Betla National Park , Ranchi
About Betla National Park
Betla National park, earlier known as Palamu Sanctuary is located in Jharkhand State on Chotanagpur plateau of India. This park in the Palamau district of Ranchi preserves the natural beauty of the Chotanagpur Plateau. The park has Koel River and its tributaries running through in its northern portion. Betla national park was the first park which is declared as Tiger reserve in India. The acronym Betla represents the animals Bison, Elephant, Tiger, Leopard, and Axis-axis which are some of the animals found here. The park has a rich ecosystem. Apart from elephants, sloth bear, leopard, panther, wild bear, chital, nilgai, mouse deer, porcupine and chinkara, wolf and Jackals are sighted in Betla national park. The park boasts a wide variety of wild life.
The forest contains a variety of prized trees like the Sal and Bamboo. The National Park provides a spectacular view of nearby hills like the Huluk, Murhu, Gulgul and Netarhat. The National Park also contains a lot of hot springs and waterfalls.
In 1947 the land was reserved as a protected area under the Indian Forests act. In 1973 a Wildlife Sanctuary was set up on the reserved land, which was declared as a Tiger Reserve in 1974. The Betla National Park was finally brought to existence in 1986.
The Chital, The Indian Civet, The Nilgai, The Black Ibis, The Swamp Grey, and The Harial are examples of some other animals and birds that can be spotted at the Betla National Park.
This national park doesn’t disappoint the bird watchers as well, because the vast number of bird species that can be seen in this park. Some of them are peafowl, red jungle fowl, white necked stork, hornbill, red jungle fowl, black partridge, wagtails etc. Beside this range of eco-systems, park is also renowned for waterfalls and hot springs. A 16th century fort which belongs to Chero Kings is situated inside the park. There are options available to observe wild life from close range. There are elephant and jeeps safaris available and also many watch towers have been constructed to view the wild life.
Tourists can explore the National Park through an elephant or jeep safari. Other sites to visit in and around the Park include the Betla Forts, Kechki Sangam, Mirchiya Falls, Mandal Dam, and so on. Visitors can also learn about the local tribal culture.
Though the park is open throughout the year, best time to sight the wildlife is from May to June during summers when foliage is not as thick. But best time to visit the park in term of weather is from November and March. Betla village is the entry point to the park which is about 170 KMs from Ranchi.