Nokrek Biosphere Reserve
The Nokrek National Park is about 45 kms via Asananggre and Sasatgre but just about 2 kms from Tura Peak in West Garo Hills, provided you are an avid trekker. Nokrek is the highest peak in Garo Hills and has been declared a National Biosphere under the control and management of the state forest department. The peak is teeming with very rare plants and animals deep inside the thick jungle. The park is also home to a very rare species of citrus-indica endemic to this place which the locals call me.mang narang which when literally translated means the ‘orange of the spirits’. This discovery led to the establishment of the National Citrus Gene Sanctuary-cum-Biosphere Reserve at Nokrek which covers an area of about 47 sq.km.
Almost all of the important rivers and streams of the Garo Hills region originates from the Nokrek range, of which the Simsang river known as Someshwari when it enters Bangladesh at Baghmara is the most magnificent and most prominent. Abundant wildlife including herds of wild elephants, animal species like leopard, pangolin, hoolock gibbon, python, hornbill, besides rare orchids abound in the sanctuary.
A majestic hill stands on the eastern flank of Tura, the largest town in the Garo Hills region of the State. It peaks eight hundred and seventy two metres above sea level over looking Tura. Local legend has it that the peak provides a sacred abode for the Gods and claims that it was traditionally known as Dura but the British mistook it for Tura, before it came to be known as such. Since the Tura hill and its peak constitute the water catchments area of Tura town, the whole Tura-range has been declared as a reserve-forest.
A Tourist Bungalow, an Observatory and a Cinchona plantation are located at Tura Peak and its environs. A magnificent view of the lower Brahmaputra Valley as well as the golden yellow plains of Bangladesh is available all year round to viewers on Tura Peak.
During the British regime, the Deputy Commissioner of Garo Hills, used to reside during summer, in a cottage located at the peak and commute down to Tura each day on elephant-back. A decent foot track developed for the Deputy Commissioner’s use is still in existence. It facilitates tourists and adventurers reaching Tura peak with ease and comfort.
Pelga fall just located at the distance of 7 kms from Tura has become increasingly hot spot for anglers and picnickers in recent years. The tourism developed this place by constructing a footpath and view point. A typical traditional Garo bamboo bridge constructed over Ganol river is another added attraction.
Bhaitbari Any tourist who is interested in history can visit Wadagokgre which is one of the most interesting and attractive places in West Garo Hills. It is a place where an excavation was taken up by the pre-history branch of the Archeological Survey of India and proved that this was one of the biggest cities, a religious centre cast out of the Bramaputra river from the fourth century A.D. or even earlier. The excavation so far have clearly demonstrated that Wadagokgre was a sprawling township with Buddhism, Hinduism and amalgamation of the two being widely practiced in that area. The ancient township was located on the bank of the Bramaputra river which nearly 2000 years back was flowing nearby. The township was well-fortified and had a large number of tanks inside and on the other prestigious heights were located a number of burn bricks temple. Nearly 20 temple sites which have been there might have been palatial complexes and habitational areas for the population of the town. But the most interesting aspect of the survey report is that this is the only site where inside the entire fortified area including the habitational areas not a single bone was found. Wadagokgre is located at about 75 kms. from Tura. One PWD inspection bungalow is available at Baitbari at about 4 kms. distance from Wadagokgre.
Located on the hilly crescent – like saddle, at the foot of the Nokrek peak, in the West Garo Hills district, Sasatgre village is accessible by a jeepable road from Oragitok village which lies on the Tura-Asanangre-Williamnagar State highway. The distinguishing feature of this village is that although all the houses are built in the typical Garo Pattern and design, they are spacious, airy, well-built and firm. The winds of development, change and prosperity have not changed the way of life of the Sasatgre villagers and they continue to be the repository of undiluted Garo custom, culture and convention.
Sasatgre has been blessed by nature in so far as orange plantations are concerned and the village is surrounded by healthy, dark green orange bushes, which are highly productive. The village now falls on the periphery of the Nokrek Gene Sanctuary-cum-Biosphere Reserve.
Lying in the junction of two rivers, the Ganol and Rongram is Chibragre, a picturesque place which is very popular among picnickers and anglers alike. The river Ganol originates from Nokrek Peak which flows steadily eastward teeming with fish and also believed to be the home of the mythological Sangkni and Na.nil or water serpents. The river has huge rocks that surround pools with deep caves and hollows underneath.
Rombagre is situated at the distance of 35kms from Tura on the side of Williamnagar-Tura PWD Road. There is a beautiful water pool that has been preserved and protected by the local villagers in the Simsang River where schools of fish are found swimming in the clear waters turning the place virtually into a tourist spot as many travellers are often found enjoying the fish in the protected water pool. Besides, there are lovely picnic spots in and around Rombagre which attract many people from far and near for seasonal picnics every year.