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Simlipal National Park

Simlipal National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Location of Simlipal National Park
Simlipal National Park, Odisha
Location Odisha, India
Nearest city Baripada
Coordinates
Area 2,750 square kilometres (1,060 sq mi).
Established 1980
Visitors NA (in 2005)
Governing body Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India
Website http://www.similipal.org/

Simlipal National Park (Odia: ଶିମିଳିପାଳ ଜାତୀୟ ଉଦ୍ୟାନ) is a national park and a tiger reserve situated in the Mayurbhanj district in the Indian state of Odisha. It is part of the Similipal-Kuldiha-Hadgarh Elephant Reserve popularly known as Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve, which [1] includes 3 protected areas i.e. Similipal Tiger Reserve (2750.00 km2), Hadgarh Wildlife sanctuary (191.06 km2) and Kuldiha wildlife sanctuary (272.75 km2)).Simlipal National Park derives its name from the abundance of Semul or red silk cotton trees that bloom abundantly in the locality.[2]

Palpala River near lulung, Similipal National Park

The park has a protected area of 845.70 square kilometres (326.53 sq mi) and has some beautiful waterfalls like Joranda and Barehipani. Simlipal is home to ninety-nine royal Bengal tigers and 432 wild elephants.[3] Besides Simlipal is famous for gaurs (Indian bison), chausingha,[2] as well as an orchidarium.[4]

One can enter into Similipal through Pithabata (22 kilometres (14 mi) from Baripada) and 98 km via Jashipur. Entry permits can be obtained from the Range Officer, Pithabata check gate upon paying prescribed fees.[5] Day visitors can enter between 6 AM & 12 Noon and visitors with reservation between 6 AM & 9 AM. Similipal National Park remains open from 1 October to 15 June only.[2]

Signboard inside Park

This Reserve is part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2009.[6][7]

Contents

  • Description 1
  • History 2
  • Geography and climate 3
    • Caution: Cerebral malaria 3.1
  • Relocation of Core Villages 4
  • How to Reach 5
  • Flora and fauna 6
  • See also 7
  • Citations 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Description

Thick and green forests, extensive grassy lands and meadows, precipitous and sparkling waterfalls, meandering rivers, roaring tigers and trumpeting tuskers, fleeing deer and flying squirrels, talking myna and dancing peacocks et al are appealing. 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 a wide range of rain fall and [8] 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.

History

Simlipal elephant reserve originated mainly as a hunting ground for the royalty. It was formally designated a tiger reserve in 1956 and under Project Tiger in May 1973. “Mugger Crocodile Scheme” was started in the year 1979 at Ramatirtha, Jashipur.

The Government of Odisha declared Simlipal as a wildlife sanctuary in 1979 with an area of 2,200 square kilometres (850 sq mi). Later in 1980, the state government proposed 303 square kilometres (117 sq mi) of the sanctuary as a national park. Further in 1986, area of the national park was increased to 845.70 square kilometres (326.53 sq mi). Government of India declared Simlipal as a biosphere reserve in 1994. UNESCO added this national park to its list of Biosphere Reserves in May 2009.[6][7] There are 10,000 people living in 61 villages in the forest. That is why Simlipal is yet to be declared a full-fledged park, despite its having the status of one of the eighteen biospheres of India.[9]

Geography and climate

The park is located in the [8] gives a panoramic view of the park.It has withstood two cyclones in 1982 and 1999 without any prominent damages.

Caution: Cerebral malaria

Simlipal falls under a high cerebral malaria-prone zone. In cerebral malaria the sequestrated red blood cells can breach the blood brain barrier possibly leading to coma.[11] Cerebral malaria, if not detected, causes death within 15 days of infection.

Initial symptoms of cerebral malaria are often mistaken as those of acute jaundice. There have been many recorded cases of death due to cerebral malaria after visits to Simlipal.[12] Therefore, it is extremely important for tourists to be aware of the threats posed by cerebral malaria before planning a visit to Simlipal. For further information on deadly infection threats related to forest visits in India, one may refer to the website of the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, Kolkata, India.

