Jharkhand is a relatively new Indian state, formed in November 2000 out of the southern area of Bihar. Its name comes from the ancient name of the lush and dense forest that characterises its landscape. Its capital city is Ranchi, a particularly industrial hub within the subcontinent.

The area today known as Jharkhand was under tribal rule for many centuries. In fact, some of these tribes still exist and live fairly independently of state rule (within reasonable parameters). It was also under Mughal rule for a significant period of time, during which time it was known as Kukara. Then, in the mid-1700’s, the British Empire gained political dominance over the area, which was the time at which it was named Jharkhand. During the British rule, there were several wars and revolts as India struggled to gain its independence. Different states handled this struggle differently and Jharkhand took a more aggressive approach to fighting for such freedom. Although India became an independent country in 1947, the Jharkhand people continued in their quest for an independent statehood for this area. This was only achieved in 2000, after decades of political activity.

The majority of Jharkhand lies on a plateau called Chota Nagpur and is covered by stunning forests filled with an
Image of the city Ranchi
Ranchi, capital of Jharkhand
abundance of plant- and animal species. Some of the most exciting wildlife residents of these forests include tigers and Indian or Asian Elephants, making them valuable resources for the preservation and protection of such special animals.

Jharkhand is significant for its varied types of soil, each of which is the ideal environment for a specific blend of plants. These, in turn, sustain different groups of animals. Red Soil, Micacious Soil, Sandy Soil, Black Soil and Laterite Soil each contribute significantly to the geography, topography, fauna and flora of this Indian state. Such diversity is attested to by the many parks, gardens and reserves in this region. In addition, there are several tiger reserves, where this intriguing and endangered species is protected from the threats of poaching, pollution and development. Other animals found in Jharkhand are the Spotted Deer, rabbit, fox, Langur, Rhesus Monkey, wild boar, squirrel, mongoose, wolf, Sambhar, wild cat, Honey Badger, Malabar Giant Squirrel and various antelope. The many National Parks and reserves are ideal places for families and nature enthusiasts to explore during their trip to India.

Jharkhand is one of the Indian states that have been inhabited by people from all over the subcontinent. As people have migrated, they have brought with them many different influences, which are integrated into local customs, evolving and establishing a brand new identity. This identity remains dynamic, though. The local cuisine in Jharkhand is quite different from the rest of India in that spices are seldom used to flavour dishes. Rice is a staple food and vegetables are usually boiled. Meat and alcoholic drinks form part of the traditional cuisine, unlike the more Hindu states. Many of the foods eaten are known to have medicinal value and are used to cure ailments such as cramps, skin disorders and kidney stones.

Jharkhand is rich in minerals and has formed a viable economy around these. In addition, it has made a major impact in the global fertiliser, iron, steel, explosives and methane gas markets. Minerals include coal, iron ore, uranium, copper ore, thorium, chromite, asbestos, silver, Manganese, limestone, graphite and clay.

Popular tourist attractions include:

• The Betla National Park & Palamu (home to tigers, panthers and Asian Elephants)
• Hazaribagh (a renowned health resort)
• The Parasnath Temple
• Lodh Falls and Hundru Falls
• Kanke Dam
• The Jagannath Temple
• The Urwan Tourist Complex
• Jamshedpur City

For more information, please view: http://traveljharkhand.com/

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