitable people.

Emergence of Meghalaya as an Autonomous State on 2nd April 1970 and as a full-fledged State on 21st January 1972 marked the beginning of a new era of the geo-political history of North Eastern India. It also marked the triumph of peaceful democratic negotiations, mutual understanding and victory over violence and intrigue.

Food
There are many varieties of food available, the common one is the traditional Garo food. Traditional Garo food includes boiled rice, different preparations of Pork, beef, chicken and dry fish. Some of the delicacies of Garo Food are Nakam Bitchi (it is dry fish made with chillies and soda), Wak Pura (it is Pork cooked with crushed rice).

Major Mineral Resources
Coal, Limestone, Sillimanite, Dolomite, Fireclay, Felspar, Quartz and Glass-sand.

Principal Forest Produce
Timber, Bamboo, Reed, Cane, Ipecac, Medicinal herbs and Plants, Cinnamon, Lemon-grass and Thatch-grass.

Principal Agricultural Products
Rice, Maize, Patato, Cotton, Orange, Ginger, Tezpata, Arecanut, Jute, Mesta, Banana and Pineapple.

Wild Life
Animals
Elephant, Tiger, Leopard, Bear, Panther, Wild Boar, etc.

Birds
Duck, Hornbill, Myna, etc.

Annual Celebrations

Wanagala
It is a traditional Garo dance; celebrated after harvesting. Wangala is best showcased at the 100 Drums festival which takes place annually, 30 km away from Tura in a place called, Asanang. The men and women are dressed in traditional attire and they dance to beat of the 100 drums.

Christmas
It is celebrated in a grand and extravagant way. The party spirit pervades throughout starts from Christmas and continues even after the New Year celebration. So, the entire celebration last for more than a week. The occasion is filled with carol songs, dinner parties, social gatherings and many more events. In short, a week long of Merry making.

Durga Puja
It is celebrated in the months of October and is celebrated in a grand fashion with 'pandals', 'dhak dhol' and the smell of 'dhoop' all over town. The number of idols The 'Bishorjon' is a colourful parade of trucks carrying the idols of the various pandals away at the end of the festivities.

How to reach Tura

How to Reach Tura in Meghalaya by Air
Guwahati is the nearest airport which is only 128kms from Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya which can be reached by bus or car. Daily buses also connect Shillong with Guwahati airport. Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd, under the aegis of the Government of Meghalaya, has commenced regular helicopter flights connecting Shillong and Tura to Guwahati. A helicopter service operates between Guwahati, Shillong (30 min) and Tura (60 min), which is convenient and economical. Some helicopters land at upper Shillong and others at Umroi Helipad in the downtown.

How to Reach Tura in Meghalaya by Road
Road Network in the state is quite efficient and covers the state conveniently. National Highway 40 is an all-weather road running through the state. The road connects Shillong with Guwahati, which in turn is connected to other major cities in rest of the country. Both Deluxe and ordinary bus services are available. Meghalaya Road Transport also run regular bus services in Meghalaya.

How to Reach Meghalaya by Rail
Meghalaya does not have any train service. The nearest railway station is in Guwahati. Meghalaya has very convenient road connection with Guwahati throughout the year.

Important places to visit

Sahastradhara



A majestic hill stands on the eastern flank of Tura, the largest town in the Garo hills area of Meghalaya. It rises 872 m above sea level over looking Tura. A tourist-bungalow, an observatory and a Cinchona-plantation are located at Tura Peak and its environs. A spectacular view of the lower Brahmaputra Valley as well as the golden yellow plains of Bangladesh is available all year round to visitors coming to Tura Peak.

Shillong Peak



Shillong peak is located at a distance of 10 kms from the center of the city at the scenic southern limits of Shillong. It is an Ideal picnic spot situated an altitude of 6445 feet above sea level. This is the highest point (1965mtrs) in the state. The peak is considered to be the abode of the Khasi deity U Blei Shillong--the creator and protector of the Kingdom. A magnificent view of the Himalayas can be seen from the peaks when the skies are clear. A panoramic view of the scenic landscape and the city can be seen from the peak. In the evening the city lights from the top appear like a star-studded abyss.

Sohpetbneng Peak



Against the backdrop of a green forest, the sacred peak is regarded as the 'Navel of Heaven' as per Khasi mythology. If you are seeking peace of mind, this might be your ideal retreat.

Naphak Lake



Located at a distance of 112 kms from Tura, it is ideal for fishing, and bird-watching, with the river Simsang flowing nearby.

Chibragre



Located in West Garo Hills District. The meaning of Chibragre is 'Chi'=water; 'bra'=join; 'gre'=hill or place. Lying at the confluence of Ganol and Rongram rivers, just 9 kms from Tura on the Tura Guwahati road is an ideal picnic spot.

Ward's Lake



The picturesque lake is set amid rolling flowerbeds and fairyland lighting.

Shillong Cathedral



The beautiful church was built by the British. It is as spacious as to accomodate a few thousand worshippers.

Umlawan Cave



This is located in Jaintia Hills District. The sleepy hamlet of Lumshnong village came into lime-light recently when it has been confirmed that the Umlawan cave situated in this village is the longest and also the deepest in the sub-continent. The Umlawan cave is inter­connected with two other caves namely Kot-Sati and Umskor caves. The total length of these caves is more than 21 kms and about 100 m in depth. This place is 60 kms east of Jowai. Dotted across the entire district there are numerous caves and caverns with spectacular stalagmites and stalactite formations. Till now only a few of these caves have been explored and surveyed.

