Betla National Park – A Detailed Travel Guide

The Palamu Tiger Reserve of Betla National Park, located in the Chota Nagpur Plateau is one of the first nine Tiger Reserves in India under Project Tiger. It is spread over a hilly terrain which makes it more attractive.

What makes the park different is the ruins of the twin forts of Palamu inside its premises. Read more about the tickets, timings, where to stay, things to do in Betla National Park.

Table of Contents

Where is Betla National Park located?

Betla National Park lies in the border of Latehar and Palamu district and therefore creates confusion about the exact district it is located in. According to the website of Latehar, Government of Jharkhand it is located in the Latehar district to be exact.

Geographically, Betla National Park and Palamu forts lie in the Latehar district, after it was carved out from Palamu and declared as a separate district on 1 January 1928.

The district is rich in the forest as well as mineral resources.

History of Betla National Park

Betla National Park was established under Project Tiger as Palamau Tiger Reserve in 1973. In the year 1976, Mahuadanr Wolf Sanctuary was established and added to the park. It was then declared as a wildlife sanctuary and was referred to as Palamau Wildlife Sanctuary.

Later, its status was upgraded to a national park and was named Betla National Park.

What is Betla National Park famous for?

Betla National Park comprises of Palamau Tiger Reserve and Mahuadanr Wolf Sanctuary. Palamau Tiger Reserve is one of the nine tiger reserves in India established under Project Tiger, launched in April 1973. Project Tiger was announced during the tenure of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

The aim of the project was to protect Royal Bengal Tigers from being extinct and to preserve them in their natural habitat. Mahuadanr wold sanctuary is the only wolf sanctuary in the state. Other then, tigers and wolfs, Betla is home to a large number of Indian Elephants.

BetlaJharkhand - Tripinfi
The entrance of Betla National Park

From where does Betla National Park derives its name?

The word Betla is an abbreviation of Bison, Elephant, Tiger, Leopard, and Axis-axis (Scientific Name for Chital).

Which organization operates and manages Palamau Tiger Reserve?

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change operates and manages Palamau Tiger Reserve.

What are the nine Tiger Reserves established during Project Tiger?

Betla National Park -Tripinfi

The nine Tiger Reserves Project established during Project Tiger are

  • Manas wildlife sanctuary, Assam
  • Palamau Tiger Reserve, Jharkhand
  • Similipal national park, Orissa
  • Corbett national park, Uttarakhand
  • Kanha national park, Madhya Pradesh
  • Melghat tiger reserve, Maharashtra
  • Bandipur national park, Karnataka
  • Ranthambore national park, Rajasthan
  • Sunderbans wildlife sanctuary, West Bengal

How many Tiger Reserves are in India?

India is home to 50 Tiger Reserves at present.

The forest of Betla National Park falls under which category?

The forest of Betla National Park mainly falls under the category of Northern Tropical Dry Deciduous Sal ( Shorea Robusta ) but a smaller portion of the forest falls under the category of Northern Tropical Moist Deciduous Sal.

Palamau Tiger Reserve - Tripinfi
The map of Palamu Tiger Reserve

The Flora and Fauna found in Betla National Park

Betla National park houses 39 species of mammals, 180 species of medicinal plants and 205 species of birds, and 8 species of reptiles. Some of the flora and fauna found are:

  • Flora: Shorea robusta, Bambusoideae, Acacia catechu, Madhuca indica, Terminalia tomentosa, Butea monosperma, Pterocarpus marsupium, Anogeisus latifolia, Indigofera pulchela, Adina cardifolia, Moghania spp, Mallotus phillipinensis, Bothriochloa Montana, Holarrhena Antidysentrica Apluda mutica, Chrtsopogan Montanus, Themeda spp., Chloris spp, Albizzia lebbek, Heteropogon contortus, Bauhinia spp., Chloroxylon swietnia, Diospyros melanoxylon, Buchhanania lanzan, Lagerstroemia parviflora, Bridelia retusa, Mitragyna parviflora, Bombax ceiba, Lannea coromandlica, Imperata arudinacea, Dendrocalamus strictus, and Holoptelia integrifolia.
Picture Credit: Instagram Handle - bisyarup_manna
Wild Indian Elephant
Picture Credit: Instagram Handle – bisyarup_manna
  • Animals: Tigers, Wolf, Elephants, Sloth bear, Panther, jackal, hyena, gaur and chital, langurs, rhesus monkeys, Indian giant squirrels,  mouse deer, sambhar deer, four-horned antelopes, nilgai, Kakar, small Indian civets, ant-eating pangolin,  porcupine, mongoose. White tigers were transported to zoos.
  • Birds: Hornbill, peafowl, red jungle fowl, black partridge, white-necked stork, black ibis, swamp grey, quail, pied hornbill, wagtail, Harial, dove, drongo, crested serpent eagle, forest owlet, papeeha, whistling, cotton teal, knob-billed duck, snipe and geese.

