Baripada: The Similipal National Park in Mayurbhanj district will be reopened from Friday after remaining closed for three and half months due to monsoon. The park authorities have laid stress on safety and security of the tourists inside the park.
With winter set to arrive, the authority of the tiger reserve has decided to open the park for the tourists.
The tourists will be allowed to enter the park from Pithabata (Lulung) and Kaliani (Jashipur) check gates, field director of Similipal Tiger Project Sashi Paul had said in a notice.
“A maximum of 35 four-wheelers and 25 two-wheelers will be allowed to enter the park daily through Kaliani and Pithabata gates re-spectively,” he had said.
For entry into the park, the tourists have to collect passes from the booking counters at Pithabata and Kaliani gates between 6 am and 9 am with an undertaking that they will abide by the rules of the Forest department.
As per the rules— no tourist(s) would be allowed to stay at Joranda and Barehipani waterfalls after 3pm and inside the park after 4 pm. However, the tourist(s) could make night halt in specific places like cottages made under eco-tourism projects at Kumari, Gudigudia, Ramtirtha and Jamuani inside the park. This year, advance online booking facility for entry into the park and accommodation for night halt has been made available for the tourists by the Forest department. The department has also made mandatory for the tourists to be escorted by a guide.
The tourists are required to deposit Rs 4,000 in advance at the entry point with the Forest department so that in case of any vehicular breakdown or any other emergency, the department will provide them transport service to Baripada or Jashipur.
The advance money will be returned to them at the exit points—Pithabata, Tulasibani and Kaliani—after producing the slip only if they have not availed the emergency service.
It may be mentioned here that if any vehicle carrying tourists is found to break the rules and regulations then it may be exempted for the first time however if it is found doing it again then it may face barring.
Similipal National Park is part of the Similipal-Kuldiha-Hadgarh Elephant Reserve popularly known as Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve, which includes three protected areas — Similipal Tiger Reserve (2750.00 sqkm), Hadgarh Wildlife Sanctuary (191.06 sqkm) and Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary (272.75 sqkm). The national park derives its name from the abundance of semul (red silk cotton trees) that bloom here. It is the seventh largest national park in India.
The scenic beauty of the park during winter season is the major attraction for both national and international tourists.