Simlipal Biosphere Reserve, established in 2009 is the only biosphere and one among the two National Parks of Odisha. The biosphere reserve has the largest zone of Sal in all of India. Similipal National Park comes under the Similipal-Kuldiha-Hadgarh Elephant Reserve popularly known as Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve. The elephant population of Similipal is the major surviving concentration of the Central-Indian population. Its unspoilt environs and tranquil surroundings bring travelers back to this place again and again.
Similipal Tiger Reserve holds the highest tiger population in the state of Orissa. The tiger reserve is spread over 2750 sq km and is surrounded by high plateaus and hills. Tigers are seen in the core areas of the national park.
The stunning mountains of Similipal are famous amongst wildlife and nature lovers. Numerous small and big waterfalls add beauty to the jungle. Around 1,076 species of vascular plants are found in the biosphere. Among them are 93 species of orchids, 300 species of medicinal plants and 52 species of endangered flora. The identified species of fauna include 12 species of amphibians, 29 species of reptiles, 264 species of birds and 42 species of mammals, all of which collectively highlight the Biodiversity richness of Similipal.
Altogether, 1,265 villages are located within the biosphere reserve. Approximately 73% of all inhabitants are Aboriginals. Two tribes, the Erenga Kharias and the Mankirdias, inhabit the reserve’s forests and practise traditional agricultural activities.
Best time to visit: Winter (Nov-Feb)
Popular Cuisine: Country Chicken, Mutton
Specialities: Hills, Dense Forest, Trekking, Elephant ride, animals, birds, Botanical garden, pine trees
Nearest Bus Stop: Jassipur, Mayurbhanj
Nearest Railway Station: Baripada, Mayurbhanj
Travel Options: Bus, Cab
Nearest town: Jassipur
Distance from Bhubaneswar: 192 km