The Bushland of India is rich with raw nature of the Chotanagpur Plateau. Jharkhand, which literally means land of bushes and forests, is one of the most beautiful states of India. There are numerous tourist spots in Jharkhand which are relatively unexplored and make a great adventure.
The rolling hills of Jharkhand situated on the volcanic plateaus in rich with minerals right from mica to gold. The beautiful rivers of the state like the Damodar and South Koyal give life to hundreds of people and wildlife. The waters of the Sone and Subarnarekha rivers are both explored for the gold particles that are found naturally.
Its beautiful climate and dense forest is the reason why the tourist spots in Jharkhand are so popular. Visitors from the neighbouring states of West Bengal, Orissa and Bihar add up to almost 95% of the tourism all around the year. Although tourism is still developing in the state, still it makes up in its natural beauty.
Here is a list of several tourist spots in Jharkhand that will surely delight the explorer and traveler in you.
Tourist places in Ranchi and the waterfalls
Ranchi is the capital of the state and one of the most visited tourist spots in Jharkhand. This city has a very pleasant climate and was used as a summer capital during the British rule. In winters, it gives the feel of a hill station with temperature dropping as low as 0 degree Celsius at night.
There are many beautiful spots to see around in Ranchi itself. The city itself is adorned by three hills, each being worth a visit for a different reason (see the details here). Surrounding the city are amazing waterfalls (get all the names here and see the full article of Ranchi spots here).
Ranchi has several hotels ranging from budget to luxury. It well connected by air, train and road.
Netarhat, the Queen of Jharkhand
Natarhat is called the Queen of Jharkhand for its natural beauty. Situated on a hill and surrounded by forests, it is far away from any noise and pollution. It is about 97 miles away from Ranchi and the only way to reach there is by car. Netarhat is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful tourist spots in Jharkhand.
Natarhat is famous for its view of sunrise and sunset. The forests are rich with wildlife and do not be surprised to see a wild jackal or deer roaming around. This tiny place in the jungles was much loved by the British and later became a popular destination for writers and travelers from West Bengal. The air is absolutely fresh, the sky is azure blue and it is 100% pollution free.
Netarhat has a few places to see around. There are the Upper Ghagri and Lower Ghagri waterfalls which are also a great picnic spot. Enjoy the Nashpati Bagan and the Pjne forest. Deep in the forest is the Sadni Falls which was also a spot famous for its naturally found diamonds. Deeper into the forest is the Lodh Falls. The Burha River falls from 469 ft which such a rumbling a sound that it can be heard from 10 kilometres away.
Accommodation in Netarhat is few. Stay at the forest bungalow run by either the state (Prabhat Vihar) or the forest department. Facilities are limited but the raw jungle will surely win your heart.
Betla National Park
Near to the beautiful Netarhat is the Betla National Forest. One of the most popular tourist spots in Jharkhand, it was at one time a favourite haunt of many film stars and writers from West Bengal. Betla is a beautiful deciduous forest with waterfalls. It is a part of the Palamau Forest and some part of this forest is so dense and unreachable that it still remains unexplored even by the forest department.
Betla comes under the Project Tiger conservation. The National Park is home to the Royal Bengal Tiger, leopard, bear, jackal, hyena, wolf, bison, monkeys and many species of antelope. It has hundreds of species of birds. Elephants live in great numbers here. The wild dogs and the wild boars of this forest are considered very dangerous as their group could easily challenge a tiger or leopard.
The fort of Betla is definitely worth a visit. The two forts were made in the 16th century by the Chero kings in the dense forest. During the British Rule, they tried to capture this fort many a times but could not due to the brave and fierce soldiers. This makes it one of the fewest places in India that was not under the British kingdom. Today the forts are in ruin and are home to leopards and tigresses with their cubs.
Patratu Valley, Dam and Lake
Patratu is a small town in Ramgarh district. The ‘ghats’, or the road from Ranchi to Patratu is amazingly beautiful. The road descends meandering through the hills and green forests around. As you slow down at every curve, feel free to stop and enjoy the panoramic view. Some travelers would even spend the whole day on these winding paths.
As you descend, one can visit the Patratu dam and lake. Tranquil and expansive, go for a quiet boat ride in the Patratu Lake.
