The English poet John Donne has said that no man is an island entirely of himself, that everybody is part of the main. Similarly, no form of life on the earth can be an island entirely of itself. Every species is a part of the whole individual life. This brings out the interdependence of all forms of life. Human beings and animals, including wild life is supplementary and complementary to each other. Absence of wildlife will make life of man insipid, colorless and almost impossible to sustain. In the ecosystem, all species of life; plant and animal are inter-connected with one another.
The dumb denizens of forests like lions, tigers, hyena, fox, stag deer, rhinoceros, elephants, wild asses and pigs, the wide varieties of birds, reptiles and rodents are highly useful to mankind. They are an integral part of life on this planet and maintain ecological balance through different food chains. ‘Tiger’ remains at the top of the food chain. Forests are agog with voices of wild animals and myriads of their activities. Lion exhibits the traits of courage and stamina, spotted deer represent beauty, elephants exhibit strength and leadership traits and monkeys, apes and rabbits provide entertainment to human watchers.
Human crave for prosperity has led to depletion of forests and consequent threat to the very survival of wide range of animal species, particularly ‘tiger’. Palamau Tiger Reserve, located at a distance of 116 km from Ranchi, the capital city of Jharkhand, provides safe home to the endangered animals. In 1972, the first census showed a meager 1823 tigers in India. In the same year, tiger was given the status of National Animal of India.
The noble animals, tiger and panther are the chief attraction of the park. Visitors are attracted to watch other animals in the Palmau Reserve Forest, such as leopards, wild dogs, cats, bears and goats, nilgais, chinkara, gaur, chital, dhole, elephants and honed antelopes. The floral division of the park is adorned with popular plants such as Siiis, Safed Siris, Dhela, Chantni, Dhautha, Kathal, Neem Bhabirani and Kathul. Those having herbal interest pay visit to Palamau Tiger Reserve to find medicinal plants of their needs.
Besides offering views of wild animals, Palamau Tiger Reserve affords opportunities for enjoying adventurous activities such as motoring and hiking. Jeep Safari is an equally adventurous activity for exploring and watching animals from the watch towers of the jeep. The nearby Palamau Fort attracts attention of visitors with historical interest. A number of temples and rivers add to the attraction of visitors.
The best period for visiting Palamau Tiger Reserve is during January to June. Houses built on trees provide an extraordinary living experience. Arrangement of food is made on the trees. One fulfills a part of the impossible conditional “If I were a bird ” and enjoy living like birds for a short time.
The tiger population was marked a dwindling number of 17, which has gone up to 54 in 1991. Similarly, there were no elephant prior to 192. But, the 20 elephants released by Maharaja of Surguja have resulted to an elephant population of 104. Thus, Palamau Tiger Reserve is a must to be visited place to observe how harmony is maintained between man and wild animals.