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), Hadagarh 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 is the second largest national park in India.
The park has some beautiful waterfalls like the Joranda and Barehipani. Simlipal is also home to Royal Bengal Tigers, wild Elephants, Gaurs and Chausinghas. It is also well known as orchidarium. One can enter Similipal through Pithabata and via Jashipur.
Entry and Permits: Entryway 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 a reservation between 6 am and 9 am. Simlipal National Park is open from 1 November to 15 June.
History: Simlipal elephant reserve originated mainly as a hunting ground for the royalty. It was formally designated a tiger reserve in 1956 and under Project Tiger in May 1973. “Mugger Crocodile Scheme” was started in 1979 at Ramatirtha, Jashipur. The Government of Odisha declared Simlipal as a wildlife sanctuary in 1979 with an area of 2,200 square kilometres. Later in 1980, the state government proposed 303 square kilometres of the sanctuary as a national park. Further in 1986, an area of the national park was increased to 845.70 square kilometres. The government of India declared Simlipal as a biosphere reserve in 1994. UNESCO added this national park to its list of Biosphere Reserves in May 2009. There are 10,000 people living in 61 villages in the forest. That is why Simlipal is yet to be declared a full-fledged park, despite its having the status of one of the 18 biospheres of India.
*(All the above information are from Wikipedia.)
Airport: Bhubaneswar airport is the located at a distance of 196 km from Simlipal. This is the nearest airport and is connected to many major cities across India.
Rail: The major rail stations near Simlipal are Baripada, Balasore, TataNagar (Jamshedpur) and Kharagpur.
Road: Baripada, the district headquarters of Mayurbhanj, on the junction of NH 5 and 6, is 250 km from Bhubaneswar, 200 km from Kolkata and 60 km from Balasore and 22 km from Pithabata, which is an entry point to Simlipal. The other entry point, Jashipur, is 94 km from Baripada on N.H. 6. Both places are well connected by regular bus services. Taxis and jeeps are available.
Local: This being a forest area no vehicle and accommodation are available within or near. All vehicles and transportation can be arranged from Baripada which is the nearest major town.
Accommodations: There are four forest guest houses in Simlipal – Gurguria, Jamuani, Kumari and Ramtirtha. Bookings of these forest guest houses can be made from here.