Sunday, May 21, 2023

Simlipal National Park

Simlipal National Park UPSC

Simlipal National Park is a renowned national park located in the Indian state of Odisha. It is situated in the eastern part of India. The Simlipal National Park is named after the Semul or red silk cotton trees (Bombax ceiba) that are found abundantly in the region.


Simlipal National Park is recognized as one of the earliest and most well-preserved tiger reserves in India. It was designated as a tiger reserve under Project Tiger, an initiative aimed at conserving the endangered Bengal tigers. 


Table of Contents

  • Simlipal National Park Location
  • Simlipal National Park History
  • Simlipal National Park Area
  • Simlipal National Park Hills
    • Simlipal Hills
  • Simlipal National Park River
    • Burhabalanga River
    • Kahairi River
    • Palpala Bandan River
    • Salandi River
  • Simlipal National Park Waterfalls
    • Barehipani Falls
    • Joranda Falls
    • Uski Waterfall
  • Simlipal National Park Tribe
    • Erenga Kharias
    • Mankirdias
  • Simlipal National Park Flora
  • Simlipal National Park Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptiles
  • Mugger Crocodile
  • Black Tiger
  • Elephant Reserve
  • Top Things to do in Simlipal National Park
  • Simlipal National Park UPSC Questions


Simlipal National Park Location

Simlipal National Park is located in the Mayurbhanj district of the Indian state of Odisha. It is situated in the eastern part of India, specifically in the northern region of Odisha. 


Simlipal National Park Nearest Airport:

The nearest airports to Simlipal National Park are Bhubaneswar (270 km) and Kolkata (240 km).


Simlipal National Park Nearest Railways Station:

The nearest railway station to Simlipal National Park is Balasore (60 km from Baripada).




Simlipal National Park History 

What is the History of Simlipal National Park?


Hunting Ground: Simlipal National Park, located in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, India, has a rich history. It was once a favored hunting ground for the rulers of Marurbhanj, showcasing the area's abundant wildlife.


Tiger Reserve Status: In 1956, recognizing the importance of protecting the park's tiger population, Simlipal was officially designated as a tiger reserve. This designation aimed to safeguard the endangered Royal Bengal tiger and its habitat within the park.


Inclusion in Project Tiger: As part of the nation-wide initiative to conserve tigers, Simlipal National Park was brought under the ambit of Project Tiger in 1973. This significant step further solidified the park's conservation efforts and commitment to preserving the tiger population.


Wildlife Sanctuary Designation: In 1979, the Odisha government took another stride towards conservation by designating Simlipal as a wildlife sanctuary. This recognition highlighted the park's importance in safeguarding diverse flora and fauna, ensuring their protection and sustainable management.


National Park Establishment: Building upon the wildlife sanctuary status, Simlipal was officially established as a national park in 1980. This elevated the park's conservation status and emphasized the significance of its ecological and biodiversity value.


Biosphere Reserve Declaration: Recognizing the exceptional ecological significance of Simlipal, the Government of India declared it a biosphere reserve in 1994. This designation aimed to conserve the park's unique ecosystems, promote research, and ensure sustainable development in the surrounding areas.


UNESCO Recognition: In 2009, Simlipal National Park achieved international recognition when it was added to the prestigious list of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO. This global acknowledgment further underscored the park's ecological importance and its contributions to biodiversity conservation.


Simlipal National Park's journey from a hunting ground to a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve demonstrates the remarkable transformation of the area into a stronghold for wildlife conservation. Today, it stands as a testament to the efforts made by various stakeholders to protect its precious flora, fauna, and cultural heritage.




Simlipal National Park Area

Simlipal National Park covers an area of  845.70 square kilometres


In 1980, Simlipal National Park was established with an area of  303 square kilometres. 


In 1986, The national park's size was increased to 845.70 square kilometres.. 


The landscape of Simlipal National Park is characterized by rolling hills, plateaus, deep valleys, and dense forests. It is predominantly covered with tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, making it a biodiversity hotspot. 




