Situated in the lap of Meghalaya, Baghmara has been a tourist hub since ages. It is the headquarter of South Garo Hills district and is known for its mouth-watering varieties of fishes. It has also gained credit for enjoying an old trading connection via sea with Bangladesh. Many carnivores plant as well as pitcher plants are found in this area.
There are many renowned attractions situated near this place which include Siju Cave, Balphakram National Park etc. One can reach the distant locations of this pretty town comprising of lakes, rivers and hills via jeeps or buses. The word Baghmara has a story attached to it. It has been derived from a fight which once happened between one man named, Bong Lasker and a wild tiger. The tiger was crushed to death and hence came the name commemorating his victory.
Now let’s delve into details and see how this place finds mention on tourists’ map and how it has been luring visitors. Here is the list of the four main tourist destinations:
1. Baghmara Reserve Forest
Home to elephants, birds and langurs, this place is must-visit for those who have a penchant for exploring fauna. The entire family can spend quality time by enjoying elephant rides. Situated at a stretch of four kilometers from Baghmara, the Baghmara Reserve Forest is one of the most visited places by tourists in the state. It stretches along the banks of Simsang river. Pitcher plants can be seen in abundance. Leopard, Gaurs and many breeds of birds are found here. The best time to visit this place is from October to January. In winters, there are many birds migrating from different regions and hence it is an ideal time to explore the forest. With plenty of guest houses and tourist lodges, you are spoilt for choice for accommodations.
2. Siju Caves
Known to be the third longest and largest cave in the entire Indian Sub-continent, Siju caves are also called as the cave of bats. There is water inside the cave and it is several kilometers long. With a rich collection of stalagmites and stalactites, it gives a pretty look. It is located near Naphak Lane and the impressive Simsang River game reserve. This limestone cave had a temperature of 21-26.4 °C when it was explored in 1927. The Siju Caves in Meghalaya are the first lime lighted natural cave in India.
3. Siju Bird Sanctuary
Situated at a gap of just four kms from the Siju caves, this sanctuary is host to the Siberian duck.
For those who are bird lovers, this place holds a special status. This is because a lot many exclusive variety of birds can be traced here.
Flourished by rock formations, this place woos birds from different nations and regions and hence appeals to kids and their families. Hence, this place is thronged by a large number of bird watchers. As it lies in the vicinity of other attractions such as Nokrek National Park, Simsang River Game Reserve and Nophak Lake, Siju Bird Sanctuary is a good alternative where you can stay for a day or two and roam around to explore rich variety of flora and fauna. The best time to visit this place is from November to March. By air and rail, this place is connected via Guwahati. However, by road, you need to take a bus for Shillong from where you can take other bus to reach the Siju Bird Sanctuary.
4. Simsang river
This is a river dividing the Garo Hills into two parts. It’s also called Someshwar River when it enters Bangladesh and enjoys the repute of being a major river in Meghalaya. It splits into many beautiful waterfalls while passing through the Garo Hills. These waterfalls today are a prime part of the tourists’ itinerary and are the pride of the state.
If you want to sit in peaceful ambience, this is the place offering cool and calm surrounding. It’s the only river in Meghalaya which is home to electric eels. An annual fishing festival called Nathok Wari is held in the winter months.
Bejeweled with natural assets, Baghmara makes you feel refresh and relaxed. You can enjoy an ultimate variety of flora and fauna which is difficult to be found in any other place. If you want to view the beauty of this nature-blessed place, it is time to pack your bags and get ready to view the clear sky, lush green ambience and variety of birds and animals who have made Baghmara their sweet home.