Travel Odisha

Amazing travelling guide to Simlipal tiger reserve

 The expansive green forests of Simlipal is well known because of the abundance of symmetries. Decades have passed, but Simlipal remains green, fresh, and exclusively beautiful. The streams cutting through the rocks on these mountains continued to hum the pleasant lilting tunes and the imperfect consonants with the chirping of birds to create a mesmerizing symphony.

Life reverberates in every crevice of the hills with the ethereal chorus of colours, sound, and light. Situated in the centre of the Mayurbhanj district, Simlipal is India’s biggest reserved forest block.

When was Simlipal National Park accorded?

The government of Odisha accorded it the status of a tiger reserve on December 31st, 2007. Assigning 1194.75 square kilometres of the core area as a critical tiger habitat and 1555.25 square kilometres as a buffer zone. Thus making Simlipal one of the largest tiger reserves in the country.

Along with the fringe transitional area of the foothills, the 5569 square kilometres of Simlipal landscape was accorded the status of a biosphere reserve under the man and the biosphere program of UNESCO on 22nd June 1994.

Welcome to Simlipal

Species found in Simlipal

It is one of the 10 Indian biosphere reserves, which is part of the world network of the biosphere reserve.

The Simlipal biosphere reserve sustained 7% of the country’s flowering plants, 8% of its orchids, 12% of reptiles, 29% of birds, and 14% of mammalian species found in the Indian subcontinent.

Eight plants are found here on near-extinct, eight more belong to the endangered category, and 34 are rare species.

Endemic

Among the 96 species of orchids and 1286 species of plants identified here, Eria Meghasaniensis, Tyna Hookeriena, and Bulbophyllum Panigrahianum are endemic to Simlipal.

Grassland

To get tender leaves, grasslands are cut in segments at least twice a year. The uncut portion helps in providing shelter and food seeds to rodents, birds, and young animals.

The grasslands are regularly maintained by doing timely breeding of unpalatable grasses and invasive weeds. Wherever required, forecasting with indigenously available grass seeds is done to improve the quality of the grassland.

Animal & plants of Simlipal

The Simlipal sanctuary is home to 55 species of mammals, 362 species of birds, 62 species of reptiles, and 21 species of amphibians.

Carnivorous animals found here are tigers, melanistic or black tigers, leopards, leopard cats, fishing cats, jungle cats, wolves, foxes, and hyenas.

Uniqueness of Simlipal

Protected areas and tiger reserves in India are generally known for one unique feature, but Simlipal is perhaps the only one that has multiple.

Semi-evergreen with deciduous forests stretching for miles, expansive meadows stretch from Jenabil, Upper Barhakamuda, and Devasthali into the horizons.

Simlipal Jungle

Undulating hills, numerous rivers, and streams rush through the winding course in the hills, creating an immutable symphony process, a thunderous sound of the free-flowing waterfall emanating from the top of the steep hills.

The intoxicating smell and the wide range of orchids sprouting from the branches of big trees. The shrieks of a deer or sambar occasionally pierced through the din of birds merrily chirping all day long.

The roar of a tiger and the shriek of foxes induce who to be out at night. One could hardly ask for more from Mother Nature.

Tigers in Simlipal

Accommodation

Cottages and Dormitories with catering facilities offer accommodation for tourists throughout the year. The entire landscape of Simlipal is studded with places of tourist interest carved by nature.

Ecotourism complex with food and accommodation are available for tourists at Jamuani. Cottages and bamboo merchants built at Kumari near Gudgudia also provide boarding and lodging facilities for tourists. Gudgudia is one of the entry gate of Simlipal.

Climate of Simlipal

Throughout the year, the temperature in the valley falls abnormally low at night, which lends the place the feel of a hill station.

The pine saplings procured from various countries and planted here by the Forest Department years ago have grown into giant trees. The orchidarium created on the hills close to the pine forest has 94 varieties of orchids.

Major attractions near Simlipal

Around 16 kilometres from Gudgudia lies the Uski waterfall. Nine kilometres from Uski is Barehipani waterfall, the second-highest waterfall in the country. Barehipani waterfall originates from the Simlipal mountains and falls 400 meters below.

Uski waterfall
Uski waterfall
Barehipani waterfall
Barehipani waterfall

Nawana, with its green valley and croplands, is an idyllic place to enjoy in winter. The straight road leads to Jaronda waterfall. A little distance before the waterfall lies an old bungalow from where one can feel the majestic waterfall and the Riparian habitat.

The Chahala valley is about 13 kilometres away from Barehipani. The outer periphery of the Chahala bungalow is covered with giant eucalyptus trees.

Joranda waterfall
Joranda waterfall

Other destinations to visit

Another pitcher is a location in Simlipal is Lulung is situated at the banks of the river Palpala close to the park entrance. The place exudes beauty in every possible colour. 

Emerging from the confluence of River Khairi and Mandan, Ramatirtha is a place of worship for the Hindus due to its mythological importance. It is also a picnic spot with an Astral garden and a Magar Research Centre.

Cottages and Dormitories with catering facilities offer accommodation for tourists throughout the year. The entire landscape of Simlipal is studded with places of tourist interest carved by nature.

Lulung
Lulung

Must visit place

Apart from these, places like Jamuani, Brindaban, Samibrukhya, Bhimkund, and Sitakund are spots that every nature enthusiast would love to explore.

All these spots are well connected with motorable roads with provision for night hall, catering, and trekking on forest trails.

Story of Simlipal

Simlipal was once famous for its tigress Khairi. In 1974 few tribals residing in the villages inside the sanctuary rescued a two-month-old tiger cub from the banks of river Khari.

The tribals handed over the cub to Saroj Raj Chaudhary, the first field director of the Simlipal Tiger project who hosted the tigress and named her Khairi.

The world was interested in the deep intimacy between the domesticated tigress and its master. For the first time in the history of royal cats, the tigress from the wild was grown successfully in captivity till her death in 1981.

Visitors must know

The Simlipal Tiger Reserve is busy with countless visitors and nature lovers throughout the year.

All landscape spots apart from the tiger reserve are open to visitors around the year, but the excursionist is allowed to witness the tiger reserve only from November to June.

Entry procedure and timings

To enter the Simlipal tiger reserve, visitors need to have a permit issued at the entry gates between 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. every morning.

Accommodation and food in tourist cottages at Ramatirtha, Gudgudia, Kumari, and Jamuani can be booked online at Ecoturodisha. Simlipal official website.

Climate of Simlipal

Starting from the coastal plain and rising to 1168 meters above the mean sea level, Simlipal’s varying altitudes create a unique microclimate that provides a varied experience of a frosty winter, cool pleasant summer, and heavy rainfall.

Conclusion

With its green valleys, wooded gorgeous, majestic waterfalls, and unique rich flora and fauna biodiversity, the beautiful landscape of Simlipal feel like a whole new world for tourists, artists, writers, thinkers, and nature lovers.

The roar of the tiger, trumpeting of elephants, chirping of birds, and the murmur of the streams become inquietude of the gorgeous. Everything here forms stanzas of a beautiful song that echoes an ethereal melody of life alive in its purest form.

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