Simlipal National Park Hills

Simlipal National Park is surrounded by picturesque hills that add to its natural beauty. The park is located in the northern part of Odisha, India, and is encompassed by the Simlipal hills. These hills form a significant part of the landscape and contribute to the diverse ecosystems within the park.


Simlipal Hills:

The Simlipal hills are characterized by their rolling terrain, steep slopes, and lush greenery. They are part of the Eastern Ghats mountain range, which stretches along the eastern coast of India. The hills are predominantly covered with dense forests, including tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests.


The elevation of the Simlipal hills varies, with some peaks rising up to approximately 1,500 meters (4,900 feet) above sea level. These higher elevations offer panoramic views of the surrounding forests and valleys. The hilltops also serve as vantage points for wildlife spotting and birdwatching.


The hilly terrain of Simlipal National Park provides a diverse range of habitats for various plant and animal species. It offers niches for endemic and endangered species, contributing to the park's biodiversity. The hills provide shelter, water sources, and foraging areas for wildlife, including tigers, elephants, leopards, and a variety of bird species.


Visitors to Simlipal National Park can enjoy the scenic beauty of the hills through nature trails and viewpoints. The hilly landscapes, combined with the dense forests, make for a captivating and immersive experience in the park.




Simlipal National Park River

Simlipal National Park is blessed with several rivers and streams that flow through its expansive area. These water bodies not only enhance the scenic beauty of the park but also provide crucial water sources for the diverse flora and fauna within the ecosystem. 


Some of the prominent rivers and streams in and around Simlipal National Park include:


(1) Burhabalanga River:

The Budhabalanga River is one of the major rivers that flows through Simlipal National Park. It originates from the Simlipal hills and traverses through the park, eventually merging with the Bay of Bengal. The river provides water to the surrounding areas and supports a variety of aquatic life.


  • The Budhabalanga River is also called Balanga River.
  • The Budhabalanga originate in the Similipal hills of Odisha, India.
  • It flows through the districts of Mayurbhanj and Balasore in the Indian state of Odisha.
  • The Budhabalanga is about 175 kilometres (109 mi) long.
  • It has a total catchment area of 4,840 square kilometres (1,870 sq mi). 
  • Its major tributaries are the Sone, the Gangadhar, and the Catra.
  • Barehipani Falls, the second-highest waterfall in India, is situated on the Budhabalanga River in Simlipal National Park.
  • Uski Waterfall is also situated on the Burhabalanga River.


(2) Kahairi River:

The Khairi River is another significant river that passes through the national park. It is a tributary of the Budhabalanga River and plays a crucial role in maintaining the park's ecological balance. The Khairi River contributes to the overall water availability in the region and sustains the park's diverse habitats.


(3) Palpala Bandan River:

The Palpala River is a smaller river that flows within the boundaries of Simlipal National Park. It meanders through the park, adding to the picturesque landscapes and serving as a water source for the park's wildlife.


(4) Salandi River:

The Salandi River, also known as the Sonepur River, is located in the nearby vicinity of Simlipal National Park but does not flow through the park itself. Salandi River is the tributary of Baitarani River.


The Salandi River originates in the Keonjhar district of Odisha and flows in a southeasterly direction. It passes near the eastern boundary of Simlipal National Park, approximately 30 to 40 kilometers (18 to 25 miles) away from the park's core area.




Simlipal National Park Waterfalls

Simlipal National Park is known for its beautiful waterfalls, which add to the scenic charm of the park. These waterfalls provide a refreshing and scenic experience for visitors to Simlipal National Park. They are often included in guided tours and nature trails, allowing visitors to witness the beauty of nature up close. 


Some of the notable waterfalls within or in close proximity to Simlipal National Park include:


(1) Barehipani Falls: 

Barehipani Falls is one of the most famous and tallest waterfalls in Odisha. It is situated in the core area of Simlipal National Park. It is situated on the Budhabalanga River. Barehipani Falls is the second highest water fall in India and the highest water fall in Odisha.


The Barehipani Falls have a two-tiered drop, with the water plunging from a height of around 399 metres (1,309 ft). The tallest single drop is 259 metres (850 ft).


