“The vicinity, the beautiful cliff and undulating terrain under the feet, the shroud of emerald greens, the eyes reflecting the glittering sunshine of the rising sun, the ears filled with the humming of birds and gurgling of water racing in meandering live streams, the nose breathing fresh cool air, the energy of nature at its work, where darkness rules in the middle of the day, where the power of logic vanishes to differentiate between reality and imagination, when you lost in infinite in adoring the beauty of nature then you must be in the kingdom of Sal Forest in Saranda.”
The forest of Saranda is the most exquisite gift of the nature. Its grandeur, bewitching charm and splendor keep one spell bound. Perhaps nature could have been more generous in adoring the contours of its seven hundred. Onlooker gazing from one of the several hills peaks at the panorama will readily agree. The landscape presents a beautiful view of hills upon hills with thickly wooded valleys and meandering live streams. There could not have been a most significant moments of one’s life to get an opportunity to visit this kingdom of Sal trees with nature bounty and rich biodiversity.
Saranda Forest is about 80 Kms from Chaibasa and is well connected from Ranchi and Jamshedpur.
Birsa Munda Airport : 200 Kms.
Jamshedpur: 170 Kms.
Nearest Railway Station is Bada Jamada, Barbil and Manoharpur, these are well connected by Major railway station such as Jamshedpur and Rourkela.
Direct bus links to / from Jamshedpur, Ranchi and Chaibasa.
Best time to visit is October to March.
July, August and September is the monsoon season and the area at its best greenery during these period and you can enjoy the showers of monsoon.
Above all, come with open eyes and ears, and more importantly, an open heart!!
Accommodation Facilities provided by Saranda Forest Division
|Sl. No||Location||No. Of Rooms||Facilities|
|1||Kiriburu||4||All basic facilities are available.|
|2||Tholkobad||2||No electricity facility|
|3||Baraiburu||2||All basic facilities are available.|
|4||Manoharpur||2||All basic facilities are available.|
|5||Jaraikela||2||All basic facilities are available.|
|6||Chaibasa||3||All basic facilities are available.|
1. Always carry drinking water.
2. Do not disturb or tease animals.
3. Give way to animals first.
4. Carry a first aid kit with medicines for common ailments.
5. Avoid smoking and do not carry any inflammable materials to avoid forest fire.
6. Please do not litter the surroundings.
7. Respect animals and their habitat.
8. Remember- Do not leave anything but footprints, do not take anything but memories from Nature’s own Abode.
9. Don't throw any plastic or non- disposable material inside the forest.
The Kolhan estate, which embraces the forests of Saranda Division, was formerly the property of the Raja of Porhat, then Knows as the Raja of Singhbhum. It was placed under the management of Government in the year 1836. The first settlement took place in the following year. Subsequent settlements were made in the years of 1855, 1867, 1897 and 1918. The forests were reserved in 1882. Prior to reservation the upper and steeper slopes of the forests were subjected to extensive “Jhuming “ or “ Shifting” cultivation, while on the lower slopes and level lands “gora” or dry cultivatiom was practiced.The first investigation into the question of reserving forests in Chhotanagpur was sponsored by Dr. Anderson, the Conservator of Forests, Bengal in 1864. An area of 1,99,740 acres, as originally estimated was notified under section 4 of Indian Forest Act 1878 on 26th November ,1880 and was finally declared on 17th May,1882 reserved forest under section 19 , but with effect from the 1st April 1889.Although Saranda was notified as a reserve with effect from 1882 and the demarcation was reported as complete in 1882, parts of the boundaries long remain uncertain. The notification specified the boundaries here as the common border of Singhbhum with that of the states of Keonhjar , Bonai and Gangpur. The Sate boundaries however were not clearly marked on the ground. The Keonjhar boundary, for instance, was not finally demarcated till 1899. Uncertainties regarding the correct boundaries of these forests continued in varying degrees until the forest survey of 1903 finally clarified the position. A small dispute on the Bonai State border involving 166 acres was settled in favor of Saranda in 1912.
The Sal forests of Saranda division conform broadly to Champion Seth and they are.
