Netarhat-popularly called the 'Queen of Chotanagpur', is 156 km west of Ranchi Town. A plateau 4 miles long & two and a half miles broad. It is in the extreme south of the district, the highest point of which is 3800 feet above the sea-level. It is 96 miles west of Ranchi across seven hills.
The stillness of jungles and the cool refreshing air brings relief from the dust and heat of the plains. It has a game sanctuary amidst pine forests that bestow a singular arboreal interest in this part. It is comparatively unknown to the tourists from outside although; it is one of the rare beauty spots which is capable of great development. This plateau is the “Plateau of Netarhat”.
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 Palamu 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. 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 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 Palamu 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 malaria and want of good water. Fortunately malaria control measures have alone way to make the place mosquito free but the water problem 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.
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 Palamu forests rest bungalows.
There are four other Public works Department bungalows and a Palamu 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, Palamu is desirable. The Palamu District Boardbungalow has the best situation as it over looks several ranges of hills and the winding Koel 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.
There are bus services both from Ranchi and Daltonganj to Netarhat. The development of Netarhat will open the neighboring 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. Presently Netarhat is situated in new created district Latehar from Palamu.
Netarhat : The Wonder of Wonders
That what we know about it is little; what we don’t know is so vast. Netarhat – a beacon light, a godly instrument singing the song of bliss eternal, of hope, of safety and salvation epitomizes its aims, always striving to seek, to find and not to give way to extinction for the attainment of its desired ideal. It is a wonderland:
Where the mind is without fear and the
head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into
fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where word come out from the depth of truth;
Where tire less striving stretches its arms towards perfection.
The verdant look and tenderly touching luster of Netarhat signs the chant of glory- the glory of filial affection of Mother Nature. Nature with all its beauty and grandeur emboldens the mind pronouncing and propagating prudent gospel of morality:
One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man
Of moral evil and of good
Than all the sages can,
There exists communication between man and nature here at Netarhat that allows harmony between the spirit in nature and the mind of man. Scene surroundings soothes the eye and wipes out dross and dust of day-to-day like. Netarhat, the most affectionate and intimate part of nature nurtures to existence by forming ones character.
Worshipped and revered as GURU-Netarhat is contributing to the uphill task of reformation. To re- install and revive the ancient Vedic ideals in accord with the go of modern life and civilization, multifaceted maneuvered natural surrounding of Netarhat adores a unique residential abode of learning- the vital powerhouse of ceaseless divine energy where budding intellects dedicate themselves to the ideal for the realization of education with initiation and adherence.
Worshipped and revered as GURU-Netarhat is contributing to the uphill task of reformation. To re- install and revive the ancient Vedic ideals in accord with the go of modern life and civilization, multifaceted maneuvered natural surrounding of Netarhat adores a unique residential abode of learning- the vital powerhouse of ceaseless divine energy where budding intellects dedicate themselves to the ideal for the realization of education with initiation and adherence. Evolving peaceful co- existence-Live and Let Live- the school aims to enhance a feeling of sympathy, compassion, tolerance among its disciple. Netarhat- the wonder land has served the society by passing the developed skills and traits from one generation to the next by both inheritance and environment. It is really a pride to carry out and fulfill one’s parent’s trait’s blossom in the young and juvenile learners. Austere and inadvertent life, ‘far from the maddening crowd’ grants graceful honor and dignity. Closely knit and elegantly harmonized society of Netarhat tempts people of the world beyond this calm and tranquil surrounding.
Netarhat is the land which stands firmer than any rock with its undying vigor, indestructible life. Its life is of the same nature as the soul, without beginning and without end- immortal. The grandeur of the mountain torrent, the glory of the floating clouds with charm and grace of a young girl’s face, the sheer sensual delight of the world of nature are the wonders of the wonders that is Netarhat.
Needless to say that human life is worth living here in spite of the sorrows and sufferings than may come to assail it from time to time. ‘The still sad music of humanity is neither harsh nor grating, and has ample power to chasten and subdue. Man can lift above the suffering by calling to his help the strength of his moral life and the resources of divine providence. If one follows the path of duty he is bound to get happiness and joy in life: ‘Serene will be our days and bright, And happy will our nature be, When love is an unerring light, And joy its own security.’
R .K. Roy
Dept. of English