Balpakaram National Park
Balpakram National Park in Meghalaya is known for its pristine beauty and rich bio-diversity. It is situated near Baghmara in South Garo Hills District of Meghalaya. Balpakram covers an area of about 220 sq. km; at an altitude of about 910 m (3,000 ft) This National Park in the South Garo district of Meghalaya adjoining Bangladesh is one of the most beautiful but unexplored forests in the country. It can be reached by way of a beautiful though slightly difficult 8-10 hour drive from Guwahati. There are many mysterious stories hidden within its jungles that defy science or logic. Legend says that it is a temporary abode of the dead due to the presence of a deep gorge (popularly compared to USA’s Grand Canyon) where, apparently, the departed souls live temporarily before making their final journey. The forest is the home of a variety of wildlife including tigers, elephants, bison, black bear, leopards, sambar deer, and wild buffaloes, barking deer, wild boar, slow loris, tigers, leopards, clouded leopards and the rare golden cat. It is the home of one of the rarest animals in the world – the Lesser Panda or the Red Panda as it is commonly known. The park is every birdwatcher and photographer’s paradise and is home to reptiles like vipers, kraits, monitor lizards, gecko to name a few. Plant species including the rare Drosera, pitcher plants and orchids are also be seen. The park is home to the rare citrus plant called Memang Narang besides medicinal herbs and shrubs. Adventurers can engage themselves in trekking and climbing activities. A visit to the beautiful caves with stunning limestone formations and river passages enthralls any visitor.