Betla National Park is one of the first national parks in India which was formed during the British period. It was started with the aim to protect tigers. Palamau Tiger Reserve is a part of Betla National Park which is one of the nine original tiger reserves in India. It is the only national park in Jharkhand.
Rich diversity of flora and wildlife can be found in Betla National Park. Other than watching tigers, tourists can enjoy elephant ride. Panther, sloth bear, langurs, peacocks and other species of animals comprises the wildlife.
Jeep safaris are conducted while guides and spotlights also help to unfold the mystery that lies within the national park. Other than wildlife which includes 174 species of birds, 39 species of mammals, 970 species of plants and 180 species of medicinal plants are also found here.
Betla National Park covers total area of 1026 km square. But tourists can only travel upto 35 km square. Both Hindi and English are easily understood by the guides and forest officials, thus making the place more tourist-friendly. Watchtowers in the forest aids in viewing wildlife from a long distance and these watchtowers are also a favourite hub of photographers.
What else to see: Betla Fort is one of the major attractions of Betla Natioanl Park. It was constructed by Chero Kings of 16thCentury and holds immense historical importance. Waterfalls and hot springs can't be missed by the travellers. The scenic Lodh Falls lies 95 km south to Betla National Park.
Koel river along with its tributaries, the Auranga and Amanat flows through Betla National Park. Burha is another river flowing through the national park and both these rivers flows into River Sone. In the wester bank of Koel lies a palace constructed by the King of Palamau, Gopal Rai in 18th Century. This area is known as Shahpur where temple and ruined buildings are worth enough to see.
When to plan: Though Betla National Park remains open throughout the year, May to June is the ideal time to explore the dense forest. The national park somehow does not remain that thick during these months. After the monsoons, tourists can again plan their trip from November-March. Animals like Gaur and Chital are frequently visible during this time of the year.
How to Reach: Travellers have to reach the national park from Betla Village. This village is 65 km north of Latehar, 170 km north-west of Ranchi and 65 km south of Daltonganj. If one is traversing through air, Ranchi airport is the closest situated at a distance of 189 km. Resorts around the national park has pick up facility apart from what are arranged by Jharkhand Tourism.
Traveling by train is another option for which tourists have to break their journey at Barwadih Junction. It is situated at a distance of 25 km from Betla Natioanl Park. Barwadih is well-connected by railways to other major places like Ranchi, Patna, Varanasi, Allahabad, Amritsar, Bhopal and Delhi.
If travelling through road, NH75 will take you to Daltonganj and from there another 15 km will lead to Betla Natioanl Park.
Where to Stay: Tourists can halt at tourist lodges or few three star hotels located at the vicinity of Betla National Park. These lodges are featured with tree houses and log huts which will gift you a unique experience. Canteen at the lodge can satiate your hunger. These huts are complemented with well-furnished suites which won't allow you to feel any kind of discomfort.
You can sit by the window of your tree house and gaze at the thick forest or even at the water hole which is the source of drinking water for the wildlife. These accommodations also offers internet, postal and STD/ ISD services. As Betla National Park was earlier under the territory of Bihar, Van Vihar under Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation is also available.
Enjoy this less explored treasure of Jharkhand and let us know about your experience amidst the wildlife of Betla National Park.