Bhubaneswar: Similipal, a place that gives a feeling of touching nature from the nearest distance. Probably, as the national tree Simili is seen here the most, the name of this place is called Similipal. Not only Simili trees, but there are many other kinds of huge trees like sal, piasal, Cedar etc are found in huge numbers in this place. The extremely tall, sky touching sal trees are very beautiful and fill the mind with joy. It feels as if the sky and the earth have reunited here. There are many different kinds of trees, vines and shrubs are there in Similipal. This has been accredited the status of a national park by the Government, is situated at the central part of the Mayurbhanj district. Similipal covers an area of 2,750 square kilometres, out of which 1196 Square kilometres are dense forests and 1555 square kilometres are covered with snow. In this National Park, Similipal Tiger Project, Similipal Biodiversity, Wildlife Sanctuary are there. Every year from the 1st November till.”mid-June, Similipal is remained open for tourists to enjoy the natural beauty of Similipal and see the wildlife from the nearest distance. Tourists are allowed inside Similipal through two dedicated entrances as Jasipur and Pithabata, Baripada. Though before entry, one needs to pay for the required permits. As per the forest department instructions, the tourist must take a guide along with them. To attract the tourists, authorities have arranged some special facilities this year at Similipal’s Barehipani. Among those facilities, Huddles at Jamuani and rope wings for children, Comando tower at Kunari and play zones for children are the prominent ones. Moreover, games like table tennis, volleyball, badminton, carom, chess etc have been incorporated.
The main attraction of Similipal is its long dense forests, greenery, wildlife and waterfall. After travelling a fair distance past the Jasipura entrance gate comes Gudugudia. Before reaching there you will see the Mahasala tree. The thickness of this ancient tree is so large that 7/8 people together can’t hug it fully. The main point of attraction in Gudugudia is the Aurkid garden. In this garden around 60/70 types of rare aurkid shrubs are found. Other than that, there are facilities for tourists staying over at night, picnics, tracking and climbing trees are available.
Another major attraction point of Similipal is the Barehupani waterfall. The beauty of this waterfall will certainly mesmerise any human being’s mind. According to the natives, the water that falls from this waterfall seems like a rope ( barehi in the local language ) from a distance, which is why this waterfall has become so. The height of this waterfall is 217 meters and the river Budhabalanga has been originated from here. To attract the tourists, this year the forest department has arranged, for the first time, pedestrian tours for the senior citizens.
Joranda waterfall is one of the major tourist attractions of Similipal. The height of the waterfall is 181 meters. After the sunset, the tourists can get the opportunity of seeing elephants, deer, and Sambar in this place. The water, here, falls directly from one point, which is very attractive to visualise. There are some traditional huts built here, for the accommodation of the tourists.
Another tourist attraction point is Chahal, which comes at left while entering inside Similipal from the entrance gate of Jasupur, Brundaban. There has been a rest house located here since the time of the Mayurbhanj royal court. In this rest house, a solar light facility is there and trenches have been made around the rest house to prevent the wild animals to enter inside the rest house. In the middle of long Sal trees and continuous chirping f birds, the tourist can also avail the privilege of witnessing animals/ birds of various species. If not at any other places in the Similipal, the tourists certainly get to see wild animals at Chalala. Animals like elephants, dear, rhino, gayal, peacocks, porcupines etc. are seen there.