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The royal beast the tigers, the mammoth tuskers, frightening black panthers, the astonishing white tigers, fascinating migrants like pelicans and residents like kingfishers are a common site in the wilds of Odisha(Orissa). The mangroves teaching us the principles of adaptations, the simul trees bearing the fire red flowers with sals and other deciduous make the flora of the region immensely rich while the rivers, estuaries, Georges, deltas and creeks enhance the geomorphic significance making Odisha(Orissa) a natural wonderland. To preserve these natural grandeurs three national parks have been set up in the state of Odisha(Orissa) viz. Simlipal National Park, Bhitarkanika National Park and Nandan Kanan National Park.
Simlipal National Park is located in the Mayurbhanj district of north Eastern Odisha(Orissa). This national park spread in an area of 845 sq km is the erstwhile hunting ground of the royals of Mayurbhanj Empire. It was declared as a national park in the year 1956; it started seeking the attention of the animal lovers and environmentalists after the launch of project tiger in 1972, during the very initial phases of the implementation of the project. The implementation of the campaign resulted in the conversion of the tiger reserve into a national park.
The red silk cotton trees or the semul trees have given the national park its name ‘Simlipal’. The waterfalls of Joranda and Barehipani make it an ideal destination for picnics. The big herd of elephants grazing on the lush green salubrious grasses of Simlipal makes it a paradise for tourists. Around twelve rivers crisscross the lands of Simlipal.
The park has 1076 species of plants those belong to 106 varieties along with presence 96 exquisite species of orchid and a wide range of aromatic and medicinal herbs. The forests type of the park is called Odisha(Orissa) Semi Green Evergreen forests dominated by tropical moist broadleaf forest and tropical moist deciduous forests along with dry deciduous hill forest and high level Sal forests.
Apart from 432 wild asian elpehants and 99 tigers the park is the playground for 42 species of mammals and 30 species of reptilians which includes leopards, Barking Deer, Sambar, Wild Boar, Chausinghas, Barking Deer, Gaur, Giant Squrrel, Jungle Cat and common langur.Red Jungle Fowls, Hill Mynah, Alexandring Parakeet, Peacock, Crested Serpent Eagle, Greay Hornbill, Indian Trogon, Indian Pied Hornbill and Malabar Pied Hornbill are the prominent of the 242 species of birds nesting in the park. The ‘Mugger Crocodile Management Programme’ implimented on the banks of Khairi River has been instrumental in boosting the mugger crocodile populaiton of the park
Best time to visit simlipal is between October to June when the park reamins open for the visitors. The cliamte of the region is not suitable for visitng the park in rest of the year. The entry permits can be obatained from the Pithabatha check gate.
The national park is approachable by air, railand road. Jamshedpur, Bhubaneshwar and Kolkata are the nearest airports. These three are also the main railsheads near the nationa park. A broad and thick netwrk of roads connects Simlipal to rest of the world.