Sunday, June 25, 2023

Palamu Tiger Reserve

Palamu Tiger Reserve UPSC (Betla Tiger Reserve)

Palamu Tiger Reserve is a wildlife sanctuary and tiger reserve located in the Indian state of Jharkhand. It is also called Betla Tiger Reserve. It was established in 1974 as one of the first nine tiger reserves in India under the Project Tiger initiative. The Palamau Tiger Reserve is only tiger reserve in Jharkhand. The reserve is named after the Palamu Fort, a historical fort situated within its boundaries.

Covering an area of approximately 1,129 square kilometers (436 square miles), Palamu Tiger Reserve is known for its rich biodiversity and is home to various species of flora and fauna. It is primarily covered by dry deciduous forests, interspersed with grasslands and riverine ecosystems.

In addition to wildlife, Palamu Tiger Reserve also holds historical and cultural significance. It encompasses the ruins of the ancient Palamu Fort, which dates back to the 16th century and offers a glimpse into the region's history. 

The Palamau Tiger Reserve area is very rich in minerals like Bauxite and Coal.

Table of Contents

  • Palamu Tiger Reserve Location
  • Palamu Tiger Reserve History
  • Palamu Tiger Reserve Area
  • Tiger Corridor
  • Palamu Tiger Reserve Hills
    • Netarhat Hills
  • Palamu Tiger Reserve River
    • North Koel River
    • Auranga River
    • Burha River
  • Palamu Tiger Reserve Flora
  • Palamu Tiger Reserve Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Top Things to do in Palamu Tiger Reserves
  • Palamu Tiger Reserve UPSC Questions

Palamu Tiger Reserve Location

Palamu Tiger Reserve is located in Latehar district of Jharkhand, India. It is situated in the western part of the Chotanagpur plateau. It is approximately 180 kilometers (112 miles) from Ranchi, the capital city of Jharkhand.

Palamu Tiger Reserve Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to Palamu Tiger Reserve is the Birsa Munda Airport, also known as Ranchi Airport (IXR). It is located in the capital city of Jharkhand, Ranchi. The airport is approximately 175 kilometers (109 miles) away from Palamu Tiger Reserve.

Palamu Tiger Reserve Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to Palamu Tiger Reserve is Daltonganj Railway Station. It is situated at a distance of approximately 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Palamu Tiger Reserve. From the railway station, you can hire a taxi or take a local bus to reach the reserve.

Palamu Tiger Reserve History

Wildlife Sanctuary: The history of Palamu Tiger Reserve dates back to the establishment of the Palamu Wildlife Sanctuary. Palamau Wildlife Sanctuary was initially created over a forest area of 979.97 Sq. Km. 

Tiger Resrve: In 1974, the Palamu Wildlife Sanctuary was upgraded to the status of a tiger reserve, becoming Palamu Tiger Reserve. This change acknowledged the significance of the region in terms of tiger conservation and the preservation of biodiversity.

Palamu Fort: The area encompassing Palamu Tiger Reserve has a rich historical and cultural heritage. It is home to the ancient Palamu Fort, which is located within the reserve's boundaries. The fort has historical significance and is believed to have been built by Chero kings in the 16th century. It stands as a testament to the region's past and attracts visitors interested in exploring its architectural and historical aspects.

World’s First Tiger Census: The world’s first tiger census took place in Palamu Tiger Reserve in the year 1932.

Note- Palamu Tiger Reserve is the first such sanctuary in the world, where tiger census was done on the basis of footprint count.

Palamu Tiger Reserve Area

Palamu Tiger Reserve encompasses a total area of 1,129.93 square kilometers. Palamu Tiger Reserve forms part of Betla National Park and Palamau Wildlife Sanctuary.

  • Core/Critical tiger habitat : 414.08 Km2
  • Buffer/peripheral area : 715.85 Km2
  • Total : 1129.93 Km2

The core or critical tiger habitat within Palamu Tiger Reserve covers an area of 414.08 square kilometers (km2). This core area is of significant importance for the conservation and protection of Bengal tigers and their habitats.

The buffer or peripheral area surrounding the core habitat extends over 715.85 square kilometers (km2). The buffer area serves as a transition zone that provides additional support for wildlife conservation while allowing for limited human activities.

Taken together, the total area of Palamu Tiger Reserve is 1,129.93 square kilometers (km2), as per the figures you provided.

Tiger Corridor

The Palamu Tiger Reserve is connected to other tiger reserves through tiger corridors, facilitating the movement of tigers and promoting genetic diversity. Two important tiger corridors associated with Palamu Tiger Reserve are:

(i) Palamau-Sanjay-Bandhavgarh Tiger Corridor:

This corridor connects Palamu Tiger Reserve in Jharkhand with Sanjay-Dubri Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh and further extends to Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, also located in Madhya Pradesh. It provides a crucial linkage for tigers to move across these reserves, promoting genetic exchange and maintaining healthy tiger populations.

(ii) Palamau-Badalkhol-Achanakmar-Kanha Tiger Corridor:

This corridor connects Palamu Tiger Reserve with Badalkhol Wildlife Sanctuary in Chhattisgarh, then extends to Achanakmar Tiger Reserve in Chhattisgarh and further links to Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh. This corridor facilitates the movement of tigers between these reserves, contributing to their conservation and genetic connectivity.

These tiger corridors play a vital role in maintaining the long-term survival and genetic viability of tiger populations. They allow for dispersal, gene flow, and recolonization of suitable habitats, reducing the risk of isolation and promoting the overall health and resilience of the tiger population across the landscape.