What is the area covered by Betla National Park?

Betla National Park covers an area of 1,129.93 sq km, out of which 414.93 sq km lies in the core area and 650 sq km lies in the buffer area.

animals in Betla - Tripinfi

Things to do In Betla National Park

Elephant Safari In Betla National Park

The best part of Betla National Park is it offers Elephant Safari. Take a ride on giant Indian Elephants across the forest and experience the wildlife. Elephant Safari is generally done in a group of four.

  • Elephant Safari Fee: INR 100 for a group of 4 people.

Jeep Safari In Betla National Park

Jeep Safari is another major attraction in the park. The safari is done in a group of five or six people.

  • Jeep safari Fee: INR 200 per group

Watch the wildlife through Watchtowers

Betla has five watchtowers that provide an amazing view of the entire national park. Also, watchtowers are the best place to hide if you want to sight some wildlife. The watchtowers are placed in areas where animals and birds mostly pay a visit. It is better to hire a guide to have a hassle-free visit.

  • Guide Fee: INR 100.
Bison in Betla - Tripinfi

Stay in Log Huts

Betla National Park has amazing log huts inside the forest. The tourists can book the log huts and spend the entire day watching the wildlife through the log huts.

Log Huts
Log Huts

Stay in Treehouses

Spend a day in a treehouse and experience wildlife like never before. The treehouses are placed near the water holes which are visited by the animals often as they come to drink water.

Tree House

Weather at Betla National Park

Betla National Park has a tropical climate. The Summer range from the month of March to June and the temperature varies between 35 to 40-degree centigrades. The month of April and May are the hottest. The park receives moderate rainfall during the rainy months of July to August. The winter stretches between the month of November to February with the temperature falling between 10-degree centigrade to 15-degree centigrade. The month of December and January are the coldest.

Best time to visit Betla National Park

The best time to visit Betla National Park is from October to February because the weather is pleasant, unlike scorching summers.

View of Palamu - Tripinfi

What is the ticket price at Betla National Park?

  • Entry Fee for Indians: INR 100.
  • Entry Fee for Foreigners: INR 200.

What is the timing of the Betla National Park?

The timing of Betla National Park is 9 AM to 6 PM. The park remains closed during monsoon.

Which is the nearest town from Betla National Park?

The nearest town from Betla National Park is the town of Daltonganj located at a distance of 23.5 km via NH39.

Picture Credit: Instagram Handle- emma_preeti
Gray langur
Picture Credit: Instagram Handle- emma_preeti

Which is the nearest railway station from the Betla National Park?

The nearest railway station from Betla National Park is Barwadih Junction (Station Code: BRWD), located at a distance of 12.9 km via Barwadih Chhipadohar Rd.

Which is the nearest airport from Betla National Park?

Birsa Munda Airport, Ranchi is the nearest airport from Betla National Park located at a distance of 160.7 km via NH39.

Deers ib Betla - Tripinfi

How to reach Betla National Park from Kolkata?

By Rail

Board a train from Howrah Junction to Barwadih Junction. It is a 12 hrs to 15 hrs journey. Take a cab or auto from Barwadi to Betla National Park.

The distance between Barwadi to Betla National Park is

  • 12.9 km via Barwadih Chhipadohar Rd.
  • 13.1 km via SBI Rd Daily Market and Barwadih Chhipadohar Rd.

By road

You can self-drive from Kolkata to Betla National Park or book a rental cab from Kolkata

The distance between Kolkata to Betla National Park

  • 561.8 km via NH19.
  • 582.9 km via AH1.
  • 566.2 km via NH39.

By air

Take a flight from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata to Birsa Munda Airport, Ranchi. It takes approx one to one and a half hours to reach Ranchi by air. After reaching take a cab from the airport to Betla National Park.

The distance between Birsa Munda Airport and Betla National Park is

  • 160.7 km via NH39.
  • 195.6 km via Ghaghra – Netarhat Rd.

Is Betla National Park safe for tourists?

Betla National Park is absolutely safe for tourists. It was a Naxalite area earlier but now is free from any danger.

View of Betla - tripinfi

Where to stay while visiting Betla National Park?

Places to stay during your visit to Betla National Park

  • Log Huts.
  • Tree Houses.
  • Hotel Van Vihar – Operated by Jharkhand Tourism Development Corporation Limited (JTDCL). To know about the tariffs and also to book online visit Jharkhand Tourism Official Website.
  • Aaradhya Resort – The resort provided many adventurous activities. To know about the tariffs and also to book online visit Jharkhand Tourism Official Website.

Other places to visit near Betla National Park

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Monalisa Bose Roy

A travel blogger cum financial expert with a vision to encourage tourism in Eastern India. Bose was born and brought up in the steel city of Jamshedpur, located in the Indian state of Jharkhand. Being born in the Eastern region, Bose has visited a lot of lesser-known places in the region. By her writing, she tries to spread awareness about those undiscovered gems of Eastern India.

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