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Old 2nd November 2012, 04:14   #31
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Default Re: Rambling inside the forests of Jharkhand

It was completely a no road scenario and in a super duper pathetic condition. Thank god it did not rain otherwise the craters would have disappeared under water and would have been very difficult to drive the sedan and the hatch. If anybody is interested in some sort of off roading on a national highway, this is the place.
Let the pictures continue

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Around this place, we saw around 10-15 local guys stopping lorries and extorting money. Suddenly, while we were crossing the group just on my right we saw 4-5 guys started hitting one truck with sledgehammer, pelting stones just because the truck denied paying them and at that point of time i could not move forward as the truck was blocking my way and until and unless it moved i could not proceed. They pulled down the driver and literally started bashing him up and he started bleeding profusely. In the meanwhile we were just spectators and hoping that the sledgehammer blows does not fall on our car. They were all frantically beating each other up and someone moved the truck in the meantime and we sneaked out of that place.

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Entry point to Betla

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It was almost 6.30 pm we reached Betla and it was pretty eerie while driving inside the jungles at that time as not even the locals venture outside after dusk.

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We reached our tree house inside Betla national forest and we liked it. Very calm and quite. We got freshened up and roamed about a bit but we were cautioned not to venture too much. We had a extended lunch for dinner and crashed for the day. We were very eager to venture inside the jungles and Day 3 was the day when we enter inside the core jungles of Betla, Latehar and Gotang with a Jeep for some great off-roading. Naxal issues, bad roads and excellent vistas all around are waiting for us. Stay tuned as the journey unfolds.
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Old 2nd November 2012, 10:33   #32
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Default Re: Rambling inside the forests of Jharkhand

Quote:
Originally Posted by A.G.The Rambler View Post
It was completely a no road scenario and in a super duper pathetic condition. Thank god it did not rain otherwise the craters would have disappeared under water and would have been very difficult to drive the sedan and the hatch.
I guess the two main reasons why tourism is not popular in Jharkhand are bad roads and the security issues. Almost all highways in this state are broken down, except for the Patna-Ranchi-Jamshedpur road. Thanks really for the pictures.
Quote:
Originally Posted by A.G.The Rambler View Post
We reached our tree house inside Betla national forest and we liked it. Very calm and quite. We got freshened up and roamed about a bit but we were cautioned not to venture too much. We had a extended lunch for dinner and crashed for the day. We were very eager to venture inside the jungles and Day 3 was the day when we enter inside the core jungles of Betla, Latehar and Gotang with a Jeep for some great off-roading. Naxal issues, bad roads and excellent vistas all around are waiting for us.
Please post some photos of the tree house as well and please write in detail about your experiences there. Did you go the the ruined fort inside the jungle?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Sorry, no pictures. Rahul, or some local can fill you in.
@Rahul
Please ask your friend whether that plaque (along with the gate post) is original or not. My mental image is different.
Dear Sutriptada,
I asked my friend in Hazaribagh about the picture I showed you earlier. He says that the gate is indeed 15-16 feet wide and to highlight the marble plaque he has to take the picture from an acute angle. He also has a picture of the main house, which I like to share with you.
Rambling inside the forests of Jharkhand-untitled.jpg
The credit of this photo also goes to Mr. Ashish Kumar, a young man from Hazaribagh, who stays presently at Bangalore.
Regards,
Rahul

Last edited by rahul4640 : 2nd November 2012 at 10:34.
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Old 2nd November 2012, 14:10   #33
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Default Re: Rambling inside the forests of Jharkhand

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Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
I guess the two main reasons why tourism is not popular in Jharkhand are bad roads and the security issues. Almost all highways in this state are broken down, except for the Patna-Ranchi-Jamshedpur road. Thanks really for the pictures.

Please post some photos of the tree house as well and please write in detail about your experiences there. Did you go the the ruined fort inside the jungle?
You are right, all roads in Jharkhand are bad. NH 33(Barhi to Ranchi) is the only exception and NH 75 is being relaid. Last year i drove through NH 33 from Baharagora to Jamshedpur and that was equally bad. Let me put up couple of pictures of that route.

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The pictures speaks, Pathetic !
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Old 2nd November 2012, 15:09   #34
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Default Re: Rambling inside the forests of Jharkhand

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Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post

You know about it? I am really sorry to say that it is not at all in very good shape. Here is a picture for you, although it is not mine. This is taken by Mr. Ashish Kumar, a resident of Hazaribagh.

