Meghalaya is one of the most popular states in not only among the north-eastern states of India but also in the entirety of the country. The state is famous for being home to different beautiful towns and villages, including Shillong, Mawsynram, Cherrapunji, and others. As the state receives a high quantity of rainfall every year, Mawsynram located out there is the highest-earning rainfall in India. Also, Meghalaya is home to the cleanest village in India, which is Mawlynnong. With so many trekking trails and opportunities to take part in adventure activities, Meghalaya is genuinely a paradise for nature lovers. Meghalaya is also lucky enough to be the home of several wildlife sanctuaries and some of the most famous national parks. To see the best of the wildlife here is a list of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Meghalaya. Some of the other sightseeing places in Meghalaya include Shillong peak, Wards lake, Barapani Lake, Umiam Lake, and many more.
5 Wildlife Sanctuaries In Meghalaya
Meghalaya is blessed to be the home to so many wildlife sanctuaries. Considering its area, the forest cover is quite high over there. Here are the 5 best wildlife sanctuaries in Meghalaya which one must explore.
- Nokrek National Park
- Balpakram National Park
- Baghmara Reserve Forest
- Siju Bird Sanctuary
- Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary
1. Nokrek National Park
Nokrek national park is one of the most beautiful wildlife sanctuaries in Meghalaya that is located in the West Garo district of the state. The highest peak of Meghalaya is located over there. Apart from being a national park, it is a biosphere reserve as well. Some of the wild animals that can be seen in Nokrek national park are sloth bears, wild elephants, Hoolock Gibbons, and others. Some of the rarest species of birds that can be found in the wildlife sanctuary are pheasants and others. The park is also home to some of the juiciest oranges found in Meghalaya.
Another strange reason the park is famous for is that it is believed to be the home of Mande Burung, who is an ape-man, and local people over there said they saw the creature several times in their life. Though there has not been any concrete evidence regarding the fact. The entire area of the park is around 820 square km, and it was listed in the UNESCO world heritage site in 2009.
The distance of Shillong from the wildlife sanctuary: 311 kms
2. Balpakram National Park
As Balpakram national park is located at the height of 3000 feet above sea level, the area and the view surrounding the forest is quite pretty. The national park was founded in the year 1986, and it is quite famous all around the world. As it is the home to some of the most unique and endangered animals in India, it is visited by tourists and wildlife photographers from across the globe. Some of the mostly-seen animals out there are Panda, Bison, Serow, wild water buffalo, tiger, and many more. The national park is also home to some of the most important medicinal plants in the area.
As the forest is filled with deciduous trees, the climate inside the park is quite comfortable. In case you visit there, you should also visit the caves located there. The caves are formed from Stalagmite and Stalactite limestones, and the view is quite beautiful. Some of the caves located over there are Tongkol Balwakol cave, Dobhakol Chibe nala cave, and others.
The distance of Shillong from the wildlife sanctuary is: 310 kms
3. Baghmara Reserve Forest
If you visit Meghalaya, you will have to go to the Baghmara reserve forest as it is mesmerizingly beautiful. The best way to visit the wood is in December as the famous Baghmara Tyisam festival is held during that month. If you visit there, you will be able to witness the grandeur of the festival in the forest and also get a glimpse of the life of the local people over there. The wood is home to some wild animals, including elephants, langurs, and others.
You will also be able to witness some endangered species of birds out there. As the forest is located quite close to the Garo tribal villages, you will be able to understand the tribal culture of India quite easily. The area surrounding the national park is quite beautiful as well. As the bank of Simsang locates the forest, the chances of getting to see wild animals over there are more compared to the other wildlife sanctuaries included in the list.
The distance of Shillong from the wildlife sanctuary is: 285 kms
4. Siju Bird Sanctuary
Siju bird sanctuary is one of the most important wildlife sanctuaries in Meghalaya. As it is home to some of the rarest species of birds in India, including Peacock peasant, grey hornbill, Siberian duck, and others. Most of the said birds migrate to the sanctuary during different parts of the year. The park is located in the South Garo district of Meghalaya and can be reached from Guwahati airport within three hours at most. To explore the park comfortably, you should get a hotel room in Baghmara as it is the nearest town to the forest.
Many tourists also visit the Siju caves located quite close to the woods as well. Apart from exploring the wildlife of the area, adventure seekers also prefer to take part in activities like river rafting, angling, trekking, and fishing out there. If you love to watch and observe birds, Siju bird sanctuary is perfect for you. Also, do not forget to click several pictures over there, because the scenic beauty out there is quite stunning.
The distance of Shillong from the wildlife sanctuary is: 253 kms
Suggested Read: Tourists Will Now Need An Inner Line Permit To Visit Meghalaya
5. Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary
Nongkhyllen wildlife sanctuary is a part of the Nongkhyllem forest that has an area of about 2300 hectares. The city is located in the Ri-Bhoi district of Meghalaya. As the beautiful Umtrew river situates the wood, the scenic beauty surrounding the place is quite impressive. Inside the premises of the wildlife sanctuary, you will also get to see two lakes out there that usually get filled up in the monsoon. The forest is famous for being home to more than 400 species of birds. The rarest species of birds found out there are the Rufous Necked Hornbill. You will also get to see over 50 different categories of mammals and several groups of reptiles out there.
Nongkhyllen wildlife sanctuary is a biodiversity hotspot due to the presence of different rare categories of plants out there. You will also be able to see around 630 different species of floras over there. Tourists visit the forest from Shillong quite easily by renting a car.
The distance of Shillong from the wildlife sanctuary is: 74 kms
All the wildlife sanctuaries in Meghalaya that are included in the blog are not only home to endangered animals and birds but are quite naturally beautiful as well. Tourists who visited these spots earlier recommend them wholeheartedly. If you plan to visit there, do not forget to pack mosquito repellent creams and cargo pants with you. So if you’re planning to visit Meghalaya, make sure to visit these wildlife sanctuaries in Meghalaya and enjoy your time away from the hustle-bustle.
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Read More : Facts on Meghalaya History
Frequently Asked Questions About Wildlife Sanctuaries Near Meghalaya
A. Meghalaya is one of the states in India that is located to some of the most famous wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in the country. Some of them are Balpakram national park, Siju wildlife sanctuary, Baghmara reserve forest, Nongkhyllem wildlife sanctuary.
A. The famous Nongkhyllem wildlife sanctuary is located in the East Khasi district in Meghalaya.
A. The total distance between Shillong and Siju wildlife sanctuary is around 253 km.
A. Nokrek national park is located 45 km from the Tura town of Meghalaya.
A. Meghalaya can be explored quite exhaustively within ten days quite easily. If you plan to explore the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, you will be able to explore all of them during the said time.
A. The right time to visit Meghalaya is between October to June because the weather will be perfect at that time for exploring the wildlife sanctuaries.
A. The distance between Shillong and Guwahati international airport is around 117 km.
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