Palamu Fort

Palamu Fort-Bihar
From the Alamgirnama we learn that the Northern frontier of Palamau was only 50 miles from Patana the seat of the Chero Raja was something of a city. It was fairly well populated with many bazaars and protected by two strong Forts, one on the summit of neighbouring hill, the other on the plain. There are two extensive forts of bricks and stone which are worth a visit. The walls, which are in fair preservation, are about 5 feet in thickness, and that the old fort bears marks of canon balls and bullets in many places . The gate leading to the old fort, the court room, and temple and Zanana quarters of the Raja as also the two deep but silted up wells in the old fort are very interesting.  

Most interesting of all is the massive and beautifully carved stone gate ‘The Nagpuri gate’in the new fort and a round room, in which a well had been sunk to provide a supply of drinking water incase of a siege.The Auranga river flows close by. There are high hills and dense jungles all around. On the frontier, there were three great Forts, viz, Kothi,Kunda and Devagan , and it was against these that Daud khan proceeded to march.

He left Patana with a strong force on April 3, 1660. He reached Kothi, 6 miles south of Imamganj in the south of Gaya district on May 5, only to find that enemy had abandoned it. He than moved on to Kunda, a strong hill fort, 14 miles south-south east, but this short distance took his army just a month to traverse. This shows how the area was covered with dense forests and wild animals. But Doud khan determined to advance methodically and to secure a safe line of communication. He set his army to clear the jungle and make a road. On June 3, he reached Kunda and found that this fort also had been in evacuated. He razed the fort to the ground and than he camped his army, as further advanced was prevented by the approach of to rains. he fortified the encampments being built at short distances between Kothi and Kunda in each of which he placed a garrison.

On October 25, at the end of the rains, the army 6,400 strong, resumed its march,but the progress was very slow owing to the very cautious tactics of Daud khan. A large body of pioneers was sent ahead to clear the forest and to make a road. Out posts were established along the line of March. Every evening entrenchment were thrown up round the camp to prevent surprise attacks at night. In nine day the army had only advanced twenty mile, reaching Lohersi near Amanat river on November 3. Here some time was spent in fruitless negotiations but by December 9, Daud khan had penetrated within two miles of Palamu. The cheros, advancing from the forts, threw up entrenchments and prepared to make a final stand.

Daud khan then offered the Chero Raja the final terms of the Emperor, viz. that he should submit, embrace Islam and hold his state as a tributary chief. Before a reply was received one of Daud khan’s captains unable suppress the eagerness of his soldiers attacked the enemy’s outworks on December 17.Daud Khan, hearing of the engagement, pushed forward with the rest of his force, threw up entrenchments within the enemys fire, and commenced a bombard ment, which lasted till sunset and put an end to the fighting. During the night, the cheros brought two large canons from the fort, and mounting them on their bastions completely dominated Daud Khans trenches which were on a lower level. The Muslims were equal to the emergency. They spotted a hill overlooking enemys position and dragged their guns up the hill opened fire and quickly silenced the enemr.

The fighting had now lasted three days and the Cheros unable to hold their position, retreated to the banks of the river and proceeded to erect breastworks along the line of hills running parallel to them and to barricade the passes. Daud Khan following the same plan of clearing the country as he advanced, spent two or three days in felling the forest which intervened between him and the enemy, and then ordered a general advance. After a stubborn fight of Six hours duration the Cheros fled into the fort.

