Tura is a small town in Western Meghalaya. Tourism in North East India is at its nascent stage and most tours to Meghalaya are confined to Shillong and its surrounding area. Whereas Shillong is located to the East of the state, Tura is on the extreme west with a travel time between the two towns well over 7 hours. This has resulted in little tourist movement here, in spite of its tremendous potential as a pristine and natural tourist destination. In the recent past, as North East continues to open its doors to more and more Indian and International travellers, Tura has begun to get its rightful place on the tourism map of North East India.
How to Reach
If you are travelling by air, your best bet is to travel to Guwahati and then take a cab that will cover the 200 km distance in about four and a half hours. Those travelling by train also would be getting down at Guwahati before travelling to Tura. Though you may also look at Bangaigaon as an option which is slightly closer at 165 km (3.5 Hours). The train travel, as well as car travel, will be reduced by about an hour each if someone decides to alight at Bongaigaon. However, the availability and cost of local taxis at Bangaigaon are much less compared to Guwahati.
If you wish to travel to Shillong and Tura together, you have to travel between Tura to Shillong, a distance of over 300 km with a drive time of well over 7 hours. Most tourists visiting Tura follow this route.
Things to See
Tura is not a typical hop on hop off sightseeing destination. It is a place where the visitor would like to soak in the pristine beauty of nature, mix with local people, and learn about the rich and unadulterated culture of the people here. Commonplaces, where leisure tourists visit, include -
Tura Peak – The long ridge of the hill that crisscrosses almost the entire western Meghalaya ends near Tura town abruptly. The Tura Peak marks the end of this long ridge of a hill that is highly forested and is home to several species of highly endemic wildlife. The peak situated at 872 meters above sea level can also be reached on a trek of a couple of hours (one way). The area is part of a reserve forest and there is a Tourist Bungalow on the hill.
Nokrek National Park – This National Park covers the hills to the west of Tura town and is just 2 km from the Town. Nokrek National Park was included in the UNESCO list of Biosphere Reserves. This National Park is inhabited by Red Panda, Asiatic Elephants, Tiger, and Pig-Tailed Macaque among others.
Pelga Falls – This waterfall is situated about 7 km away from Tura Town. It is a popular picnic spot. There is a Bamboo Bridge located here over the Ganol river. The hanging bridge is made in the traditional Garo style.