After spending some soothing moments in the Chhinnamsata temple, we had moved on to the Palamau tiger reserve, Jharkhand and all of us were extremely thrilled. It was one of the nine reserves which were brought into limelight during the year 1973 for the Project tiger. It formed a part of the National Park in Betla. From the very childhood days, it was my wish to take a glimpse of the tigers and my excitement was multiplied when the day had finally arrived. What more, I had come to know that the officials of the reserve had spotted two unique white vultures perching on the bed of sand near river Koyal. That was great news because it was after 10 years that such a rare species could be spotted. We had reached the reserve via a car and to my joy I heard that I might be able to spot a tiger today. The forest was lush green and dense. It was filled with lots of beautiful birds.
The presence of vulture was due to an interesting incident in which the owls’ nestlings were thought to be as of vultures in the district of Garhwa. The reserve was established after the area was kept aside for being protected in the year 1947. I came to know that the location was utilized for camping and cattle grazing. The officials had informed me that the reserve stood over an area of 392 sq mi, with 414 sq km of core area and 600 sq km of buffer area. I could see three forest villages namely Kujurum, Latoo and Ramandag.
I came to know that the Palamau tiger reserve, Jharkhand had faced great difficulties in maintaining the tigers mainly because of the tremendous increase in the Naxalite activities after 1990. At the time when I had visited, the reserve consisted of one male and five female tigers. It was a seriously less compared to the 50 tigers that were present at the time of establishment of the reserve. I was lucky to spot some ferocious animals like leopard, sambar and elephant from a distance though. I could see them visiting the holes prepared by humans.