It had been Daud’s original plan to occupy the trenches dug by the enemy, and commence a siege. But the Muslim soldiers could not check their fury, and rushing to the river they crossed it and attacked the fortifications which surrounded the town at foot of the fort. The Cheros withdrew to the higher fort, where the Raja, who had sent his whole family and valuables away to the jungles, continued the defence. The imperialists, in the meantime, had taken the lower fortifications and stood before the gate of the upper fort, where the fight raged, till the first watch of the evening. Half a watch later, the Raja fled to the jungle, whole fort was occupied by Daud’s army .The town was cleared of the Hindus, their temples were destroyed and the prayer for Allah’s glory filled the place.
Location info:
Address:Palamau Fort,Daltonganj,Jarkhanad,India
Nearest City:Daltonganj
Best time to visit: October to May
The best time to visit the park is between February and April. The region experiences extreme weather conditions with the maximum temperature rising to 40°C in summers. The winters are also quite severe with the minimum temperature dropping to as low as 3°C. The tourists should carry light cotton clothes during the summers and heavy woolens during the winters.
The early history of PALAMU is not authentic but we have legends about it. It is, however certain that kharwars, oraons and cheros, the three aboriginal races practically ruled over the tract. The kharwars claim to be suryavanshi Kshatriyas. They trace their decent from Ajanagara or Ayodhya. Karusa was the sixth son of Manu Vaivasata and he was assigned the eastern territory. The descendants of Karusa were called Karusas who subsequently came to be known as Karwars or kharwars. According to tradition they were the rulers of Rohtasgarh. The kharawars point to the days of the Pratapadhaval, one of the line of chiefs who ruled there in the twelfth century A.D., during the time of their greatest prosperity.  

The cheros have been spoken in very high terms in the Aitareya Aranyaka along with the Vangas and Magadhas. They did not observe the Vedic sacrifices and still they are termed as revered cheroscheropadas. There is not much evidence to show that the Cheros came to this region from Kumaun as some think.

The Mandas claim decent from Karusas. The Ramayana records their flight to the south. Some say that these aboriginals played the band at the time of Rama ’s coronation at Ayodhya and they were assigned this region in lieu of their meritorious services. The Pandawas killed Jarasandha – an ally of the Mand. Naturally in the Mahabharat war the Mandas sided with the kauravas and were in the army of Bhisma. Sanjaya says that on the left wing of Bhisma are the Karusas with the Mandas, Vikunja and Kundivarsa Satyiki compares the Mandas with the demons and boasts that he would put an end them just as Indra ended the demons . Arjuna is said to have married a Naga princess from this region and Babhruvahana was born of this lady.
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Interesting things to Visit:
The general line of drainpipe is from south to north towards the SON, which forms parts of the northern boundary of the districts .The principals rivers are Koel and its tributaries, the Auranga and the Amanat. There are also last of smaller streams, most of which are mere mountain torrents which rock–strewn beds. The Koel Auranga and Amanat are similar in this respect for their upper reaches are characterized by high banks Generally rugged and occasionally precipitous with a rapid stream dashing over boulders and shingle or gliding. Calmly, except in time of spate, in shadow parts terminated by rocky barriers. Further north these rivers have deep sandy beds, into which the water sinks out of sight in the hot weather, percolating through the soft sand. Until some outcrop of rock arrests its course and forces it to the surface.  

sunset point:
Palamu dak bungalow and sunset at Mangolia point about six miles from the Public school. It is advisable that tourist must see the Sunrise and Sunset in Neterhat. Presently Netarhat is situated in new created district Latehar from Palamu. The vegetation in this region comprises moist deciduous and dry deciduous forests and includes sal and bamboo as the major components. The western part of the Reserve is composed of dry deciduous forests and the other part shows characters of moist mixed deciduous nature. The entire area has a good distribution of bamboo breaks. The herbarium recently prepared by the Tiger Reserve authorities records a good number of medicinal plants.

Palamau National Park:
The Palamau National Park is located in the western part of the Chotanagpur plateau in the state of Bihar. The region extends from the latitude 23°25′-23°55′ in the North to the longitude 83°50′-84°25′ in the East. The park is spread over a core area of 250 square kilometers and is also known as the Betla National Park. Palamau is situated within the Indo-Malayan realm and is rich in flora and fauna, though the area is prone to severe droughts. The Palamau National Park was brought under Project Tiger in the year 1973. It is among the first nine Tiger Reserves of the country. The core area of the park was declared as a National Park in September 1989.
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Opposite Daltonganj on the west bank of the Koel is the village SHAHPUR in which Gopal Rai, the Raja of Palamu built a palace in the end of the 18th century. Shahpur stands on a high tract of land and the ruined place, the white temple and the masonry building present a picturesque view from Daltonganj. A nearer view of the palace is disappointing for what looks in the distance like an imposing edifice is seen to be half- finished building of little architectural importance.  

