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Old 11th January 2019, 14:58   #1
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Default Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya

Nokrek National Park:

The Garo hills of Meghalaya is relatively unexplored when compared to the Khasi and Jaintia Hills of the state. A friend posted some pictures of Nokrek National Park on our Bolero 4wd group and I was soon pestering him for all the information. I also wanted to drive on the new Tura Shillong road. With our plans set, my friend Pahar and I set off in our Bolero 4wd from Guwahati on a cool Friday November morning.

Driving up to Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills, Meghalaya:

With our destination set to Nokrek Peak on google maps, we drove from Guwahati through some excellent roads. Just before reaching the “Welcome to Tura” gate, we have to take a diversion on to the beautiful old Tura-Williamnagar road and drive till Origatok village. From there it’s a mud track all the way to the last village, Daribok which falls under the buffer zone of the national park.

A pic of the map of Nokrek National Park pinpointing Daribok village:

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Although all kinds of vehicles could be seen driving on the dry mud track, I think it will be quite an adventure even for 4wds in the monsoons.

Some pics driving up to Daribok village:

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-890.jpg
Driving through dense forest

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-img_20181124_123140.jpg
Has to be a 4wd zone during rains

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-949.jpg
So far away

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-951.jpg
Views on the way

Stay options:

There are only two stay options I am aware of- Chandigre Rural Tourist Resort in Chandigre village and the one where we stayed- Balkasin Home-stay in Daribok village. Daribok village is the last village beyond which the core area of the National park starts. We tried booking in advance but due to language barriers, we could not say for sure if the booking was confirmed. We took a chance and as it happened, we were the only guests of the home-stay at the time of our visit.

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-img_20181123_160555.jpg
Daribok village

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-892.jpg
Balkasin Home-stay

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-img_20181123_160340.jpg
Traditional hut run by the community for visitors

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-899.jpg
Pahar enjoying a meal

The home-stay is basic with common washrooms but the hosts were very welcoming. They prepared pork and chicken dishes for us and the portion size was limited only by bottomless cavernous pits of stomachs that Pahar and I possess . We had the whole homestay to us and we had a very comfortable stay there.
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Old 11th January 2019, 15:22   #2
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Default re: Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya

Orange country:

The road to Tura is dotted with shops selling the tastiest oranges. The route to Daribok village is full of orange trees. We took some back for our friends and family right out of the factory. Nokrek is home to Memang Narang (Citrus Indica) which is the progenitor of the modern orange. Or wild orange as Pahar likes to call it.

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-946.jpg
Striking a pose

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-945.jpg
Orange trees

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-942.jpg
Factory fresh

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-948.jpg
Bolero 4wd

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-img_20181123_155352.jpg
You can pluck the oranges without even climbing onto the trees

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-img_20181124_111424.jpg
Pahar shows how

Trek to Nokrek Peak:

We took Momin from Daribok village as our guide for our trek inside Nokrek National Park. We have to drive around 2 kms from Daribok to reach the start of the trekking point. The trek to Nokrek Peak takes around 1.5 hours for a reasonably fit individual. From Nokrek Peak, one can trek further to Tiger cave (Matcha Nokpante in local language) which is a view point. We left the trek to Tiger cave for a later visit as we were unsure of trekking for too long.

Some pics from the trek:

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-911.jpg
A 4wd takes you further. 2wds camping far below

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-img_20181124_074045.jpg
Welcome

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-926.jpg

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-927.jpg
Into the wild

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Breaking through

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-img_20181124_094945.jpg

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Taking a break

The Nokrek Peak itself does not offer any great views but the trek through the dense jungle is something to be experienced. Gibbons jumped across the tall canopies calling out at us. The early morning hour we started the trek also helped in experiencing the freshness of the forest.

Adding a short video of gibbons shouting at us:



There are cute signboards dotting the trekking route:

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-img_20181124_080925.jpg

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-img_20181124_090134.jpg

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-img_20181124_090229.jpg

We found one Memang Narang and Pahar took it for tasting and later lost it among the regular oranges . We also found some wild citrus fruits.

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-img_20181124_080148.jpg

Memang Narang (Citrus Indica)

Last edited by gunin : 11th January 2019 at 15:37.
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Old 11th January 2019, 15:33   #3
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Default re: Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya

The new Tura Shillong road:

The road connects Tura and Shillong via Rongjeng and Nongstoin. We could not complete the entire stretch and exited to Assam from Rongjeng as it grew dark and we did not see any point in missing out the fantastic views. It is a beautiful road with winding turns and would be very enjoyable in a bike or a fast hatchback.

