About South-West Garo Hills District :
The South-West Garo Hills is carved out of present West Garo Hills district on 7th of August 2012. The headquarters of the district is at Ampati. The district is bounded on West by Dhubri and Kurigram district of Assam and Bangladesh respectively, East by Dalu and Gambegre Development Blocks, North by Selsella and Rongram Development Blocks and South by Sherpur and Jamalpur District of Bangladesh and Dalu & Gambegre Development Block. The total population of South West Garo Hills is 1,70,794 as per Census 2011, with 85,872 male and 84,922 female population. The literacy rate of the district is 68.88%. The South West Garo Hills District comprises of two Community and Rural Development Blocks, viz. Betasing and Zikzak. The places of tourist interests in the districts are Shah Kamal Durgah – Durgah Sharif, Chenga – Benga & the water tank, Mir Jumla’s Tomb, Kodaldhowa, Katta Beel, Kamakhya Temple, Balapara Tank, Mahendraganj and Garobadha.
Districts At a Glance :
|State / Country :||Meghalaya / India|
|Region :||South West Meghalaya|
|Inaugurated on :||7 August 2012|
|CNRD Blocks :||3|
|Area :||822 sq kms|
|Population (2011) :||1,70,794|
|Coordinates :||25º27.505, 089º56.456|
Tourist Places :
THE SNAKE STONE :
The snake stone is a remarkable stone structure in the form of a long snake discovered in a village called Kawegre at Mahendraganj along the international border.
The stone resembles a snake about 20 ft. in length. This snake stone was accidentally dug upon by the villagers of Kawegre during the construction of a road to the village. During the excavation, the villagers also discovered stone idols and earthen pots at the site.
It is only after the excavation of the area can anything concrete be said about the history of the place. History will be re-written, as this archaeological site in South West Garo Hills, is believed to be an important religious centre cast out of mighty Brahmaputra River from the fourth century AD.
The site has not been properly promoted hence very few devotees, tourists and scholars visit this area. It demands an immediate attention, recognition, publicity and research.
KODALDHOWA LAKE :
Situated at about 8kms from Zikzak, is the famous Legendary lake known as Kodaldhowa. It is said this tank was excavated to wash the spades everyday while digging Kata beel. The locals in Hajong Language called this tank Kodaldhowa which means “Kodal” spade and “Dhowa” means wash. Kodaldhowa spreads over an area of 14 bighas of land. Nearby the Lake is a small temple which has a small underground shaft used only during religious ceremonies. This temple is a huge attraction for the tourist and ever year hundreds of people flock to this temple during the annual mela
CHENGA-BENGA LAKE :
Chenga –Benga is a natural lake located at Gandhipara area about 7kms from Garobadha on the banks of River Ganol. The length of the lake is around 3kms and the breadth is about 15-20 metres wide.
The name of the lake follows after the two brothers, Chenga and Benga. Legend has it that Chenga and Benga, the two holy men, who left their worldly affairs and resided on the banks of the lake. Throughout their lives they contributed towards the welfare of the local natives. It is also believed that on a certain full moon night, pious and fortunate people can see golden vessels floating on the surface of the water, which can be collected and used for religious rites and rituals.
The Koch community constructed a hindu temple on the banks of the lake and every year a mela or a gathering known as Asthami Puja is celebrated in the month of Baisakhi which usually falls during the month of March to April.
Maa Kamakya Temple at Thakuranbari was built by a Great Koch King, Narayana. This temple is located on a hillock about 1 km away from Mir-Jhumla’s Tomb. It is said that this temple has a connection to the famous Kamakhya Temple located at Assam. Legend has it that Maa Kamakhya’s body parts were divided into 52 parts and wherever her parts fell, temples are built to honour and worship her. Consequently as the story goes, Maa Kamakya’s navel fell at Thakuranbari and thus the temple came into existence. Apart from the deity of Kamakhya Devi, the compound also houses other temples namely Siva, Durga, Shakti, Hanuman, Santoshi and swammy. Though this temple is small and still unknown, it is an important pilgrimage destination as Hindu devotees and pilgrim from all over india visit the place during important occasions.
DO.BUL LAKE AT DAMALGRE :
Do.bul Lake is a natural Lake located at Damalgre Village about 35 km from Ampati. The size of the lake is 4 hectares approximately. This Lake is an Ornithological hotspot known for its abundance of varieties of birds, both indigenous and migratory. It provides an ideal opportunity for bird watchers and wildlife photographers to watch them undisturbed in their natural setting, especially during winters when the lake is bustling with hundreds of waterfowls and other migratory water birds like Siberian cranes, pelicans, white storks and ducks. For nature lovers and kids, the place is an ideal place to spend a wonderful day in the lap of nature.
TOMB OF MIR JUMLA :
The tomb of Mir Jumla, the great Mughal General of Emperor Aurangzeb is located at Thakuranbari village on the Assam-Meghalaya border about 8 kms from Ampati.
History has it that Mir Jumla, who was appointed the Governor of Bengal in 1659 by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, invaded Assam heading a vast army. But the difficult terrain and the malaria prone climate of the area took a heavy toll on the Mughal Army. This forced Mir Jumla to retreat during 1663 without having fully accomplished the subjugation of Assam.
Before he could return to Bengal, the general himself was stricken with malaria and succumbed to the disease on the 30th of March 1663 and his mortal remains were buried on a hillock near Thakuranbari in Garo Hills which is being maintained by the local Mazar Sarif committee.
The tomb reflects a remarkably long grave and bears testimony to the tall height of Mir Jumla.
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