There are several places in Garo Hills that can be developed for tourism. Some of them are of historical importance; others are important because of their association with the cultural traditions of the Garo people and many of them again have deservedly earned fame for their scenic beauty. Much of the area still remain untouched, retaining almost intact the original flora and fauna which should have more of the attention of the scientists, or even the ordinary lover of Nature. Tourism. If properly developed, could be a potentially rich source of revenue to the district as well as to the State.
Formed by River Damring during the Great Earthquake of 1897, this lake was believed to be the habitat of a huge water serpent called Sangkini by the locals. Located near Songsak block, just off the Darugiri-Songsak road, this beautiful, natural inland lake is a popular picnic spot and camping site. The lake has an immense potential for pisciculture.
Locally known as Rong’bang dare, this waterfall is situated 25 miles away from Tura on the Tura- Williamnagar Road, a little beyong Rombagre village. It is a tributary of the Simsang River which can be seen from this road but the real beauty and magnitude of it can be experienced when one goes down to the place at the bottom of the waterfalls.
This Sprightly fall, though perennial, is at its best during the monsoon months. It presents motorists driving from Asanangre towards Williamnagar, a romantic visual of lasting satisfaction. Although the fall is located about crow-flight kilometres away from the highway, the width and depth of the falls are enough to make it clearly visible and a sheer delight. Clustered on either side by vast evergreen hills of bamboo’s which sway, leaving the viewer with memories of ecstatic joy.
Located just off the Williamnagar-Songsak road, near Dadengpara, this pleasant looking waterfalls is small and is only of moderate size during monsoon. Although it's not far off the road, it is nestled deep in the thick jungle and steep hillside and is not easily reached for a vantage view.
Located at Mejolgre village, this beautiful waterfalls falls from a great height and makes a deafening sound.
A few of the more important places are described in the following paragraphs:
It is situated about 6 km away from Songsak, the headquarters of the Songsak Development Block. The local Inspection Bungalow stands close to a beautiful lake called Ta sek Wari, one the most beautiful natural lakes found in the Garo Hills. The lake which is located in the middle of the village is very wide and deep. It was formed by the damming up of part of the upper reaches of the Krishnai during the great earthquake of 1897. Through the very clear water, stumps of trees long submerged can be seen. There are many varieties of fish in this lake which people have begun to catch for their own consumption having thrown away all their former superstitious dread that whoever caught fish from the lake would be afflicted with sickness and die. Local people say that the lake is a habitat of a large water serpent which is called Sangkni. The lake has long been a popular resort for the many tourists who regularly visit it to enjoy its beauty.
This large village is situated on the Khasi Hills border in the eastern part of East Garo Hills District. It is 6 kilometers away from Rongjeng, the headquarters of the Dambo-Rongjeng C&RD Development Block. With the establishment of the Meghalaya Bamboo Chips factory here, the village has started growing steadily. Since bamboos grow abundantly in the whole of Garo Hills, the chipping unit is expected to maintain a regular flow of its produce for the foreseeable future.
It is the district headquarters of East Garo Hills. Williamnagar is situated on the upper reaches of the Simsang River, and for this reason it was originally called Simsanggre, the name being changed in 1976 to Williamnagar, after the name of the first Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Captain Williamson Sangma.
The presence of an a ‘sim or salt-lick nearby still attracts many kinds of wild animals. Surrounding thick jungles provide an ideal haunt for wild animals like elephants and tigers.
This place is becoming an important center for cultural, educational and socio-economical activities. The rural people of surrounding areas are also provided with agricultural training facilities.
The township has one Civil Hospital, a Veterinary Hospital, a Post Office, a Telephone Exchange and a Police Station.
As Williamnagar is the district headquarters, major offices are being established here together with accommodation for the government staff serving here. The government Circuit House and the District Council Inspection Bungalow overlook the beautiful Simsang River.
Bus services ply daily between the township and other places within the Garo Hills and outside. One such service connects Williamnagar to Shillong. The service may use the alternative route via Nongstoin in West Khasi Hills in the event of floods in the plains.
As a planned town, it has the advantage that older towns in Meghalaya do not have, which give a better look and a better layout to it.
The land is very fertile and suitable for horticultural products of various kinds.
Located on the left bank of the River Simsang close to Williamnagar, the district headquarters of East Garo Hills, Rongrengiri and its environs are covered with tall, elegant and mature Sal trees which constitute the Rongrengiri Reserve Forest covering an are of over thirty six square kilometers. During the British Expedition to annex Garo Hills to British India, they faced the last major Garo resistance to their intrusion at Rongrengiri. After days of seize, they succeeded on 12th December 1837 to fell the Garo Warrior Pa Togan Nengminja Sangma who led the Garos, at Chisobibra near Rongrengiri. This broke the Garo resistance and the British annexed Garo Hills with ease. A simple Memorial to Pa Togan has been erected at Chisobibra within Rongrengiri Reserve Forest. A function to commemorate the fallen martyr Pa Togan, is held annually at the site f the Memorial, on the anniversary of his martyrdom.
Rongrengiri is ten kilometres off Williamnagar on the Tura- Asanangre-Williamnagar State Highway. At Rongrengiri, the River Simsang provides an excellent spot for anglers to try their hand for big as well as small catch.
Wildlife lovers will find flocks of Imperial-Pigeons grazing for calcinates, on the sandy banks of the Simsang River, at Chisobibra.
Railhead: Mendipathar in neighbouring North-Garo Hills District is the nearest railhead, but it not very well-cinnected to the rest of the country. Bongaigaon & Guwahati are the nearest railway stations that are well-connected to the rest of the country.
Airport: Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport of Guwahati is the nearest airport from where the district can be reached by bus or car.
Road Transport: Daily buses connect Williamnagar with Shillong, Guwahati & Tura. Meghalaya Transport Corporation (MTC) runs a regular bus service between Williamnagar & Shillong. There are numerous buses and taxi services from Tura to Williamnagar. A daily night bus service from Guwahati to Williamnagar is also available. There are also several bus services to other places like Mendipathar / Resubelpara & Nongalbibra from Williamnagar & Guwahati.
Accomodation: There are very few hotels in the district for the tourist. However, there are quite a number of Government Guest Houses and accommodations.
Best Season to Travel: September to May.
East Garo Hills being a land-locked, hilly terrain with sparse population, means of communication has not developed much. There are no railway heads and airports within the district and the rivers here are also not navigable. The road network too is quite under-developed with a road-length density of only 19.86 km per 100 sq. kms. However, the district headquarter is connected to the neighbouring district headquarters of Tura, Baghmara and Nongstoin and the state capital, Shillong. The road network also connects it with Guwahati and Goalpara in Assam.
The most convenient railway station is Guwahati in Assam. The nearest airport is the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport of Guwahati which is well connected by air with New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. The Guwahati railway station is about 182 kms., while the airport is about 165 kms. from Williamnagar by road. There is a daily helicopter service by Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd, under the aegis of the Government of Meghalaya, from the airport connecting Guwahati with Shillong & Tura, the district headquarter of West Garo Hills which is just about 76 kms away from Williamnagar. Tura is very well connected with Williamnagar and other destinations in East Garo Hills by buses and taxi services. Williamnagar has a helipad, but there is no helicopter service plying here at present.
Two National Highways pass through the district, forming the backbone of the road communication in the district. The Paikan-Tura-Dalu highway passes through a little distance in the north-western part of the district and the Dudhnoi-Siju-Baghmara road passes through the eastern part of the district. Both these highways run north to south and both highways connects with NH 37 in Assam. The district also has a network of state highways and roads that connects important places within the district with the above mentioned national highways.