Palamau on the Auranga river , 20 miles south-east of Daltonganj as the crow flies, from which the district takes its name is for historian and archaeologist the most interesting place in the district, for it was for many years the seat of the Chero chiefs and it contains the ruins of the two great forts built by them, the capture of which by Mughals and later by the British resulted in the collapse of the Chero resistance, the forts lie within the reserved forests and in order to preserve them the jungle has to be cut back at intervals .they are a favourite haunt of tigers, whose pug marks may nearly always be seen in and around the fort.The walls which are in preservation are about 5 feet in thickness and those of the old fort bear marks of cannon balls and bullets in many places.

The plateau of Netarhat in Palamu district is comparatively unknown to the tourists from outside although it is one of the rare beauty spots which is capable of great development. About a century back, it is understood, there was a military camp at Netarhat. The camp had to close down because sufficient good water was not available. It was left to Sir Edward Gait, Lt. Governor of Bihar and Orissa to give a great Importance to the plateau. Sir Edward and after him many of the Bihar and Orissa and later Bihar Governors use to spend a part of the summer exodus at Netarhat . Netarhat although situated in Palamau District is more easily accessible from Ranchi, the summer head quarter of the Old Bihar Govt. it is at a distance of 96 miles from Ranchi, the last 12 miles of which commencing from Banari runs through the hilly section and is typical of any of the other hill stations. There is an excellent all weather road of morum which is capable of widening at some places. The cars can pass conveniently.

Betla is situated at 25 km. away from Daltonganj, 70 km. from Latehar and 170 km. From Ranchi. It is well connected by Rail and Road. The nearest airport is Ranchi which is about 180 km. From Daltonganj and 195 km. From Betla and patna air port is about 250 kms. From Betla, the tourist headquarter of the Palamu Tiger Reserve. Daltonganj and Barwadih is an important Railway station where all trains have stoppage. Betla is most important tourist place of jharkhand having luxiuriant Sal and miscellaneous trees and bamboo forests. 226 sq. km. Of Betla forest has been declared as Betla National Park and 753 sq. km. Of forest has been declared as Palamu Sanctuary. The forest starts from Kechki and extended up to Neterhat. The forest has 970 species of identified plants, 174 species of birds, 39 species of Mammals, 180 species of Medicinal plants, besides reptiles and other species.

Netarhat plateau:
A plateau, four miles long and two and a half miles broad. It is in the extreme of the district, the highest point of which is 3,800 feet above the sea level. It is in Mahuadanr police station and is 96 miles west of Ranchi across seven hills. This is the highest point on the plateau of Chhotanagpur. Netarhat is a place of peculiar charm which has a laid its spell on many casual visitors. The stillness of the jungle and the cool and refreshing air brings relief from the dust and heat of the plains. Netarhat has a game sanctuary amidst pine forest the bestow singular arboreal interest in this part. Some time back it used to be the permanent summer station of the Governor.
Nearest Petrol Pump:
Ambalal Patel Petrol Pump:Near Post office, Ranka More,Garhwa,Jharkhand,ph:06561 222270   Petrol Pump:Chipadohar,Jharkhand,India
Hotel Van Vihar:Betla,Palamu,Jharkhand,India  
Lotus Nikko Bodhgaya Hotel:Bodhgaya,Gaya,Bihar,India
Hotels Bodh Gaya:Bodhgaya,Gaya,Bihar,India
Government Hospital:Garhwa,Jharkhand,India
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Police Station:100
Nearest Hospital:Government Hospital:Garhwa,Jharkhand,India
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