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Carved out of Bihar in 2000 after years of agitation by its largely adivasi population, JHARKHAND yields almost forty percent of India’s minerals, but suffers from extreme poverty, lawlessness and Naxalite (Maoist guerrilla) activity, and is rarely visited by tourists. Its main attraction is the beautiful sal forests of Palamau National Park, but sadly these have been damaged by years of drought and although it is part of Project Tiger, tiger sightings are now rare; you are more likely to see elephants, antelope, bison and wild boar. The park is open all year, but October to April is the best time to visit. Other forest reserves and parks pepper the state, including Hazaribagh National Park in the north, but bandits and Naxalites are active in these areas, and around Parasnath temple, so it’s vital to check the security situation before venturing out, and you should avoid travelling at night anywhere in the state. If the situation is safe and you want to visit Palamau National Park, consider going on an excursion from Ranchi, the state capital.

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