Located in the southern Garo Hills in Meghalaya, about 167 Kms from Tura, Balpakram National Park lies at an elevation of about 3,000 feet above the sea level. The Park is a famous national park which is well known for its pristine beauty. The word Balpakram means the ‘land of perpetual winds’, and the national park is blessed with charming grace and breathtaking scenes.
The government of Meghalaya finally realised the significance of the region in the conservation of important species and its mythological associations; and created the Balpakram National Park on 15 February in 1986.
Today, the area boasts of a myriad of species of fauna and flora. These species include the rare Lesser Panda, the Indian Bison and the Stag like Serow. A variety of very rare medicinal herbs, which are locally known as ‘dikges’, also grow abundantly in Balpakram.
One can find a deep gorge in Balpakram, which is popularly compared to the Grand Canyon of the United States of America. The gorge is referred to as the ‘land of the spirits’ since it is believed that the spirits of the dead live here temporarily before finally embarking on the journey towards their final abode. The Balpakram National Park is thus, rightly termed as a traveller’s paradise since it is one of the best Canyons around the region, and is a must visit while in Meghalaya.
Myths About Balpakram National Park
Numerous mysterious phenomenon takes place at the Balpakram National Park, for which modern science cannot give any reason, logic or account. It is widely believed that the ghosts of the dead inhabit the gorge at the national park. There is also a thick schimawallichi tree in the national park, which has a depression on its trunk which seems to be the outcome of constant tethering of animals and the work of harsh weather.
It is believed that while on their way to the abode of the dead, the spirits rest for a while here and tether the animals killed at their funeral. Whenever a tree falls due to the strong winds, another tree situated closeby gets affected with the same symptoms.
One can also find a massive magnetic rock in the national park. This stone has a hollow space on its surface, which has a powerful magnetic force. Any animal or bird that wonders close to the rock is magnetically drawn towards the hallow, and they are never able to escape from there. Consequently, the animals die. Interestingly, this magnetic force does not affect humans.
The steep rock cliffs that can be found in the canyon are supposed to be the natural habitats of the gonchos or evil spirits. These gonchos are believed to carry away people and lead them over steep precipices and inaccessible rock cliffs. They, however, do not cause any harm to their victims.
These and numerous other inexplicable events take place at the national park, which heightens the curiosity of the visitors and make for an exciting visit.