Betla National Park situated in Chota
Nagpur Plateau of Latehar district of Jharkhand,
is a part of the Belta forest. This park is one
of the first parks in India to become a tiger
reserve under the Project Tiger plan. Betla is
the abbreviation of Bison, Elephant, Tiger,
Leopard, Axis-axis (deer).
The Belta forest is one of the largest forests in India covering an area of around 1026 sq km. However, 753 sq. km of the forest was declared as Palamau Sanctuary and the remaining 226 sq. km area was declared a national park in 1989.
Panther, rhesus monkey, langur, gaur deer, four-horned antelopes, nilgai, Kakar, Mongoose, wolf, wild bear, etc. are the prevalent animal species of the park.
Important bird species of the sanctuary include peafowl, hornbill, black partridge, red jungle fowl, black ibis, swamp grey, crested serpent-eagle, quail, comb duck, drongo, harial, doves, etc.
Tropical wet evergreen forests in lower ranges, dry and moist deciduous forests in middle reaches and temperate alpine forests in higher reaches are the prominent vegetation covering the national park. Bamboo, sal and certain medicinal plants are important flora species in the region. Wild elephants and tigers are the main attraction of the park.
Only way to enter Betla National Park is through Belta village. It is well connected with Ranchi, Latehar, Kolkata and Daltonganj with regular bus services. Barwadih Junction (15 km away) is the nearest railway station. Ranchi airport is about 140 km and Patna 250 km away. Jharkhand Tourism arranges pick-ups on advance notice.
Accommodation is available in the Forest rest house, Forest tourist cottages, Tourism department's hotel and private hotels in and around the park. The Lodh Falls is 95 km south of park in Mahuadar. The deserted fort of Chero Kings is situated in the deep interior of the forest. The main lookout of the old fort can be seen from high up on the hill with defenses in three directions and three main gates. There are waterfalls and hot springs too.
Address: Betla National Park, Latehar, Jaharkhand - 834001, India
Best comfortable time to visit: November to March but wildlife sightings highest in May-June
Entry timings: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (daily)
Entry fee applicable