Simlipal National Park is a national park and a tiger reserve in the Mayurbhanj district in the Indian state of Odisha. It is part of the Similipal-Kuldiha-Hadgarh Elephant Reserve popularly known as Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve, which includes three protected areas — Similipal Tiger Reserve (2750.00 km2), Hadgarh Wildlife Sanctuary (191.06 km2) and Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary (272.75 km2)). Simlipal National Park derives its name from the abundance of semul (red silk cotton trees) that bloom here. It was the second largest national park in India
Palpala River near Lulung, Similipal National Park
The park has a protected area of 845.70 square kilometres (326.53 sq mi) and has some beautiful waterfalls like Joranda and Barehipani. Simlipal is home to 99 royal Bengal tigers and 432 wild elephants Besides Simlipal is famous for gaurs (Indian bison), chausingha, as well as an orchidarium.
One can enter Similipal through Pithabata (22 kilometres (14 mi) from Baripada) and 98 km via Jashipur. Entry permits can be obtained from the Range Officer, Pithabata check gate upon paying prescribed fees. Day visitors can enter between 6 AM and 12 noon and visitors with reservation between 6 AM and 9 AM. Similipal National Park is open from 1 November to 15 June.
This reserve is part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2009
Thick and green forests, extensive grassy lands and meadows, precipitous and sparkling waterfalls, meandering rivers, roaring tigers and trumpeting tuskers, fleeing deer and flying squirrels, talking myna and dancing peacocks et al. are appealing. Covering a vast are of 2750 km2 out of which 303 km2 from the core area, thick biosphere reserve is a sanctuary and one of the tiger projects and national parks of India. With a wide range of rainfall and edaphic variations, from dry deciduous to moist green forests, it is suitable to many species of flora and fauna. About 1076 species of mammals, 29 types of reptiles and 231 species of birds are in this plateau. The average mean elevation of Similipal is 900 meters. There are tall trees in large numbers. The peaks of Khairiburu (1178 meters), Meghasani (1158 meters) and others welcome. Sweet scented champak flowers freshen the air. The richly hued orchids on the green foliage are soothing. In the midst of the dense forests, the summer stands humbled. Several rivers like Budhabalanga, Khairi, salandi, Palpala, etc. originate from the hills and meander through the forest. Many of them have cascading rapids and foaming falls before leaving for the plains.
The panoramic views of the waterfalls at Barehipani (217 meters) and Joranda (181 meters) are enchanting. Fish is found in abundance in most of the rivers. The silence of Similipal is occasionally broken by the chirping of the birds. The dense forest and riverine system serve as an excellent home to some of the most beautiful creatures.
Herds of elephants majestically walking across the roads and rivulets could be a regular sight. While you are moving on the hilly tracts, predators like tiger and leopards might be obliviously lulling under the shade. If lucky, you could spot them there, or else see them around the saltlicks at places like Chahala. Forget the apprehensive dear at Similipal is at its natural best.