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Orissa Similipal Tiger Reserve
|Area||845.70 sq Kilometers (326.53 sq mi.)|
|Governing Body||Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. Of India|
|Summer temperature||40 °C|
|Winter temperature||14 °C|
Mayurbhanj district in Orrisa is home to the Similipal tiger reserve which is situated in the central region of this district. The widely known Project Tiger which enforces preservation and research attempts also holds a field office in this national park. Although the rights to enter in the premises are limited to some people, the tourists can visit the field office to gather more details regarding the efforts being made for tiger conservation at Similipal tiger reserve.
Similipal happens to be an ecosystem and it consists of various animals, forest flora and the bordering Santhal tribes are also a vital part of the reserve. The people visiting the reserve will also encounter that various hills and plateaus surround the reserve and Mangesheri is the highest peak among all. There are no less than 12 rivers cutting throughout the plain area and some of the main rivers among them are Bandan, Palpala, Deo, Kahairi and Burhabalanga. Amongst all the beautiful flora and fauna the tourists can also enjoy the view of some spectacular waterfalls in this straggling forest. This tiger reserve has been successful in defying not one but two cyclones in the years 1982 and 1999 and there have been no such damages that can hamper the ageless beauty of the forest.
The area of the forest which includes the Similipal tiger reserve covers a huge area of around 2750 square kilometers and it was announced as a ‘tiger reserve’ on 4th of December in 1973. The announcement clearly suggests the boundary as Core Tiger Habitat and this region stretches over to around 1194.75 sq kilometers and plus there is a buffer area that covers around 1555.25 kilometers. The total number of villages in the Core area is 4 while the buffer area consists of around 65 villages. The tiger reserve came into being to serve as a hunting ground for the royal families however it was first assigned as a tiger reserve under the project by the name of ‘project tiger’ and later it was awarded a position of a national park in the year 1979.
Weather And Best Time To Visit
A year at Similipal tiger reserve can be broadly divided into three main seasons namely summer, rainy season and winter. The summers at this tiger reserve is a pleasant season and it begins towards the end of March and continues till May and the maximum summer temperature that has been recorder is around 30°C. The monsoon season starts from the month of June and it continues till October and precipitation of around 200 cm can be experienced throughout the monsoon season. The winters reach the tiger reserve by the month of November and stay there till the early days of March. The fall in the temperature during the winter season is up to 2°C and frost can be encountered in most places.
Best Time To Visit
The Similipal tiger reserve is open for the visitors from November 10 till June 15 every year.
Places To Visit
Apart from visiting the beautiful tiger reserve the tourists can also enjoy other attraction such as this one which is located on the merging point of two rivers namely Bhandan and Khairi which emerge from Similipal. This tourist destination is a spot to worship for the Hindu visitors as it holds an important position in mythology. There are adequate arrangements for staying and eating in Ramatirtha for the convenience of the tourists.
This beautiful place is located on the banks of river Khairi and it is also surrounded by wooded hills which makes it equivalent to a hill station. The tourists can view 63 different orchids bloom in the summer season which is definitely something worth watching. The main attracting features of this place are a ride on an elephant plus trekking on the nearby hills. The visitors can easily find a place to stay and good dining facilities in this spot.
This is the place where the royal highness of Mayurbhanj decided to build a forest resort which presently is a rest house for the tourists. The rest house is surrounded by the voices of many birds such as hill myna plus the tourists will find themselves in the middle of an enchanting forest.
This tourist destination is primarily shaped like a rope which is known as Barehi and hence the name. The main viewing attraction of this place is a splendid waterfall that is around 217 meters high and it looks quite gallant.
There is a waterfall in this spot which is a 181 meters in height and it reaches the ground in a perpendicular manner. There are cottages available for the accommodation purpose of the visitors and what is most exciting and splendid is the view at the sunset. The tourists are bound to fall in love with the lush greenery and they will experience some rare sightings of the animals.
This place is basically a beautiful crop valley which reaches at its best in the winter season. Another thing to experience in this region is the unique living style of the tribal population.
How To Reach
The nearest town to Similipal tiger reserve is Baripada and the closest airport to the town of Baripada is Bhubaneswar which is at a distance of 207 kilometers. The Kolkata international airport is at a distance of 195 kilometers from Baripada and the Bhubaneswar airport is linked with Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Nagpur by boarding flights. There are cabs available from the airport that will take the tourists to Baripada although the tourists must know how to bargain.
The nearest railway station to Similipal tiger reserve is the Baripada railway station and this station is linked with almost all the major locations in India. Balasore happens to be the closest railhead which is linked with Baripada via regular deluxe buses.
This tiger reserve is well connected via NH 5 and 6 with major destinations like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Ranchi, Kolkata, Baripada and Bhadrak. There are many options to avail like the OSRTC regular bus service, taxis or any other local mode of transport to reach Baripada via road.
There are many private as well as government owned buses that travel from Cuttack and Bhubaneswar to Baripada. Apart from Cuttack and Bhubaneswar there are two other towns well linked to Similipal tiger reserve.
Flora And Fauna
There are many kinds of flora that can be seen in the entire region such as Shorea robusta, Michelia champaca, Bombax ceiba, Dillenia pentagyna, Gmelina arborea, Garuga pinnata, , Syzygium cumini, Careya arborea, Sterculia urens, Boswellia serrata, Dalbergia latifolia, Cleistanthus collinus, Gardenia gummifera, G. latifolia, G. turgide, Erythrina suberosa, almnea coromandelica ,Cochlospermum gossypium, Helicteres isora, Nyctanthes arbotristis. The common grasses found in the forest are Imperata cylidrica, Themeda gigiantia and Saccharum spontaneum.
Different kinds of animals can be found in the forest such as tigers, elephants, leopard, sambar, jungle cat, wild boar, common langur and giant squirrel.
- Entry: 6 am to 9 am
- Exit: 4 pm to 5 pm
Where To Stay
There are comfortable forest reserve bungalows in the Similipal hills that offer comfortable accommodation along with basic amenities. Other than that stone lodges in Baripada are also an economical staying option.
- The entry permit will be provided between 6 am till 9 am at Jashipur and Pithabata booking counters.
- The vehicles of the visitors will be allowed in from the entry gates at Jashipur and Pithabata only.
- There will be a security check of all the vehicles plus the tourists and their belongings while entering and exiting the reserve.
- The police will evacuate the tourists from the Barehipani and Chahla by 3 and 4 pm respectively plus any vehicle which violates the rules will be restricted from entering the reserve.
- Only the visitors with confirmed passes will be allowed to enter plus all of them have to give a signed undertaking to the authorities.
- Visitors who do not plan for a night stay must plan accordingly and leave the premises before 5 pm.