Palamau Tiger Reserve

Palamau Tiger Reserve, Palamu District: Tickets, Tours, Address, Phone Number, Palamau Tiger Reserve Reviews: 3/5

Palamau Tiger Reserve
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9 reviews
Very good

Debasish B
Kolkata (Calcutta), India12 contributions
Nothing to see
Oct 2019
No sighting of wild animals. There are no Tigers in the forest. Only Tamed Elephants are there . These elephants were earlier used for elephant safari. now that is also closed.
Written October 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sugata C
12 contributions
A veg trip
Mar 2019 • Family
Only herbivores animal & birds. But beware of local travel agents. Don't go for any package. Book everything separate.
Written March 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Madan Mohan Bose
Kolkata (Calcutta), India28 contributions
Good place
Oct 2018
Had a lot of expectations but the so called tiger reserve is just average.The Reserve is not in its conditions i.e. it is not well maintained. But the outside forest area which is so vast and dense full of beauty and fear is just classic. We had had a long road journey from Betla (Palamau Tiger Reserve) to Netarhat and felt the beauty and understood why it is so famous.
Written February 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Prosenjit D
16 contributions
Betla "Tourist Lodge" no longer for tourists
Aug 2018 • Friends
The photo of the "Tourist Lodge" at Betla on the Tripadvisor website is out of date. This has been converted about a year ago into the "Director's Lodge" and is reserved for VIP visitors only. So one has to be careful in making booking on-line for the Betla "Tourist Lodge". This is now the old Janta Lodge somewhat re-furbished and does not have any kitchen or canteen. So from morning tea to dinner one has to walk up about 200 metres to the tea stalls to order food - not a happy arrangement on a cold winter night or on a rainy night. The power situation is uncertain - it may be alright, or there may not be any power and the invertor system cannot provide adequate lighting and fan or pump water for any length of time. A diesel generator set is there but diesel may not be readily available or the operator may have gone out to have tea or to the bazaar. There is no one really on 24 hours attendance. In any case it is not a patch on the old Tourist Lodge (now the Director's Lodge) for location and ambiance.
But Palamau Tiger Reserve lives on, with its great habitat and reasonably good wildlife, especially from November onwards.
Written August 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kolkata (Calcutta), India4 contributions
Jungle Safari
Jan 2017 • Family
The photos attached are of the Betla Forest Tourist Lodge. They have a tree house with two rooms. Rates are reasonable. Animals around give a true jungle feel. Worth visiting if it's a pleasure trip.
Written January 20, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bhilai, India499 contributions
Tiger Reserve of Elephants
Jan 2017 • Couples
In this place there are plenty of ranges but every range has just two tigers each. People say that there are heards of elephants but we saw none (maybe because of rain as we went in around 12 pm). Now this park is open fro visitors for entire day but the best time to visit is still early morning and late evening. Stay on Forest Rest House outside Park Gate can be enjoyable especially in Tree House. Take an Elephant Ride in park for better sighting in morning. Nothing is very costly here as compared to other parks.
Written January 17, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kolkata (Calcutta), India9 contributions
One night at Palamau
Jul 2015 • Solo
Bethla National Park is rather a less-visited reserve forest in East-India, but there are definitely reasons to go there. I returned from there yesterday and would like to share my experience with you all.

I travelled from Ranchi to Daltongunj (both in Jharkhand state in India) and my train reached Daltongunj in the middle of the night (3AM) of 3rd July, hence decided to stay in a hotel close to the station for the night. Daltongunj has many hotels in proximity to the station, and the best one out of them is less than 1 star. However, it served my purpose. Auto rickshaws are available in numbers outside the Daltongunj station, and paid Rs.50 to search through various hotels (only a few were open) during 3 to 3:30 AM in the night !! Later I am told by the Palamau Govt. Lodge van Vihar that I should have phoned them earlier and they could have sent car to station and picked me up and brought to Palamau in the night itself. Although I knew this option was there, but did not want to take chance of travelling in dark through the very lonely route from Daltongunj to Palamau (Bethla).

Next day, I took an auto from near Police Station (this place is 2 minutes walking from any hotel near station, where you can get auto rickshaws), and hired an auto (reserved) directly to Van Vihaar. I had option to take unreserved auto which would have cost me Rs.20 instead of reserved for Rs.300. I wanted to reach Bethla as early as possible, hence I did let go this chance of savings.

The auto rickshaw took about an hour to reach Bethla. There were privately owned hotels (2 or 3) and Govt. Owned Van Vihar. Van Vihar had fixed costs for everything and no discounts for off-seasons. Private hotels are priced higher with better facilities (since competition among themselves is higher) and if you can bargain, you can get upto 50% discount for off-season. I however chose to stay in Van Vihar.

Bethla is a place with about 10 houses (including hotels, etc.) on either side of the main road. The road, leaving Bethla goes straight up into ‘raw’ jungles. Tourists usually do not go there. In Bethla, the road takes a right turn and goes into the Palamau Reserve Forest. Van Vihar is right in that junction from where the road turns right into the Palamau Reserve Forest entrance gate. When in Bethla, you can choose from 3 tourist attractions (1) Palamau Reserve Forest, (2) Fort (3) Kechki. Kechki is a river-side location where the famous Satyajit Ray movie ‘Aranyer Din Ratri’ was filmed. Fort is a 1600 year old location, actually two forts are there in the middle of forest, built by Chero Kings. One is built by the father and another one by his son. You must visit the forts as you get wonderful views of the jungle from its top. Both forts are on top of hills and you got to climb it by foot and there is no stair built to reach there. Kechki is actually in the opposite direction, that is you actually travel backwards towards Daltongunj for about 20 minutes by car. Just make sure the time you want to visit is not a dry season, else you might find the river completely dry and during dry season there is nothing to see in Kechki. Hence in June, I opted kechki out. Van Vihar guide Mr. Aslam (authorized Govt. Tourist guide) arranged a jeep for me to visit both the forts and an one-and-half hour trip through the Palamau Reserve Forest for Rs.800 including another local guide (mandatory for travelling inside the forest) and entry fees (Rs.100) and camera fees (Rs.100 for still photo cameras).