Adding a short video:



A couple of pics of the road:

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-img_20181124_141221.jpg

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-961.jpg
Welcoming roads

We reached home in the evening after spending a fun-filled couple of days complete with beautiful roads, tasty food and a trek deep into a jungle. I couldn't have asked for more.

Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya-969.jpg

Thanks for reading
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Old 11th January 2019, 15:51   #4
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Default re: Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya

Thread moved from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12th January 2019, 08:15   #5
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Default Re: Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya

Beautiful is an understatement ! Thanks, Gunin for sharing this with us. Wish we are able to some day have a glimpse of this beautiful land.
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Old 12th January 2019, 15:29   #6
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Default Re: Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya

Quote:
Originally Posted by gunin View Post
The new Tura Shillong road:
Many many years in the making!
Would like more details. Previously the (almost nonexistent) road was a carbreaker.

Two-three years back the Krishnai - Tura road was being redone (widened, relaid). What is the status now?

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 12th January 2019, 15:36   #7
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Default Re: Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya

Very nice. Thanks Gunin for bringing out hidden gems in the North East. You are single handedly putting non obvious destinations in the North East on the map. A boon for BHPians interested in the region.

West Garo Hills are very rarely visited by travellers. I had fondly hoped to visit at least Tura during my NE trip four years ago, but a combination of bad roads and the region being unsettled deterred me. Nice to see that both those inhibitors have disappeared.

The trek seems lovely. Dense jungle, cute trail markers and the cacophony of the horlock gibbons makes it special. Some day, some day !
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Old 14th January 2019, 09:24   #8
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Default Re: Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya

Garo Hills has always been marred with bad infrastructure, infestation of insects that can cause some serious health issues and most importantly militancy. This has left Meghalayans like me deprived of exploring the beauty there since time immemorial. However, with the recent surrender of militancy in greater percentage and your travelogue has surely given me a spark to explore this part of Meghalaya in the near future. I really loved the photos of the trek.

Thanks for sharing this Gunin.
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Old 14th January 2019, 09:58   #9
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Default Re: Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Beautiful is an understatement ! Thanks, Gunin for sharing this with us. Wish we are able to some day have a glimpse of this beautiful land.
Thanks a lot for the appreciation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Many many years in the making!
Would like more details. Previously the (almost nonexistent) road was a carbreaker.

Two-three years back the Krishnai - Tura road was being redone (widened, relaid). What is the status now?

Regards
Sutripta
I have heard nightmarish stories too about the road condition earlier. The road now is butter smooth and perfect for a nice hatch like the Swift. I think the line Sumos still prefer to travel via Assam though as the new road has lots of twists and turns. The Krishnai- Tura road repairs is over and it is also a lovely road to drive on. And there is very less traffic too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Secretariat View Post
Very nice. Thanks Gunin for bringing out hidden gems in the North East. You are single handedly putting non obvious destinations in the North East on the map. A boon for BHPians interested in the region.

West Garo Hills are very rarely visited by travellers. I had fondly hoped to visit at least Tura during my NE trip four years ago, but a combination of bad roads and the region being unsettled deterred me. Nice to see that both those inhibitors have disappeared.

The trek seems lovely. Dense jungle, cute trail markers and the cacophony of the horlock gibbons makes it special. Some day, some day !
Thanks a lot! its feedback like this which encourages one to pen down the logs. The biggest deterrent to visiting Garo Hills was the militancy and you rightly mentioned its on the wane now. The almost non-existent tourist flow is a lure for someone tired of regular tourist circuits. The trek and indeed the drive in the jungle is very good. You may come across leopards and elephants if you are lucky/ unlucky.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sub.g84 View Post
Garo Hills has always been marred with bad infrastructure, infestation of insects that can cause some serious health issues and most importantly militancy. This has left Meghalayans like me deprived of exploring the beauty there since time immemorial. However, with the recent surrender of militancy in greater percentage and your travelogue has surely given me a spark to explore this part of Meghalaya in the near future. I really loved the photos of the trek.

Thanks for sharing this Gunin.
Coming from a person from Meghalaya, this is high praise indeed. Thank you
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Old 14th January 2019, 19:19   #10
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Default Re: Nokrek National Park, West Garo Hills @ Meghalaya

Quote:
Originally Posted by gunin View Post
I have heard nightmarish stories too about the road condition earlier. The road now is butter smooth and perfect for a nice hatch like the Swift. I think the line Sumos still prefer to travel via Assam though as the new road has lots of twists and turns.
Maybe the line drivers follow google!
https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir/Tu...7726!3e0?hl=en

Regards
Sutripta
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