Palamau National Park

A visit to the Palamau National Park is an adventure into a pristine wilderness. This reserve stands proud as one of India’s largest national parks with a mass area covering 1129 km2, with dense Sal forests and semi-evergreen areas. In addition to its well-known wildlife, the park supports a wide range of plants with 437 varieties of trees and shrubs.

This park lies between Ranchi, Jharkhand state capital, and Patna, the capital city of Bihar. Palamau national park is also a significant tiger reserve for Jharkhand state.

Tiger Reserve

There are two entry gates to the park, namely Madhupur gate and Parsa Gate. The core of this National Park is spread over 424km2, and the buffer area is 650km2.

A tour to the park takes one through dense forests and rugged terrain with several rivers wriggling through the land. The wildlife is protected in many areas within the park, which are often difficult to access by vehicles.

There are specific locations where one can set up camp either within the jungle or alongside stretches of river banks, giving visitors an unforgettable experience.

The History

The Palamu Park was officially declared a protected area in 1974 under the Indian Zoo & Wild Life Protection Act. In late 1996, Palamau was expanded and split into three different sanctuaries: the Rajrappa Sanctuary, the Dumba Sanctuary, and the Palamau Sanctuary.

The Rajrappa sanctuary has many elephants, including a wild herd of around 100 animals, and attracts hunters to its unspoilt forests. This is also one of only five places in India where one can spot herds of Gaur or Indian bison along with domestic varieties of cattle and buffalo.

Wild large Indian Bison, Gaur
Wild Indian Bison or Gaur (Bos gaurus) seen in the Wayanad Jungle, Kerala, India

The sanctuary is home to nearly 50 tigers, including a few black panthers, the common leopard, wolves, and Caracal cats. Several bird species also inhabit this spacious wilderness providing great sport for hunters looking for that rare bird among them.

What Is Special About Palamau National Park?

The national park is famous for its rich wildlife as it is home to more than 39 species of mammals, 174 species of birds, and 15 species of reptiles.

The prominent peak of the park, known as Lesser Himalayas, is surrounded by lush green forest areas that are mostly covered with Neem trees.

Palamau national park is also famous for having more than 65% area covered under dense forests, making it an ideal location for several endangered animals to flourish undisturbed.

Palamau national park is also home to river streams famous for Indian mahseer fish and numerous lakes, hills, and caves.

Palamau National Park is not only famous for its rich flora and fauna but also for its ancient artwork. It has a lot of historical importance as well. The park consists of trees and shrubs which are hundreds of years old. A few natural waterfalls are present within the park. From a distance, they look like staircases of white waters.

All these factors make Palamau a perfect place for wildlife lovers to visit this protected reserve at least once in their lifetime.

Which Animal Is Palamau National Park Famous For?

This park is famous because it contains one of the rarest species of wild animals, Tigers. However, there are other feral cats, including leopard, tiger, panther, cat stags (four antlered deer), hyena, jackal, fox, and many others. These animals have become rare in India due to habitat disturbances caused by human beings.

The wildlife sanctuary is home to several species of endangered mammals. It is no doubt one of the most amazing places to see a tiger with your own eyes! So if you have not been able to visit this place, then plan for it at the earliest!

deer park - Palamau National Park

Travel Information and How to Get Here:

Palamau National Park is situated in the Southern part of Jharkhand state and about 30 km from Ranchi City. The best way to reach the park is by air, rail, and road.

The nearest airport is in Ranchi, whilst the nearest railway station is at Daltonganj. You can easily organize domestic and international tours to this sanctuary through travel agencies or from Ranchi or Daltonganj.

The park is about a 2-hour drive from the capital city of Jharkhand. Road condition is not very good due to non-availability of government sources, lack of human maintenance and frequent traffic jams. However, if you want a better experience, hire a cab or take a bus to take you there.

By Road:

Ranchi via Latehar around 170 Km. via NH75.
Daltonganj via Dubiakhanr around 25 Km. via NH75.
Patna via Aurangabad 260 Km. via NH98 and NH75.

By Train:

The nearest railway stations for Betla are:
Daltonganj around 25 Km.
Barwadih around 12 Km.
These railway stations are connected with Ranchi, Delhi, Patna, Kanpur, Mughalsaai, and Lucknow Railway Station.

By Flight

The nearest airport is Birsa Munda Airport, Ranchi around 170 Km.
The nearest airport is Gaya Airport, Gaya around 190 Km.

Best Time in the Year to Visit:

The best time to visit Palamau is in November and December when weather conditions are pleasant, and there are some organized programs for visitors, including camping facilities. The park also becomes popular during September and August because it is a festival season in this area.

In the last few years, the number of international tourists coming here has been continuously increasing. So, tourists can come to this place at any time if they are interested in spending some days inside the forest area peacefully along with their family members.

Travel Tips:

The park is well equipped with all the necessary facilities like hotels, lodges, etc. but they are only provided in Hazaribag town. It’s located about 30 km away from the main gate of the park.

However, if you want to stay in a forest area, you should take entry permits and book your stay through authorized forest officers. There are a few campsites, but they are not very clean as people use them free of cost and never bother to clean them.

Forest Rest House Reservation Online Portal – You can choose the room type and make your booking before reaching here.

