Flame of The Forest – The Beautiful Palash

They look like wildfire, against the sky so blue, Flame of the forest, they are, painting it with a red hue.

Don’t worry there’s no forest fire. We are talking about the wonderful Palash flowers (Buteamonosperma). March is the season of flowers and we, in India, especially in the dry deciduous regions, celebrate the blooming of Palash, which are orange red flowers with long narrow petals that look like flickering flames. Mythology states that Agnidev, the fire god, when born on earth once, took the shape of Palash and so the tree is considered sacred. It has immense medicinal values too. Between mid-February and mid-April, the trees are in full bloom and the forests appear as if set on fire. Hence, the name- Flame of the forest.

Now that we are all under house arrest to fight COVID19, let’s travel to the land of Palash, the flame of the forest through this blog. Palash is the state flower of Jharkhand. I will take you to Koderma in Jharkhand and places around, based on my road trip from via NH19. However, one can reach Ranchi, the capital city of Jharkhand and travel to Koderma by car or bus.

Things to see in Koderma – A Haven for Flame of the Forest

Koderma is the mica district of Jharkhand and Jhumari Tilaiya, a small town of the district is called ‘Abhark Nagari’, meaning the land of mica. Jhumari Tilaiya’s vast mica reserves were discovered when the British were laying railroad through Koderma in the 1890s and soon after, mining activities were started. There is also another story behind why Jhumari Tilaiya is popular. In the 1950s, when television and FM had not yet come to India, the largest number of requests for film songs addressed to the All India Radio came from Jhumri Telaiya.

Tilaiya Dam: The most famous tourist spot in Koderma is the Tilaiya Dam. Across the Barakar River stands the 1200ft long and 99ft high dam, on Ranchi-Patna Highway. Built in 1953, it is one of the first four dams of Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC). Watching the sunset from a boat on the huge lake with small islands is a panoramic experience. Some of the islands are Churchur Island, Whispering Island and Chacha Nehru Island popular as picnic spots and bird watchers’ paradise. The pathway to the lake and the entire area around the dam is well surrounded by lush green forests. There are plenty of Palash trees too.

Tilaiya Dam

Urwan: This is the place where most tourists visiting Koderma or Ranchi by road take a break and freshen up. The Urwan Tourist Complex run by the Jharkhand State Tourism Board is the center of refreshment and has proper dining and lodging facilities. Urwan has a serene lake surrounded by Palash. The flame of the forest makes the entire forest area ablaze.

Lake Urwan
Lake Urwan

Dhawajadhari Pahar: This beautiful hill is dedicated to Lord Shiva. All along the path one climbs to reach the temple on top, one can see the flame of the forest, Palash from the hill top.

Maa Chanchal Devi Mandir: Perched on a small hillock stands the temple of Chanchala Devi, a form of Goddess Durga. There is a narrow cave that houses portraits of the deity. Rice and mishri (sugar cubes) are used as offerings and usage of sindur (vermilion) is prohibited.

Hazaribagh: Drive to Hazaribagh Wildlife Sanctuary which is opened from 10 am to 5 pm. There may not be numerous animal sightings at the sanctuary but the sanctuary filled with Palash, saal and mohua trees, is a place for solace. The drive to and inside the sanctuary is the best way to satiate the thirst for seeing the flame of the forest. These trees with their vibrant blooms, spread across a vast area, will instantaneously change one’s mood. Don’t miss sun set from Canary Hill at Hazaribagh.

Hazaribagh Wildlife Sanctuary
Hazaribagh Wildlife Sanctuary

The entire Chotanagpur plateau looks ablaze due to Palash, the flame of the forest.  An abundance of Palash is seen in ’s Purulia district too. We touched upon a few spots while returning back to Kolkata, though Purulia deserves an exclusive visit for there are many places to see in Purulia.

We returned via Topchachi in Jharkhand on NH19. The serenity of the lake and the hills around is unparalleled.

Topchachi
Topchachi
Topchachi
Topchachi Bridge

Since we travelled on NH19, we couldn’t restrict ourselves from visiting Garpanchakot in Purulia, West Bengal, before returning back to Kolkata. Purulia is famous for hills, trees, lakes, dams and terracotta temples. Terracotta architecture is pre-Mughal and Bengal terracotta has no match. We saw the gorgeous terracotta temple and the ruins of the fort (gar). The canopy road leading to the hillock looked like wildfire. They looked lit up with the flame of the forest. The terracotta temple and the view from the hillock were captivating. This has left me planning for my next spring trip already.

