Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary is in the province of Mayurbhanj district and literally name means ‘Hill of Silk Cotton Tree’. The reserve was created in 1973, where the Mugger Crocodile Scheme started in 1979. It is a famous wildlife tourist destination and surely a must visit place for animal lovers
The reserve has a total area of 2200 square kilometers with a number of valleys, plateau and mountains as well as waterfalls and a number of wildlife species. The reserve has 12 rivers densely rinsing the area. It has a Sal forest setting.
The reserve is open to the public only from the months of October to mid June but one must have a permit from the office of the Assistant Conservator of Forest.
The reserve has a rich wildlife species including tigers, deer, leopards, antelopes, elephants, wild dog, wild boar, sloth, monkeys, hyenas and many other mammals. There are 230 bird species in the forest, that includes red jungle fowl, hill myna, peafowl, alexandrine parakeet, crested serpent eagle, gray hornbill to name a few. There are 501 species of plants in Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary. With the 501 species, eighty two are orchids. The reserve also has a lot medicinal and aromatic plants that are used by the locals for their livelihood.
A town called Baridpada is a historical town built by the Bhanja kings during the 16th century. The place has a college that resembles the Buckingham Palace in England. Deokund, 87 kilometers from Simlipal, is a great picnic spot for the family and the spectacular waterfall view will surely captivate your heart. A temple dedicated to goddess Ambika is situated there which is important for spiritual travel.
You can reach the Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary by traveling by air from the airports of Jamshedpur, Bhubaneswar and Kolkata. Traveling by train is another option; trains from Baripada can take you to all over the major cities of India. Buses travel regularly to the reserve. For a more convenient and memorable travel experience, private cars and taxis can also be utilized.
Once on the Reserve, there are bungalows that can be used for over night stay but one must have permission again from the authorities.
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