Lots of trees from the huge compound has been chopped off in the pretext of making a bypass road. And the area of the compound is reduced in such a way that when it gets completed, this famed heritage building will only be fifty feet or so away from the road.
Even Google is not throwing up much info on "Gibraltar+Jharkhand" combo.
Someone care to let us know what this building is all about?
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Old 3rd November 2012, 00:08   #35
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Even Google is not throwing up much info on "Gibraltar+Jharkhand" combo. Someone care to let us know what this building is all about?
This building is not really something very important. It is actually a heritage building of a Bengali nobleman, who was one of the early settlers of Hazaribagh town. Many Bengali movies were shot there (both inside the large building as well as outside of it, in the very big compound). And although I have once been told by a local person that it is actually a haunted house, I had no reason to believe it. But I am almost certain that the whoever the present owners are, they do not live there permanently. It is occupied only by the caretaker, one or two staffs and some security guard wearing khaki uniform.
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Old 3rd November 2012, 11:27   #36
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Default Re: Rambling inside the forests of Jharkhand

It does take a lot of courage to take this route. Hats off to you, once again. We are probably going back in time, when the roads along this route, used to be much better in shape, about a decade back.

The entry to Betla. If I remember correctly, is this the junction where the straight road goes to Daltongunj and left turn leads to Betla?
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Old 3rd November 2012, 12:58   #37
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My sincere compliments for undertaking this journey. Need some guts considering the reports from this area. Its surprising to know that there are villages which are being "discovered".

BTW, did you encounter any security related issues/situation? or Did you get that eerie feeling anytime while travelling?

I assume the details on the accommodation etc would be covered.
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Old 3rd November 2012, 15:15   #38
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Default Re: Rambling inside the forests of Jharkhand

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Originally Posted by Saurabh M View Post
It does take a lot of courage to take this route. Hats off to you, once again. We are probably going back in time, when the roads along this route, used to be much better in shape, about a decade back.

The entry to Betla. If I remember correctly, is this the junction where the straight road goes to Daltongunj and left turn leads to Betla?
Thanks!
The gate we were standing in front of is the entry towards Betla on NH 75. The position we were standing in, on the right hand side Daltonganj is around 12 kms and on the left hand side it goes towards Ranchi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaureanBull View Post
My sincere compliments for undertaking this journey. Need some guts considering the reports from this area. Its surprising to know that there are villages which are being "discovered".

BTW, did you encounter any security related issues/situation? or Did you get that eerie feeling anytime while travelling?

I assume the details on the accommodation etc would be covered.
Thanks!
Definitely there were many eerie situations and i would come to that later on while proceeding. I would also detail everything about the accommodation as well.
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Old 4th November 2012, 00:12   #39
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Default Re: Rambling inside the forests of Jharkhand

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The gate we were standing in front of is the entry towards Betla on NH 75. The position we were standing in, on the right hand side Daltonganj is around 12 kms and on the left hand side it goes towards Ranchi.
Quote:
Originally Posted by A.G.The Rambler View Post
You are right, all roads in Jharkhand are bad. NH 33(Barhi to Ranchi) is the only exception and NH 75 is being relaid.
Dear Anish,
Do you have any idea whether the Ranchi-Latehar stretch of NH-75 been upgraded already? Where do I deviate from NH-75, so that I may attempt to visit Betla? I was told by Mr. Chandranath Sarkar (who is not a member of this forum but is a close friend of yours too) that he had recently driven to Jamshedpur from Calcutta and the road (via Chandil) was not so bad. I think Jamshedpur-Ranchi is also not much of a problem to manage with small cars.

And please continue with your travelogue.
Regards,
Rahul

Last edited by rahul4640 : 4th November 2012 at 00:14. Reason: Adding text
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Old 5th November 2012, 13:45   #40
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Default Re: Rambling inside the forests of Jharkhand

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Dear Anish,
Do you have any idea whether the Ranchi-Latehar stretch of NH-75 been upgraded already? Where do I deviate from NH-75, so that I may attempt to visit Betla? I was told by Mr. Chandranath Sarkar (who is not a member of this forum but is a close friend of yours too) that he had recently driven to Jamshedpur from Calcutta and the road (via Chandil) was not so bad. I think Jamshedpur-Ranchi is also not much of a problem to manage with small cars.

And please continue with your travelogue.
Regards,
Rahul
Last month when i drove the NH 75(Ranchi-Daltonganj) route some sections were very bad and some sections were good and most of the bad sections were being relaid or under repair. The culverts were broken everywhere though. If you are coming from Daltonganj the exit towards Betla is around 10-12 kms on the right hand side.
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Old 22nd November 2012, 17:59   #41
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Am back after a break, was caught up with a lot of work !

Day 3 : Betla Forest - Latehar Forest - Garu - Mahuadabar - Lodh and back

Okay, so today is the day when we venture deep inside the core jungle areas. Last night we were all very thrilled and excited once we reached the outskirts of the forests and now we were all very delighted that at last we were moving in, though we were also a bit apprehensive thinking about what is there in our fate inside the forests but the excitement of new land, routes and the thrill of venturing inside an unknown territory super-ceded our apprehensiveness.

Morning 7 o clock was the scheduled time for us to leave but after waking up a bit late and after a good sumptuous breakfast we finally left our hut at 9 am for the jungles.

Lets have a look into couple of maps first:

Overall Jharkhand stretch we covered :

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Day 3 of our jungle stretch :

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So, this is route we are going to travel today. We leave the outskirts of Betla forest and move into the core Betla forest, then Latehar forest which is known for its greater maoist activities till lodh.

Lets have the pictologue:

The Tree House

Deers roamed around this tree house and what an excellent environment and ambiance it was. Awesome to say the least !

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The JEEP. This is the vehicle we took to ramble inside the jungle.

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We crossed a check post and after couple of kilometers from there we were slowly entering the lonely jungle stretch. There were very small couple of hamlets where people stay in small huts with small paddy's alongside where they grow crops. We observed some 'machans' on the trees from where locals shoo away the wild elephants which plunders their paddy.

We drove through the jungles snaking in between the trees and it was a very soothing experience. No pollution, no hustle and bustle of cars, buses except couple of occasional jeeps ferrying locals. Super cool breeze and clean air which we were breathing in and one can feel the difference, very rejuvenating for the mind, eyes, body and defiantly our lungs.

Some pictures while we were entering the core jungle areas:

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One can imagine how beautiful it is.

Lets have a look at a motion picture of that region.




continued
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Old 23rd November 2012, 12:14   #42
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Very soothing. Beautiful roads through pristine forests. Bliss

Thanks for sharing. Rated 5 stars
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Old 23rd November 2012, 17:52   #43
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Army patrol was huge throughout the region. Patrol cars, numerous check posts and army establishments were present everywhere. All of them in very alert positions all around. Couple of months back a a rail gate keeper was kidnapped and a ransom of Rs 5 lakhs was demanded from his family but he managed to flee when the naxals were busy drinking at night. However, we kept moving forward enjoying the amazing bliss and scenery all around and listening to the stories from one of the local guys. Now we were driving through the core areas of betla forest. It was a out of the world feeling but eerie as well, it was very desolate. Mother nature at its best. Very clean and natural and the beauty has not been spoilt due to very very rare tourist. Cannot imagine what will happen to these places if tourists start pouring in frequently. Will it be possible to preserve the natural beauty of this place or not! That's a question to the future ! Lets have some pictures please.

The core areas

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The Koel River cuts through the Betla forest range. One side is the Betla forest range and the other side is the Latehar forest range

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We crossed the bridge over river Koel into the Latehar forest range

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Driving through the dense jungles of Latehar

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The vast expanse of the forest from a small hill top while winding up

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Amazing views all around. Mesmerizing, felt like sitting there quietly for some time and enjoy the quietness. But we were warned not to get tied up somewhere or do anything so that we get noticed. So considering the situation we moved ahead.

Few months back a army patrol van was blasted off by maoists where 11 army personal were killed. Below is the picture of the blasted van.

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You can see how dense the jungles are, a best place for the naxals to massacre and get lost inside the deep jungles.

Let have a motion picture played.




continued.
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Old 23rd November 2012, 18:46   #44
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We reached a very small town called Mahuadabar. This town has 1 petrol pump, 1 Sbi Atm, few shops and a solitary medical shop. All the jeeps and buses plying in that route were barging towards the lone petrol pump in a big queue for filling up. From Mahuadabar to the left is Netarhat which is approx 30 kms and we took the 2nd exit on the right hand side towards Lodh for some offroading inside the jungles. In the meanwhile in a small shop we ordered some food for lunch which they would cook and keep it ready for us while we would return. The order was rice and 'bono murghi' (wild cock), cocks taste excellent and better than chicken.

The road started to deteriorate considerably and after few kilometers there was nothing. The SH9 is most probably maintained by the army for which it was in good condition. Lets go through some pictures.

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Small streams flowing through

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Excellent views all around

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It was very exciting from here on. The branches were all creeping inside our jeep and we had our share of bruises as well !

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From here on we start our offroading and lot of exciting stories coming up.
Enjoy and stay tuned !
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Old 26th November 2012, 19:07   #45
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We moved on. Slowly the stains of tarmac disappeared and we were greeted by mud, slush, stones, rocks, small streams all the way inside the jungles. It was becoming darker and more cooler as we drove inside the jungles. It was an awesome experience as we moved in. Let the pictures do the talking.

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Exquisite, as if somebody has painted this picture.

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A motion picture of the way inside the jungle





A motion picture as we reach the dead end after Lodh



And what do we see there, a magnificent waterfall. The locals call it the Lodh Falls. This river originates from Chattisgarh on the other side.

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These steps among the grasses and bushes goes right to the base of the falls.

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We spend some time there. Pictures here and there, roamed around a bit but had to return early as we could not stick around at one place for a longer time due to security reasons.

continued.

Last edited by A.G.The Rambler : 26th November 2012 at 19:11.
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