Simlipal National Park is located in Mayurbhanj District of Orissa. This area was originally a favorite haunt of the royal hunting parties in the bygone era. It was declared as a tiger reserve in 1956 under Project Tiger, a tiger conservation project initiated by the Indian government. Later in 1979, it gained the status of a national park.
Simlipal National Park features an ecosystem replete with thick vegetation, animal and bird life and the Santhal tribe. This park boasts of about 100 tigers, reptiles and numerous other animals, which include leopards, sambar, gaur, chitals, chevrotains, hyenas and porcupines. The bird life, featuring about 230 different species, include the red jungle fowl, alexandrine parakeet, crested serpent eagle, gray hornbill, Indian pied hornbill, Malabar pied hornbill and Indian trogon.
The plant life in Simlipal National Park features about 501 different species belonging to 102 families, which includes 82 species of orchids. This park is known for its sizable population of sal trees. The tribal people inhabiting this region earn their livelihood through the numerous medicinal and aromatic plants.
This park is known for its scenic landscape, which is made up of high plateaus, hills and waterfalls. Barehipani Falls, situated in the core area of the national park, is one of the tallest waterfalls in the country. About 12 rivers flow through this region. The temperature reaches up to 40 degrees celsius in summer and 14 degree Celsius in winter. The rainfall ranges from moderate to very heavy.
The nearest airports are at Jamshedpur (140 km) and Bhubaneswar. The nearest railhead is Balasore Railway Station (60 km from Baripada), served by major trains running on the South-Eastern sector.
Baripada, the district headquarters of Mayurbhanj, on the junction of National Highway 5 and National Highway 6, is 170 km from Bhubaneswar, 240 km from Kolkata and 22 km from Pithabata, which is an entry point.
The other entry point Jashipur is 94 km from Baripada. Both the places are well connected by regular bus services. Taxis and jeeps are available.