Introducing Similipal National Park
The 2750-sq-km Similipal National Park (Indian/foreigner per day Rs 40/1000; 6am-noon day visitor, entry by 2pm with accommodation reservation 1 Nov-15 Jun) is Orissa’s prime wildlife sanctuary.
The scenery is remarkable: a massif of prominent hills creased by valleys and gorges, and made dramatic by plunging waterfalls, including the spectacular 400m-high Barheipani Waterfall and the 150m-high Joranda Waterfall. The jungle is an atmospheric mix of dense sal forest and rolling open savanna. The core area is only 850 sq km and much of the southern part is closed to visitors.
The wildlife list is impressive: 29 reptile species, 231 birds and 42 mammals, including chital and sambar providing food for leopards and tigers. The tigers aren’t tracked; the best chance to spot them will be at the Joranda salt lick. What you may well see is your first wild elephant (there are over 400 in the park), most probably at the Chahala salt lick. The best time to visit is early in the season before the heavy visitation of the park impacts animal behaviour.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
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