Chinnamasta Mandir at Rajrappa
In Ramgarh district, you can also visit the famous Chinnamasta Mandir if you are into religion and mystery. Also called the Rajrappa Mandir, it is one of the most visited tourist spots in Jharkhand. This bustling temple is situated at the confluence of the Damodar and Bhairavi River.
Even fifty years ago, this place was eerie and haunting sitting in the midst of the woods. This temple has been developed later surrounding the original cave that depicts the sculpture of Goddess Chinnamasta in its walls. Initially this place was a hiding spot and temple for the dacoits. The legend says that originally there was a sculpture of Goddess Kali in the cave. The dacoits would always put a ‘bali’ puja before they ventured to their launder and plunder. An animal would be sacrificed and a puja used to be done with liquor.
At one time, the dacoits captured a little girl and sacrificed her. After the puja they went away to loot but when they returned, they found that the Goddess was highly displeased with their act. The stone sculpture of Goddess Kali is said to have mysteriously transformed into the violent form of Chinnamasta.
It is said after that eerie incident the dacoits realized their wrong ways and transformed themselves. Today, the priests of the temple are the descendants of those dacoits. The marks of animal sacrifice round the temple still remind us of those gory times.
Ghatshila and Fuldungri Hill
Situated close to the Jharkhand Bengal border is the town of Ghatshila. Ghatshila has been one of the most visited tourist spots in Jharkhand and was called a perfect spot for ‘hawa bodol’, that is, a pure place for resting and relaxing. Since decades, it has been a preferred destination of rest and rejuvenation for many tourists from West Bengal. Earlier, many zamindars and aristocrats would come here every year for rejuvenation, calling this trip as ‘pashchime jawa’ or going to the west. Eminent writer Bibhuti Bhushan Bandhopadhayay spent many days here. His cottage and library has been preserved for the tourists.
Ghatshila is a quiet town beside the flowing Subarnarekha River. The town is surrounded by beautiful sal forests, hills and valleys. The forests have innumerable smaller waterfalls where one can take a dip in the cool waters. The forest landscape is exceptionally stunning and one can trek through the jungle with a local. It has several picnic spots beside the river and dams which are very popular during the winter season.
Do not miss the Dharagiri waterfall. A popular destination is the Fuldungri Pahar for its natural beauty and panoramic view.
Historically Ghatshila had been an important place. It was the capital of the Dhalbhum kings. It was also the main location for the Jamboni Zamindars. Visit the Rankini Kali Mandir which was built by the rulers of Ghatshila.
Ghatshila is well connected by road and trains. Nearest airport is at Ranchi and Kolkata.
Deoghar and Trikut Hill
If you are interested in a pilgrimage spot live with mythology, visit Deoghar. It is the spot of the venerated temple called the Baidyanath Jyotirlinga. It is one of the 12 most important shivlingas in India and is considered a ‘swayambhu’. Thousands of visitors come to this temple every month. It is said that the demon king Ravan had placed the sacred shivlinga here by mistake and it settled here since then. It is believed that many holy men and women have paid a visit to this temple.
Deoghar is also well known for its pedas, the sweet offered to the temple deity. The pedas are wonderful in taste and quality. The kesar peda or the saffron flavoured sweet is especially asked for.
Deoghar is an important pilgrimage spot and with that it also has a lot of scope for adventure. Trikut Pahar is one of the most amazing hills in Jharkhand, making it one of the interesting tourist spots in Jharkhand. The Trikut hill has three peaks and you can access the top with a ropeway. Hundreds of feet above the ground as you ride through the ropeway, the glimpse around is breathtaking. One can see little clouds on the hills with greenery and birds all around. It looks especially beautiful during the rainy season as the little waterfalls adorn the Trikut hills. If you want you can also trek up the trails in the hill.
Giridih and Parasnath
If one reads the science fiction books of the legendary Satyajit Ray, one knows that Giridih is the hometown of a very popular character. Professor Shonku, the genius scientist lives in this quaint town. His morning walks beside the Usri River, his cat Newton with his lab adventures is how the reader visualizes Giridih.
Other than Satyajit Ray, Rabindranath Tagore had also spent quite some time in this small town. The place was preferred for its crisp air, blue skies and serenity. The genius and respected scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose also stayed here in his old age. After he passed away in Giridih, his house has been preserved as the Vigyan Kendra. Jnan Chandra Ghosh, another famous scientist of India is also closely associated with Giridih.
