Similipal National Park,One of the top picnic spots in Odisha

Similipal National Park, Mayurbhanj, Odisha (Orissa).

Simlipal National Park, Odisha (Orissa) Simlipal Wildlife – Taking its name from the abundance of semul or red silk cotton trees that bloom vividly here, the Simlipal National Park is home to three of India’s biggest animal species –Tiger, Asian Elephant and Gaur. Spread over a sprawling area of 2750 sq. kms, the park is at an altitude of 559.31 meters. Set on a wide expanse of Sal forest, this park is nestled in the very center of Mayurbhanj, the northernmost district of Orissa. Notable variations in topography, conducive climate and required vegetation has supported large varieties of animals, birds and reptiles to flourish in one of the earliest and finest of India’s 15 Tiger reserves falling under Project Tiger.

With the nearest airports being at 250 and 300 kms at Calcutta and Bhubaneshwar respectively, the reserve is 76 kms away from Lulung and 115 kms from Jashipur. The fauna at the Park including tiger, leopard, elephants, bison, sambar, porcupine, pangolin, flying-squirrel, hill myna, hornbill and pythons can be observed closely by exploring the reserve in private jeeps and cars. But before going on any such expedition, the tourists are advised to take an anti-malarial drug.

Simplipal National Park, a tract of total wilderness is spread over an 845 sq km core area. In the ancient days, this reserve was the hunting preserve of the Mayurbhanj maharajas. As a result of excessive hunting, the wildlife here was seriously damaged. And then it was in the year 1957 that a small area of it was declared a sanctuary.

Today, the tiger reserve extends over 2,750 sq. km, within a larger area of 4,374 sq km that constitutes the biosphere reserve. But unfortunately, the tribal communities here still indulge in an annual ritual hunt (akhand shikar) with bows and arrows. To add more to the woes of the animals, encroachment, livestock grazing, poaching and indifferent visitors are also there. But the management of the reserve has managed to sustain a vast variety of wild life here despite nature’s resilience. Better funding for effective protection and awareness is therefore required at this stage to sustain healthy numbers of animals.

Points of Interest:

1-Uski waterfall
A very Majestic and beautiful waterfall...
On the bank of River Khairi with planned landscaping and surrounded by wooded hillocks, Gurguria gives the feeling of a hill station. The orchidarium with 63 indigenous orchids in pots is very attractive during summer when it flowers. The main attraction is elephant ride and hill trekking. Accommodation with catering facility and conference hall are available.
A green valley with crop lands, Nawana thrills the heart during the winter. The lifestyle of the tribals residing in the valley is also a point of attraction.
4-Barehipani waterfall
Barehipani resembles the shape of a rope locally known as Barehi. The rolling waterfall with a height of 217 mtrs presents a majestic view with reverberating sound in the gorge from where the River Budhabalanga runs to the plain land.
The site was chosen by his Majesty the Maharaja of Mayurbhanj state in olden days where a forest resort was constructed, now converted to a Forest Rest House. Amidst the Sal forest, resounded by the voice of birds, like hill myna, frequented by herbivores like Elephants, Deer and Sambar in the meadow.
6-Joranda Waterfall
The waterfall from a height of 181 mtrs touches the ground on the gorge perpendicularly. Tourist cottage with cooking provision is available. Elephants, Deer and Sambars frequent the saltlick near the campus as the sun sets in the nature unfolds the beauty through vast stage of green lush vegetation.

Places of tourist interest outside the park

Situated on the confluence of Khairi and Bhandan Rivers emerging from Similapl,
Ramtirtha is a place of worship attached to the sentiment of Hindus due to its mythological importance. It is a place of picnic with an Astral garden and Gharial Research Centre. Accommodations for the tourists in cottages with catring facilities are available throughout the year.
2-Sitakund Waterfal
A place of religious importance of Hindus, is a site of attraction for picnickers due to the picturesque beauty of a small waterfall and a gorge filled with water.
Lulung is situated at the entrance of the park on the bank of a tributary to River Palpala with perennial water flow. The crystal clear water with pebbles of different sizes on the River bed and dense forest on both sides of the River wins the heart of the people to assemble for picnic. A tourist lodge, run by Orissa Tourism Development Corporation, caters the needs of the tourists.
Deokund is located on the bank of River Deo, while meandering on the hills, place of worship by the Hindus. The temple of Goddess Ambika was built up by the Royal Dynasty of Mayurbhanj in ancient period. The cascade touching the base of the temple falls on a gorge where the River rests awhile and further follows its course. It is the most lovable picnic spot.
A place of pilgrimage for the Hindus, famous for granite carving temple of Goddess Kichkeswari built by the Maharaja of Mayurbhanj. Granite carvings are available in temple premises for sale
River Baitarani pierces through a hill rock. A picnic spot and place of congregation during Makar Sankranti. Famous for scenic beauty.

Reservation & Booking:  

1-Lunch available at Barehipani.
2-Dinner and Breakfast available at Jamuani.
3-A 13 seated Forest Department vehicle is now available for reservation by tourists for visits within Similipal from Jashipur @ Rs.5500/- per day for the route Jashipur-Uski-Barehipani-Joranda-Chahala and back to Jashipur via Tulsibani.
4-Boarding & transportation to be arranged by visitors at their own cost.
5-Park authority reserves the right to cancel / modify reservation of accommodation without assigning any reason as per rule 8 of Orissa Forest Rest House Occupation Rules- 1983.
6-For accommodation at Ramtirtha.
7-For accommodation at Jamuani and Kumari please visit

Entry Points, Permits and Timings
  • Similipal remains open from 1st November to 15th June only.
  • You can enter into Similipal through Pithabata (22 km from baripada).
  • Entry permits can be obtained from the Range Officer, Pithabata check gate or the Assistant Conservator of prescribed fees.
  • Day visitors can enter between 6 AM & 12 Noon and visitors with reservation between 6 AM & 2 PM.

