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TOURISM - Netarhat

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.

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In November,1954 a public school was started at this place by the state Government, admission to which is received merit alone. The admission fees are charged according to the parents income. The admission age is 10 - 12 years and the education is imparted for preparing the boys for higher secondary examination, Jamalpur Railway Engineering and various other technical and vocation pursuits. The medium of instruction is Hindi but English and Sanskrit are also taught from the beginning to secure a satisfactory standard. A number of top Bureocrats and Tecnocrats are the product of this august institutions.

           The temperature of Netarhat is cooler than Ranchi all the year on round. It can be said that this place is the coolest in the whole of Jharkhand State. The place has also been provided with an Agricultural Farm. There are inspection bungalows and rest houses.

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.

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Sir Edward loved the spot, the natural beauty, the Sal forests and the panoramic view of ranges of hills below. He visualized that this plateau of about 12 square miles could well be developed into a beautiful hill station without the disadvantages of usual dampness and heavy rains of higher attitude. He also loved the aboriginal tribes namely the Birhors and Brijias. Some Birhores are still seen living in small leaf huts with an opening through which one could crawl in and frequently shifting their camps to jungle patches where there more of edible fruits, roots and monkeys to catch and eat. The Birjias have now been reduced to a total population of a few hundreds only in Palamau district .the only changes that have come over the Birjias is that they are no more nomadic but they still not have taken to cultivation.

The excellent pasturage available induced the Government to start a stud-buffalo from 40 years back but this had to wind up because of maleria   and want of  good water. Fortunately maleria control measures have alone way to make the place mosquito free but the water problem is still remains. Steps are how ever being taken to ensure to better water supply.

            The base of the plateau is formed of massive felspathic granite and laterite. The boulders of trap are within 180 feet of the summit. There are stretches of Sal with natural bamboo groves and wild bisons occasionally are found grazing. At one time there was an attempt to grow tea and coffee on the plateau.

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The entire plateau is owned by the Old Bihar Government. At present their are no private houses on the plateau. The best building is of course the Governors Chalet and then comes Palamau forests rest bungalows. There are four other Public works Department bungalows and a Palamau District Board Bungalows These are available for the tourists but prior reservation from the Deputy Commissioner of Palamu or the Chairman of the District Board, Palamau is desirable. The Palamu District Board bungalow has the best situation as it over looks several ranges of hills and the winding Koil river below. There are many Hotels are available for tourists.

Netarhat has a wonderful climate and in the July and August it does not become moist. In summer Netarhat has a very cool climate. The plateau is ringed by forest and the rainfall usually does not exceed 60 inches per year. There are patches of pines and cypresses grown by the Forest Department and both the species have taken to the soil very kindly. Apples and peaches are grown but the fruits are not very big. English vegetables could easily be grown. The place has now been freed from malaria.

            There are a number of flowering trees particularly of Bauhinia and Cassia species. Season flowers could be grown throughout the year. It has been held the flowering trees of different species could be very well grown on the plateau which will ensure a feast of flowers throughout the year.

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There are bus services both from Ranchi and Daltonganj to Netarhat. The development of Netarhat will open the neighbouring  Chhechhari valley and other hill tops such as Jamirapat (3,747 feet above sea level ) and Gulgupat (3,819 feet above sea level ). Jharkhand’s second highest fall, the Burhaghagh with a sheer drops of 466 feet is also near Netarhat but at present accessible only to the hiker. Netarhat offers plenty of big game shooting with permission from the Forest Department. Tigers are common in certain sections. With the development of Netarhat which has been taken up, it will have great attraction to the general tourists, hiker, shikari and anthropologists.

           There is one important beauty spot in Netarhat. The sight of the sunrise near the 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. Presentaly Neterhat is situated in new created district LATEHAR from PALAMU.

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