Simlipal National Park is situated in the district of Mayurbhanj nearby the city of Baripada of Orissa. It is also declared as Simlipal Tiger Reserve for its inhabitant of a numerous numbers of Royal Bengal Tiger. It is a part of the Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve or Simlipal-Kuldiha-Hadgarh Elephant Reserve, which was established with three major protected areas in Orissa - Simlipal Tiger Reserve about 2,750 Sq. Km., Hadgarh Wildlife Sanctuary about 191.06 Sq. Km. & Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary about 272.75 Sq. Km. Simlipal has a history of elephant reserve originated mainly as a hunting ground for the royalty. The Park has a protected area of 845.7 square kilometres and has some beautiful waterfalls like Joranda and Barehipanithick, also green forests, extensive grassy lands cloud kissing peaks, 12 rivers running across it. Characterized by wooden slopes, ridges etc. the wide array of plants as many as 501 species are housed at the park. The park is a viable source for countless medicinal and aromatic plants also.
The Park is a treasure house of 1076 species of plants belonging to 102 families, 96 spices of orchids have also been identified here. It lies in the Eastern Highlands moist deciduous forests ecoregion, with tropical moist broadleaf forest and tropical moist deciduous forests with dry deciduous hill forest and high-level Sal forest. The grasslands and the savannas provide grazing grounds for the herbivores and the hiding place to the carnivores. The forest boasts of innumerable medicinal and aromatic plants, which provide a source of earnings for the tribal people. Eucalyptus, planted by the British during the 1900 is also found.
A total 42 species of mammals, 242 species of birds and 30 species of reptiles have been recorded in Simlipal National Park. The major mammals include tiger, leopard, gaur, elephant, langur, barking, spotted deer, sloth bear mongoose, flying squirrel, 231 species of birds nest in these forests. Red jungle fow, hill mynah, peacock, serpent eagle are commonly found birds. Apart from the large number of mammals and birds species, the park has a sizeable population of reptiles, which includes snakes and turtles.
Summers are very hot temperatures around 40°C whereas the temperature during winter months can be nearly 14°C. The rainfall ranges from moderate to heavy. The area of Simlipal is enriched with dense forests, striking meadows, starting waterfalls and mind blowing rivers and is positioned at a plateau with an elevation of 900 meter.
Joranda Falls: This waterfall is one of the most attractive tourist point in Simlipal National Park. The water streams from a height of 181 meters touches the bottom on the valley and make a victorious view for the visitors. It is a marvelous picnic spot for spending your valuable times by the pictures views of Mother Nature.
Bartheipani Falls: It is another waterfalls in the Simlipal National Park. Its extraordinary cascading water stream makes it ideal and most spectacular and eye pleasing waterfall in the Simlipal reserve area .
Trekking: Trekking is the most entertaining and important parts to visit in Simlipal National Park.
Set on a wide expanse of Sal forest, this park is nestled in the very center of Mayurbhanj, the northernmost district of Orissa. A forest, hilly terrain 200 km south- west of Kolkata, the reserve is endowed with an exceptional biodiversity. O the reserve’s almost 1000 spices of flowering plants, 94 are orchids, many of which are on show at the small display at Gurguria.
In Simlipal Park entry permits can be obtained from the Range Officer. The visitors can enter between 6 AM & 12AM and visitors with reservation between 6 AM & 9 AM. This park remains open from 1 October to 15 June only. Local jeeps are available for hire for moving within the forest. The magnificent peaks of Khairiburu and Meghasani dominate the area. Glimpse of the tribal culture of the area. The crocodile rearing centre at Ramtirtha near Jashipur is an additional attraction.
By Road: Baripada, the district headquarters of Mayurbhanj, on the junction of NH 5 and 6, is 270 km from Bhubaneswar, 240 from Kolkata and 60km from Balasore and 22 km from Pithabata, which is an entry point.
By Rail: Nearest railhead are Baripada, Balasore, Tata Nagar and Kharagpur.
By Air: Nearest airports are Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Jamshedpur and Ranchi.