Palamau National Park, Jharkhand
Area of the park: 1014 sq km
Year of Establishment:1974
Best season to visit: The reserve remains open throughout the year, and the best time to visit it is between November and April. It may be hot but for tiger lovers, May is the month because the reduced forest cover at this time of the year makes it easier to spot this elusive animal.
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The Palamau Tiger Reserve holds the distinction of being one of the nine original tiger reserves that were set up in the country and is the only tiger reserve in the state of Jharkhand, India. Part of the Betla National Park, the park has a core area of 414 sq km, while the buffer area is 600 sq km. Being a tiger reserve, the tiger remains a major attraction among the visitors in this hilly and picturesque landscape. Other popular animals include leopards and elephants. The park also is home to as many as 140 bird species.
The area where the reserve stands today was brought under the Indian Forest Act in 1947. Before the establishment of the park, it was known as a fire prone area and was used by the local population to graze their livestock and for camping. It was only in 1974 that the area attained the status of a tiger reserve, and came to be known as the Palamau Tiger Reserve.
The vegetation of the park is quite diverse and fluctuates between tropical wet evergreen, which is dominant in the low lying areas, and mixed deciduous found in the upper reaches of the reserve. Sal and bamboo, in addition to a wide variety of medicinal plants, are the major plants that make up the upper reaches.
Important water sources inside the park
The North Koel River passes through the heart of the reserve and is an important source of water. However, it is the man-made water sources that are a life giver and at any point in time you are more likely to find animals near these waterholes; what works for the weary traveler is that most of these holes are easily accessible and there are many vantage points nearby where one can stand unnoticed and enjoy the scene unfolding before him/her.
Tiger population faces some concerns
The reserve has been facing some difficult times when it comes to restoring the tiger population as a recent census done in 2007 puts its number at a paltry 17. This is much less than the 50 put forward by some agency in 1974, though there still remain questions marks regarding its authenticity; critics say that there was over-counting owing to lack of adequate controls. But whatever the techniques employed, there is no denying the truth that the number of tigers has actually come down significantly. The park authorities and wildlife bodies are however doing their best to save these magnificent creatures, which face threats from different corners, be it from increased human intervention or naxalite activities in the region.
Palamau National Park Tour Packages
At this moment we don't have any specific Tour package for Palamau National Park, but our representative would be happy to assist you if you are planning to visit Palamau National Park you can contact us with your query on the following no / email.
Tel + 91- 120 - 40526011 - 98 (88 hunting lines are available
(24 hrs helpline) + 91 - 9212777223 / 24 / 25
Wildlife in Palamau National Park
The tiger population of the park is not very big, but that hasn't deterred visitors from swarming the reserve in the hope of catching this magnificent animal in action. On last count, there were 17 tigers found inhabiting the hilly terrains and verdant landscape of the park dominated by sal forests, teak trees, bamboo thickets and rich-evergreen forests.
Another big cat that inhabits the park is the leopard and these predators fest on preys like the Nilgai (antelope), Gaur and Sambar. The gaur in particular is a formidable animal as it possesses great power and weights over an incredible 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) and is no easy prey. The leopard normally hunts down unhealthy members or calves. The tiger is better equipped to handle these powerful animals, and there have been incidents where the tiger has been found killing the gaur. Speaking of power, nothing comes close to the Indian elephant; the latest census puts their number at sixty-five.
Among the smaller predators, the wild dogs lead the way and are very efficient hunters; frequently hunting in packs, they are capable of bringing down prey much bigger than their own size.
The reserve is also an avifauna hotspot as it hosts as many as 140 bird species, including the peafowl.
Palamau National Park Travel Information
Betla village, which is situated at a distance of 170 km from Ranchi, is the single entry point to the park. Other important places situated near the village are Daltonganj (approximately 25 km) and Latehar (approximately 65 km).
By Air: The nearest airport is at Ranchi, which is well connected to all major cities in the country. Upon arrival at the Ranchi airport, one can easily make arrangements for traveling the rest of the journey by bus, or may even take a train till Barwadih Junction.
By Rail: The nearest rail station is at Barwadih Junction which is 15 km away from the reserve. The Barwadih Junction is a busy station and runs trains to many important destinations like Ranchi, Gaya, Patna, Varanasi, Allahabad, Kolkata, Bhopal, and Delhi.
By Road: Regular buses ply between Daltonganj town, which is the headquarters of Palamu division and Palamu district, and the reserve.