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How To Reach Similipal National Park
Simlipal National Park is situated in the Mayurbhanj district of the eastern coastal state Orissa, and is one of the most well-known forest reserves in the country. Being the 7th largest wildlife sanctuary in India that also has one of the most important tiger conservation programs, it is no surprise that Simlipal features as one of the most widely visited spots in the state of Orissa. Hundreds of animal and bird species that call this place home, along with luxuriant grasslands and breath-taking waterfalls – a trip to Simlipal National Park will prove to be a nature-lover’s delight.
Simlipal has a number of entry points, all of which are easily accessible from the town Baripada located about 108 km away from the sanctuary. To help you plan out your trip, here is a detailed account on the most convenient ways to reach Simlipal National Park.
People coming in from outside the country can fly in to the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, or the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar; each situated roughly 365 km and 191 km away from Similipal respectively. Buses and taxis are available from either airport to take visitors directly to the National Park. While both airports have domestic terminals as well, the closest domestic airport from the Park is the Sonari Airport in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. It is about 190 km away from Similipal and just around three hours of a bus or car drive away.
The Balasore Railway Station located around 100 km away from Similipal is the nearest railhead from the Park. It is situated on the main Howrah-Chennai line and is connected to a number of major cities through trains running on the South Eastern Railway. The Baripada Railway Station is also located almost the same distance away from Similipal and can be accessed as a connecting railway junction as well.
The nearest town from Similipal is Baripada; situated on the junction of National Highway 5 and 6, it is around 250 km from Bhubaneswar, 235 km from Kolkata and 60 km from Balasore. Public buses run by OSRTC, along with private transportation in all forms is available to reach Baripada from major towns nearby. The different entry points to the National Park can be reached through buses, taxis and jeeps available from Baripada – the entry point Pithabata is 21 km away; Jashipur is 95 km away via NH 6; Lulung is just 20 km away via NH 5.
Within the park, jeeps driven by guides are the more common form of transport where visitors travel around in groups. However, tourists are allowed to bring in their own vehicle as well after obtaining the necessary permits. Entry permits are required for all visitors in general as well, and can be obtained from the Range Officer present at any one of the entry points.