Here are some of the most notable cities.
- 5 Hariharganj — an administrative block of Palamu district containing 194 villages
- 1 Betla National Park — one of India's first national parks formed primarily for the protection of tigers
- 2 Hazaribagh National Park — sambhar, nilgai, chital and kakar can be seen at dusk and dawn at water holes
- Parasnath Hills
- Sitagarha Hill, Marwateri Basin. The site of a major Buddhist shrine and stone carved stupa dating from the Mauryan Period.
Places of change
There are several towns in Jharkhand which have been frequented by people mostly from West Bengal for change of climate, to recoup their health. Such places have commonly come to be known as places of change and these continue to attract such tourists.
Jharkhand can fairly claim to be one of the most attractive parts of the Indian peninsula. The scenery of the main plateau is most attractive with its undulations, detached abrupt hills and forest tracts. Belts of sal forests which once covered the plateau still survive on the hills and in broken ground. The palas tree called the flame of the forest with its reddish flowers at the advent of summer is also there, in abundance. To complete the attraction of the Jharkhand, the Adivasis(tribals) who predominate on the plateau are a lovable and cheerful race.
The plateau on which most of Jharkhand is spread out is called Chotanagpur. The name Nagpur is probably taken from the Nagbanshis who ruled in the area. Chota is a corruption of Chutia, a small village near Ranchi where the Nagbanshis had a fort. The plateau consists of three steps. The highest is in the west of the province rising to around 3,000-3,500 feet above sea level. The next level spread around Ranchi and Hazaribagh in the central sector is around 2,000 feet. The eastern part is the lowest at around 1,000 feet. A part of the plateau slopes into neighbouring West Bengal.
The Adivasis (tribals) are divided into two main anthropological divisions, the larger consisting of the Mundas, Santhals, Hos and some smaller tribes, and the smaller mainly of Oraons. There is no linguistic connection between the two groups. Oraon is a Dravidian language, while Munda group of languages belong to a larger group of languages known as Austro-Asiatic. The tribes who now inhabit Jharkhand probably moved in from the Gangetic valley displacing earlier races of which little trace is left. The Santhals are the most numerous of the tribes of Austro-Asiatic race.
There is little evidence of movement of Aryans into area till the days of Magadh’s rise and the early Aryan settlers were possibly Jains. Interestingly, the Hindi dialect spoken in the area is called Magadhi. During the Mohammedan rule a fairly large number of Muslims moved into the area and the Hindu rajas encouraged migration of Hindus. The British had a good deal of trouble in asserting their authority over the area.
Coal is found in several fields across Jharkhand - Jharia, Bokaro, North Karanpura, South Karanpura, Ramgarh, Giridih, and Santhal Parganas. Large quantities of iron ore are found in Singhbhum. Fire-clay, mica and other minerals are also mined.
Hindi is widely understood throughout the state. Different Adivasi langauages are spoken in different areas. Bengali is spoken in the eastern parts of the state.
Kortha is spoken in the Deoghar and Dumka districts. Oriya is also widely understood and spoken in Rajkharswan and Sariekela (southern) region. English is understood in the main cities. Nagpuria & Bhojpuri are the other dialects widely spoken and understood.
Most of the road links into the state are from the north and the east. The western part is more mountainous and hence road links are less. Now links with the south and the west are also being developed. The Grand Trunk Road (NH 2 Kolkata Delhi) cuts across the northern part of the state. NH 6 connecting Kolkata with western India enters the south-east corner of the state for a short span.Ranchi, Bokaro, Jamshedpur and Dhanbad are well connected through neighbouring State and major cities.
The Howrah-Delhi main and Grand Chord lines cut across the northern part of the state. The Howrah-Mumbai lines goes via Jamshedpur in the southern part of state. The Barkakhana-Sonenagar and other links on the western side are gaining in importance. Bokaro, Ranchi, Dhanbad, Tatanagar, Gomoh, Madhupur are the main railway station of Jharkhand.
Roads connect all the important cities and towns in the state. There is paucity of rail links within the state.
The state has great natural beauty, most parts being hilly and forested. It also has rich cultural traditions. Mining operations and industries are increasingly becoming important.
Among the places to be visited in the state for natural beauty and wildlife sightings, the Saranda forest, the Topchanchi Wildlife Sanctuary and the Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary deserve mention.
The Saranda forest region was at one time so impenetrable that it was called by many as the 'Tibet of India', even though it bears almost no recognizable similarities to Tibet in any way. The nomenclature had to do with the fact that just as Tibet was next to inaccessible in olden times, so was the Saranda forest, and not in small measure due to the fact that it was home to the largest forest of 'Sal' trees in Asia. The extent of this forest can be guaged from the fact that even today, when most of this forest has been cut down, it still remains the largest Sal forest in Asia. Saranda is located in West Singhbhum District of Jharkhand. Its current area is 820 km² and it rises to 550 m (1,800 ft) at Tholkobad village, which is in its core area.
The railway route to Saranda is as follows: Ranchi - Lohardaga-Jashpur state
The bus route is: Ranchi - Jashpurnagar - Kungigarh - Jharsaguda.
The trees in Saranda forest include Sal, Anjan, Kurchi (with big yellow flowers), yellow Wild Flax, violet Devkanchan (gold of the gods), Khao, Piyasal, and Asan. The Ashram or hermitage of Nrisingh Baba, a prominent sage of this area, is near Koel river, a stream flowing through this forest.
Other important towns of this area are Gua, Chiria, Kiriburu and Noamundi.
The local tribes are mainly Ho and Munda. There is a Forest Department bungalow at Manoharpur and near Ajitaburu a short village road m²leads to the Ankua Forest bungalow.
The Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary is 10 km from Jamshedpur. Its altitude is 900 m (3000 feet( above sea level. Its total area is 193 km². Its most famous animals are its big elephants. You can stay at one of the numerous hotels in Jamshedpur for the purpose of making excursions to this sanctuary.
Topchanchi Wildlife sanctuary is quite famous for migratory birds.
Traditional dishes are not available at the restaurants as they have not been commercialised. However on a visit to a tribal village or a tribal wedding in a remote area one can get a chance to taste such exotic food. All preparation except the pickles and festive ones are low on oil and spices.
There are eateries in all cities and towns. Some of the "dhabas" along the highways offer fairly good food although the places may look doubtful. If you are keen about local tastes try out balushais in the small sweetmeat shops. Those travelling in Jharkhand, particularly in winter, may look out for Tilkut a dry sweet savoury.
Most of the popular Indian brands are available in the cities and towns in bars and specified shop. In local parlance these are called foreign liquor, although manufactured in India. There some very popular local drinks, mainly hadia and mahua. Those who are from outside the state and are not used to these are advised not to take these, because they are quite often spurious and lead to unwanted reactions, even fatalities.