Kiriburu and Saranda Forest
Odisha and nearby states like Jharkhand and Chattisgarh have many unexplored places and the cultures, especially one ruled by the tribal life. Among these, several locations are ending with "Buru" like Kiriburu, Meghataburu, etc. "Buru" means hillock .and the prefixes have different meaning like "Kiri" means insects. "Megahata" means cloud.
Kiriburu and its sister town of Meghahatuburu, both located in both Jharkhand and Odisha are easily accessible from most of the towns nearby. Meghataburu is one of the largest Haematite iron ore mines in the world. The famous Saranda Forest nearby these places is the densest deciduous forest in Asia.Also the largest Sal forest in Asia.
Kiriburu is a place for nature lovers, where one can watch hills and valleys full of tall ad indigenous trees and all-year-round green vegetation. The weather is usually right round the year. Even in summer months, when rest of Odisha starts feeling the increased heat, one can experience morning fog in Saranda forest. The forest receives around 200 cm(approx) of rain in Kiriburu. In Meghahatuburu, near the SAIL guest house located in a corner of the town, a beautiful view of 700 mountains in the morning, and the beautiful sunset is panoramic to watch.
|Fire in these jungles during summer is a common phenomenon - cause many times manmade and sometimes natural|
Sarana forest is located in the hilly region of West Singhbum district in the state of Jharkhand. "Saranda" in local language means land of 700 hills. Another origin of the name might be due to the presence of a large number of elephants in the forest. Saranda means elephants.
The density of the forest itself is scenic to watch because it is covered with mostly a single type of tree: Saal. The calmness, wilderness, the depth all adds up to a must have experience in this part. Most of the forest is untouched and makes it a perfect home for plenty of bird and other wildlife species importantly elephants, tiger, leopards, and Bisons. It also hosts some stunning waterfalls and hill views.
The river Koena is by far the most important river of this division. It originates in the extreme south of Bhangaon village on the Bonai border. It flows for about 80 km through this division and drains into the river Koel at Manoharpur. About 1100 hectares of virgin forests with more than 40% canopy cover is under iron ore mining leases. Several new aspirants for mining lease are in the waiting.
Some interesting facts:
Allegedly, this part of India hosts many Primitive Tribal Group, who are unaware of the modern civilization e.g. people who don't wear clothes. Some tribes use sound and use sign languages. Jharkhand government has made cement houses for them within thick forest so that they can continue living amidst the woods but with some added security.
The Singh Deo family were the royal family of the Saraikela, and Saranda forest was the hunting reserve of this family. Allegedly, the royal family made money by exploiting the forest resources by selling Elephant tusks, timber, etc.
How to reach Kiriburu:
A small video of travel from Manoharpur to Kiriburu and then in the forest near Pundulu
Kiriburu and Meghataburu are very close to each other. From Rourkela, it is advised to hire car and travel by road. Limited bus service is available, but can't be guaranteed about time and regularity. Kiriburu can be reached from Tatanagar by road or by rail, the nearest railway station being Barajamda, at a distance of 24 km. The mining town of Barbil in the Keonjhar District in Orissa is at a distance of 28 km from Meghahataburu by road. Direct Train - Jan Shatabdi- from Howrah (West Bengal) is available up to Barbil. Tourists, if not willing to stay and are travelling by road, should visit only during day-time for security reasons. Barbil is the only town near by for good accomodation. Guest house at Meghataburu is only for SAIL employees.