You can either leave early morning 6 AM or in the afternoon 3 PM for this tour. First I went to the Forts, spent a lot of time taking pics of the various broken stairs, rooms, architecture of the forts. Here the son did a better job than his father :P Then moved back near Van Vihar and turned towards Palamau Reserve Forest. There are number of routes to travel in the jungle, the guide can take you through a shorter route, but Aslam was good in this case. We saw Deer, Bisons, missed elephants this time, but watched a lot of birds, including huge tailed peacocks. You got to keep your camera ready every moment to catch them. Especially the deer and peacocks were hardest to shoot. For bisons, you cannot go too close, your camera zoom lens would be busy for bisons. You got to be really really lucky to see tigers, as somebody said there is only one tiger in the entire reserve forest. I would suggest, you take 2 or 3 rides through the forest (may be at 6 AM and 3PM on first day and 6 AM next day). It costs you about Rs.300 each time but its worth, you might just see tigers and wild elephants.

The biggest problem with Van Vihar is power cut. Most of the time during the day the power is not there, and even if you take an AC room (Rs.750) instead of a Non-AC (Rs.428), you cannot turn the AC on. However, in the night, during dinner the generator was on, and after dinner it was switched off, we all were sitting outside the lodge entrance inside the campus in plastic chairs and chatting. It was a wonderful experience, with mild breeze and completely dark surrounding, and a clear sky, up above the hills and in the middle of dense forest, you and your friends, along with the hotel manager, probably your guide, and a few hotel workers, chat together.

To mention here in bol, that Van Vihar workers are extremely eager to be your friend, and they would do things out of the box to make you happy. One of the hotel worker kept giving me chilled water bottles and even offered to turn the AC on in my room (I chose a Non-AC room but the AC machine was there in my room) as he felt that the manager is not around and I can get chill out a little bit. These gestures were really sweet of them.
For lunch and dinner, you can tell them what you would like to have, they will shop accordingly and get things cooked. However, my suggestion would be to stick to the basics, like rice, daal, vegerable, egg curry, chicken, etc. You would get pepsi and coke chilled even during the power cuts (not sure how they manage it).

On the way back on 5th I took the 7 AM bus to travel from Palamau to Daltongunj. It takes exactly one hour (Rs. 20 ticket) right from outside the Van Vihar entrance. Be at the entrance with your luggae by 630 AM and wait for the bus. Upon reaching Daltongunj bus stop, I took another bus to Ranchi. Train was definitely an option, but I chose to travel by bus (it leaves from the same bus stop where the Palamau bus stopped) because the route from Daltongunj to Palamau is all through the middle of dense forest. The roads would sometime climb hills, and down, and you can get wonderful view of real dense forests all through your 5 hour bus journey. You MUST take a Volvo bus and MUST NOT seat at the back seats. Else, the journey would be very bumpy and uncomfortable. The bus would stop for half an hour exactly in the midway for washroom and breakfast. Mind you, washroom means open air, and not suitable for any lady traveller. In fact, there is no option for washroom for the lady travellers during this 5 hour journey. Breakfast would be from a road-side restaurant and I would suggest not to eat there, better you buy packed potato cheaps (Lays only) and cold drinks (Pepsi, etc.). Bourbon biscuits, Brittania cakes and biscuits, etc. are good packed snacks. You can buy these when the bus stops midway.
Upon reaching Ranchi bus stop my story is simple, I hired an auto rickshaw (reserve) and came over to Ranchi rail station. I stayed in a hotel right beside the rail station (hotel named Beena, room rate Rs.200 per night) which is good for taking a bit of rest during the 8 hours before catching my train to Howrah. Ranchi is connected to Kolkata by flight and trains directly.

I believe I have gone into as much details as possible, and I end with a few tips:
1. Carry mosquito repellent spray/lotion
2. Carry cotton towers to cover your head (hats are often uncomfortable) if you are travelling in hot season.
3. Call and speak to Van Vihar or any other hotel before you go there. It is a must. The area is not always open for tourists, and safe for travelling.
4. Get all your train / flight reservations done before-hand. Even in off-reasons, you cannot get tickets unless you book at least 14 days in advance.
Palamau is a beauty, with rawness of jungles. People who cannot endure heat, and must need AC, good food, good hotel staff service, etc. for them Palamau is not the place. But if you are like me, looking to experience the harshness of local life, real jungle atmosphere, and complete isolation from developed city-life, then Palamau is your place. Please do let me know if you need any more info. Cheers
Written September 6, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Palamu District, India10 contributions
Not up to the mark..
Aug 2014 • Friends
This place would have a lot more better if it was maintained well. During the safari, we could see a bison, 2 elephants and then langurs and deers as usual...
Written July 20, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Palampur, India270 contributions
Waste of time
Jun 2015 • Family
Zoo is better than this tiger reserve. You will only c deers n languars. I am 100% sure that there r no wild animals in that area. Flora is fantastic on d road towards Netarhat and its d buffer area too of Palamau tiger reserve. I saw many villagers feeding their cow/ buffalo in this buffer area so there is 0% chances of wild animals.

I just liked the flora on the road towards Netarhat. The road is of 50km from Palamau to Netarhat and Netarhat is rich with scenic beauty.
Written July 11, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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