Most of the Jharkhand forest, as much as 79% was privately owned until the Zamindari system was abolished under the Bihar Land Reforms Act, 1950. Before acquisition of these Zamindari forests, their huge destruction was the order of the day. However the things changed and presently the State is having 29.61% of its total land under forest cover. Jharkhand is bestowed with a huge variety of plant and animal species. You can get a panorama of this rich variety of wildlife in Jharkhand in its national parks and zoological gardens. The Betla National Park and the Hazaribagh Wildlife Sanctuary are main wildlife sanctuaries of Jharkhand. Situated 25 km away from Daltonganj, the Betla National Park spreads over an area of around 250 sq. km. In the year 1974, the Betla National Park was declared Project Tiger Reserve. In Betla National Park you can see wildlife such as tigers, elephants, bisons (gaurs), sambars, wildboars, langurs, rhesus, blue bulls, spotted deers, antelopes, rabbits and foxes. The Hazaribagh Wildlife Sanctuary is situated 135 km away from Ranchi and it is set in an ecosystem very much similar to Betla National Park. Apart from these, a Zoological Garden is also located at a distance of 16 km from Ranchi, which houses a number of mammalian species.
Hazaribagh wildlife sanctuary
Nestling in low hilly terrain, at an average altitude of 1800 ft. this 183.89 sq. km National Park has an abundance of wild animals, i.e. wild Boar, Sambar, Nilgai, Chital, Sloth Bear, tiger and Panthar. The 1970 census has established the presence of 14 tigers, 25 Panthers and 400 Sambars. Hazaribagh means “Thousand tigers”. Hazaribagh is famous for its wildlife sanctuary. The place is situated in the ascending and descending slopes of Chhota Nagpur Plateau. The Hazaribagh Wildlife Sanctuary is another important site in Uttarakhand. It is vying for a place in the international heritage list for its recent findings of rock paintings, caves, Stone Age tools and smelted iron slag that show a much early advent of the Iron age than the theorized Chalcolithic age. Wild boar, sambar, nilgai, cheetal, and kakar can be sighted near waterholes at dusk here. The sanctuary is 190 sq km and was established in 1954. The sanctuary is home to animals like wild boar, nilgai and leopard. The sanctuary is a thick forest area so it’s a safe place for birds to live. The Best Season to visit the sanctuary is from October to March as the climate is pleasant at that time. Prior permission from the divisional forest officer (west division) is required to enter the sanctuary. Canari Hill is 5 km. Cycle Rickshaws available from the Hazaribagh town.
Palamau National park
The Palamau National Park is located in the western part of the Chotanagpur plateau. The park is spread over a core area of 250 square kilometers and is also known as the Betla National Park. The Palamau National Park was brought under Project Tiger in the year 1973. It is among the first nine Tiger Reserves of the country. The core area of the park was declared as a National Park in September 1989.
Best Time to visit the national park is from February-April.
Betla National Park
Palamau's Betla National Park offers a fascinating study of wild life in natural surroundings studded with forests, hills and valleys. The national park has a large variety of wild life. Once Betla had 2 tigers, 50 elephants, 800 sambhars, hundreds of wild boar and pythons as big as 15 to 20 feet. Most popular are the spotted deer seen moving in herds. The most coveted sight is a majestic gaur popularly known as bison. The elephants are also seen in the region. The other mammalian fauna to be seen at Betla include langur, rhesus, cheetal (spotted deer), blue bulls and wild boars. The lesser mammals are the porcupine hare junglee cat, honey badger, jackal, malabar giant squirrel and mangoose wolf, antelope etc. The park was declared in 1974 a tiger project reserve.
Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary
Dalma Mountain Range is at an altitude of 3000 feet. Lurking in the thick cover of its jungle (193 sq. km.) are elephants, barking deer, sloth beer, porcupines, leopard, tigers etc. The steep slope of Dalma is a trekker’s delight. Small hideouts have been made at several places in the sanctuary where one can see wilds animals in their natural habitat. A look from the mountaintop at the city is so visually appealing at the night that it looks as if millions stars twinkling. Dalma provides natural air condition to the fuming steel city and is an important source of fresh oxygen to the citizens. Late Sanjay Gandhi inaugurated the sanctuary in 1975. On the mountaintop are the guesthouse of Tata Steel and Forest Department.
Jaivik Udyan (Zoological Park)
About 16km from Ranchi town on Ranchi - Patna road near Ormanjhi, is the zoological garden named Jaivik Udyan.
Palamau tiger reserve
The Palamau Tiger Reserve lies in the western part of the Chhotanagpur plateau. The forest stretches from the edge of the Netarhat hill range in the south to the Auranga River in the north and from the Latehar-Sarju road in the east to Madhya Pradesh border in the west. The forest of Palamau is the catchment of the river North Koel. Flora includes Shorea robusta, Acacia catechu, and Butea monosperma, Madhuca indica, Terminalia tomentosa, Pterocarpus marsupium, Adina cardifolia, Anogeisus latifolia, Indigofera pulchela, Moghania spp, Mallotus phillipinensis, Holarrhena antidysentrica, Bothriochloa Montana, Apluda mutica and many others. Fauna includes Tiger, Leopard, Cheetal, Sambar, Barking Deer, Wolf, Wild Dog, Elephant, Mouse Deer, Pangolin, Fourhorned Antelope and Indian Ratel.
Topchanchi wildlife sanctuary
This sanctuary is noted for the flow of migratory birds including pochards, red crested pochards and coots. Resident birds include bronze winged jacanas, pond herons, egrets, swamp partridges, etc. The Nagi Dam Sanctuary (1.9sq km) near Jhajha is the smallest sanctuary in the state and also a place to spot migratory birds. Fifteen km from Patna, Danapur is also a significant shelter for migratory birds, especially janghils (open billed storks).
Savor the great experience of viewing these rare identical categories of animals and bird life through one of the Jharkhand holiday packages which enables you to tour the renowned wildlife sanctuaries, tiger reserves and parks of the destination.