Simlipal Tiger Reserve (Timings, Entry Fee, Safari Online Booking, How to Reach)
Located in the Chhotanagpur Plateau in the state of Orissa (Odisha), Simlipal Tiger Reserve has derived its name from the Simul (Silk Cotton Tree). Similipal was declared a sanctuary with an area of about 2200 sq. km. in the year of 1979 by the Government of Orissa. In the year of 1986, it was declared a national park and area was increased to 845 sq. km. It was established as Similipal Biosphere Reserve by Government of India in 1994.
Once at the reserve, tourists have various options to keep themselves engaged such as safaris, bird watching, crocodile breeding, education centre as well as tribal celebrations which happens at a particular time of the year.
Flora @ Simlipal Tiger Reserve
The main types of forests in the reserve are Northern Tropical Semi evergreen Forests, Northern Tropical Moist Deciduous Forests, Dry Deciduous Hill Forests, High level Sal Forest, Grassland and Savannah.
The area boasts of close to 1076 species of plants. There are almost 92 species of orchids such as Acampe, Bulbophyllum, Cymbidium, Liparis, Vanda, etc. 8 per cent of orchids of India can be found in Similipal.
Along with these, some of the common species found here are Shorea robusta, Boswellia serrata, Dalbergia latifolia, Cleistanthus collinus, Gardenia gummifera, G. latifolia, G. turgide, Erythrina suberosa, Cochlospermum gossypium, Pterocarpus marsupium, Anogeissus latifolia, Scheleichera oleosa, Adina cordifolia, Toona ciliate, Michelia champaca, Mangifera indica, Syzygium cumini, Sterculia urens, Helicteres isora, Nyctanthes arbortristis along with grasses such as Saccharum spontaneum, Imperata cylindrica, Themeda gigiantia, etc.
Fauna @ Simlipal Tiger Reserve
Commonly spotted animals here along with tigers are Leopard, Elephant, Sambar, Barking deer, Cheeta, Gaur, four horned antelope, Ratel, Pangolin, Bison, Jungle cat, Wild boar, Giant Squirrel and Common Langur, etc. There are also close to 30 species of reptiles that are found here.
The place has rich avian species as well which is almost 230 in numbers. Some of the birds found here are red jungle fowl, alexandrine parakeet, crested serpent eagle, grey hornbill, indian pied hornbill, malabar pied hornbill, indian trogon hill mynah, peafowl, etc.
Best time to visit Simlipal Tiger Reserve
The best time to visit the reserve is during the months of November to June. Tourists can get to spot animals easily during the months of April and May but the climate during these months is very hot.
Reaching Simlipal Tiger Reserve
- By air: The nearest airports to Simlipal tiger reserve are at the cities of Kolkata and Bhubaneshwar.
- By rail: The nearest railway station is at Baripada which is well connected to cities like Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai and Mumbai.
- By road: The town of Baripada is well connected via road to the reserve and other towns of Orissa and nearby states. There are regular bus services operating from Baripada to Lulung and Joshipur.
Accommodation @ Simlipal Tiger Reserve
Tourists can stay at the bungalows at Barehipani, Newana, Joranda, Joshipur and Gudgudia which are within the park and are by the Orissa Forest Department. If interested, tourists can also opt from various kinds of accommodation facilities located at Chahala which is 85 km away from Baripada.