Simlipal is in the northern part of Orissa's Mayurbhanj district, and is known for its national park and Tiger Reserve. Simlipal gets its name from the Bengal Simul Tree, which is adorned with beautiful flora and fauna. Simlipal is proud to be one of India's largest wildlife sanctuaries, and in 1973 it was designated as an important part of the Tiger Project. The plain is crisscrossed by at least 12 rivers. Burhabalanga, Palpala Bandan, Kahairi, and Deo are among the most prominent.
It's part of the Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve, which also includes the Similipal Tiger Reserve, Hadgarh Wildlife Sanctuary (191.06 km2), and Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary (272.75 km2). The name Simlipal National Park comes from the abundance of red silk cotton trees that grow in the area. It is India's seventh largest national park. Bengal tigers, Asian elephants, gaur, and chausingha all live in the park. Since 2009, this protected area has been a member of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
Simplipal was designated a tiger reserve in 1956 and placed under Project Tiger in May 1973, after serving as a hunting ground for the kingly rulers of Marurbhanj. The "Mugger Crocodile Scheme" began in Ramatirtha, Jashipur, in 1979. The "Mugger Crocodile Management Programme" has aided the Mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) in surviving and flourishing along the Khairi River's banks.
Simlipal was designated as a wildlife sanctuary by the Odisha government in 1979, covering 2,200 square kilometres. In 1980, the state government proposed establishing a national park on 303 square kilometres of the sanctuary. The national park's size was increased to 845.70 square kilometres in 1986. Simlipal was designated as a biosphere reserve by the Indian government in 1994. In May 2009, UNESCO added this national park to its list of Biosphere Reserves. The forest is home to 10,000 people who live in 61 villages. That is why, despite being one of India's 18 biosphere reserves, Simlipal has yet to be designated as a full-fledged park.
RELOCATION OF CORE VILLAGES
32 Khadia tribe families from two hamlets in Upper Barhakamuda and Bahaghar were relocated outside the Tiger Reserve in 2013. In the core area of Similipal, two villages, Kabatghai and Bakua, still exist.
Simplipal Reserve is the safest haven for "n" number of wildlife creatures looking for a better place to live and be protected. Leopard, Gaur, Elephant, Langur, Barking and Spotted Deer, Sloth Bear Mongoose, Flying Squirrel, Porcupine, Turtle, Monitor Lizard, Python, Sambar, Pangolin, Crocodile, and Four-horned Antelope are just a few of the creatures on the list (Chausingha). The Grey Hornbill, Indian Pied Hornbill, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Indian Trogon, Red Jungle Fowl, Hill Mynah, Peafowl, Alexandrine Parakeet, and Crested Serpent Eagle are just a few of the 230 bird species found here.
A large number of reptiles, including snakes and turtles, live in this National Park. Apart from the Barehipani and Joranda waterfalls, the Simlipal National Park also has Mugger crocodiles at Jashipur.
Simlipal Reserve is a botanical treasure trove with 1076 plant species from 102 different families. Around 96 orchid species have been identified here, and they make up the majority of the Odisha semi-evergreen forests, which include tropical moist broadleaf forests, tropical moist deciduous forests, dry deciduous hill forests, and high-level Sal forests. The grasslands and savannas provide herbivores with grazing grounds and carnivores with ideal hiding places. The forest is rich in medicinal and aromatic plants, which provide an important source of income for the tribal people. Eucalyptus trees, which were planted by Britishers at the time, are also a major floral attraction in the area (in 1900).
MAJOR ATTRACTION IN THE NATIONAL PARK
The Barehipani Falls in Simlipal National Park are a two-tiered waterfall that is considered one of India's highest. It is the most spectacular waterfall in the Reserve, gushing and ravaging down from a height of almost 400 metres. It emerges from the Meghasani Peak, the Reserve's highest peak. With the majestic green backdrop of the dense forest, the Barehipani Waterfall area is considered the most beautiful area of the reserve. The waterfall creates a pond below it, where tourists can swim and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
In the Simlipal National Park, the Jaranda Falls, which fall from a height of 150 metres, provide another picturesque view of nature's bounty. This waterfall is in the core area, nestled in the heart of the dense forest. It looks surreal and ethereally beautiful with the splattering water droplets and the gushing sound of the fall in the background of the thick vegetation. It's the perfect place to spend the day with your loved ones, inhaling pure oxygen while surrounded by nature. Simply put, it's a piece of the natural world's paradise.