Jharkhand: the best kept secret of the monsoon
A pristine state that encompasses a plethora of experiences – from cultural delights to culinary delights, waterfalls, temples and parks, Jharkhand is a gem that is slowly being unearthed in the Indian tourist circuit. Despite his tendency towards modernity, Jharkhand has a rural, almost emotional attachment to his roots. With immense potential to delight and astonish, the state is now on the map, and in the minds of travel enthusiasts looking for a new adventure.
Blessed with a divine natural landscape, Jharkhand is a sight for sore eyes, with its lush forests teeming with flora and fauna. In the midst of monsoons, rivers roar with their gushing streams, trees sparkle with new colors, fruits and flowers bloom in forests and soaked fields, reminding us why this beautiful tapestry of life has inspired poets and writers for generations.
One of its greatest gifts that the Sylvan State revel in are the waterfalls that dot its length and breadth. Embarking on a waterfall trail in Jharkhand will take you deep into tribal habitats, and the capital city of Ranchi boasts five magnificent waterfalls that you will regret missing!
A rejuvenating dip at Hundru Falls, with its crystal-clear water flowing from rocky basalt ridges, is a monsoon delight. A worthy contender is the picturesque Dassam Falls which attract nature lovers to dip their feet in its waters, surrounded by greenery and the sound of floating feathers. Flooded to the brim with water, Jonha Falls and their neighbor, Sita Falls, offer recreation and happiness to patrons of nature’s aquatic dance during vertical displays of magnificence.
Mary Davis aptly wrote – “I found many more answers in the woods than I ever did in the city.” And the Saranda Forest, which stretches along the Jharkhand-Odisha border , is the precious jewel of Jharkhand. so named because it is home to a large number of elephants, in addition to being a sanctuary for the endangered flying lizard.The largest sal forest in Asia, Saranda is also adorned with beautiful forest trails that lead to rolling hills with picturesque sunsets and sunrises, especially during the monsoon months when the forest, also called “the land of the seven hundred hills”, takes on a vibrant green hue.
A hidden gem
One of the lesser-known places in the state, Netarhat is a splendid experience, waiting to be discovered by adventurers. About 250 km from Ranchi, Netarhat falls in the Latehar district of Jharkhand and is the highest point of the Chotanagpur Plateau, popularly known as the Queen of Chotanagpur. With winding roads, dotted with thorn pines and deodar trees, the boutique town is best known for the magnificent sunrise and sunset views that dazzle visitors, especially after a period of heavy downpours. And for those looking to increase their thrill quotient, camping and trekking opportunities are plentiful here.
Another major tourist attraction in the state is a calm boat ride through the calm waters of the majestic Maithon Dam on the Barakar River from Dhanbad. Boating around several islands in the lake, including Sabuj Deep and Chamoch Deep, is a must-see for visitors. Tilaiya, another dam on the river, offers a beautiful view of the area, besides being the perfect place to watch migrating birds in all their glory. The massive allocation of funds for the rejuvenation of the state’s lakes has raised hopes of turning the Maithon and Tilaiya Dam areas into lively activity centers.
The tribal way of life
Worship of nature is an integral part of the Jharkhand way of life, and traditional ardor marks the many festivals that are celebrated in the state, especially by tribal communities. Among many tribal festivals, the most important festive occasion is Karma Puja – a cult of Karam devta, the god of power, youth and youth – celebrated by the Baiga, Oraon, Binjhwari and Majhwar tribes of the ‘State. This festival, celebrated on the 11th moon of the Hindu month of Bhadrapada which falls during the monsoon month of August / September. Show of dynamism and enthusiasm, the villagers collect Karam tree twigs and offer them to the deity, and the occasion is marked by ritual dances which are the pride of the cultural richness of Jharkhand.
The salt tree is the focal point of tribal diversity, and Sarhul, where the tree is worshiped for health and prosperity, is an important festival where thousands of men, women and children wearing cover-ups Chiefs, bandanas, anklets and unique bracelets come together for three days of festivities that culminate in a long procession filled with tribal festivities.