Simlipal National Park is a national park and a tiger reserve situated 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 3 protected areas i.e. Similipal Tiger Reserve (2750.00 km2), Hadgarh Wildlife sanctuary (191.06 km2) and Kuldiha wildlife sanctuary (272.75 km2)).Simlipal National Park derives its name from the abundance of Semul or red silk cotton trees that bloom abundantly in the locality.
Thick and green forests, extensive grassy lands and meadows, precipitous and sparkling waterfalls, meandering rivers, roaring tigers and trumpeting tuskers, fleeing deer and flying squirrels, talking myna and dancing peacocks et al. are appealing. Covering a vast are of 2750 km2 out of which 303 km2 from the core area, thick biosphere reserve is a sanctuary and one of the tiger projects and national parks of India. With a wide range of rain fall and edaphic variations, range from dry deciduous to moist green forests, it is suitable to species of flora and fauna. About 1076 species of mammals, 29 types of reptiles and 231 species of birds are in this plateau. The average mean elevation of Similipal is 900 meters. Tall sal trees in large numbers stand like sentries. The peaks of Khairiburu (1178 meters), Meghasani (1158 meters) and others welcome like smiling receptionists from the emerald heights. Sweet scented champak flowers freshen the air. The richly hued orchids on the green foliage are soothing to the eyes. In the midst of the dense forests, the summer stands humbled and the sun gets lost. Several rivers like Budhabalanga, Khairi, salandi, Palpala, etc. originate from the hills and meander through the forest like veins and arteries in the body. many of them have formed cascading rapids and foaming falls before leaving for the plains. The panoramic view of the waterfalls at Barehipani (217 meters) and Joranda(181 meters)  are simply enchanting of fish, is found in abundance in most of the rivers. The silence of Similipal is occasionally broken by the chirping of the birds to an avian delight. The dense forest and riverine system serve as an excellent home to some of the most beautiful creatures of the World. To stay with them, even for a while, is a thrilling experience. Herds of elephants majestically walking across the roads and rivulets could be a regular sight. While you are moving on the hilly tracts, predators like tiger and leopards might be obliviously lulling under the shade with their own thoughts. If lucky, you could spot them there, or else see them around the saltlicks at places like Chahala. Forget the apprehensive dear at Similipal is at its natural best.
The park is located in the Mayurbhanj district in the Indian state of Odisha. Simlipal elephant Reserve is an ecosystem complete with forest vegetation (mainly sal trees), fauna and the adjoining Santhal tribal settlements. The park has a total area of 2,750 square kilometres (1,060 sq mi). The average elevation is 559.31 metres (1,835.0 ft).However, the entire Similipal area is undulating, rising from 600 metres (2,000 ft) to 1,500 metres (4,900 ft). The high hills of Simlipal are surrounding Meghasani, the highest peak in the national park.At an altitude of 1,165 metres (3,822 ft), followed by Khairiburu at above 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) elevation. At least 12 rivers cut across the plain area. The prominent among them are Budhabalanga, Palpala Bhandan, Kharkai River and Deo. This sprawling forest also has many waterfalls such as, Joranda 181 metres (594 ft) and Barheipani that are a perpetual attraction to the tourist, the later at an elevation of 217 metres (712 ft) gives a panoramic view of the park.It has withstood two cyclones in 1982 and 1999 without any prominent damages
The Government of Odisha declared Simlipal as a wildlife sanctuary in 1979 with an area of 2,200 square kilometres (850 sq mi). Later in 1980, the state government proposed 303 square kilometres (117 sq mi) of the sanctuary as a national park. Further in 1986, area of the national park was increased to 845.70 square kilometres (326.53 sq mi). 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 eighteen biospheres of India.
Simlipal falls under a high cerebral malaria-prone zone. In cerebral malaria the sequestrated red blood cells can breach the blood brain barrier possibly leading to coma. Cerebral malaria, if not detected, causes death within 15 days of infection.
Initial symptoms of cerebral malaria are often mistaken as those of acute jaundice. There have been many recorded cases of death due to cerebral malaria after visits to Simlipal.Therefore, it is extremely important for tourists to be aware of the threats posed by cerebral malaria before planning a visit to Simlipal. For further information on deadly infection threats related to forest visits in India, one may refer to the website[clarification needed] of the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, Kolkata, India
In December 2013, 32 families from the Khadia tribe belonging to two hamlets of Upper Barhakamuda and Bahaghar were relocated outside the Tiger Reserve as per the guidelines set by National Tiger Conservation Authority. Subsequent to that, village of Jamunagarh was relocated in September 2015. Following the relocation, Tiger sightings in the core area has gone up. As of now, there are still 2 villages, Kabatghai and Bakua present in core area of Similipal. Forest Department, Wildlife NGOs and Local Administration have initiated the talks with these 2 villages on their relocation.
The park is a treasure house of 1076 species of plants belonging to 102 families. 96 species 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 forest
s with dry deciduous hill forest and high level Sal forests.The grasslands and the savannas provide grazing grounds for the herbivores and 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, plantated by the British during the 1900 are also found.
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