Nokrek Biosphere



Located in West Garo Hills District. About 40 kms, via Asananggiri and Sasatgiri but just 2 kms from Tura peak; teeming with wild life, Nokrek hill is the home of a very rare species of citrus locally known as Memang Narang orange of the spirits. This Memang Narang is considered to be the most primitive and progenitor of all other varieties of citrus plants in the world with a view to preserve this rare species of citrus indica the first gene sanctuary of the world has been established here.

Balpakram



Located in the South Garo Hills District. The Balpakram National Park is about 165 kms from Tura. The literal meaning of Balpakram is the "land of perpetual winds". There is a great precipice or deep gorge in Balpakram and is popularly compared to the Grand Canyon of U.S.A.

Water Falls in Meghalaya



Meghalaya can boast of a number of waterfalls, which emerge from the unpolluted rushing streams plunge down the steep mountains, turn twist and disappear in the jungle. Some noted waterfalls are Spread Eagle Falls, Elephant Falls, Crinoline Falls, Noh Kalikai Falls, Dain Thlen Falls, Mawsmai Falls, Imilchang Dare.

Krang Suri Falls



Krang Suri is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the District. It is located in the Amlarem Civil Sub Division. To transform the place into a tourists destination the District Administration has initiated steps to construct Chisseled and graveled footpaths and view points to enable visitors to better appreciate the beauty of the waterfall and its surroundings. The footpaths are hewn from the natural multi colored stones available in the area, no cement has been used and stones have been placed symmetri­cally to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the area.

Tyrshi Falls



It is located in Jaintia Hills District. Tyrshi Falls on the Shillong-Jowai Road (NH 44) is Jowai's answer to Shillong's Elephant Falls. This fall is located about 5 kms from Jowai. A pretty arch bridge connects across an expanse of green paddy fields, which opens up to the gushing Tyrshi falls thundering down to the Pynthor (paddy-fields) below. A winding footpath offering a breathtaking and panoramic view of the Pynthor Nein, eases your trek down to the bottom of the falls, which glides down like milk over a vertical drop.

Nongkhnum Island



Located in the West Khasi Hills District. Nongkhnum Island is the biggest river island in Meghalaya and the second biggest river island in Asia, after Majuli Island in Assam. Located about 14 Kms from Nongstoin, the district hqs. of West Khasi Hills, it is 20 to 25 sq. kms in area. Travelling on foot from Nongstoin through the villages of Lawse, Mawduh and Mawthar, it takes about two and a half-hours to reach the Island. There is a wooden bridge over the Weinia Fall to enter the Island. The Island is formed by the bifurcation of Kynshi River into the Phanliang River and the Namliang River. At the point of divergence, there is a beautiful sandy shore about 100 sq. meters in area. The Phanliang River forms a beautiful lake adjacent to the sandy beach. This lake is about 400 to 500 sq. meters. The River then moves along and before reaching a deep gorge, forms a pretty fall about 60 meters high, called Shadthum Fall. At the bottom of the fall, there is a beautiful pool where a variety of fishes can be found.

Durga Temple at Nartiang



Located in the Jaintia Hills District. The remnants of the old capital of the Jaintia Kings lies 65kms away from Shillong. The huge monoliths and a 500 years old Durga temple are important tourist attractions. Adjacent to the ruins of the Summer Palace of the Jaintia King in front of the arched gateway of red bricks stands the Durga Temple. It is believed that the temple was constructed by the Jaintia King on his conversion to Hinduism. It is said that the temple construction initially was like a typical Khasi house having a Central wooden pillar (dieng Blai) and the roof was in thatch. Later, the thatch was replaced by a corrugated tin roof. During the rule of the Jaintia Kings, human sacrifices were offered to Goddess Durga. Within the temple there is a tunnel that reaches the river Myntang.

Dawki



Dawki is located in Jaintia Hills District. Travelling from Shillong to the International trade route border town of Dawki is a splendid drive of 95 kilometres passing through deep gorges and ravines, which is certainly a thrilling experience. On approaching Dawki is the Umngot river, the venue of the annual boat race held during March - April at Umsyiem. The Umngot river is the natural boundary between Ri Pnar or Jaintia Hills with Hima Khyrim of Khasi hills over which is a single span suspension bridge was constructed. This is the gateway to Bangladesh where major export and import transactions take place.

Lalong Park



The Park is located about 8 kms from Jowai. It is known for its sacred grove and for its setting which overlooks the beautiful Pynthorwah Valley. Through the Special DRDA Tourism Project the District Administration have taken step to beautify the park by creating infrastructure such as water dams and canals, toilet facilities with changing rooms, hoardings, jungle clearance which has attracted tourist far and wide. A water eco park is also taking shape with an intention to change Ialong into a major Tourism Hub of the District.

Tribal Caves in Meghalaya



Meghalaya is dotted with numerous natural caves. Exploring the strange natural formations through murky interiors is a thrilling experience for some. The Khasi, Jaiantia and Garo Hills are replete with such caves, which are major tourist attractions in Meghalaya. Some notable caves are, Mawsmai Cave, Krem Mawmluh, The Cave of Eocene age, Krem Kotsati, Krem Umshangktat, Siju-Dobkhakol, Tetengkol-Balwakol etc.

Mawphlang Sacred Forest



Located in the East Khasi Hills District. One of the most remarkable features of the Khasi Hills are the sacred forests, which have been preserved by traditional religious sanction, since the ancient days. One of the most famous sacred forests is the Mawphlang Sacred Forest, about 25 kilometres from Shillong. The sacred grove has an amazing life form of plants, flowering trees, orchids and butterflies. An ideal destination for nature lovers.