The lush surroundings and the sound of cascading water make it a sight to behold. The waterfall creates a pond below it, where tourists can swim and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

 

(2) Joranda Falls:

Joranda Falls is a stunning waterfall located within Simlipal National Park. The falls create a mesmerizing spectacle as the water gushes over the rocks and creates a misty atmosphere.

  • The Joranda Falls has a total height of 150 metres (490 ft). 
  • It is the 19th highest waterfall in India.
  • The Barehipani Falls is located close to the Joranda Falls.


(3) Uski Waterfall:

Uski Waterfall is another picturesque waterfall near Simlipal National Park. It is located in the nearby Baripada region, which serves as a gateway to the park. Uski Waterfall offers a serene and tranquil ambiance, with the water flowing gently over rocks into a natural pool.

  • Uski Waterfall is situated on the Burhabalanga River.




Simlipal National Park Tribe

Simlipal National Park is surrounded by several indigenous tribes that have been residing in the region for centuries. These tribes have a deep connection with the forest and its resources. 


Some of the prominent indigenous tribes in the vicinity of Simlipal National Park include:


(1) Erenga Kharias:

  • They mainly inhabit Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal, Maharashtra. 


(2) Mankirdias:

  • The Mankidia also known as Mankadia, Mankidi, Mankirdia.
  • This tribe is a nomadic ethnic group of India.
  • They live in Odisha (Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur, Kalahandi and Sundergarh districts).
  • They are classified as a Scheduled Tribe by the Indian government.




Simlipal National Park Flora

Simlipal National Park boasts a diverse and rich flora, encompassing a wide range of plant species adapted to its varied ecosystems. The park's vegetation is primarily characterized by tropical and deciduous forests, which contribute to its lush and vibrant ambiance. Here are some notable features of the flora found in Simlipal National Park:


(1) Sal Trees (Shorea robusta):

Sal trees dominate the landscape of Simlipal, forming dense forests in many areas. These majestic trees, with their tall trunks and broad canopies, provide crucial habitat and food sources for a variety of wildlife species.


(2) Bamboo Groves:

Simlipal is also known for its extensive bamboo groves. Bamboo, a fast-growing and versatile plant, plays a vital role in the ecosystem, providing shelter, food, and nesting sites for numerous animals.


(3) Semul (Bombax ceiba):

The Semul tree, also known as the Silk Cotton Tree, is a prominent species found in Simlipal National Park. With its tall and imposing stature, the Semul tree adds grandeur to the park's landscapes. It features a straight trunk, a broad canopy, and large, showy flowers in vibrant red or crimson hues. The tree's fluffy cotton-like fibers and woody capsules containing seeds contribute to its reproductive strategy.


(4) Moist Mixed Deciduous Forests:

Simlipal's forests feature a mix of deciduous tree species, including mahua, tendu, asan, kusum, palas, and many others. These forests exhibit vibrant seasonal changes, with the leaves turning golden and shedding during the dry season.


(5) Grasslands:

Simlipal National Park also features grassland ecosystems, interspersed amidst the forests. These open areas support a different set of plant species adapted to the grassland environment. Grasses like spear grass, elephant grass, and wild sugarcane thrive in these grassland patches, creating open vistas and providing grazing grounds for herbivores.


(6) Orchids and Epiphytes:

Simlipal National Park is known for its diverse orchid species, adding splashes of vibrant colors to the forest. Epiphytes, such as ferns, mosses, and lichens, also thrive in the park, adorning the branches and trunks of trees.


(7) Aquatic Vegetation:

The park's water bodies, including rivers, streams, and ponds, harbor various aquatic plants like water lilies, lotus, and water hyacinths. These plants provide habitat and food for aquatic animals and contribute to the overall biodiversity of the park.




Simlipal National Park Fauna (Simlipal National Park Animals)

Simlipal National Park is renowned for its diverse and abundant wildlife. The park is home to numerous species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. 


