Simlipal National Park and wildlife sanctuary The park situated in Marurbhanj district of Orissa in India. Total area of the park is 2,750 sq km with a core area of 850 sq km. The area is a plateau with various picturesque peaks. Similipal remains open from 1st November to 15th June only.
Thick green forests, extensive meadows, twinkling waterfalls, meandering rivers, high peaks – entire diversity of nature in one place. It was once the hunting place of the Maharaja of Mayurbhanj.
The park was notified as one of the major tiger projects in India in 1980.
The park is situated on a plateau mean elevation 900 metres. A number of rivers such as the Khairi, Palpala, Budhabalanga originate here.
Flora and fauna
The largest wild life sanctuary in India. Major attraction of the park is its tigers. Other animals such as antelope, deer, neelgai, leopards, bear, crocodile and other wild animals are also plentiful. It is also a bird lover's paradise.
During summers, the temperature is around 40°C whereas during the winter it falls to about 14°C. The monsoon season brings moderate to very heavy rainfall.
How to reach :-
Baripada, the district headquarters of Mayurbhanj, on the junction of NH 5 and 6, is 170 km from Bhubaneswar , 240 km from Kolkata and 60 km from Balasore and 22 km from Pithabata, which is an entry point. The other entry point Jashipur is 94 km from Baripada on N.H. 6. Both the places are well connected by regular bus services. Taxis and Jeeps are available.
The nearest railhead is Balasore (60 km from Baripada), served by major trains running on the South-Eastern sector.
The nearest airports are Bhubaneswar (270 km) and Kolkata (240 km) Direct drive down from Kolkata is preferable.
You can enter into Similipal through Pithabata (22 km from Baripada). Entry permits can be obtained from the Range Officer, Pithabata check gate or the Assistant Conservator of forests on payment of prescribed fees. Day visitors can enter between 6 AM & 12 Noon and visitors with reservation between 6 AM & 2 PM. Second entry point is Joshipur. Permits from Asst Conservator of Forests (Wildlife). It is advisable to get permits one to two weeks in advance.
What to see :-
Local jeeps are available for hire for moving within the forest.
Panoramic view of Barheipani and Jaranda waterfalls. The magnificent peaks of Khairiburu and Meghasani dominate the area. Crocodile farm. Glimpse of the tribal culture of the area.
Bird watching, trekking and nature walks.
Orissa Tourism has a number of Forest rest houses within the forest. Reservation: Tourist office, Baripada, Ph. 06792 - 52553, Fax 56705, . or other Orissa Govt tourist offices in the major cities / Assistant Conservator of Forests, Jashipur Ph. 06797-2474. Panthasala at Bangiriposi (35 km from Baripada on way to Jashipur). Advance booking is necessary. Visitors can also stay at Baripada or Jashipur in private hotels.