Key Facts about Garo Hills

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Geological Survey of India (GSI) explorers recently made a breakthrough, uncovering ancient fossils, estimated to be around 35-40 million years old, in Tolegre, South Garo Hills of Meghalaya.

About Garo Hills

  • The Garo Hills form the western part ofMeghalaya State and covers an area of approximately 8,000 sq km.
  • The range is part of the Meghalaya subtropical forests eco-region.
  • Situated close to the Indo-Bangladesh border, the Garo hills are part of the Patkai hill range, whichextendsacross the Indo-Myanmar border. 
  • It is one of the wettest places in the world.
  • The region is drained by various tributaries of the Brahmaputra River.
  • Garo Hills comprises 5 districts; North Garo Hills, East Garo Hills, West Garo Hills, South Garo Hills, and South-West Garo Hills.
  • The Garo Hills are mostly dominated by the tribes known as Garos.


  • The Garos call themselves Achik-mande.
  • Garos form the second largest tribein the state of Meghalaya.
  • They are one of the last remaining matrilineal tribes in the world
  • Their main festival is the Wangala festival, a harvest festival, which is predominantly celebrated by the Songsareks (those following the traditional religion of animism).
  • Two mountain ranges, the Arabella range and the Tura range, passthrough the Garo Hills, forming the great Balpakram valley in between.
  • Balpakram area is considered sacred for the Garo community due to their belief that the spirits of the dead sojourn here 
  • The highest point in the Garo Hills is Nokrek Peak, with an elevation of 1412 m, which is covered by a thick film of lush forest.
  • The region is home to the esteemed Nokrek National Park, protects a highly diverse plant and animal diversity. In 2009, the park was designated a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. 

Q: What is the Geological Survey of India (GSI)?

GSI was set up in 1851 primarily to find coal deposits for the Railways. It is the second oldest survey in India after Survey of India (founded in 1767).

Objective: Providing objective, impartial and up-to-date geological expertise and geoscientific information of all kinds, with a focus on policy-making decisions and commercial and socio-economic needs.

Source:Meghalaya: GSI unearths 40-million-year-old fossils in South Garo Hills