Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary
Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary: Facts and Figures
||2,750 sq km (gross area) |
|Best Time to Visit
||October to mid-June|
Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary: Introduction
Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary originated primarily as a hunting ground for the royalty. It was formally designated a tiger reserve in 1956 under Project Tiger in May 1972. It was elevated to a national park status in 1979. Located in the Mayurbhanj district of India's coastal state of Orissa, Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary is an ecosystem complete with forest vegetation (mainly sal trees), fauna and the adjoining Santhal tribal settlements. High plateaus and hills, the highest peak being the Mangesheri, surround the forest. At least 12 rivers cut across the plain area. The prominent among them are Burhabalanga, Palpala Bandan, Kahairi and Deo. This sprawling Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary also has many waterfalls that are a perpetual attraction to the tourist. It has withstood two cyclones in 1982 and 1999 without any irrevocable damages and continues to enchant visitors.
Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary: Climate
During summers, the temperature of Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary is very high (around 40°C) whereas during the winter it falls to about 14°C. The monsoon season brings moderate to very heavy rainfall.
Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary: Biosphere
The sprawling ecosystem of Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary, thanks to the mega conservation efforts, has close to a 100 tigers. Other mammalian species like leopards, sambhars, langurs, deer, gaur (Indian bison), elephants, antelopes, chitals, chevrotains, wild dog, wild boar, sloth bears, monkeys, hyenas and porcupines are also found here. There are around 230 species of birds in these forests. The ones officially recorded include the red jungle fowl, hill myna, peafowl, alexandrine parakeet, crested serpent eagle, gray hornbill, Indian pied hornbill, Malabar pied hornbill and Indian trogon. Most of these bird species may be spotted in the Newana area of Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary. There is a sizable population of reptiles as well, which include snakes and turtles. The population of crocodiles has increased considerably since the inception of the Mugger Management Program.
Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary is a floral treasure as well. It has close to 501 species of plants belonging to 102 families. Eighty-two species of orchids have already been identified here along with the omnipresent sal trees. Innumerable medicinal and aromatic plants are found as well in Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary that are a source of earnings for the local tribal population.
A panoramic view of Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary can be enjoyed from Barheipani (1308 ft.) region. The most beautiful and scenic waterfalls of the park are found here and at Joranda (493 ft.).
Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary: How to Reach
Reaching Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary is very easy. There are three major airports and rail junctions in the vicinity. These include Jamshedpur (140 km), Bhubaneswar (320 km) and Kolkata (240 km). Road network and highway links in the area are quite efficient.
Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary: Where to Stay
Accommodation is available in Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary in the form of forest reserve bungalows in the Simlipal Hills. These bungalows have catering facilities as well. Solar-powered stone lodges at Baripada offer reasonably priced accommodation.
Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary: Links to outside world
Baripada, at a distance of 50 km, offers communication (post, telegraph, telephone and fax) and medical (chemists, hospitals) facilities. Internet facilities are available at Bhubaneshwar, Jamshedpur and Calcutta, all of which are well connected to the region.
Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary: Travel Tips
During summers, light cotton clothing is essential in Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary whereas woolens would suffice during winters. Permit for entry to the park must be collected at Baripada. The Santhal tribes that live in the Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary celebrate feast and dance during January, which tourists may attend by prior notification.
A team headed by the Field Director carries out research under Project Tiger in Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary. Rights of admission to the laboratory and field facilities of Project Tiger are restricted, but officials do not discourage the visits of tourists/ecology students and extend all possible help by providing information/literature about the park as well as the tiger conservation project.
Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary: Nearby Places
Excursions from Simlipal National Park include the temple town of Bhubaneshwar and the former colonial capital of British India, Kolkata. Both destinations have direct air, rail and road links.