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Things To Do In Balpakram National Park
Balpakram National Park is a conservation site in the Garo Hills of Meghalaya, which was launched in 1987 after the state recognised the natural significance of the region. Today, it is one of the top tourist attractions in Meghalaya and travellers from around the world visit Balpakram to witness its diverse population of both indigenous and exotic plant and animal species. Known as ‘land of the eternal wind’ among the locals, Balpakram National Park also holds immense cultural value for the Garo people, with the wild attractions of the park making it an ideal destination for archaeologists, geologists, and even students. To know more about what it has in store for travellers, here are our recommendations for the top things to do when in Balpakram National Park.
Explore the Flora and Fauna
Home to a wide range of both endemic and endangered variety of plant and animal species, Balpakram National Park is bound to be every nature lover’s dream. The animals that reside here include rare species like the red panda, and more exotic varieties like the wild water buffalo, the bison and the barking deer. Elephants, baboons, monkeys, and about 8 different species of cats alone, including the tiger, make up some of the most commonly seen animals here. The birds seen here often are the hornbill, peacock, kingfisher, etc., apart from reptiles that include the cobra, python, krait, viper and many others.
Amongst the species of flora, the rare and famous pitcher plant is the most prized attraction here. Apart from lovely orchids and drosera, there are also several plants found here that locals believe to have medicinal values.
Learn the Myths about Balpakram National Park
One of the most fascinating aspects of Balpakram are the myths and mystical phenomenon that surround its natural wonders. One such wonder is the Goncho Dare gorge/canyon in the park, which the locals believe is the abode of the spirits of the dead. The Boldak Matchu Karam is a spot with a large Boldak tree that has a mysterious depression in its trunk. It is believed that on their way to their final resting place in the gorge, the spirits tether their animals killed at their funeral around this tree trunk and rest here for a while. Apparently, whenever a tree falls here due to strong winds, another tree nearby gets afflicted by the same depression in the trunk.
A large rock here, known as Areng Patal, is known to be a magnetic structure with a hollow spot on its surface. Apparently any animal or bird that wanders near the rock, is magnetically pulled to it and never gets a chance to escape, leading to the death of the animal. The interesting thing to note here is that the rock is not believed to affect humans.
Visit the Balpakram National Park Caves
A number of caves in the national park also make this place worthy of a visit for all history and archaeology lovers. Beautiful limestone formations making up stalactites and stalagmites in the caves increase the beauty of these places manifold. The Siju-Dobhakol Cave situated along the Simsang River is the most famous among the group. At around 5000 metres long, it is the third-longest cave in India and has some beautiful river passages. The Tetengkol-Balwakol cave, also known as the Cave of the Dwarfs, is the second-longest cave in the country and is also situated here. Other prominent caves in the park are Bok Bak Dobhakol and Dobhakol Chibe Nala.