Here are some regulations that you should adhere to when visiting the park:

  • Smoking or alcohol is not permitted inside the park.
  • Parks authority members have statutory right to evict any person if they do not follow these orders.
  • Do not carry sharp objects like axes, knives, spears, and other weapons.
  • In case of any sudden emergency, Forest department members are there to ensure that visitors do not suffer from any harm.
  • Hire a guide who knows about wildlife and its habits.
  • Do not leave any valuable items in cars as animals have been known to break locks and enter vehicles in search of food or water.
  • Credit cards, debit cards are not acceptable as a mode of payment to enter the national park.
  • There is no commercial activity permitted inside the forest area.
  • You can carry food items like biscuits, dry fruits, water, etc., but hunting animals and birds is prohibited.

Timing and Entry Fee

There is no restriction set by authorities to visit this sanctuary. However, it would be better to ask the local villagers or nearby officials regarding visiting hours. The park itself remains open all year round.

However, getting inside the forest is very difficult during rainy seasons due to dense vegetation and narrow rocky paths covered with mud. So for a perfect trip to this place, one must choose dry season as per their convenience.

The fee charged is around $10 per head for Indians and $50 per head for foreigners.

No entry tickets are issued inside the park. You can buy them at the head office of the city forest department located on the outskirts of Ranchi.

Wildlife Sighting and Jungle Safari

Palamau national park is a forest area that offers many opportunities for the tourist. You enjoy not only the wildlife but also the spectacular beauty of rain forests in their natural forms.

There are many things to do and see while here.

The most exciting part about this place is watching lions that soar closely around these caves while passing through high air currents in cooler areas.

Palamau National Park offers elephant rides on a payment basis to move around during safari. You also have the chance to spot the rare Bengal tiger.

Palamau National Park

Among all the natural waterfalls in the park, Mahua Waterfall is very attractive. A cluster of trees falls from a height and then forms a waterfall where people can see a large number of butterflies fluttering over it.

In case you love to take photographs then you will love the birds in this park. Bird watching is one of the most exciting activities in a jungle safari. You will be able to see many varieties of birds at Palamau National Park.

So if you are really interested in seeing nature at its best, come here to Palamau national park any time you wish to have fun among natural wonders.

There are three safari packages available for visiting the park.

  • Morning Safari – The safari starts at 9:00 am from Samdih and returns to Ranchi after 1-hour drive through the park.
  • Full-Day Safari: After breakfast, one is taken to Samdih by a forest jeep. On this safari, you can see all the animals and enjoy bird watching. Return to Ranchi by 3:00 pm.
  • Night Safari: Starts from Samdih at 7:30 pm and returns back to Ranchi after 4 hours. You will meet all the jungle creatures like chital, sambar, wild boar, and deer.

Palamau National Park Offers Tree Houses in the Heart of Park

Palamau national park has no option of staying inside, but still, there are few hotels nearby that offer you a comfortable stay.

For those who wish to forget their daily problems by staying at a camp within the jungle paradise, there are campsites as well as specially-designated forest rest houses.

These are unique accommodations in the park for the tourists who love and enjoy more about jungle life and adventurous activities.

They are located at the forest entry gate, the Mohana gate, from where you can visit all other places of interest inside the park.

Other Tourist Attractions near the Park

Raghunathji Temple: Station of Lord Krishna is famous in Jharkhand and nearby states. Every year during Janmashtami, a grand fair known as Raghunathji Mela is organized. It is a must-visit place for travellers visiting the region.

Patratu Falls: these famous falls were developed by Late Shri Sudarshan Kumar Sinha, former President of India near Betla, Palamau. This fall has been constructed keeping tourism interests in mind.

Purana Qila: The Purana Qila is a very essential as a picnic spot for the local people and tourists. There are many old monuments in this area, and they have great historical importance.

Hazaribagh Town: It is famous for its gold jewellery. It is a must-visit place for all the shopping freaks of Jharkhand.

Gumla: One of the tourist attractions in this region and it’s famous for its scenic beauty. The sparkling Jhumar lake, green valley, hilly ranges with thick forest cover, and emerald green tea gardens are the main attraction of Gumla.

Betla National Park: The park lies on the Jharkhand-Chhattisgarh border, 10 km from Mihijam. It can be reached from Daltonganj by road or rail (broad gauge railway station). The nearest airport is Ranchi airport, at a distance of about 40 km. The park has a number of attractions for tourists, including a sanctuary, a tiger reserve, and a zoo. The area is thickly forested with sal and teak.

Shahpur Hot Springs: Shahpur Hot Springs is situated about 20 km from the town of Deoghar in Jharkhand state. This area is very famous for natural hot springs, which are a tourist attraction and has medicinal properties.

Palamu Fort: The fort was built by the Pathans in the 11th century. It was once considered impregnable.

Lodh Waterfalls: A magnificent view from Lodh Waterfalls makes you feel like you are sitting in heaven surrounded by water carrying divine nymphs. Pulled by the celestial nymphs, you wish to dive into the deep water pool with joy. Lodh Waterfalls is situated at an altitude of 270 meters above sea level on the high hills of the Chotanagpur plateau.

Lodh Waterfalls is considered a veritable place for meditation and satisfaction of one’s spiritual needs. Your heart starts beating faster as you gaze at the alabaster rocks with cascades unrolling from above in front of you.

Summing Up

Palamau and other national parks in India are not only nature sanctuaries but also a national identity for every Indian. They are tourist attractions for all age groups, especially late teens and young adults. It gives them a chance to get out of their routine life into nature.

If you are planning a trip to Palamau National Park, then our travel tips and information on how to reach there will come in handy. We have covered everything about the place that is important and necessary for your visit. So enjoy your trip!

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