Exploring the Untouched North East at Tura, Meghalaya


In India’s far north— the core of her novel The Inheritance of Loss—Kiran Desai reflects on the beauty, violence, and spirituality of a misty Himalayan realm, where nature ultimately dwarfs all human concerns.

Simply to curb my needs to travel the northeast this time, I chose a place Tura, which is nothing less than magical. When I booked a Guwahati to Shillong taxi, I had no idea what was going to come but one thing I was sure about was the beauty of the north east that I had only heard of.

About the place

Tura lies at some 325 kilometres from Shillong, which is the capital of the northeastern state of India, Meghalaya. Due to its mystic beauty, this place sees many tourists from every part of the world. With a lot of greenery all around and the little hills, the climate of the place stays moderate throughout the year.

Most of the people living here belong to the Garo tribe. As soon as I checked in a hotel, I met a local person and he told me many interesting stories about the place. You could listen the locales talk about the stories of the legends of their tribes. Since I was in a group of people, the first thing that was planned for the next day was to trek up to the Garo peak. This was one of the most popular hill stations amongst the British as well and thus you can see a lot of old stuff coming from there.

Places worth visiting

Apart from the Garo peak, you would find many other interesting places in and around Tura. Since the place is covered with the tropical forests, you can find a huge biodiversity. The BalpakramNational Park was the place I loved the most. Since I always have an inclination towards the gifts of nature, Igot a chance to see the rarest Flora here. Similar to this was the Nokrek National Park where I got a chance to see the Red Panda, Macaque, Tigers, Asian elephants and many other animals.

Tura has a place called SijuCaves, which are considered, as the caves of the bats. This was by far one of the longest cave systems that I have ever visited and is believed to be stretched over a few kilometres. Although this place is a little far from Tura, but you can plan your trip and book a cab in a way that it lies on your route from Guwahati to Shillong.

With a lot of other waterfalls and picnic spots, I also visited the India Bangladesh border, which has a barbed fence. In spite of the limited population of the place, it was interesting to see the presence of Kamakya temple where the navel of a goddess is worshipped. In a country like the one India where talking about sex is still a taboo existence of this temple was quite an interesting thing for me. Mir Jumia’s tomb, the dargah of Peer Hazrat Shah are some of the other religious places I visited.

After visiting most of the places in and around Tura, I tried to wrap my trip with the lip smacking food that is available here. If you are a non-vegetarian, consider tasting everything that you get here since I doubt you would get to eat them anywhere else.