Summers are very hot with temperatures around 40 °C (104 °F) whereas the temperature during winter months can be as low as 14 °C (57 °F). The rainfall ranges from moderate to heavy.

Relocation of Core Villages

In December 2013, 32 families from the Khadia tribe belonging to two hamlets of Upper Barhakamuda and Bahaghar were relocated outside the Tiger Reserve as per the guidelines set by National Tiger Conservation Authority. Subsequent to that, village of Jamunagarh was relocated in September 2015. Following the relocation, Tiger sightings in the core area has gone up. As of now, there are still 2 villages, Kabatghai and Bakua present in core area of Similipal. Forest Department, Wildlife NGOs and Local Administration have initiated the talks with these 2 villages on their relocation.

How to Reach

Road - Baripada, the district headquarters of Mayurbhanj, on the junction of NH 5 and 6, is 250 km from Bhubaneswar, 200 from Kolkata and 60 km from Balasore and 22 km from Pithabata, which is an entry point. The other entry point Jashipur is 94 km from Baripada on N.H. 6. Both the places are well connected by regular bus services. Taxis and Jeeps are available.

Rail - Nearest railhead are Baripada, Balasore,Tata Nagar and Kharagpur

Air - Nearest airports are Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Jamsedpur and Ranchi

Flora and fauna

The park is a treasure house of 1076 species of plants belonging to 102 families. 96 species of orchids have also been identified here.[4] It lies in the Eastern Highlands moist deciduous forests ecoregion, with tropical moist broadleaf forest and tropical moist deciduous forests with dry deciduous hill forest and high level Sal forests.[2] The grasslands and the savannas provide grazing grounds for the herbivores and hiding place to the carnivores. The forest boasts of innumerable medicinal and aromatic plants, which provide a source of earnings for the tribal people. Eucalyptus, plantated by the British during the 1900 are also found.[4]

A total of 42 species of mammals, 242 species of birds and 30 species of reptiles have been recorded in Simlipal National Park.[4] The major mammals include tiger, leopard, Asian elephant, sambar, barking deer, gaur, jungle cat, wild boar, chausingha (four horned antelope), giant squirrel and common langur. 231 species of birds nest in these forests. Red junglefowl, hill mynah, peafowl, Alexandrine parakeet, crested serpent eagle are the commonly found birds. The grey hornbill, Indian pied hornbill, Malabar pied hornbill and Indian trogon are also found in the reserve. Apart from the large number of mammals and bird species, the park has a sizeable population of reptiles, which includes snakes and turtles. The "Mugger Crocodile Management Programme" has helped the Mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) to survive and flourish on the banks of Khairi river.[2]

See also

Citations

  1. ^ http://www.similipal.org/elephant_reserve.php
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Simlipal National Park". Department of tourism, Odisha. Retrieved 12 December 2009. 
  3. ^ Jena 2005, p. 110
  4. ^ a b c d e Jena 2005, p. 112
  5. ^ http://www.similipal.org/right_entry.php
  6. ^ a b "Three Indian sites added to UNESCO list of biosphere reserves".  
  7. ^ a b "UNESCO Designates 22 New Biosphere Reserves".  
  8. ^ a b http://www.similipal.org/destinations.php#5
  9. ^ Jena 2005, p. 111
  10. ^ a b http://www.wwfindia.org/about_wwf/critical_regions/national_parks_tiger_reserves/similipal_tiger_reserve/
  11. ^ Adams S, Brown H, Turner G, "Breaking down the blood–brain barrier: signaling a path to cerebral malaria?", Trends Parasitol v. 18 no. 8, pp. 360–6 (2002) pmid 12377286 doi 10.1016/S1471-4922(02)02353-X
  12. ^ "Report of the Fact Finding Team on Infant Death in Simlipal Sanctuary" (PDF). 

References

  • Jena, Mona Lisa (2005). "Similipal's Scenic Splendor". Women's Era 32 (752): 110–112. 

External links

  • Simlipal National Park travel guide from Wikivoyage
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