Pugmarks In Palamau is a must for anyone who is loves nature, wild animals, likes thrilling adventures or one who loves to travel. Or simply for someone who likes to gorge in good books. The reader will cherish each chapter. It is one of those books that is admiringly kept as a collection.

Pugmarks In Palamau

Pugmarks In Palamau is real life account penned by Sangam Lahiry, Ex. Divisional Forest Officer. Lahiry recounts his first hand experiences in the Palamau Tiger Reserve and Betla National Park. Lahiry stayed fifteen years in Betla Forest. He had been Game Warden in 1983 until the Assistant Director of Palamau Tiger Reserve in 1995. As Betla Tiger Reserve was one of the first to be protected as a tiger reserve under the Project Tiger, this book shows the footsteps of wildlife conservation in India.

Pugmarks in Palamau tiger
Tigress at Bhallipahar Betla 1987

Related: The Royal Bengal Tiger – Facts And Myths Of the Most Splendid Animal On Planet Earth

During his tenure in Palamau, he went through numerous experiences which he knew would make many wonderful stories. Lahiry since his early days, thankfully kept a personal diary. He would write the interesting anecdotes and sightings every day. Not only did he jot down his experiences but he would maintain images and draw sketches wherever possible. Eventually it was this collection of events and experiences that made this book.

In the Foreword by AK Mishra (Chief Wildlife Warden of Jharkhand), we pretty much get an idea why the book Pugmarks In Palamau is so special:

“A remarkable feature of this book is the first-hand experience of the incidents being reported. Usually, writers are senior forest officers who occasionally visit the wilderness. Unfortunately, most of them are poor writers, hence humanity has been deprived of the treasure of such invaluable experiences in the wilderness.It is in this context that Shri Lahiry’s book gains importance and relevance.”

The book is in fact, addictive. The reader feels drawn into the grasslands and deep jungles of Betla, many parts of which are still so dense and impenetrable that mankind has not yet set foot inside it. Through Lahiry’s telling, the reader discovers his love for wildlife as well as the challenges a wildlife warden faces in his job. In such an incident, Lahiry describes how he faces a dilemma between preserving a dangerous wild animal without compromising the life of the tribals.

Pugmarks in Palamau
Abandoned Leopard cubs rescued from Old Fort at Betla. Dated : 1985.

Pugmarks In Palamau also shows what it is truly like to be in wildlife conservation and protect the forest. In Lahiri’s own words “Reading a book on conservation and learning from the experiences of a practical wildlifer are two different things.”

Related: 10+ Tourist Spots in Jharkhand For Every Traveller’s Delight

Experience The Forest In Pugmarks In Palamau

What are the food habits of the tiger? How excited does one feel to see tiger cubs? Have you ever seen the forest atop a machaan in moonlit night? Pugmarks In Palamau makes forest service look so absolutely thrilling that it makes us wonder why we did not go for this profession!

Pugmarks In Palamau, set in the Betla Forest is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque dry deciduous forest in India. Sky hugging Sal trees and bamboo woods create a thrilling backdrop. This jungle is not only known for its wildlife and natural beauty but also for its ancient Chero fort. After one reads the book, one feels a strong desire to visit the place thanks to the magic of the pen.

The narration is simple and fast paced. It is not written as a story but more as accounts of happenings. Each chapter is appealing, exploring new facets of the life of a wildlifer. Palamu has been mentioned as ‘Palamau’ in the entire recount keeping in mind that these incidents took place before the name was changed.

Pugmarks in Palamau
Striped Keelbacks : Betla 1991

For ones who have visited Palamau and seen the famous tree house while it was still there, there is an interesting tale of how it was made and then got invaded by snakes. The book is full of such anecdotes.

Sangam Lahiry is in fact the storyteller we all want rounded around the cozy chairs and sipping on to warm tea. He is like the grandfather telling about his adventures to the kids. He fuels our imagination and our love for Mother Nature. We can hear him all day. Staying and watching the forest and her creatures gives a kind of wisdom that a hundred years of study cannot.

Pugmarks In Palamau paperback edition is 184 pages long published by Platinum Press Inc., you can get the paperback edition here
Pugmarks In Palamau is also available in ebook format which can be read in your mobile, tablet or personal computer. You can get the Kindle version here.

Betla National Park 

Pugmarks In Palamau gives a deep and in feel description of Betla. Thanks to this book, more tourists can know about this lesser known National Park. If reading the book also sparks interest in you to visit the Betla Forest, here is some basic  information.

The Betla National Park is situated in the Latehar district of Jharkhand. Set in the in the Chotanagpur Plateau, the reserved forest is an amazingly beautiful forest. From dense woods, tall deciduous trees and open grasslands, it reveals some of the most stunning sceneries in India. The forest is home to our treasured tigers, variety of antelope and primates, sloth bear, elephants, jackals, wild boars, pangolin, porcupine, wolf, jackal, hyena and many other species of birds. Part of it is a National Park, a Reserved Forest, a Tiger Reserve and a wolf sanctuary. The Koyel River meanders through the wooded land providing much needed water to animals as the tribes who live in the forest area.

The area has beautiful waterfalls and hot springs. The fort of the Chero kings is truly one of a kind. Set deep inside the jungle, the unused fort is now a haunt of leopards who give birth to their cubs inside the vast area. Betla National Park can be reached through Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand. Ranchi is well connected by air, rail and road. From Ranchi, it is a five hour drive by car.

Related: 20 tourist spots you can see in and around beautiful Ranchi

Pugmarks In Palamau paperback book.

Pugmarks In Palamau in ebook format (Kindle).

You can reach Sangam Lahiry’s blogs at www.sangamlahiry.com and connect at www.facebook.com/pugmarksinpalamau/

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