Thick and green forests, extensive grassy lands and meadows, cloud kissing peaks, precipitous and sparkling waterfalls, meandering rivers, roaring tigers and trumpeting tuskers, fleeing deer and flying squirrels, talking myna and dancing peacocks et al make Similipal a dreamland of Nature in the wilderness and an irresistible destination.
Covering a vast are of 2750 sq. km out of which 303 sq. km from the core area, thick biosphere reserve is a sanctuary and one of the Tiger Projects and National parks of India. With wide range of rain falls and edaphic variations, range from dry deciduous to moist green forests, it is suitable to different species of flora and fauna. About 1076 species of mammals, 29 types of reptiles and 231 species of birds are the proud possession of this plateau.
Average mean elevation of Similipal is 900 meters. Tall and luxuriant Sal Trees in large numbers stand like sentries. The handsome 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 (400 meters) and Joranda(150 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 crocodile rearing centre at Ramtirtha near Jashipur is an additional attraction.
An epitome of fascinating beauties, Similipal beckons you for a sojourn of its mind boggling interiors. it will fill your lungs with cool and clean air, your nose with fresh and free fragrance, your eyes with soothing sights, your ears with sonorous sounds and your heart with a hypnotic throb. After trip, your body is sure to feel rejuvenated.
Similipal also provides succor to thousands of tribal people living on the fringe. A glimpse of the tribal culture will therefore be a bonus at no extra cost.
Entry Points, Permits and Timings :
You can enter into Similipal through Pithabata (22 km from baripada).
Entry permits can be obtained from the Range Officer, Pithabata check gate or the Assistant Conservator of prescribed fees.
Day visitors can enter between 6 AM & 12 Noon and visitors with reservation between 6 AM & 2 PM.
Similipal remains open from 1st November to 15th June only.
Orissa Tourism Units
Aranyanivas at lulung (3 km from Pithabata) of the OTDC has 8 Double Rooms and 2 Dormitories (total 40 beds)
Panthasala at Bangiriposi (35 km from Baripada on way to Jashipur) has 4 Double Rooms (8 beds).Reservation : Tourist office, Baripada. Ph. 06792 - 252710, Fax 56705. / Assistant Conservator of Forests, Jashipur ( Not more than 60 days and not less than 30 days notice required)
Similipal in itself offers a complete package. But if you like, visit a few more places around Similipal.
Khiching (149 km from Baripada and 55 km from Jashipur) is famous for the shrine of Kichakeswari and Stone Crafts made of different colour stones. There is a Panthasala here.
Chandipur (60 km from Baripada and 16 km from Balasore) is unique Beach Resort with a vanishing sea. the sea water recedes to a distance of about 5 km twice a day. It is a marvel of Nature, rarely found anywhere. there is a Panthanivas & Yatrinivas of OTDC. There are also private hotels.
Panchalingeswar (85 km from Baripada and 30 km from Balasore) is a panoramic place on the lap of Nilagiri hills with a perennial stream flowing over five Lingams. There is a Panthasala of Orissa Tourism Department here.
Remuna (60 km from Baripada and 10 km from Balasore) is famous for the shrine of Khirachora Gopinath, visited by Sri Chaitanya.
Deokund (65 km frim Baripada and 110 km from Balasore) is an enchanting place with a series of waterfalls and a Shakti shrine set against the outer periphery of Similipal.
Best time to visit :
Similipal is usually open for visitors from the beginning of November till the onset of the monsoons.