Netarhat Travel Guide


Netarhat Travel Guide

I was travelling to Netarhat after visiting Betla Forest, Betla Fort and Kechki. I have already written blogs about Betla and Kechki so this blog would cover the trip from Betla towards Netarhat. If you are travelling to this part of Jharkhand then people usually do these two places together since these form a part of tourist triangle along with Ranchi.

Route Map
Route Map

 

Betla to Maromar

If you are driving from Betla towards Netarhat then in between you would pass through Maromar. Initially, we planned to spend a night at Maromar Forest Rest House but we were told that at present it’s under renovation. It’s a must to stay here since the forest here is dramatically different from Betla. The forest is much denser and much greener in this part. However, it is also to be noted that this part of the forest is also notorious for high insurgent activity thus limited stops are recommended. Though in recent years it’s much quieter in this part of Jharkhand occasionally some news of disturbance do come up.

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Both Sides of the Road Are filled with red Palash flowers
Landscape Often Changes From Wide Roads to Deep Forest
Landscape Often Changes From Wide Roads to Deep Forest
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Palash Flowers
The Roads Turn Red like Fire
The Roads Turn Red like Fire
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Roads Getting Narrower and Narrower
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Stopping To Enjoy the Scenery
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Spotted Some Sheep Headers
Spotted Some Sheep Headers
Spotted Some Sheep Headers
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Beautiful Maromar Forest Range
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North Koel at Garu
North Koel at Garu
North Koel at Garu

 

Water Falls from Waterfall

Our driver reported low air pressure on the right rear tyre thus we stopped over at Garu for repairs, we also had our breakfast in one of the village shops. We were welcomed and had the best breakfast of the trip, followed by hot freshly prepared Bundi ka Ladoo.

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Sweet Shop Owner Preparing Fresh Bundi ka Ladoo
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Bundi ka Ladoo

We went towards Mahuadand and from there towards Chatakpur which took us towards Lodh Falls. The roads become quite narrow at stretches and often you may think that you have come the wrong way. After driving nearly half an hour through these stretches you finally reach Lodh Falls. It is recommended that you come right after the monsoon season to see the might waterfall at its best.

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Take Right to visit Sugga Bandh
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Vehicles Need to Stop As the Last Section of the Road Needs To Be Walked
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Lodh Falls
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Lodh Falls
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Lodh Falls
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Lodh Falls

 

Netarhat Here We Come

We proceed towards Netarhat hoping to reach there by lunchtime. The scenery starts to change slowly and we soon find ourselves climbing up a hill. We missed a critical turn towards Netarhat and unknowingly proceed towards Ranchi. Luckily I spot the milestone where the Km for Ranchi was decreasing slowly and make an about turn back towards the turn. We reach Netarhat Prabhat Vihar Hotel at around 2.45 PM and quickly have our lunch. The food menu here is similar to that of Betla so we were not much surprised.

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Suddenly There Are No Trees Just Plain Red Soil Landscape
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Interesting Name for a Village – Driving Towards Netarhat
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Entering Netarhat
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Gate Marking the Entrance to Netarhat

At Netarhat you must see Sunset and Sunrise, it’s a real treat to your eyes. We drove towards the Sunset point which is around 5 Km from the hotel. The roads are very nice and properly marked.

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Prabhat Vihar – Netarhat
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Prabhat Vihar – Netarhat (Restaurant)
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Prabhat Vihar – Netarhat
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Prabhat Vihar – Netarhat (Rooms)
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The Place Is Surrounded By Beautiful Flowers
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The Place Is Surrounded By Beautiful Flowers
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The Place Is Surrounded By Beautiful Flowers
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The Place Is Surrounded By Beautiful Flowers

 

Water, Water Everywhere

As we were going our eyes got locked into a blue watery body, we were not aware of this as it was not on our list of destination. We asked Aftab (our driver) to stop and ran towards the lake locally known as Badka Bandh. We saw some local boys pelting stone at an object, as we approached we were warned by them to be careful. It’s then we realized that they were trying to chase away a large snake that had recently ingested some large prey and was busy basking in the evening sun.

We were terrified and started walking slowly, its then we realized that the entire lake area is infested with various types of snakes and that’s the main reason why tourist usually avoid it. However if possible it’s recommended to stop by this lake even from a distance and appreciate its beauty.

You need to drive for another fifteen minutes before you finally reach the Sunset Point but before that, you will pass through some of the most visually stunning landscape of Netarhat. With Pine trees covering the sides this part of the land looks like a piece of heaven on earth.

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Badka Bandh
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Badka Bandh
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Locals Chasing a Snake
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Indian Rock Python (Python Molurus)

 

Sun Goes Down

By the time we reach Sunset Point it was already filled up with a huge contingent of tourists. This place has a good facility in terms of seating arrangements with shade and some sculptures which beautify the viewing point. We positioned ourselves in a secluded corner with a clear view of the hills ahead.

What we got next is a real magic of nature, I witnessed the most beautiful sunset I have even seen from a hill station, and I just cannot describe it by words alone.

We had a quick dinner and went to bed early as we had to wake up early the next morning to see the Sunrise. Luckily the Sunrise Point of Netarhat is just twenty meters from our hotel so we need not take our vehicle.

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Driving Towards Sunset Point
Driving Towards Sunset Point
Driving Towards Sunset Point
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Sunset at Netarhat
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Sunset at Netarhat
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Sunset at Netarhat
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This Is the Moonrise That Night

 

What Goes Down Must Come Up

Woke up around 4.30 AM and went to the terrace of the hotel to see the sun come up. Just as the sunset was spectacular, similarly the sunrise was equally brilliant. Various colours lit up the sky like a canvas with oil paint.

We wanted to depart early as there was nothing else to see so we were ready by 8 AM, Aftab was also ready to take us to the next leg of the journey.

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Sunrise at Netarhat
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Sunrise at Netarhat
Sunrise at Netarhat
Sunrise at Netarhat
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Sunrise at Netarhat
Sunrise at Netarhat
Sunrise at Netarhat

 

Just One Minute from Here

Route Map to Pine Forest and Nashpati Garden
Route Map to Pine Forest and Nashpati Garden

There were few places we wanted to see at Netarhat before heading towards Ranchi, among them we had shortlisted Naspati (Pear) Garden, Pine Forest, Ghagri Falls and Palamu Daak Bunglow. Naspati Garden was an easy find as we were instructed that it’s behind the lake so we took a road that leads to the back of the lake and with fine minutes we were in Naspati Garden. The garden smelt sweet and was in full bloom with white flowers and bees all over them.

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Going Towards Nashpati Garden
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Nashpati Garden
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Nashpati Garden
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Nashpati Garden – Flowers
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Nashpati Garden – Flowers

Our next destination was Upper Ghagri Falls so we asked some locals about the directions, we were instructed to drive ahead and take the first left turn which would take us to Ghagri Falls. Till now we have not yet realized the great mistake that we have done. Aftab drove as instructed and we reached the road diversion and took the left as instructed. After driving a kilometre or so we found the roads getting denser and the road vanishing under the heaps of leaf. Aftab warned us that we might be going in the wrong direction and might head straight to the den of insurgents. We did not pay much attention to this as we just wanted to go to Ghagri Falls.

After driving more than nine kilometres I had a gut feeling that we were now lost in a complete dense jungle with no road sign and that to is a complete danger zone. I immediately asked Aftab to stop and turn back. Aftab by now was shivering with fear and was constantly saying a prayer.

Going Towards Upper Ghagri Falls
Going Towards Upper Ghagri Falls
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Going Towards Upper Ghagri Falls
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Going Towards Upper Ghagri Falls
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And We Are Lost

Aftab made a quick turn around, I could see that he was right in his fear, the dry leaves were creating a slippery surface which was making navigation extremely difficult. As we turned back I saw a writing on the hill side written in red on a large stone “Jungle Hamari Hai, Iska Raksha Karengay” which translates to “Jungle is our land, we will protect it”. The next nine kilometres back to where we started were like a very long drive. My fear was that of Land Mines below the cover of dead leaves, this I had not shared with others. Once we reached back to the main village we were somewhat relieved.

Then came the madness navigation, we kept asking every passer-by and remarkably each of them gave a different direction to Upper Ghagri Falls. Some said one kilometre while the other said five, finally we asked a group of Special Forces personnel and they warned us not to venture there as it’s unsafe at that moment due to an ongoing patrolling. Additionally, they warned us not to go towards the left (where we just came back from) as it’s absolutely a no go zone. Aftab on hearing this was more shocked and prayed once more that he was back to safety.

We did not tell them anything and decided to abandon our plan for Ghagri Falls and instead go to Pine Forest. This place was just opposite to Nashpati Garden thus was easy to navigate.

Pine Forest
Pine Forest
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Pine Tree
Pine Cones
Pine Cones
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Pine Forest

After this, we decided to end our journey with a final stop to the famous Palamu Daak Bunglow. We desperately wanted to stay here but somehow we could not manage to get a booking.

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Palamu Daak Bunglow

 

Return to Ranchi

Finally, we bid goodbye to Netarhat and started our long journey back to Ranchi. We stopped at Chipri on the way to have brunch. We were all tired and wanted to reach Ranchi as soon as possible. It took around three and a half hour to reach Ranchi where we rested at my in law’s house for some time since our return train was at 9.45 PM (Hatia – Howrah). Had dinner at the station and took the train back to Kolkata.

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List of All the Places That You Can Visit Around Netarhat
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Having Breakfast
Driving Back To Ranchi
Driving Back To Ranchi
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Driving Back To Ranchi
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I Do Not Like Samosas 🙂 – Photo Courtesy – Amitabha Gupta

 

Jharkhand Tourism Helpline:-

18003456571

 

Hotel Information:-

 Netarhat

Prabhat Vihar
93046 76275

(Year 2015) Rs. 900 for AC Double Bed + Tax. Extra Person Rs. 200. Tax and Extra Person payable at hotel

Booking at: Jharkhand Tourism Development Corporation (JTDC), Usha Kiran Building, Flat 8B, 8th Floor, 12A Camac Street , Kolkata 700017 Phone – 033 2282 0601

 

Sightseeing Information:-

Netarhat

Sunset Point = 10 KM
Sunrise Point = 0 KM
Badka Bandh = 2 KM
Pine Forest = 2 KM
Nashpati Garden = 3 KM
Palamu Dak Bunglow = 1 KM
Ghagri Waterfalls (Upper and Lower)

 

Car Booking:-

Tata Indica / Tata Indigo / Sumo
Aftab – 82298 36263
(Year 2015) (Rs. 700 per day + Rs. 200 Driver Allowance OR food for the driver + Fuel*)
* Fuel @ Non AC 12 Kilometres per Litre OR AC 10 Kilometres per Litre

 

Other Blogs on Betla & Netarhat:-

Land of the Red – Full detailed blog on Betla & Netarhat

A Tryst with Ray’s Palamu – Blog about Kechki

Betla – One Night at the Forest – Blog about Betla Forest safari

 

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