Nokrek is the highest peak in the Garo Hills range with an elevation of 1412 metres above sea level, from where rise most of the major rivers and streams in the Garo Hills region. The peak and its surrounding areas was notified as a national park by the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India in September, 1988. The park is located in the south-eastern part of East Garo Hills - some parts the park area falls is East Garo Hills district, while other parts fall in West Garo Hills and South Garo Hills districts.
Being one of the bio-diverse hotspots, a vast range of flora and fauna found in Nokrek National Park. A huge canopy of thick, tall and lush green forests cover Nokrek and its environment. Nokrek has a remnant population of the red panda that has generated curiosity across the world. It is also a habitat of the Asiatic elephant and various species of wild cats, ranging from a small marbled cat to the majestic tiger, and also the habitat of the clouded leopard, the state animal of Meghalaya. The national park is also a sanctuary for several highly vulnerable and threatened fauna species like the Slow Loris, Petaurista philippensis (Giant flying squirrel) and Macaca leonina (Pig-tailed macaque). It is also a habitat for the unique primate species like the rare Stump-tailed Macaque and is home to a large population of the most endangered ape in India, the Hoolock Gibbon (locally known as Huro). Nokrek is also believed to be the home of the mythical Mande Burung (literally, jungle man or ape man), of which there had been unverified/unsubstantiated cases of sightings reportedly found in and around the villages of Nokrek. Nokrek is also an important bird area with sightings of the winter migrants like the Siberian stonechat (Saxicola maurus), Siberian rubythroat (Luscinia calliope), and also some rare species like the mountain bamboo partridge (Bambusicola fytchii) and the flavescent bulbul (Pycnonotus flavescens).
The Nokrek National Park and its surruonding eserve areas has a remarkable variety of endemic/wild citrus species that provide a rich gene-pool for commercially produced citrus, especially the Citrus indica (Indian wild orange, locally known as Me∙mang Narang, which literally translates to 'orange of the spirits'). The discovery of the mother germoplasm of Citrus indica by science researchers within Nokrek Range, has led to the establishment of the National Citrus Gene Sanctuary-cum-Biosphere Reserve covering an area of forty-seven square kilometres around Nokrek National Park. The Nokrek Biosphere Reserve is the first Biosphere Reserve in the North-East India to be designated for inclusion in the World Network of Biosphere Reserve of Man and the Biosphere Programme, UNESCO in May 2009.
Matcha Nokpante viewpoint. Photo Credit: Prewin Cheran
Eco-tourism is a responsible travel to natural destinations where flora, fauna and cultural heritage are the primary attractions. It is a type of tourism where the environment, local community and visitor all mutually benefit. The rolling mists in the valleys, the undulating hills, the neat hamlets in the periphery of the dense, lush and pristine forest, the sparkling streams, the resonating wildlife calls from the forest canopy, the breath-taking and scenic panoramic views, all adds up to make Nokrek Nation Park an overwhelmingly beautiful, untamed and unforgetable eco-tourism destination.
Advisory: Entry to Nokrek National Park (as with other National Parks, Sanctuaries and Reserved Forests) is restricted and allowed only after permission from concerned Forest Officer. However, there is no restriction to the Biosphere area surrounding the national park.
Distances: Daribokgre is about 9.3 kms off the Williamnagar-Rongsakgre-Asananggre-Tura state highway (divert at Oragitok), about 51.5 kms from Williamnagar and 38 kms from Tura.
There is an Inspection Bungalow (IB) run by the Forest Department, East & West Garo Hills Wildlife Division at Daribokgre, which is a good starting point for the famous trek to Nokrek Peak.
There are also other options of resorts, homestays and camping areas in an around Daribokgre: