Visit Betla National Park: The Pride of Jharkhand (2022)
Located in the Chotanagpur Plateau of Jharkhand, Betla National Park is one of India’s oldest tiger reserves. The breathtakingly beautiful Palamau forest is also part of the national park. When the sanctuary was first created, the Palamau forest was not a part of it. The original park was built in 1989, and the total area of the region was 980 square kilometers at that time. But later, with the addition of the adjacent Palamau forest, an additional 227 square kilometers were added to the forest’s total area. Many wildlife lovers visit Betal National Park from different parts of the world. People explore the core area of the Palamau forest to witness a myriad of wild animals. You will be surprised to know that this national park was among India’s first nine tiger reserves. When the region first became popular in the British era, many tribal people resided over there. Even now, the forest is home to many tribal families. You will be surprised to know that the first tiger census was carried out in the Betal forest in 1932. The first time the forest was declared a wildlife sanctuary was in 1973. Finally, it became a renowned national park in 1986.Image Source
There are many odd species of flora and fauna that can be witnessed in the sanctuary. Some of the most majestic animals you might see in the forest region are tigers, leopards, bison, and others. The forest area of Betla is now even more. An additional area of 63 square kilometers has been added to the previous forest cover. The entire forest stretches from the Kechki region to the gorgeous hill station to Netarhat. Apart from wildlife, the forest has tribal fortresses. Many history enthusiasts visit the area to explore them as well. If you are planning to visit Betla National Park, you will find this travel guide quite helpful. Here, you will get to learn everything about the forest. You will get to know about the best lodging facilities available out there. By studying this blog, we hope you will be able to plan your itinerary to visit Betla National park.
Species of Flora and Fauna Found in Betla National Park
Sal trees surround the entire forest. This tropical wet evergreen forest is genuinely green and covered with trees depicting that topology. Many medicinal plants can also be found throughout the region. When you explore the area, you will even notice Kendu, Mahua, and Sishu tress. Apart from massive trees, grasslands also surround the forest. You will see the grassland, especially near the river Koel.
Betla and Palamau forests are pretty famous for being homes to many wild animals. There are 36 tigers, 250 bison, 61 leopards, and 211 elephants, approximately living in the region. Apart from the said majestic beings, there is a wild variety of deer living over there. They are sambhar, nilgai, chinkara, chital, and others. If you visit the national park, you might be lucky enough to see other wild animals like jackal, hyena, four-horned antelope, pangolin, sloth bear, rhesus monkey, etc. Apart from animals, Betal National Park is a paradise for bird-watchers. As there are more than 1400 species of birds living in the forest, you will get to see many of them. Some of the most exotic birds found in the woods are hornbill, red jungle fowl, gharial, wagtails, dove, forest owlets, etc.
Things To Do In Betla National Park
There are many exciting activities that you can take part in the Betla forests. Apart from the forest, there are many exciting tourist spots in the region that you must visit during your trip. In the following section of this travel guide, we have included all the fantastic things that you can do while exploring the Betla national park.
1. Go on a Safari
The most popular way to explore Betla National Park is to go on a jeep or an elephant safari. Both of these safaris are pretty famous.
In case you want to avail of the jeep safari, you must know that it is available twice during the day. One safari is open from 6 am to 10 am in the morning. The other one starts at 2 pm and ends at 6 pm. Most people do not have much luck in spotting animals in the safari. But many tourists have successfully witnessed bison and elephants. The safari lasts for two hours and will cost you around INR 2000.
If you have always wanted to explore a forest on top of an elephant, then the elephant safari in Betla national park will please you. This safari lasts for an hour and costs around INR 400. Not more than four people can avail of one elephant for the safari.
2. Exploring The Fort Of The Chero Dynasty
The Chero King’s fort is one of the most mystical historical places in India. This fort is situated inside the forest and is located at a height of 400 feet. You will be surprised to know that the fort was constructed in the 16th century. The view of the fort amid the lush greenery of Betla and Palamau forests will live in your mind for many years.
3. Witnessing Kamaldah Lake
Kamaldah lake is one of the most famous spots in Betla forests as most wild animals arrive there to quench their thirst. Even if you do not get to see wild animals, you will witness various gorgeous birds, namely snipe, geese, whistling teal, cotton teal, and others.
4. Spotting Animals From The Hatthibajwa Watchtower
The Hatthibajwa watchtower is the best place to spot wild animals in Betla national park. Although there is no guarantee that you will get to see animals from there, it can help you spot them. Moreover, the view from the watchtower will genuinely stun you.
Ways to Reach Betla Forest
There are primarily three ways through which you can reach the Betla forest:
By Road: Now, the nearest locality around the Betla forest is Daltonganj. This town is located only 24 km from the woods, and many people prefer to stay in lodges over there to explore the region. You can also travel from Latehar as it is located 64 km from the national park. Many people visit the forest directly from Ranchi, and the distance between the two places is 168 km. No matter which site you see the forest from, you will have to rent a car to reach there. In case you want to travel by bus, you will have to travel from either Daltonganj or Barwadih.
By Rail: Technically the nearest railway station from Betla National park is located in Barwadih. It is situated only 16 from the forest reserve. But most trains do not stop at that station. That is why it is better to avail trains to Ranchi, Sasaram, or Latehar. You can easily rent a car that would take you to the forest from the said places.
By Air: Ranchi airport is the nearest airport from the Betla forest. Most major cities in India have flights connecting to Ranchi. In case you want more flight availability, then opt for Patna airport. Even though it is 252 km from Betla, but you will reach there from any Indian city.
Most Popular Hotels To Stay Near Betla National Park
As we have mentioned earlier, the nearest towns from Betla forests are located in Laterhar. That is why there are not many options to choose from while exploring the woods. We have included the two most convenient hotels to stay while exploring the Betla national park. These are given below.
a. Hotel Van Vihar
Hotel Van Vihar is the most famous hotel to stay near Betla National park. All the rooms in the hotel are exceptionally well-maintained. They are filled with modern facilities. As the hotel has a 24×7 front desk service, you will get all the necessary information regarding the forest from there. The best part about the hotel is that it is located right near the Betla national park gate. You will be able to explore the forest quite easily by staying in the hotel. As the hotel has a canteen, you will not have to worry about your dining options. You can order tasty dishes from the canteen menu at ease.
Address: Near Betla National Park, NH 23, Betla, Jharkhand 822111.
Phone Number: 091024 03882.
Price of a room per night: INR 1600.
b. Aradhya Resort
If you are looking for a luxury resort quite close to Betla national park, then Aradhya resort is the perfect option for you. With a swimming pool, gym, conference hall, and other exciting features, this resort will offer you all the comfort of the modern world. The resort will allow you to choose among a wide range of modern and beautifully-furnished rooms as well as cottages. They are all equally comfortable. If you stay in Aradhya resort, you will participate in a wide range of fun activities. Some of them are microlight flying, hand gliding, zip-lining, etc.
Moreover, the establishment will help you in booking jeep and elephant safaris to explore Betla national park. This resort is also located quite close to the gate of Betla national park. You will have no problem finding it.
Address: Aaradhya Resort Pvt Ltd, Opposite National Park Gate, PO- Betla, PS-Barwadih Latehar.
Phone Number: 9431177585.
Betla National park is one of India’s few national parks that is opened for the entire year. If you are a wildlife lover, it will be better to visit the site during the summer season. The chances of seeing wild animals will be much higher during those months. But if you want to explore the entire region comfortably, it will be much better for you if you visit there in the winter season. Especially from November to March, the climate of Betla is exceptionally comfortable. Betla national park is one of the lesser-known wildlife sanctuaries in India. But it is quite beautiful and a great place to connect with nature. We hope you got all the essential information regarding Betla national park by reading this blog. So, without wasting much time, embark on a journey to one of the most under-rated national parks in India.