There are several places in the district that can be developed for tourism. Some of them are of historical importance; others are important because of their association with the cultural traditions of the Garo people and many of them again have deservedly earned fame for their scenic beauty. Much of the area still remain untouched, retaining almost intact the original flora and fauna. Garo hills known for its abundance of wild life, should interest naturalists and photographers to capture the facts of life of animals and the flora and fauna.
Two mountain ranges - The Arebella range and the Tura range, passes through the Garo Hills, forming the great Balpakaram Valley in between.
Balpakram National Park
A national wild life park, is about 45 kms from Baghmara, also known as the abode of perpetual winds. An awe-inspiring mini-canyon separates the Garo Hills plateau from the Khasi-Hills plateau across the Sib-bari rivulet. A majestic rocky plateau crowns the western ridge of the cliffs on the Garo Hills side of the mini-canyon.
The plateau commands an enchanting view of the beautiful plains of Bangladesh which are criss crossed by meandering rivers and large expanses of silvery inland water. The plateau has borne the unending lashes of summer wind and storm which have blown off all traces of soil, leaving the plateau as one continuous mass of rock and rubble. The Garos believe that on death, the soul of every pious Garo flies to Balpakram and abides there for all time to come, making it the abode of human souls.
The Balpakram plateau and canyon abound in plants and herbs of immense medicinal value, besides being the home of all sorts of wild animals including wild bison, wild cow and elephants. Government has since created the Balpakram National Park stretching over an area of approximately two hundred and twenty square kilometres, covering the plateau. The National Park can be approached by taking off from the Baghmara-Moheshkhola-Ranikor-Balut-Shil- long Road, at a place called Sib-bari.
During April each year, the entire Balpakram plateau is covered by exquisitely colourful wild flowers and swarms of colourful and beautiful butterflies, making it a veritable dreamland.
Balpakram has many mysterious and unnatural phenomena that cannot be satisfactorily explained by modern science and logic.
Some of these mysterious sites are:-
The third longest cave in the Indian sub-continent, it is situated on the bank of the Simsang river just below the village of Siju. The cave is locally known as Dobakkol or the Cave of Bats. The cave consists of innumerable internal chambers and labyrinths which have not yet been fully explored. The depth of the cave is yet to be fathomed although cave-explorers are reported to have so far covered depths of over a kilometer. The cave is totally dark with a perennial stream flowing out of it ,which abounds with different forms of aquatic life. The floor of the cave is covered with a very thick layer of bat-droppings. Beautiful stalactites and stalagmites are found all over the cave.
30 kms. North of Baghmara, Siju is famous for Dobakkol or the bat cave with impressive stalagmites and stalagtites. It is one of the longest cave in the Indian sub-continent and contains some of the finest river passages to be found any where in the world. The magnificent limestone rock formations inside especially named princes Di's chamber by the excavators will fill any visitor with awe.
Close by on the other side of Simsang River Siju bird sanctuary is the home for many rare and protected bird and other wildlife. The migratory Siberian ducks also come here during winter months. At the entrance to this bird sanctuary after a steep climb of nearly 1 km there is a stretch of fantastic rock formations that will take your breath away.
Design: NIC District Unit, South Garo Hills, Bahgmara
Content Provided: The District Administration, South Garo Hills