Similipal Tiger Reserve
Forest, Environment and Climate Change Department, Govt. of Odisha
There are many large & small waterfalls inside Similipal TR that attract visitors for their exceptional Beauty. Joranda & Barehipani are two majestic waterfalls that re located on the tourist route that runs across the Tiger Reserve. At Joranda, the water falls from a height of 181 mtrs and touches the ground on the gorge perpendicularly. Elephants, Chital and Sambars frequently visit saltlick near the campus as the sun sets in the nature unfolds the beauty through vast stage of green lush vegetation. The Waterfall resembles a rope at Barehipani. Locally the rope is called as Barehi, hence the name. The rolling waterfall with a height of 217 mtrs presents a majestic view with reverberating sound in the gorge from where the river Budhabalanga runs to the plain land.
There are many smaller waterfalls that also attracts the visitors. Amongst these, the waterfalls at Uski, Olkudar, Sitakund, Deokund (Debkund), & Brahmanakund attracts due to presence small pools at their base. Olkudar & Uski are on the tourist route inside the Tiger Reserve. Olkudar is located close the Kaliani Gate at Jashipur. All other waterfalls are on the periphery of the Tiger Reserve. Sitakund, Deokund (Debkund) & Brahmanakund are of religious importance. Sitakund is located near the Entry Gate at Pithabata which is around 20 kms from Baripada. Deokund (Debkund) is located 28 kms from Udala & 60 kms away from Baripada. Goddess Ambika is worshiped in a temple very close to the waterfall. The forest around Deokund is rich in diversity of Flora & Fauna. The restriction on fishing & other disturbance at Brahmanakund by the local people due to religious/spiritual values, the pool at that place has huge quantity of fishes. The fishes that are present in the pool are mostly Mahaseer which are very sporty in nature.
The nature camps at Similipal give an opportunity for the visitors to spend some quality time with family & friends in the lap of nature. The nature camps have well furnished Suites, Dining halls & many other facilities. Provision of Adventure & sports have also been made at the Camps. On special request, cultural programmes, bonfires, etc. are arranged in the evening by paying extra charges. The guests can avail indoor & outdoor facilities like Cycling, Table Tennis, Canopy walks, Amphitheatre, Trekking & Hiking, etc. at the Nature Camps. All nature camps are being managed by the local communities though joint forest management initiatives by formation of Eco-Development Committees. This provides employment opportunities for the local youth there by reducing their dependence on forests which would ultimately provide good habitat for the wildlife to flourish in the TR. At present the nature camps are located at Gurguria, Kumari, Barehipani & Jamuani inside the Tiger Reserve & one at Ramatirtha which is located outside the Tiger Reserve Boundary. Situated on the confluence of Khairi and Bhandan rivers emerging from Similipal, Ramtirtha is a place of worship attached to the sentiment of Hindus due to its mythological importance. It is a place of tourist interest with an Astral Garden and erstwhile Mugger Research Centre.
At chahala, a sprawling meadow and a saltlick is there for observing animals from a watchtower. A royal forest resort from times of Maharajas at this place is proof of the history & rich cultural heritage of Similipal.
The Orchidarium at Gurguria houses more than 60 species of Orchids of Similipal under care & supervision of trained & experienced forest personnel. Although Similipal is home to more than hundred species of Orchids, a few could be kept at the Orchidarium to showcase the richness of floral biodiversity in Similipal. The wildflowers of Orchids are a treat to the eye when they bloom in the summer months.
There are many places of worship attached to the sentiment of Hindus due to its mythological importance in and around Similipal. These are Samibrukhya, Ramatirtha, Sitakund, Deokund (Debkund), etc.
There are many dams constructed around Similipal, that attract visitors from nearby places during November to February due to presence of large body of water & scenic set up. These are Kalo Dam, Haladia Dam, Jambhira Dam, Suleipat Dam, Balidaha Dam, Sankarmara Dam, Naedam Dam, etc. These are mostly located outside Tiger Reserve boundary give an opportunity to the inhabitants in the landscape of an escape from the hustle bustle of daily routine life and provide an opportunity to hang out with family & friends. These places along with numerous rivers & streams serve as a reminder to the water provisioning services & many other ecological benefits that are derived from Similipal.
Kanchhinda near Bangiriposhi is a scenic place well surrounded by hills and thousands of tourists visit for recreation. Similarly, Talabandha valley at the foot hill of North Similipal is a place of scenic beauty that attract many visitors.