Rules and Regulations for Foreign Tourists
Before visiting Similipal Wildlife Sanctuary, Please intimate your personal details including passport, visa & number of days staying, purpose of visiting and place of visiting etc. to the Collector, Mayurbhanj and District Tourist Officer, Mayurbhanj in their respective E-mail address as follows 
: -

How to Reach:

Similipal is approachable via Jashipur on NH-6 and via Baripada on NH-5 through Pithabata. The nearest rail head is Baripada connecting Rupsa on Howrah – Chennai main line and Balasore. The distance of entry points by road is as under.

Simlipal By Train: Check the train status, schedule, timetable and availability to reach Simlipal from Bhubaneswar Take the train from Bhubaneswar to Simlipal to reach in 3 hours. Badampahar is the nearest railway station. It is about 30 kms from Ranchi airport.

Simlipal By Flight: Find flights from Bhubaneswar to Simlipal, explore the availability and Book Flight tickets from Bhubaneswar to Simlipal. A number of flights fly directly between Bhubaneswar to Simlipal. Travel by flight takes about 1 hour. Several cab and taxi services are available outside the airport to travel from airport to other parts of Simlipal. Ranchi airport is the nearest airport near Simlipal. It is about 187 kms from Ranchi airport to Simlipal.

Simlipal By Road:
NH-5 (Kolkata-Chennai) in North-East and NH-6 (Kolkata-Mumbai) in North-West side run very close to the Sanctuary.

The road distances of both the entrances are as follows: 
20 Km
75 km.
240 km.
117 Km
156 km.
252 km.
290 km

Bhubaneswar to Simlipal By Car: If you prefer taking the road to reach Simlipal from Bhubaneswar, Book a car/safari which will cost you around INR 8 per kilometer, depending on the choice of your car. The toll tax should be paid separately by you.

Similpal has 2 Entrances 

1-Pithabata Gate
Pithabata, which, is 270 km from Bhubaneswar, 240 from Kolkata and 75 km from Balasore and 20 km from Baripada district headquarters, which is an entry point.
2-Jashipur Gate
The other entry point Jashipur is 94 km from Baripada on N.H. 6/around 252 Km from Bhubaneswar Via Thakurmunda.Both the places are well connected by regular bus dervices.

There are 2 routes to reach Similpal National Park  from Bhubaneswar.

1-Pithabata Gate :
 (Bhubaneswar-Cuttack-Bhadrak-Soro-Balasore-Baripada-Pithabata) , 270 Km
2-Jashipur Gate :
(Bhubaneswar-Phulnakhara-Panikoili-Anandpur-Thakurmunda-Jashipur) , 250 Km

Tourist Routes:  The tourists will receive entry permits from the Range Officer, National Park, Jashipur, and Range Officer, Pithabata only. The tourist vehicles will be allowed to enter through Kaliani Gate and Pithabata gates respectively. Vehicles are allowed to exit from Kaliani, Tulasibani and Pithabata gates only . The trip from Jashipur side is consisting of 3 routes, well connected to each other and visitors’ vehicles will be allowed to enter in the morning hours only. 

Route –1 Entry in to the Tiger Reserve from Jashipur to Kaliani, Kalikaprasad, Gurguria and halt for site viewing – 28 Kms.
Route – 2 Gurguria to Lanjighosra, Bilapagha, Kolha, Uski, Barehipani and halt for site viewing – 30 Kms. 
Route – 3 
Barehipani to Brundaban, Jamuani, Tulasibani and exit from the Tiger Reserve, back to Jashipur – 63 Kms. 

The trip from Pithabata side follows the following route

Route-1 Entry to the PA from Pithabata,Sitakund,Lulung,Bhajam,Khadkei,Nigirdha, Nawana,Joranda and halt for site viewing- 58 Kms

Route-2 Nawana, Barehipani and halt for site viewi
ng - 14 Kms

Route-3 Barehipani to Chahala via Muktapur and Brundaban and exit through Tulasibani gate- 47 Kms

Route-4 Barehipani to Lanjighosora, Gurguria via Uski waterfall and exit from Kaliani gate - 46 Kms

Private Hotels
Visitors can also stay at Baripada or Jashipur in Private hotels.

Similipal in itself offers a complete package. But if you like, visit a few more places around Similipal.

  • Khiching (149 km from Baripada and 55 km from Jashipur) is famous for the shrine of Kichakeswari and Stone Crafts made of different  colour stones. There is a Panthasala here.
  • Chandipur (60 km from Baripada and 16 km from Balasore) is unique Beach Resort with a vanishing sea. the sea water recedes to a distance of about 5 km twice a day. It is a marvel of Nature, rarely found anywhere. there is a Panthanivas & Yatrinivas of OTDC. There are also private hotels.
  • Panchalingeswar (85 km from Baripada and 30 km from Balasore) is a panromic place on the lap of Nilagiri hills with a perennial stream flowing over five Lingams. there is a Panthasala of Odisha Tourism Department here.
  • Remuna (60 km from Baripada and 10 km from Balasore) is famous for the shrine of Khirachora Gopinath, visited by Sri Chaitanya.
  • Deokund (65 km frim Baripada and 110 km from Balasore) is an enchanting place with a series of waterfalls and a shakti shrine set against the outer periphery of Similipal
Best time to visit : 
 Similipal is usually open for visitors from the beginning of November till the onset of the monsoons.

Tourist Information Offices : 
Tourist Office, Baripada-757001. Ph: (06792) 52710

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