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Jharkhand: Palamou tiger reserve at Betla
Palamou, located towards the western side of Chota nagpur plateau, is truly named as the land of Palash and Mahua. It is a charming undulating destination with Shal, Mahua, and Palash spreading over an expanding territory of 60 square km, situated at an altitude of 1000 feet. The Place is also called Betla.
The Palamou tiger reserve is built over an area of 930 square km in 1934 but the core terrain of the tiger reserve is 200 square km. The area of the national park is 216 square km. Tourists have permission to explore only 35 square km out of 930 square km of dense forest. The best time to enjoy the munificent nature is during the month of October-April.
The dry and moist deciduous forest of Betla is colorful with its tall trees with magical charm. The inhabitants also enjoy the temperate and pleasing weather of the forest. Various species of denizens of the forest make the place even more pretty to the tourists.
You can hire a jeep or take your own car for the trip. To enjoy and know the intricacies, it is a wise choice to take a guide alongside. For excitement you can even move into the opaque forest riding on an elephant. But it is prudent to take a jeep if you are interested to watch natural habitants closely and safely.
Watch grazing deers in the morning sitting at the doorstep of the tourist lodge. 44 tigers are there in Betla forest. The national park has a large variety of wildlife like Leopard, elephants, Bison, Langul, fox, and beer. There is a rich variety of birdlife in the park as well. Peafowl, Red Jungle Fowl and Partridges are the common birds which are found here.
There are also tree top towers, watch towers and ground level hideouts to view the wildlife closely. The tourists should carry light cotton clothes during the summers and heavy woolens during the winters. It is mandatory not to wear white or bright color clothes and it is also recommended to be quiet inside the woods. Smoking and carrying weapons are punishable offences.
Besides viewing birds and wild life animals, the tourists can have a look at the two large forts in the forest. One of them is situated at a distance of 5 km away towards the north eastern side of the forest and the other one is spreading over an area of 5 km on the banks of the river Ouranga. It is believed that the Adivasi kings of the Chero dynasty have built these forts. The roads to the forts are tough. Don’t forget to see the Kamaldaha Sarabar and the Betal museum or the nature interpretation centre.
Another coveted destination nearby is Kechki, located at a distance of 9 km from Betla. Sakhtipunj express doesn’t stop at Kechki station but the picturesque rail station is situated in a calm and quiet environment. Koyel and Ouranga rivers are meeting at Kechki. The rivers by the lines of shal, arjun, and mahua forest look startlingly beautiful. But here the forest is not that intense. Koyel River alongside the narrow village road is the premier attraction of Kechki.
Kechki was selected by Satyajit Roy as a shooting spot for his movie called “Aranyer Din Ratri”. If you have time then visit Ker which is another place for forest lovers and stay at Ker guest house.
Sugabandh falls, about one and half km away from Baresar, is another nice place. The antisocial activities around the area are acting as constraints for the profitable tourism business.
Gadu is 31 km away from Betla and Maroaris another 7 km away from Gadu. Maromar is another sought after impenetrable and gloomy forest of Shal, Chatim, Mahua, Palash and Eucalyptus. Nature here in Maromar is very generous.
Kusmi hotel and forest bungalow in Hullur hill are in ruins. So, it is advisable to complete the trip and come back to Betla on the same day.
How to reach: Betla is well connected from Sealdah and Howrah railway station, Kolkata. A lot of trains are available to Betla from Kolkata.
Where to stay: Tourist lodge, Tourist cottage, Janata lodge, Hotel sunrise, Hotel Van Vihar, and Hotel debjani are the notable hotels of Betla.
Hotel Jyotiloke, Hotel Pink Palace, Amrapali rest house, Hotel Manas and Maharaja rest house are the hotels in Daltangunj. Refer to our hotel booking links below.
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