Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary

Weather :

Timings : 6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Time Required : 3-4 hrs

Entry Fee : Entry: INR 5,
Group of 10 students: INR 40

Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary, Jamshedpur Overview

Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for its forest tourism, but to the residents, it is more familiar because of its wild resident elephants. 'Dalma Haathi' or the 'Elephants of Dalma' is a known and quite fearful term in the Jamshedpur-Puruliya region. Established in 1975 and inaugurated by Sanjay Gandhi, the Dalma forest is home to a horde of animals, birds and tree species as well. Overlooking the shimmering Subarnarekha River, the Dalma hills nestle the dense green forests like an offspring. This ambience of the forest and the odd chance of having a glimpse at the wild animals is what makes Dalma so special among those who love to travel around jungles.

Once an untamed natural beauty for acres after acres, parts of this wild forest got shunted when the steel plant was established by JN Tata near the Kharkai-Subarnarekha confluence. However, whatever remains is still large enough to be a paradise for all the native Indian flora and fauna you can think of. Many elephants migrate to this forest every year adding to the crowd, and sometimes they come out into the local villages and suburbs.

Travellers wishing to explore a slice of one of India's most authentic forests can take a drive through or even better - spend a night at the rest houses and bamboo huts offered by the forest department. There is nothing better for a nature lover than to spend a night listening to the crickets, the distant, solitary howl of a wild creature and the otherwise overwhelming silence. Among the few true-blue forests of India, Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary offers excellent bird watching experience, exciting in-jungle lodging and spectacular view from atop the Dalma peak which also has a couple of temples you can visit. 

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Flora and Fauna at Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary

The 193 sq km forest of Dalma falls under the forest subdivision consisting of dry mixed deciduous along with dry peninsular sal. It is the home to a good many tall wild species of trees like sal, gamhar, mahua, semgal and some shorter ones like Jamun, Dhaura, Kendu as well. These are mostly native to India and make up for a good portion of east India's oxygen supply.

The fauna of the sanctuary is equally diverse. Other than the tuskers for which it is famous, you can also spot barking deer, porcupines, wild boar, giant squirrel, mongooses and sloth bears. Leopards are said to be present but hard to have a glimpse. Even though the number of wild animals are going down because of tribal traditions of animal hunting and otherwise climate changes, there are still quite a few for tourists to experience.

Among the avian counterpart, there are hornbills, peafowls, kingfishers, herons, egrets, pigeons, drongos, robins and many more. If you are more of a bird person than an animal one, Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary might get lucky for you.

Additional costs at the Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary

Buses/trucks: INR 350,
Minibuses/tempos: INR 250,
Cars/jeeps: INR 150,
Auto rickshaws: INR 100,
Two wheelers: INR 50,
Photography charges: INR 80 per camera/day,
Videography charges: INR 500 per video camera/day

Activities at Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary

Though the forest and its residents are the main attraction for a trip to the Dalma wildlife sanctuary, you can pay a small visit to the small open-air shrine of Dalma Mai or the Goddess of the Dalma forest whom the locals are devoted to. At the top of the Dalma Mountain at 926 metres are temples of Lord Shiva and Hanuman. Even though in India, finding shrines of these two divine deities is not a shocker at all, the drive uphill through the forest is one worth taking.

If you have an experienced enough guide, he will take you around to show the colonial remains amidst the forests. The plantations that British established here are now survived only by the solitary dams and remains of the wells, stone oil grinders and bungalows. Makulakocha is another place where you can halt for a while. It is a forest check post mostly, but with a museum-cum-interpretation centre and a deer enclosure. This is the entrance to the sanctuary and has a rest house as well as bamboo huts for lodging. Friendly elephants of forest department are kept and fed here.

Stay Near Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary

Usually, tourists stay near Jamshedpur and hire a car to drive through the forest. However, if you are early, and you are lucky, you can get a booking at the Pindrabeda Forest Rest House. It is 11 kilometres uphill from the main road. To get the permission of lodging here, you have to contact the Range Forest Office, Mango (Opp. Payal Talkies) Jamshedpur or Divisional Forest Office, Doranda, Ranchi, apply and take permit. The top of Dalma is 5 kilometres uphill drive from here. Pindrabeda rooms offer magnificent bird's eye view of the entire green plains and hills all around.

There are other places to stay in the Makulakocha region as well - rest house at INR 500 and bamboo huts at INR 1000 per day as per the forest department rates.

Tips For Visiting Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary

1. Carry packed food and water with you as there aren't many eateries in the forest region.
2. If you are staying at the forest guest house, you need to carry all the raw ingredients (vegetables and other ration) for cooking. You can get it cooked at the guest house but the cook will charge a fee for it.

How To Reach Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary

The Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary's entrance is around 16 kilometres from Jamshedpur main city, and the only way to get into the forest for a tourist is by a hired car, preferably an SUV for better safety on uphill forest tracks. If you want to go on a jungle safari, it is preferable to take your own car, with large wheels and a strong grip.

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