The area is a part of Chhotanagpur bio-geographic zone and the landscape merges with forests of Odisha and Chhattisgarh. The continuity in forests makes it vast, harboring a rich plant and animal wealth including a number of endemics and endangered ones. The area is also important in terms of elephant movement providing habitat to the Central Indian elephant population moving between Odisha, part of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
The forests of Saranda supports a large number of people especially those from the Ho, Munda, Uraon, Santhal and some primitive tribes community . Almost every households depend upon forests in collecting forest products like honey, mushroom , Mahua flower and seeds , Sal leaves, Ciyal leaves , Medicinal plants , Forest Wood , Firewood , Poles, Thatching Grass, Kusum and Palas (for Lac production), Green Manure, Tooth Brush, Tamarind and various fruits etc. The number of streams leading to rivers also is the life line of the people in the villages supporting their agricultural activities. The conservation of this area will secure the livelihood of the people.
Nearly 80% of the human population of this region belongs to tribal communities of Ho, Munda, Uraon and some primitive tribes. All these tribes have lived with forests for centuries. The rituals, festivals, and their culture is always forest based. They worship trees like Sal and Karam and protect varieties of wildlife as custom. Each and every tribal village has a sacred grove (SARNA) of about 2-5 acres of forests. The region is scenically important locations in the hills and valleys. The Saranda, which is known as land of seven hundred hills is aesthetically important and could be a major source of livelihood through eco-tourism.
There are two main drainage systems in this division divided by a watershed of over 610 meters which runs north from Bhangaon to Tholkobad then west to Tirilposi and finally turns south-west to Nawagaon village. The southern and smaller system includes most of Tholkobad and southern half of Tirilposi Blocks and contains the catchment area of Rangangara , the Poramui and Nawagaon nalas. These flow south through Bonai state and finally immerse in the Brahmini River. Rangangara originates from near Tholkobad is perennial throughout its course of about ten miles in this division.
The other drainages system comprising the bulk of the area of this division drains northward into south Koel. The chief rivers from east to west are the Karo, Koina, Lailor, Tentri, Samta, Kalia and Pitidiri. Karo being the largest and perennial drains only a small area in Ghatkuri Block, as it passes through only the fringe of this division. The Koina is by far the most important river of this division. It originates in the extreme south above Bhangaon village on the Bonal border. It flows for about fifty miles through the forests of this division and falls into south Koel at Mohanpur. 304.80 Sq.Km. of reserved forests lies in this catchment area. Millions of people in the villages within and down streams spread in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand and districts of Odisha are benefitted from the rivers originating from the area.
The forest of Saranda is not under any Protected Area. But the diverse vegetation types result in a very rich plant and animal wealth.
Saranda Forests represents a unique habitat for orchids including all the 11 species of Dendrobium genus. The Tholkobad at a height of 550 m in the heart of the forest represents a very special habitat for orchids including all the 11 species of Dendrobiums. It is the home for the last remnant population of Bulbophyllum, an epiphytic orchid represented by a single species, Bulbophyllum crassipes. Pecteilis triflora, which is recorded from the area is found only at two places in India, one being Saranda forests and the other is in the Western Himalaya in Tons Valley, Uttarkhand. Bulbophyllum crassipes and the Pecteilis triflora (literature base) are the two species reported to occur only in Kiriburu cluster as their distribution is restricted only to the Saranda forest.
The Ligarda swamp area of the Tholkobad area is well known due to the exclusive flora. This swamp was with unique vegetation dominated by the members of the family Zingiberaceae such as Hedychium coronarium and other families of sedges and grasses. The swamp was deep enough to engulf huge wild Elephants and was surrounded by dense Sal forests. Rajhans mentions about the distribution of Licuala peltata, Calamus viminalis the common palms in small swamp area. The species of wild banana Musa ornate and Musa sapientum with Eugenia operculata, Lasia heterophylla, Amomum dealbatum, Zingibera roseum, Curculigo recurvata, Carex phaota species and many Aroids species were reported to be common. The interesting Ferns (Pteridophyta) Gleichenia linearis and Lycopodium cernuum were also seen in this area. Piper species was recorded only from this area. A few of the elsewhere less abundant species observed in this area include Ziziphus rugosa, Costus speciosus, Hedychium coronarium, Bulbophyllum crassipes and Ophioglossum species. Alstonia scholaris and Artoarpus lagucha. The forest of Saranda is also the home to several species of animals( 28 species of mammals, 60 species of birds, 20 species of reptiles, 8 species of amphibians and 63 species of butterflies).