Here are some of the notable fauna species found in Simlipal National Park:


Mammals:

  • Bengal Tiger
  • Asian Elephant
  • Leopard
  • Gaur
  • Langur
  • Barking Deer
  • Spotted Deer
  • Sambar
  • Four-horned Antelope
  • Pangolin
  • Sloth Bear
  • Mongoose
  • Flying Squirrel
  • Porcupine
  • Jungle Cat
  • Wild Boar
  • Giant Squirrel
  • Common Langur


Birds:

  • Grey Hornbill
  • Indian Pied Hornbill
  • Malabar Pied Hornbill
  • Indian Trogon
  • Red Jungle Fowl
  • Hill Mynah
  • Peafowl
  • Alexandrine Parakeet
  • Crested Serpent Eagle 
  • Alexandrine Parakeet


Reptiles:

  • Mugger Crocodile (Marsh Crocodile)
  • King Cobra
  • Python
  • Tricarinate Hill Turtle 
  • Monitor Lizard




Mugger Crocodile (Marsh Crocodile) in Simlipal National Park

Mugger crocodiles are primarily found in freshwater habitats such as rivers, lakes, and marshes across the Indian subcontinent. 


In Odisha, the mugger is found in river systems of the Simlipal National Park, the Mahanadi river system of the Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary, the Ghodahada reservoir in Ganjam district besides the Saberi river in Koraput district. 


As per the latest census conducted of these species in 2019, the water-bodies in Similipal are home to 82 muggers. The Simlipal National Park has a sustainable population of muggers since the reptile’s reintroduction programme in 1981. 


A mugger reintroduction programme took off in the Simlipal National Park’s river systems after the establishment of the Ramatirtha Captive Breeding Center in 1980.




Black Tiger in Simlipal National Park

Black tigers were first officially recorded in the forests of Similipal in 1975-76, when forest officials along with two foreign tourists saw two full-grown black tigers on the road leading to Matughar meadow on a bright winter day.


Black or pseudo-melanistic tigers, with distinctive dark stripe pattern, are rare and have only been filmed in Similipal till date. Simlipal has the world's highest rate of black tiger sightings in the world. 


The population of black tigers in Similipal is very limited. The reserve had last reported eight tigers, according to the Tiger Status Report 2018. 


Why are they black?

Black tigers are not an specific species but a colour variant of the usually orange tiger. The reason behind the majestic black stripes of melanistic tigers is mutation. 


They are Bengal tigers with a single base mutation in a particular gene. This mutation causes the tigers' distinctive black stripes to enlarge and spread into the orange background. 


Different mutations in this particular gene cause identical changes in the coat colour of other species of cats including cheetahs.




Similipal-Kuldiha-Hadgarh Elephant Reserve

The Simlipal National Park is a part of the Similipal-Kuldiha-Hadgarh Elephant Reserve popularly known as Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve, which is home to a significant population of Asian elephants.


The Elephant Reserve includes 3 protected areas i.e. 

  • Similipal Tiger Reserve
  • Hadagarh Wildlife sanctuary
  • Kuldiha wildlife sanctuary




Top Things to do in Simlipal National Park

When visiting Simlipal National Park, there are several activities and experiences that you can enjoy. 


Here are some of the top things to do in Simlipal National Park:


  • Wildlife Safari
  • Trekking
  • Visit Waterfalls (Joranda and Barehipani Waterfalls)
  • Birdwatching
  • Visit Tribal Villages
  • Nature Photography
  • Nature Walks
  • Visit Crocodile Rearing Center




Simlipal National Park UPSC Questions

Q. Where is Simlipal National Park?/Simlipal National Park is located in which state?/Simlipal National Park which district?

A. Simlipal National Park is located in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, India.


Q. What is the Speciality of Simlipal National Park?

A. Simlipal National Park is known for Black Tiger, Asian Elephant and Semul Tree.


Q. Which river flows through Simlipal National Park?

A. Burhabalanga, Kahairi, Palpala Bandan, Salandi river flows through Simlipal National Park.


Q. What is the ranking of Similipal National Park in India?

A. Simlipal National Park is the 7th largest National Park in India.


Q. Which waterfall is at Simlipal National Park?

A. Joranda, Barehipani and Uski waterfalls is at Simlipal National Park.

Simlipal National Park

No comments:

Post a Comment