Simlipal Tiger Reserve, Orissa was earlier known as the hunting ground of the Royal Dynasty of Mayurbhanj Maharaja Sriram Chandra BhanjDeo in the British era. Later on, in 1956 it has been designated as “Tiger Reserve”. This place got the status of ” Project Tiger” in 1973.Simlipal National Park got the status of wildlife sanctuary by the Government of Orissa in the year 1979 with an area of 2200 square kilometers of the total area out of which 303 square kilometers of the sanctuary declared as National Park and later on further the area increased to 845.70 square kilometers in 1986 . Simlipal Tiger Reserve is the part of Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve is consists of three protected areas, Simlipal Tiger Reserve (2750 square kilometers), Hadgarh Wildlife Sanctuary (191.06 square kilometers) andKuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary(272.75 square kilometers).
Location & Reachability
Simlipal Tiger Reserve is situated in the Eastern Indian Zone, near the small beautiful city, Baripada the District Head Quarter of Mayurbhanj in Orissa. Baripada is well connected with the road through National Highway No.5 from both Bhubaneswar and Kolkata. From Bhubaneswar, it is 250 kilometers by road and from Kolkata, it is around 276 kilometer . One can opt for a train to Baripada also but the train frequency is not regular to come from Bhubaneswar to Baripada, only one train comes from Bhubaneswar at 4.30 PM and it takes 5 hours to reach Baripada. If you will come from Kolkata by train you have to deboard at Balasore station and either from there you can take a taxi or local buses ply from Balasore to Baripada and it takes one hour to reach Baripada. From Baripada there are two ways to entering Simlipal Tiger Reserve, one is through Lulung-Pithabata Range which is only 30 kilometers from Baripada and the another one is through Jasipur- Ramtirtha Range which is about 80 kilometers from Baripada. To get an entry pass and booking for lodging inside Simlipal Tiger Reserve there is an Office near Bhanjapur, Baripada where one can get the entry pass and lodging booking or either you can get it on the both the entry gates at Lulung-Pithabata Range and Jashipur-Ramtirtha Range by paying the prescribed amount. If you are entering through Jashipur Range then you will get the gypsy of the forest department by paying the desired amount and if you are entering through Jashipur-Ramtirtha Range then you have to go through your own arrangement.
Places of Attractions In Simlipal Tiger Reserve
The Name Simlipal is derived due to the opulence of Red Silk Tree (Simul) those blooms here. Simlipal Tiger Reserve is a vast land of thick green forest mostly covered with Saal trees and huge grassland. It is the home of 1076 species of mammals, 29 types of reptile and 231 species of bird. Simlipal National Park is the home of 99 royal Bengal tigers and 432 elephants. The park is also famous for Indian Bison and Chausinga. Simlipal Tiger Reserve has 7 places to visit inside but visitors do not have the access to visit the core areas like Jenabil and Barah-Kamuda rest of the part like Chahala, Nawana, Joranda, Barheipani , Gudgudia and Ramtirtha can be visited. For animal sightseeing at Cahala is the best place where one can spotting animals like Cheetal, Sambar, Indian Bison, Peacock and Wild Boar as the salt lick is managed to do by the forest officials which is invisible and animals love the salty soils , especially the Cheetals and Spotted deer.
Simlipal Tiger Reserve has two famous waterfall one Barehipani another one is Joranda. Barehipani waterfall is a two tier waterfalls mean the waterfalls in two drops from the hills and it is the highest waterfall of Orissa having 399 meters from the sea level. This is very calm and quiet place to enjoy the beauty of nature. The fall ie originated from the river Budhabalanga, one can find a large number of freshwater fish here. Similarly, Joranda fall is situated near to the proximity of Barehipani in the core area of Simlipal Tiger Reserve but it is lesser in height as compared to Barehipani, it is 150 meters from the sea level, it is the 19th highest waterfall in India. The Simlipal tour can be completed in a single day but of you want to visit each and every point then you must stay for one day. The entry gates are open for issuing passes from 6am to 9 am. If you are planning to visit Simlipal Tiger Reserve you must know some rules and regulation which you have to obey before visiting Simlipal Tiger Reserve.
Visiting Rules & Regulations
- Before visiting Simlipal you have to declare all your personal details such as visa, passport ( for foreign nationals) ,number of places visiting, number of days staying , purpose of visiting etc to the Collector, Mayurbhanj, and District Tourist Officer through email : firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
- A subsequent arrangement will be done within a day after verifying the information provided by you.
- You have to collect the entry permit in between 6 am to 9 am from Pithabata andJashipur booking counter.
- You have to hire a tourist guide from the respective booking counter, it is mandatory for your safety and security.
- Tourist vehicle will entry only from Pithabata Range andKaliani ( Jashipur ) Range.
- While entering into the sanctuary police personnel will check your vehicle and your belongings.
- The similar procedure will be repeated while you will be exiting from the gates.
- You have to vacate the Joranda and Barehipani waterfall by 3 pm andChahala by 4 pm.
- Day tourist has to make their plan in such a way that they should exit from either Pithabata Range orJashipur Range by 5 pm.
- No one is allowed to take non-veg food inside the National Park.
For the convenience of travelers we would like to inform you that Simlipal Tiger Reserve is located in the remote area of North-Orissa, so you will not find any shops selling food or even water inside the park till you reach Lulung while returning for the exit point to Pithabata Range. You can only avail this food if you have chosen the package of the Simlipal forest department. This food is made by the local people and you will be served on Saal leaves. The inmates of the Simlipal tiger Reserve are all Tribes, Khadia community and you could not imagine 61000 people are living inside Simlipal National Park though Simlipal Tiger Reserve is declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for the Royal Bengal Tiger. These 61000 people of 43 villages 21 villages have been relocated from the core area with the help of the local administration. Simlipal National Park opens for visitors from 1st October to 15th June but the best visiting season is from November to March.
Lulung is a picnic place where entering through Pithabata Range near the river Palpal. This place is around 300 meters above from the sea level, surrounded by thick forest and sky touching saal trees. One can spot here deers and peacock occasionally. Gudgudia and Chahala are in the core area of Simlipal where forest guest house is there for night halt purpose subjected to prior booking and availability. While staying in these place one can hear the roars of Tigers , Elephants and if you are lucky enough you could even spot them. Jenabil and Barahakaumda are the most core area where the big cats can be seen in the night as well as in the daytime also but forest department has closed those zone for the protection of the wildlife. Simlipal Tiger Reserve is one of the forests of Eastern India struggling for the poaching issues , poachers motivate the local tribes here by offering them some money to do these activities. To fight against the poaching Government and Forest Department has done some initiatives to improve the wildlife awareness among the local tribe , their importance for nature and ecosystem.
If you are a wildlife lover and planning to visit Orissa or Eastern India then without visiting SImlipal Tiger Reserve your wildlife tour is incomplete as we think so.