Similipal Tiger Reserve & National
Mayurbhanj District, Orissa
Tigers, Leopards, Elephants & Mugger Crocodiles
Simlipal National Park, is a pulsating tropical forest with hills and rich valleys, its sylvan glory on red and saffron soil, its playful brooks and amid rocky glens, its perennial rivers with crystal pools, cascading rapids and gorgeous falls, and its azure blue sky are unmistakably picturesque and awe-inspiring. The perennial water regime owes itself to the unique geological and geomorphologic qualities, unique in the country. The National Park receives 2500 millimeters of rain annually and its summer stands humbled by its verdure. Winters are severe and its valleys are subject to deep pool frost. Varying soils and moisture regimes join up to generate biomic compositions ranging from semi-evergreen to dry deciduous forests. Besides tiger, leopard and wild dog, other notable fauna of Simlipal includes elephants, sambar, muntjac, gaur, wild pig, chital, chousinga, mouse deer, giant squirrel, pangolin, langur, rhesus macaque, large pied hornbill, peafowl, red jungle fowl, spur fowl, mugger and python. Hyena, jackal and vultures make up the scavenging contingent.
The Rich Wild Fauna
One of India's tiger reserves, Similipal has over more than 95 tigers within the lavish bounds of the sanctuary.
Leopards, elephants, mugger crocodiles and numerous reptiles abound here. Other fauna include the wild dog, Wolf, striped-necked mongoose, honey badger, small Indian otter, sloth bear, barking deer, gaur, wild boar, pangolin, rhesus macaque, Hanuman langur, common giant flying squirrel and porcupine.
Because of the wide variety in the habitats the fauna composition of the reserve is also varied and rich, 231 species of birds have been identified, out of which red jungle fowl, Hill Myna, Peafowl, Alexandrine Parakeet, Crested Serpent Eagle are common. The Grey Hornbill, Indian Pied Hornbill, Malabar Pied Hornbill and Trogon also occur in the reserve.
Reptilian fauna include the Indian pond terrapin, Indian flap shell turtle, Indian tent turtle, banded rock gecko, forest calotes, snake skink, common skink, large Bengal monitor lizard, Indian Python, common krait, banded krait, spectacled cobra, monocled cobra, king cobra and bamboo pit viper.
of Natural Splendour
The vast expanse and changing topography and the vegetation and climatic variations in Similipal has been one of the major reasons for the successful breeding of the flora and fauna.
Similipal offers an excellent exposure to the delights not only of its wildlife, but also of its wonderful natural beauty. Scenic beauty of the lush forests and mountains and valleys is as extravagant as it is varied.
The park is a treasure house of 501 species of plants belonging to 102 families. 82 species of orchids have also been identified here. It has a mixed type of vegetation with Northern tropical semi-evergreen trees and Northern tropical moist deciduous trees. Plus, dry deciduous hill forest and high-level Sal forests.
The grasslands and the savannas provide grazing grounds for the herbivores and hiding place to the carnivores. The forest boasts of innumerable medicinal and aromatic plants, which provide a source of earnings for the tribals.
Attractions Within The Santuary
The best way to see as much as possible would be to take a package tour which could take in the Barehipani waterfall (399m) and the Joranda falls (150m), the lush grasslands of Bachhuri Chara, the Meghasani Peak (1,158m) and the wildlife in the environs.
Jashipur, one of the two entry points to the park, has a crocodile sanctuary, the other being Lulung. Khiching and Haripur are two ancient places with unique temple architecture. Haripur is 16-km and Khiching is 149-km from Baripada.
Best Time to Visit
The reserve is open to tourists from 10th November to 15th June in every season. Jashipur on N.H. No. 6 (94-km) and Lulung, 25-km from Baripada on N.H. No. 5 are two entry points to Similipal. Regular bus services from Bhubaneswar, Calcutta, Tata and other important places of the state connect both Baripada and Jashipur. Tourists are advised to hire four-wheeled Jeeps for movement inside the park.
HOW TO GET THERE
Bhubaneswar Airport is situated 270-km from the national park. Other airports include Baripada, 330-km and Jashipur Calcutta Airport, 320-km. Baripada is located around 100-km from Jashipur.
Balasore railhead is situated 56-km from Baripada and Tata railhead is 115-km from Jashipur.
Daytime as well as overnight buses are available in for Baripada and Jashipur from Calcutta, Bhubaneswar and Tata.