Simlipal is situated in Mayurbhaj District of Odisha, 320 Km from Bhubaneswar., Odisha, spanning across an area of 2,750 sq. km and covered with lush grassland and Sal forests. Once a hunting place for the Kings of Mayurbhanj, Simlipal got established as a tiger reserve in 1956 and became a part of the Project Tiger Scheme in 1972, followed by its attainment of the status of a ‘National Park’ in 1979. Currently there are around 95 tigers in the sanctuary. The ecosystem of Simlipal falls under Mahanadi-biogeographicElephants at Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary region. The sanctuary is home to twelve rivers and countless waterfalls. Going deep into Simlipal one can some across the spotted deer, listen to the cries of Cheetahs and the barking of the Muntjacs or watch the Sauthali women searching for bark and twigs for firewood. Simlipal is also home to more than 87 varieties of orchids. Orchids of the most exotic varieties bloom here.
Among the 42 species of major mammals and 30 species of reptiles recorded so far in the reserve are Tigers, Panthers, Elephants, Gaurs, Four horned Antelopes etc. Ratel, Pangolin, Giant squirrel, sambar and Cheetal are among the other few worth mentioning. The sanctuary can boast of around 95 tigers and the rare Mugger Crocodiles. The Simlipal national park consists of the Sal forests, which are predominantly tropical moist deciduous forests. The forests are a treasure as it houses 501 species of plants belonging to 102 families. There are around 87 species of orchids identified. The forest has innumerable medicinal and aromatic plants, which act as a source of income for the tribals. There are around 230 bird species here. Some of the rare ones include Red Jungle Fowl, Alexandrine Parakeet, Crested Serpent Eagle, Grey Hornbill, Indian Trogon Hill Mynah, Peafowl, etc.
Air: Simlipal Tiger Reserve can be reached easily through three major airports at Jamshedpur(140 Km), Bhubaneswar(320 Km) and Kolkata(240 Km). Taxi and bus services can be utilised to reach the national park.
Rail: The nearest railhead is at Baripada, 50 Km from Simlipal. Baripada has direct rail connections to all of India’s major cities.
Road: Baripada has extensive road links to other cities and states. Regular buses leave for Simlipal from Baripada. Private cars or taxis can be used to drive around the park.
Source – Internet