Simlipal Tiger Reserve was made a part of the project tiger in the year 1973 and the core area was accorded the status of a sanctuary in 1979. A number of tribal communities, including Khola, Santhal and Mankadia, continue to reside inside the forest. The forest along with the adjoining areas is also referred to as the Simlipal Biosphere Reserve.
Wildlife Attractions in Simlipal Tiger Reserve
With over 1000 plant species, the Simlipal Tiger Reserve is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. The place has a mixed type of vegetation with semi evergreen forests and tropical moist deciduous trees occupying most of the area. There are numerous grazing grounds for the herbivores of the area in the form of open grasslands and savvanas.
The park abounds in animal and bird population. Over 231 species of birds have found shelter in the forest and the numerous trees around it. Some of the commonly found birds include Red Jungle Fowl, Hill Mynah, Peafowl, Alexandrine Parakeet, Crested Serpent Eagle, Grey Hornbill, Indian Pied Hornbill, Malabar Pied Hornbill and Indian Trogon.
Project tiger was a positive step in the preservation of the wild beasts that has shown positive results since the time it was launched. Besides Tigers, other mammal residents of the area include Leopards, Sambars, Langurs, Barking and Spotted Deer, Gaur, Elephant and the 'Four-horned' antelope. The reptiles also register their presence in the form of snakes and turtles which are also found in large numbers.
To travel in your own vehicle inside the park is a thrilling and unique experience. Traveling through winding roads and uneven jungle roads is an ideal way to spot wild animals. A sturdy vehicle like a jeep preferably with a four wheel drive is ideal and should be preffered.
The historic town is said to have been built sometime during the 16th century by the Bhanja kings. The palace which now houses a college will remind the visitors from England of the Buckingham Palace.
Situated about 87 km from Simlipal, the place is an excellent picnic spot with the backdrop of a gorgeous waterfall. The temple of goddess Ambika gives the place special importance among the religious community.
How to Get There
By Air : Kolkata is the nearest airport, connected by Indian Airlines from Delhi (7:00, 17:00 & 20:00), Mumbai (6:10 & 18:15), Bangalore (6:05) and Chennai (10:30 & 17:00). A private taxi from Kolkata to Simlipal costs around Rs. 3000.
By Rail : Balasore is the nearest railhead, connected to Baripada through regular deluxe buses. Delhi is connected to Balasore through the Purshottam Exp. (22:30, daily) & Kaligautkal Exp. (12:50, daily) while trains plying Bangalore-Balasore include YPR Howrah Exp. (19:30). Trains from Chennai are Coromandel Exp. (9:00, daily) & Howrah mail (23:00, daily).
By Road : When travelling from Bhubaneswar, take the NH5 to Baripadavia Baleshwar, from where a forest road will take you to Pithabata. The route from Kolkata leads through NH6 to Jashipur via Panskura and Kharagpur. From here, take the forest road to Gudgudia/Chahala.
Distances from Major Cities
Baripada : 22 km
Bhubaneswar : 270 km (N)/6 hrs
Kolkata : 262 km (SW)/5.5 hrs
Baleshwar : 60 km/1.5 hrs.