Simlipal Tiger Reserve

Simplipal is a dense hilly tract of forests spread over 2,750 sq km. It is part of the Mahanadi biogeographical region, and the forests fall wihtin the biotic province of the Chhotanagpur plateau. Local legend has it that the forest prabably deries ts name from the simul trees, which are known for their attractive red flowers. There are several high mountain peaks here such as Khariburu and Meghasani. As many as seven major rivers and their tributaries flow through these forests, and some of them have mugger crocodiles and mahseer. The forests contain flora fauna, some which fall in the endangered caegory according to the Red Data Book of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and National Resources).

The Simlipal Tiger Reserve came under the Project Tiger conservation plan in 1973 and a part of the core area was declared a sanctuary in 1979. The entire region, including the buffer zone and adjoining areas, is known as the Simlipak Biosphere Reserve. There are number of tribal villages within Simlipal, and most of them are located on the periphery of the reserve. There are number of tribal villages within Simplipal, and most of the them are located on the periphery of the reserve. The presence of these villages is one reason why Simplipal hasn't been declared a national park as yet. Grazing of livestock is a problem, as are forest fires, usually cause dby the callousness of human beings. Some members of the indigenous community (tribes found in the region include Khola, Santhal and Mankadia) indulge in mass hunting as a ritual.

Travel Tips

Similar National Park is known to be a cerebral-malaria prone zone. Visitors should take anti-malarial precautions, carry mosquito repellents, snacks and drinking water. So make sure that you avoid mosquito bites. Take immediate medical help in case symptoms of fever are detected.

There is no electricity, you have to make do with kerosene lanterns, so take along candles and a torch. Also carry blankets during winter - the blanket provided in the forest rest houses may not be adequate.

The reserve is opne roughly from November to mid of June. The ideal season to visit is November to February.

When to visit

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • July
  • Aug
  • Sept
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
sprinkles Pleasant
  • 29.2° Max
  • 15.2° Min
  • 41.3 mm
  • Carry Light woollen
Things to do

Given the sheer expanse of the park and the numerous varieties of animals that can be seen here, Simlipal National Park is one where you can expect never to have a moment’s dullness. The reserved forest is known for its elephant and tiger population. There are several varieties of endangered animals that can be found here. In all, the park plays host to 42 species of mammals, and 30 species of reptiles. Some of the animals that you are likely to come across during your trip to the park are Sambhar, Leopard, Choushingha, Barking deer, Gaur, Jungle cat, Wild boar, Giant squirrel and Common langur. It is not only the animals that make this park special. There are several hundred varieties of birds that you can see. Some of them are migratory in nature.

Some of the commonly seen birds are Grey Hornbill, Red Alexandrine Parakeet, Jungle fowl, Indian Pied Hornbill, Peacock, Crested Serpent Eagle, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Hill Mynah, and Indian Trogon. There around 242 species of birds in the park. Apart from that, Similar National Park is also known for its crocodile and snake population. The mugger crocodile has been rehabilitated here. The flora of the park also adds to its charms. There are many varieties of flowering plants along with medicinal herbs. There are 96 different types of orchids only. Also can be found is the eucalyptus tree. There is also the facility of taking part in a trekking expedition that will lead you through various parts of the park. You should also visit the two waterfalls that are within the perimeter of the park. Barheipani Falls and Jaranda Falls are both picturesque and provide a magnificent sight of water crashing on rocks in the backdrop of dense forest.

Drive around Simlipal, enjoy the beauty of the forest and its waterfalls, and try to spot animals.

The terrain is rough, so ravel in a sturdy four-wheeler and ensure you take a driver who is familiar with the routes, or better still a guide. You can go through a tour operator, and though the charges are expensive, they ensure your trip is hassle-free. They organise vehicles, food and a guide.

Waterfalls - The Barehipani waterfalls stand at 400m and sensure the surrounding area remains cool even during summer. The waterfalls have two levels, and fall into a deep gorge - a spetacular sight in itself. The Joranda waterfalls stand at 150m. The viewpoint here affords a spectacular view of the hills.

Chahala - Once uopn a time, royal families used Chahala as their hunting grounds. Especially remarkable here is the circle of eucalyptus trees planted at the behest of a King. These trees were apparently planted close to one other so that thier thick trunks formed a kind of boundary within which the royals could trap elephants. A few trees and a small garden give it a resort-like feeling. Salt licks in an open clearing, a watchtower, a barbed fence and a viewing gallery near the trench make the place a favourite of tourists.

Getting Around

Once you are within the area of Simlipal National Park, the ride is provided for by the guided tourist packages. You can also hire a private car of your own and use that for getting around. Given the sheer size of the park, it is a good idea to have a car at your disposal. As for exploring the other places in the district, you can either hire a cab or avail of the public transportation. Bicycles can also be rented in case you feel like touring the district on cycle.

Places to Stay

As the zoo is in the heart of the city, there are many hotels for you to choose from. Depending on your budget, you can pamper yourself by booking a suite at a luxury hotel, or rent a room in one of the more pocket friendly affairs.

How to Reach

  • In case you are planning to go to the park by plane, you need to get off at the airport in Bhubaneswar. The distance is around 250 km.
  • The nearest major rail station is at Bhubaneswar. You can take a train to Bhubaneswar from any major stations in India. The station is well connected to other parts of the country. Nearest rail head is Baleshwar on the East coast railway. Private taxis available in Baripada. Deluxe busesrun every hour between Baleshwar and Baripada. Jeeps too can be hired at Baripada for Simlipal. Bargaining is the norm.
  • Its a highway drive to Baripada, whether you are coming from Bhubaneswar or Kolkata (via Jharpokhari and Bombay Chaak). Pithabata, the entry point from from Baripada side is 22km/40mins away. Alterantively, tourists coming by road can enter Simlipal from the Jashipur side, which is on NH6 on the Kolkata-Mumbai route. Small cars are not allowed inside the park. Instead hire a 4WD at Jashipur to visit the park. Deluxe and luxury buses are available.

Surrounding Attractions

Baripada - This is a historic town said to have been developed in the 16th century by the Bhanja Kings (royal family of Mayurbhanj). The old palace, which now houses a college, bears a strong resemblence to Buckingham Palace. The baripada Museum and library are worth visiting. The Jagannath temple and the Ambika temple are popular destinations.

Deokund - A scenic spot with a waterfall and a forest, the temple of goddess Ambika here is a special attraction.

Chandipur - Famous for its distinctive beach where the water recedes far into the sea, Chandipur is situated only 16km from Baleshwar.

Khiching - About 55km from Jashipur, Khiching is famous for the shrine of Kichakeswari. The shrine is built entirey of chlorite slabs.

Emergency No.

Assistant conservator of Forests (Tourism), Office of the Conservator of Forests and Field Director, Simplipal Tiger Reserve Baripada - 757002. Telephone : 06792-252593

Forest Guard Simlipal Tiger Reserve, Khairi-Jashipur PO Mayurbhanj - 757002. Telephone - 09437675057