The land of the hillocks, Giridih is one of those tourist spots in Jharkhand which is also rich in minerals. Mica and coal is abundant here and is exported worldwide.
Giridih has a wonderful dual landscape of varying altitudes. Two rivers flow through the town, Barakar and Usri. The Usri Falls is a beautiful gorge which makes a great picnic spot.
Giridih also has the highest peak in Jharkhand.
Parasnath Hill is the uppermost position in the Parasnath Range and one of the most famous tourist spots in Jharkhand. It houses the Shikharji Temple and is probably the holiest place for the Jains. It is said that it is the place where the Jain munis gained their moksha. The walk to the Parasnath temple is long but worth a visit. The panoramic view from the top is truly beautiful.
Giridih is well connected by road and trains. There is an aerodrome in Giridih but rarely used for commercial flights. The nearest airport would be in Ranchi about 150 km away.
Dalma Forest and Tatanagar
Tatanagar is more commonly known as Tata or Jamshedpur. Tata is named after Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, the respected industrialist who laid foundation to the Tata company group and the town of Jamshedpur. The city has been the home of many famous sportspersons and film stars.
Jamshedpur is surrounded by greenery all around. It sits at the confluence of two rivers – Kharkai and Subarnarekha. Around the city visit the Jubilee Park and the Sitarampur reservoir, which is a popular picnic spot. The Dimna Lake is a huge water body near the Dalma range and a beautiful place to spend your day.
Just outside the city lays the Dalma Forest which is well known for its elephants. Visit the Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary which is full of elephants, monkeys and smaller wild animals. Go to the Dalma Hilltop to get a great view of the forest area. There is also a forest guest house where you can stay but it needs to be pre-booked from the Forest office in Jamshedpur.
The city is quite well developed with good connectivity to road and trains. It has the Sonari airport but is generally not used for domestic flights.
The dense forests of Saranda may not be among the top tourist spots in Jharkhand but it definitely wins in natural beauty. The Saranda Forest borders Jharkhand with Orissa. Most of the people you meet there are the tribal people who have been living in the forest for generations.
Related: Visit the Kashmir of Orissa
The forest is the abode of leopards, bison, chital and sambar deer, sloth bear and many kinds of more wild animals. Saranda is still one of the least visited jungles. In spite of its natural beauty, it has been explored as a tourist destination leaving it raw and untouched. Saranda is also known for its paranormal incidents and is considered one of the most mysterious forests of India.
Saranda has a few hotel accommodations. It is about 45 km from Manoharpur and 160 km from Jamshedpur. Nearest airport is in Ranchi.
Hazaribagh and the Cave Paintings in Isko
The town of Hazaribagh was once covered by thick forests and haunted by the Royal Bengal Tigers and aggressive tribes. However, now the town is quite developed and has many unique destinations to explore. The Canary Hill in Hazaribagh is a beautiful hillock with a post office on top, making it one of the most interesting tourist spots in Jharkhand. For the nature lovers, there is the Hazaribag Wildlife Sanctuary.
One of the most interesting places to visit here is the Isko Caves. These caves have paintings which were made by prehistoric humans. These cave paintings will take you back thousands of years as you come face to face with our human ancestors. One can see paintings of animals like the deer and many kinds of geometric designs which are quite unique to this area. The helmet wearing ‘alien’ drawn in 10,000 BC is also a major attraction of this cave. Strangely some of the animals drawn are not found here, like the rhinoceros.
Interestingly, the art of cave painting from our ancestors is not dead. If you visit the houses of the tribal Ganju and Kurmi people, you can see how they have painted their home in the same cave way. They have copied the same mandalas and animals in the same style. Interestingly there are also some cryptic designs that neither archeologists nor the aborigines can explain.
The landscape around the cave is made of limestone making it a one of a kind destination. Also visit the nearby Marwaduwar cave. A mysterious cave used for hundreds of years for marriage ceremonies, Marwaduwar is situated in the midst of the jungle stillness. Inside, you will greeted by the sight of an age old ‘trishul’ and the mystifying sound of a subterranean river. In short, this is the place for a core adventurer.