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Saranda forest is a dense forest in the hilly region of West Singhbhum district in the Indian state of Jharkhand. This area used to be the private hunting reserve of the Singh Deo family (the erstwhile royal family of Saraikela),zamindars of manoharpur ,bir kishore singh deo family and Thankur mahadev singh family . The forest covers an area of 820 km².[1] Saranda (Serengda) literally means water is from rock[2] Thalkobad is a scenic village at a height of 550 m (1,800 ft) in the heart of the forest.[3] Thalkobad is about 46 km (29 mi) from Manoharpur, and about 160 km (99 mi) from Jamshedpur.

Saranda forest
reserved forest
Saranda forest is located in Jharkhand
Saranda forest
Saranda forest
Location in Jharkhand, India
Saranda forest is located in India
Saranda forest
Saranda forest
Saranda forest (India)
Coordinates: 22°12′N 85°21′E / 22.2°N 85.35°E / 22.2; 85.35Coordinates: 22°12′N 85°21′E / 22.2°N 85.35°E / 22.2; 85.35
Country  India
State Jharkhand
District West Singhbhum
 • Total 820 km2 (320 sq mi)
Elevation 550 m (1,800 ft)
 • Official Hindi, Ho, Santhali
 • Regional Bengali
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Vehicle registration JH
Nearest city Jamshedpur

Ho people inhabit the area, which is dotted with iron ore mining towns including Gua, Chiria, Kiriburu and Noamundi.

Sal (Shorea robusta) is the most important tree in the area and it seems to have a preference for the rocky soil of the area. Although sal is a deciduous tree and sheds its leaves in early summer, the forest undergrowth is generally evergreen, which has such trees as mangoes, jamun, jackfruit, and piar. Other important trees are mahua, kusum, tilai, harin hara (Armossa rohitulea), gular (Ficus glomerata), asan.[4]

The reserved forests are the haunt of many animals. Wild elephants are common in Saranada and Porahat forests. Herds of sambar and chital roam about the forests. Bison is still found. Tigers were never numerous but they are there. Leopards are more common.[5]

1100 hectares of virgin forests of >40% canopy cover is under iron ore mining leases. Several new aspirants for mining lease are in the waiting. The forest of Saranda is the home range for several elephants and also a very important overlapping habitat of the elephants from adjacent Keonjhar district of Orissa. The perennial rivers, Karo and Koina, pass through these forested areas supporting a diverse floral and faunal resource.

The area was previously disturbed by Maoist and Naxal influences, but problems have subsided in the recent years, and it has turned out to be a major tourist hub.There are many tourist places in manoharpur region. The peak seasons between October-March are now brimming with tourists.[6]

Saranda development planEdit

Saranda development plan or SDP is mean for developing the Maoist stricken villages in the Saranda Forest. Many training camps of Maoists are located there.[7] There are around 7000 tribal households with a population of 36,500 in 56 villages.

The main elements of the SDP are as follows:[8]

  • Building houses for 6,000 households under the Indira Awaas Yojana which have already been sanctioned in December 2011.
  • Appointment of 56 Rozgar Mitras from local tribal youth for MGNREGA works for which over 6,000 job cards have already been issued and something like Rs.60 lakh in wages have been disbursed.
  • 11 roads and one bridge to be constructed under the PMGSY for improving connectivity to all habitations, of which two roads are nearing completion.
  • Implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006 under which 2,122 claims have been received and 176 titles have already been distributed.
  • Distribution of 7,000 solar lanterns, 7,000 transistors and 7,000 bicycles paid for by SAIL which is to be completed by end-July 2012.
  • Launch of five mobile health units, again as part of SAIL's corporate social responsibility programme, of which three are in operation and two more will start by end-July 2012.
  • Start of six watershed development projects covering an area of around 36,000 hectares (89,000 acres), which were sanctioned in February 2012.
  • Improving access to drinking water supply for which 128 hand pumps have already been installed.


  1. ^ "Saranda Forest". Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  2. ^ "Forest in the Light and Shade". Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  3. ^ "Saranda Forest". Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  4. ^ Prasad, Hem Chandra, Bihar, 1983/2003, p. 13, National Book Trust, New Delhi, ISBN 81-237-0151-9
  5. ^ Houlton, Sir John, Bihar: The Heart of India, 1949, p. 169, Orient Longmans, Kolkata.
  6. ^ "Asia's biggest sal reserve awaits your arrival". 
  7. ^ South Asia Terrorism Portal
  8. ^ Minister's statement in Hindu News Paper