Palamau Wildlife Sanctuary & Tiger Reserve
The Palamau Tiger Reserve was notified as one of India’s first nine Tiger Reserves under Project Tiger in 1973. It is located in the western part of Chhotanagpur plateau with area expending to 1129.93 sq.km. It is located in the districts of Latehar and Grahwa in the state of Jharkhand between the latitudes 23o 25’ N and 23o 55’ N and longitudes 83o 50’ E and 84o 36’ E. The reserve forms the catchment of three main rivers, namely North Koel, Burha and Auranga, and also of large perennial streams such as Panchnadiya, Satnadiya and Pandra.
The Reserve comprises of Palamau Wildlife Sanctuary 779.27sq.km. (notified vide S.O.No.- 1224 dated- 17.07.1976) and Betla National Park 226.32sq.km. The Reserve is spread over the districts of Latehar and Grahwa in Jharkhand. It is bounded by river North Koel in west and Auranga on its North. The Reserve has been classed within the Central Indian Landscape Complex by Wildlife Institute of India. The Critical Tiger Habitat area of 414.08 sq.km has been carved out of Palamau Wildlife Sanctuary and Betla National Park vide notification.
(The Palamau Tiger Reserve is significant and important tiger landscape of Central Indian landscape complex and has the potential to sustain tiger meta population. The Reserve has 39 species of mammals, 205 species of birds, 08 species of reptiles and 97 species of plants. Some of principle species found in the reserve are Tiger, Asiatic elephant, Leopard, Gray wolf, Wild dog, Gaur, Sloth bear & Four Horned Antelope etc.
The majority of the forests of the reserve have been put classified as Northern Tropical Dry Deciduous Sal (Shorea robusta) forests. Smaller patches of Northern Topical Moist Deciduous Forests also exist apart from five sub-types, i.e., (i) Moist peninsular Sal, (ii) Dry peninsular Sal (iii) Northern Dry Mixed Deciduous (iv) Aegle and (v) Dry Bamboo Brakes. Phoenix sylvestris is noted growing along smaller streams. These forests may occasionally be associated with Butea, Carissa, Capparis and Salvadora.
The area of reserve experiences tropical climate with extreme summers and cold winters. The altitudinal variation in the reserve ranges from 300m to 1140m above MSL. The climate here can be classified into four distinct seasons:
1. Winter : Mid-November to mid-February
2. Summer : Mid-February to mid-June
3. Rains : Mid-June to mid-November
4. Autumn : Mid-September to mid-November
Winters are usually quite cold, particularly at night, and the occurrence of frost is noticed in late December and early January. The Winter temperature can go down to 00C in the valleys. The summer season is very hot and dry from April to June. The temperature can go up to 500C in the northern portion of the reserve. The summer in the southern portion are comparatively moderate. The mean annual rain fall is 1075 mm .
The headquarter of the Tiger Reserve is at Daltonganj, which is at the distance of 165 km. from Ranchi. The nearest rail head is a Daltonganj. Which is well connected to major cities in the country by trains. The nearest airport is Birsa Munda Domestic Airport, Ranchi, 165 km from Daltonganj. Barwadih, Hahegara, Kumandih, and Chipadohar are rail heads inside the reserve. The Daltonganj- Netharhat-Mahuadanr-Ranchi State Highway passes to the reserve.
The Betla National Park, Fort of King Medini Roy, Kechki (confluence of Auranga and North Koel river) Mirchiya Fall, Suga Bandh Fall, Maromar valley, Tataha hot water springs, Lower Ghaghri Fall, Mandal Dam, Barwadih Pahari Temple, Nature Interpretation Center at Betla, Netrahat and Lodh Water Fall are places to visit.
The visitors may stay in Forest Rest House and Tourist Lodge are at Betla, Forest Rest Houses at Kechki, Maromar, Garu, Netrahat, Mahuadrar and Van Bihar Hotel of Jharkhand Tourism Department at Betla.
The Betla Park remains closed from 1st July to 30 September for tourists. The best time to visit the park is from October to January.
Tourist Spots : Fort of Chero Kings & Lodh falls How to reach : The village is situated 25 road-km south of Daltonganj, 65 road-km northwest of Latehar and 170 road-km northwest of Ranchi. The nearest airport is Ranchi. Jharkhand Tourism also arranges pick-ups on advance notice.The nearest railway station to Betla is at Barwadih Junction which is 15km by taxi or bus.
Best Time to visit : The park is open throughout the year expect the monsoons.
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