National Highway 19
Garpanchokot Temple
Garpanchokot Fort

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32 thoughts on “Flame of The Forest – The Beautiful Palash

  • March 27, 2020 at 9:45 pm
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    Heard a lot about Hazaribagh Wildlife Sanctuary, even read about that. But never got a chance to visit the Sanctuary. I heard a lot about chirping of birds which is quite peaceful there….

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    • April 4, 2020 at 9:57 am
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      Thank you 😊

      Reply
  • April 17, 2020 at 11:24 pm
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    That is so beautiful. I love your pictures of those trees. I’ll have to find them one day myself.

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  • April 21, 2020 at 1:17 am
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    Your photos are so beautiful and show all the many wonderful sites. I can’t wait to travel again. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • April 21, 2020 at 1:53 am
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    Oh wow. Those trees look really beautiful. They barely look real, like something out of a fantasy world.

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    • April 21, 2020 at 10:21 am
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      It really looks like a place out of fantasy. The entire forest literally looks on fire. When all the trees are in full bloom the entire forest look absolutely red and stunning from far.

      Reply
  • April 21, 2020 at 2:49 am
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    Those blooms are absolutely gorgeous. The colors and the shape of them next to the tree itself is just such a beautiful combination.

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  • April 21, 2020 at 8:35 am
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    I feel as if I am traveling with you. The palash flower is beautiful and sad that most people will be missing the last of the blooming season this year. These photos are so cool. I especially like the one of the Garpanchokot Temple.

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    • April 21, 2020 at 10:17 am
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      Thanks. Yes it is sad, most of the spring is lost for travelling this year.

      Reply
  • April 21, 2020 at 10:24 am
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    What beautiful color, I have never seen that kind of flower before 🙂

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  • April 21, 2020 at 11:25 am
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    Wow I love trees. I have never heard of this tree before, so amazing!! 🙂 🙂

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  • April 21, 2020 at 4:59 pm
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    I think there are lots of beautiful spots to see here. This post makes me miss travelling. How I wish this pandemic will be over soon.

    Reply
  • April 21, 2020 at 7:42 pm
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    These are beautiful flowers! I love the color and the shapes of the blossoms. It would be neat to be able to see them when they are at their peak.

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  • April 21, 2020 at 9:31 pm
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    Missed the spring trip this year because of the current situation. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • April 22, 2020 at 1:39 am
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    I would love to see one of these in person. It has such gorgeous pedals!

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  • April 22, 2020 at 5:09 am
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    Love the photos, makes me want to get out and explore nature

    Reply
  • April 22, 2020 at 9:14 am
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    Great photos. Looks like a great spot to visit and reflect.

    Reply
  • April 22, 2020 at 11:16 am
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    I learned something new from your blog post. It is the first time I encounter the name “Palash.” So, even i do not travel, it is a good thing it can still be possible by reading your blog. Thanks.

    Reply
  • April 22, 2020 at 1:14 pm
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    Wow It’s really special and spring is once again return to our lives. Let’s celebrate it and thanks a lot for sharing these beautiful pictures! – Knycx Journeying

    Reply
  • April 22, 2020 at 5:06 pm
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    India is on the top of my travel bucket list! Hope I´ll get to see the blooming of Palash with my own eyes one day!

    Reply
  • April 22, 2020 at 5:15 pm
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    It feels great to know that you guys are travelling through this blog. I pray that the world heals soon and borders open for the back packers to be in action.

    Reply
  • April 23, 2020 at 7:53 pm
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    Beautiful photos! I’ve never heard of Jhumari Tilaiya before, but I would love to visit here one day! Saving this pin.

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  • April 24, 2020 at 2:28 pm
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    The place looks so beautiful. Looking at the pic, we can finally say it’s spring time.

    Reply
  • April 25, 2020 at 7:28 pm
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    That sounds like a wonderful place to visit someday. Plenty of beautiful areas to see and the flower on that tree reminds me of a cherry blossom.

    Reply
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