Updated: Jul 23, 2021
The trail goes inside the Garbhanga Forest taking the route behind Basistha Mandir. The forest track runs on the banks of the Basistha River that flows down from the Meghalaya Hills. It is an excellent trail to ride and trek on that happens to exist very near the hustle bustle of the city.
The place is very quiet and serene even though it has not been left untouched by human activities. There were a few hills inside which showed signs of being cut for its rocks. Stone quarries have been set up inside the forest.
The Basistha river zig zags its way through the forest path and it’s a delight to ride on the shallow bed of the small river. The trail is made of stone dust and small pebbles taken from the river bed, as a result of which the track was mud free even though there were small puddles of water. The monsoon rains make the forest look much more beautiful with the rains cleaning all the dirt off the tree leaves. Everything appears clean and moist. The sound of the birds adds up to the charm.
One can start from Beltola Chariali and ride towards towards the Basistha Mandir and take a small left turn, behind the bus parking area. After crossing a small wooden bridge over the river one needs to take the road that leads to the area behind the Mandir. One needs to ride for a distance of only 3 kms inside the forest until the road became too narrow and the forest too dense. It is difficult to go further on cycles and one can trek ahead on foot keeping the cycles locked away. About km ahead there is a beautiful waterfall. There are forest trails inside and a day long trek will lead one upto Rani reserve forest. Khasi people live in small hamlets inside the forest as this area lies in the border with Meghalaya.
The Basistha Mandir lies on the south east corner of the city in the foothills of Meghalaya Plateau. Here is situated the famous Basistha Temple dedicated to lord Shiva. The temple was constructed by Ahom king Rajeswar Singha in 1764. The king had also granted 835 bighas of land for the Ashram which according to legend was founded by a saint named Basistha. The temple lies on the banks of the river which gets its name from the same legendary saint. There is also cave temple inside the forest which the locals call Vishwamitra ashram. The Basistha river goes on to flow through the city where it is called the Bahini and then the Bharalu river.
Route Name- Basistha Mandir Forest Trail Starting Point - Beltola / Basistha Chariali Ending Point - Forest Distance - 5 kms Approx. (One way) Road Type - Tarmac (20%) + Forest Trail (80%) Elevation Type - Easy to Medium Max Gradient - 11%
(This link will lead one to view the route in 'Ride with GPS' website / app)