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Palamau region, Once Shrouded in Dense Jungles and Mountains, Reveals Rich Historical and Natural Treasures

Sanjay Kumar Pandey

Palamu EW News: Known for its abundant natural resources but economically distressed, the Palamau region is a geographical expanse rooted in its geographical, historical, forest, and mineral wealth. With a land area of 4914 square miles, it encompasses 44% forest, 29% mineral, and 27% agricultural regions. Established during the British colonial era in 1892, Colonel A. E. Jordan became its first district magistrate. However, later, W. R. Bright (IAS) was appointed as the Deputy commissioner (DC) for the district, a position that continues to exist. The naming of Palamau has historical significance, suggesting it was once covered by impenetrable jungles and mountains. In colder days, the area faced severe challenges, leading to the naming as a place of suffering, where crops, animals, birds, and humans succumbed to extreme conditions.

Delving into historical perspectives, there are various theories about the origin of the name “Palamau.” Some believe it signifies a region sheltered by dense forests, while others suggest it could mean a place of exodus, offering refuge to those seeking to escape. The ancient Betla National Park, situated near the banks of the Auranga River, holds remnants of the famous Palamau Fort, serving as the capital for Dravidian-Mahi, Kharwar, Rakshemal, and Chero rulers since ancient times.

As the British arrived, the pronunciation of Palamau transformed to “Palamau,” leading many to adopt the Anglicized version. However, the correct pronunciation remains “Palamu.” Although concrete evidence about Palamau’s ancient history is scarce, local folklore, ancient ruins, and discovered manuscripts provide glimpses into its historical epochs, spanning Kolakol, Adi Jatikal, Dravidian era, Rakshewal era, Chero era, British rule, and the modern era.

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