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Similipal National Park to open for tourists from November 1

One of an oldest ‘Sal’ tree is seen inside the Similipal Biosphere near Gudugudia forest range in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha. This ‘Sal’ tree is nearby 200 years old as it is identified by the forest department of Odisha.   | Photo Credit: BISWARANJAN ROUT

“The authorities of Similipal National Park has decided to open Asia’s second-largest biosphere reserve for public from November 1,” an official notification said.

The Similipal National Park comprising the Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) located in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district is spread over 2,750 sq km, which remained closed for tourists in view of the monsoon.

“However, the park remained closed in May 2021 in view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Field Director of STR M Yogajayanand.

The notification said that tourists will be allowed entry into the national park area through two check gates at Jashipur and Pithabata. While 35 four wheelers will be allowed entry into the national park at Jashipur, another 25 similar vehicle to enter through Pithabata check gate between 6 to 9 am.

“People will be allowed to visit the national park after verification of necessary details,” the notification said.

The authorities also discouraged people from carrying any sort of plastic during the visit.

Tourists will have the opportunity to witness some of the major waterfalls like Barehipani and Joranda.

The tourist can make night halts at camp cottages and bamboo cottages at Gudugudia, Jamuani, Ramathirtha, Kumari.

They can book tickets to visit the national park online on first come and first serve basis by logging into www.similipal.com and odishatourism.gov.in.

This year, the authorities of the national park have also decided to allow visitors to sightsee the picturesque and the rich biome of flora and fauna on cycles.

“A total of around 43,400 tourists had visited the national park last year while a total of Rs 2.35 crore of revenue was collected,” said the STR director.

The Similipal National Park houses 1,076 species of plants belonging to 102 families and 96 species of orchids. It also boasts of innumerable medicinal and aromatic plants, which provide a source of earnings for the tribal people.

This apart, a total of 42 species of mammals, 242 species of birds and 30 species of reptiles have been recorded in Simlipal National Park. The other mammals include tiger, leopard, asian elephants, sambar, barking deer, gaur, jungle cat, wild boar, four-horned antelope, giant squirrel and common langur.

The 231 species of birds include red junglefowl, hill mynah, peafowl, alexandrine parakeet, creted serpent eagle, grey hornbill, Indian pied hornbill, Malabar piped hornbill and Indian trogon.

The park also has a sizeable population of reptiles, which includes snakes and turtles. Besides Mugger crocodile are seen on the bank of river Khairi.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 9:21:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/similipal-national-park-to-open-for-tourists-from-november-1/article37206515.ece

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