Introduction :

Geographically the forest areas under this Division is lying between 22.430 to 23.420 North latitude and 85.490 to 86.540 East longitude and covers an area of forest land in an around 62 thousands hectares. The areas are bounded by Ranchi and Hazaribag districts of Jharkhand in West and Singhbhum district of Jharkhand in South and Bokaro & Hazaribag Districts of Jharkhand North respectively. Jurisdiction spreads over 6 administrative Blocks of Purulia District, namely – Balarampur, Bagmundi, Jhalda-I, Jhalda-II, Arsha & Joypur.

Physiographically the forest areas under this Division falls under a Sub-region of North-Eastern part of Chhotonagpur plateau with undulating and rolling topography. The degradation processes are active in the area as the presence of isolated hills and dissected plateau. Intercepted by broad and narrow valley indicates the extent of degradation status. The highest peaks in the hilly areas attain an altitude of 677 meters above M.S.L. and cover Ajodhya. Baghmundi Ranges of hilly terrain with an altitude of 300 meters in an average and is dissected by Kangsabati and Subarnarekha rivers and their tributaries. Besides, several isolated hills/hillocks are scattered all over this Division.

Forest Cover :

As per classification, the forest under Purulia Forest Division falls under Northern tropical Dry Deciduous Forest (5B/C 1c)

Mostly coppice Sal forest mixed with misc. species like Palash, Kusum, Mahua, Neem, Kend. Major source for timber, pole, small wood, NTFP, firewood, medicinal plant to local people.

74 trees, 59 shrubs, 23 climbers, 27 bamboos are the main species of Purulia Forest Division. Medicinal plants of more than 100 species occur in this ecosystem. Plants like Aswagandha, Satmuli, and Vrigoraj are few of them. Haritaki, Amla, Bahera, Karanj, Neem, Sal seeds, Bamboo, Kendu leaves are major Non-Timber Forest Produce found in this Division.

Bio-Diversity :

Biogeographically it represent zone 0 6 B (Deccan Peninsula Chhotonagpur), Mammal – 39 species (5 in Schedule – I) – (Pangolin, wolf, leopard cub, leopard, elephant). Amphibian – 9 species, Fish – 27 species, Mollusk – 9 species. Most interesting is Madras Tree Shrew which is found on the top hills of this ecosystem and nowhere else in West Bengal. Ajodhya hill ecosystem hosts few number mega-mammals like elephant. Though major elephant habitat is engulfed by PPSP. At present number of such resident elephant is considered to be 8-10. Apart from that the seasonally migrated herds of elephant from nearby Jharkhand forest took shelter in this area for days together in different seasons of the year.

Ecological Importance :

The total area drains into two major river system, namely Subarnarekha and Kangsabati. Ajodhya hill plays an important role in harvesting of monsoon rain. Moreover, few lakhs of people residing in and around forest directly or indirectly depends on this forest for fodder, fuel wood, small timber and other tangible or intangible benefits. Small dams like Murguma, Pardi, Burda, Gopalpur, Tilaitar helps in irrigation of agriculture field.

Past History of Management :

Previously it was part of Manbhum Forest Division and when Purulia District was become a part of West Bengal Purulia Forest Division started working, legal status wise mostly the area comprises of protected forest, some part is reserve forest declared vide different Government Notification.

Owned by princely States, nurtured as favourite hunting ground of Rajas. Forestry operations were guided by Working Plan of undivided Manbhum Division. Later on Working Plan of Purulia Division came into existence.

Administrative Structure :

Division Headquarters is situated in Purulia Town. Division is headed by one Divisional Forest Officer and assisted by Assistant Divisional Forest Officer. There is 8 territorial Ranges who are looking after the total forest area as mentioned below. Apart from that Division includes Ranges, like Land, Law, Mobile & Elephant Squad, Attached Forest Range.

Present Administrative set up Area wise :

Name of Division Name of Range Name of Beat Total forest area (in Ha.) Total (in Ha.)
PURULIA Balarampur Balarampur 707.02
Bersa 2522.20
Ghatbera 3146.57 6438.79
Matha Matha 796.779
Matha P.F. 391.496
Pardi 1358.909
Kudna 1712.568 42.59.752
Bagmundi Kalimati 1823.38
Bagmundi 8512.50
Burda 3908.64 14244.52
Ajodhya Ranga 3688.30
Ajodhya 10031.40 13719.76
Jhalda Jhalda 2642.90
Khamar 1120.97
Kalma 2067.78 7841.65
Kotshila Murguma 1618.15
Simni 1922.15
Nowahatu 1074.17 4614.47
Joypur Joypur 627.53
Bangidiri 1005.48
Talmu 1016.48 2649.49
Arsha Arsha 4248.83
Sirkabad 3525.76
Kantadih 153.22 7927.81
GRAND TOTAL : 61696.022