Palamu Tiger Reserve Hills

(1) Netarhat Hills:

Netarhat is a popular hill station located in the Latehar district of Jharkhand, which is adjacent to Palamu Tiger Reserve. It is known for its breathtaking views, pleasant climate, and dense forests. Netarhat Hills offer a refreshing escape and are often considered the 'Queen of Chotanagpur.'

Palamu Tiger Reserve River

In Palamu Tiger Reserve, several rivers flow through the valleys, enriching the region's ecosystems and contributing to its biodiversity. Three prominent rivers in the reserve are the North Koel River, Auranga River, and Burha River.

(1) North Koel River: 

The North Koel River is one of the major rivers in the region, flowing through the Palamu Tiger Reserve. It is a tributary of the Sone River and originates in the Netarhat Hills of Jharkhand. The river traverses through dense forests and creates a picturesque landscape within the reserve. The North Koel River is known for its scenic beauty and serves as an important water source for the wildlife in the area.

(2) Auranga River:

The Auranga River is another significant river that flows through the valleys of Palamu Tiger Reserve. It originates in the Netarhat Hills and flows through the reserve, adding to the natural beauty of the region. 

(3) Burha River:

The Burha River also flows through the Palamu Tiger Reserve. It is a tributary of the North Koel River and originates in the Latehar district of Jharkhand. The Burha River, along with its tributaries, meanders through the forests, supporting the rich biodiversity of the reserve.

Palamu Tiger Reserve Flora

Palamu Tiger Reserve is renowned for its diverse and rich flora, which includes various types of vegetation and plant species. The reserve's flora comprises a mix of tropical moist deciduous forests, dry deciduous forests, and bamboo forests. The vegetation in Palamu Tiger Reserve can be classified into the following categories:

Sal Forests: The dominant vegetation type in Palamu Tiger Reserve is sal forest (Shorea robusta). Sal trees, with their tall and straight trunks, form a dense canopy that provides shade and shelter to a wide range of flora and fauna.

Mixed Deciduous Forests: Apart from sal forests, the reserve is also home to mixed deciduous forests. These forests consist of a variety of tree species, including mahua (Madhuca indica), tendu (Diospyros melanoxylon), sidha (Terminalia elliptica), and amla (Phyllanthus emblica), among others.

Bamboo Forests: Palamu Tiger Reserve has extensive bamboo forests, primarily consisting of species like Dendrocalamus strictus and Bambusa arundinacea. Bamboo provides food, shelter, and nesting sites for many animals, including tigers.

Riparian Vegetation: The riverine ecosystems and valleys within the reserve support a diverse range of riparian vegetation. Plants like kachnar (Bauhinia variegata), babul (Acacia nilotica), and semal (Bombax ceiba) thrive in these areas.

Grasslands: Palamu Tiger Reserve also features grasslands, which serve as feeding grounds for herbivores and nesting sites for birds. Grass species such as kansi (Saccharum spontaneum), kunj (Saccharum bengalensis), and wild sugarcane (Saccharum ravennae) can be found in these areas.

Medicinal and Aromatic Plants: The reserve is home to various medicinal and aromatic plants, including neem (Azadirachta indica), ashoka (Saraca asoca), amla (Emblica officinalis), and safed musli (Chlorophytum borivilianum), among others.

Palamu Tiger Reserve Fauna (Palamu Tiger Reserve Animals)

Palamu Tiger Reserve is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including numerous mammal, bird, reptile, and amphibian species. The reserve's varied ecosystems, including forests, grasslands, and riverine habitats, support a thriving fauna population. 

Here are some notable species found in Palamu Tiger Reserve:


  • Tiger
  • Asiatic Elephant
  • Leopard
  • Grey Wolf
  • Wild Dog
  • Gaur
  • Sloth Bear
  • Four Horned Antelope
  • Sambar Deer 
  • Chital
  • Indian Muntjac (Barking Deer)


  • Indian Peafowl
  • Malabar Pied Hornbill
  • Asian Paradise Flycatcher
  • Crested Serpent Eagle
  • Indian Pitta
  • Great Hornbill
  • Black-hooded Oriole
  • White-rumped Vulture
  • Green Bee-eater
  • Rufous Treepie
  • Indian Roller
  • Changeable Hawk-Eagle


  • Indian Rock Python
  • King Cobra
  • Russell's Viper
  • Indian Cobra
  • Common Krait
  • Checkered Keelback
  • Indian Chameleon 
  • Indian Monitor Lizard

Top Things to do in Palamu Tiger Reserve

When visiting Palamu Tiger Reserve, there are several activities and experiences that nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers can enjoy. Here are some top things to do in Palamu Tiger Reserve:

  • Wildlife Safari
  • Birdwatching
  • Nature Walks and Trekking
  • Visit Betla National Park
  • Tribal Village Visits
  • Nature Photography
  • Visit Waterfalls
  • Nature Interpretation Centre
  • Enjoy Picnics and Camping
  • Learn about Conservation Efforts

Palamu Tiger Reserve UPSC Questions

Q. Where is Palamu Tiger Reserve?/Where Betla Tiger Reserve is?

A. Palamu/Betla Tiger Reserve is located in Latehar District of Jharkhand, India.

Q. Which river flows through Palamau Tiger Reserve?/Which river is Palamu Tiger Reserve?

A. North Koel River, Auranga River, and Burha River flow through the Palamu Tiger Reserve.

Q. What is the Palamu Tiger Reserve famous for?

A. Palamu Tiger Reserve is primarily famous for being one of the original tiger reserves in India and for its efforts in conserving the critically endangered Bengal tigers. Here are the main reasons why Palamu Tiger Reserve is famous:

  • Bengal Tigers
  • Conservation Success
  • Rich Biodiversity
  • Scenic Landscapes
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Trekking and Nature Walks
  • Betla National Park

Palamu Tiger Reserve

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