Netarhat is a hill station in Latehar district in the Indian state of Jharkhand. It is also referred to as the “Queen of Chotanagpur”, and is a hill station. The town is also famous for Netarhat Residential School, set up in 1954. However, the place may have got its name from ‘Netur Haat’ (which means a marketplace for bamboo in the local language). Apart from bamboo, the pine and sakhua trees add to the flora.
Netarhat plateau is an abode of a variety of flora and fauna thanks to its supportive climate and copious rain. Pine martins, porcupines, leopards, monkeys, bears, civets, monitor lizards, wild pigs, scorpions, snakes and other species are found in and around Netarhat. Occasional spotting of elephants and tigers is also reported as Netarhat forest is very close to the Betla Tiger Sanctuary. Some endangered species of Indian snakes can be found here, including pythons. Apart from the bamboo clusters the place may have got its name from, tropical trees like mango, sal, neem, gulmohar, amaltas, mahua, etc. can be found here and even trees of cold climate like pine, silver fur, bottle brush, thuja are found. “Chilgoza” or the pine nut is type of an aromatic and nutritious dry fruit and is popular amongst people.
Summers rin Netarhat ranges from the month of March to June with the temperature ranging between 25 to 30-degree centigrade. The rainy season begins in the month of July and continues till the month of September. The winter season ranges between November to February with the temperature dropping as low as 8 to 12 degrees centigrades.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Netarhat is during the months of March to April. However, to enjoy the chilly winters, the best time to visit is between the months of November to February. Avoid visiting during the monsoon months of July to September.
How to reach
- By Rail: There are no direct trains between Howrah Junction and the nearest station Lohardaga. So, you can board a train from Howrah Junction to Ranchi Junction and then board another train from Ranchi Junction to Lohardaga which is a one and a half hours journey. After getting down at Lohardaga book a cab to Netarhat.
- By road: You can self-drive from Kolkata to Netarhat in your private car or book a rental cab.
- By Air: Birsa Munda Airport, Ranchi located at a distance of 148.6 km via Ghaghra – Netarhat Rd, is the nearest airport from Netarhat.
Places To Visit
- Magnolia Point: It is known for its sunset views. Sunrises may be interrupted by fogs but sunsets here are worth watching. The view from Magnolia point is just breathtaking. Tales say that the place got its name after a British girl named Magnolia, who fell in love with a local but due to the restrictions of the society committed suicide by jumping off the cliff.
- The sunrise point: It is the best point to watch a sunrise in Netarhat. The place is excellent to capture a time-lapse. Visit the place early morning to not miss the spectacular view of the sun.
- Koel View Point: It is the perfect place for peace lovers. Far away from the hustle-bustle of the cities, watch the serene Koel river flowing through the green dense forest here.
- The pine forest and pear orchards: These are the accessories that boost the beauty of Netarhat. The long pine trees and the pear orchards make it a perfect instagrammable place. Away from the torturing city life, get lost in the picturesque forest.
- Netarhat Dam and Lake: It located amidst the long pine grasses and hills create a perfect place for a picnic. Spend the day admiring the blue hills of Netarhat, sitting on the bank of the lake. It also an ideal place for fishing as the lake is home to many varieties of fishes such as Rohu, Catla, Mrigal and many more. Also, many local birds visit the lake for fish hunting which also makes it an ultimate place for bird watching.
- Chalet House: It is a bungalow made up of wood in Netarhat. It was built during the administration of Sir Edward Albert Gait, Lieutenant-Governor of the Bihar and Orissa during the Bengal Presidency of British India. The bungalow was a summer house for British officers who were fond of Netarhat.
- Lodh fall:
- It is the highest waterfall in Jharkhand and the 21st highest waterfall in India. The fall has multiple drops, falling from both sides of the hills, one after the other within a short span of distance, which is a unique feature. The most interesting fact about the fall is that the depth of it is not known and despite many attempts, no one has ever succeeded in measuring the depth.
- Lower Ghaghri: It is the second highest waterfall in Jharkhand and 33rd Highest Waterfall in India. Located at a distance of 10 KM from Netarhat, Lower Ghaghri fall is surrounded by dense forests.