West Garo Hills District

  • The West Garo Hills District covers an area of 3677 sq. kms. and has a population of 5,15,813. Tura which is its Head Quarters has a population of 58,391. There are two Civil Sub-Divisions, namely, Ampati and Dadenggre besides 7 C D Blocks, namely, Betasing, Dalu, Selsella, Dadenggre, Tikrikilla, Rongram and Zikzak. West Garo Hills District is predominantly inhabited by Garos, which happens to be one of the main tribes of Meghalaya.
  • Tura, the District Head Quarters lies at the foot of the towering and majestic Tura peak range. Tura town derives its name from one of the mythological goddesses, namely, Durama Imbama who was one of the most beautiful, rich and powerful of the three goddesses, namely, Koasi Minduri, Aratcha Rongbare and Durama Imbama. As legend has it, once upon a time, goddess Durama fought a war with goddess Songdu, (i.e Brahmaputra) in which Durama came out victorious.
  • The District shares its borders with Goalpara and Dhubri districts of Assam in the North and an International Border with Bangladesh on the West and South. The major area of the District is mostly hilly terrain. The northern, western and southern parts of the District are mostly plains. There are four major rivers in the District, namely, Rongai, Jinjiram, Ganol and Bugai.
  • There are quite a few places of historical or tourist interest in the District some of which are the following :-
  • 1. Tura Peak Range :- It rises above Tura town and stretches towards the south. the range is famous for its rich and varied flora and fauna of rare varieties which are of medicinal value. It is also famous for its elephant population which is among the highest in the country. The range also encompasses a part of the Nokrek Wild Life Sanctuary. It is also famous for its natural beauty and stands as a natural barrier to obstruct moisture bearing clouds coming from the Bay of Bengal and causing rainfall in the District.
  • 2. Arbella Range :- Adjacent to Tura range is Arbella range which joins with Nokrek Hill, the highest peak in the District. It is believed to be the original home of citrus plants. In order to preserve this plant from going extinct, a citrus sanctuary has been set up at Nokrek Hill. The Sanctuary is about 25 kms. from Tura on the Tura-Williamnagar road.
  • 3. Bhaitbari :- The place came into prominence when a number of historical remains were found during excavation work in the area indicating existence of Kingdoms of a medieaval era. Archaeological Survey of India is still carrying out research to trace the origin of the historical remains. During winter months tourists from far off places flock to the area to witness the remains.
  • Various places in Garo Hills are known for beautiful and scenic picnic spots like rocky Ganol river sides and Chibraggre which are about 10 kms away from Tura. Chibinang and Moonggre are other beautiful picnic spots. These places also give ample opportunities for anglers.
  • Wangala (harvest festival) is an important annual festival celebrated in the Garo Hills Districts. This is celebrated by the Garos during the month of October after the harvest from Jhum cultivation is over. State Tourism Deptt. organises 100 Drums Wangala Festival at Asanang which is 15 kms. from Tura. In the Wangala Dance Festival the Garos make offerings of the harvest to God in thanks giving. Time and date of celebration of festival differs from village to village. An interesting part of the celebration is free consumption of "bitchi" (rice beer) and men and women dancing together.
  • Fire Service Stations have been set up at Tura, Rongram, Dalu, Dadenggre, Mahendraganj, Phulbari, Garobadha and Ampati.
  • The average registration of cases per year in the District is around 450. There has been a sharp increase in militant related cases which is posing the biggest challenge to the police since the last 5(five) years.