The park is abode of more than 1,253 species of flowering plants, 21 species of amphibians, 62 species of reptiles, 361 species of birds, 55 species of mammals. (DC)
Bhubaneswar: The Similipal National Park (SNP) in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district reopened for tourists on Saturday after remaining closed for around five months in view of the monsoon.
According to SNP sources, tourists can enter the second-largest biosphere in Asia between 6 am and 9 am. While 35 vehicles will be allowed through Kaliani gate from Jashipur side, 25 vehicles can enter the park from Lulung in Baripada side.
The visitors have been asked to leave the park from Barehipani and Jaranda by 3 pm and Chahala by 4 pm.
The park authorities have made elaborate arrangements for the tourists.
For the first time this year, the park has been declared as a plastic-free area. The park authorities have roped in local self help groups (SHGs) to offer an array of cooked delicacies to the visitors. The visitors have to loosen the purse strings to taste these mouth-watering items including some authentic local food items.
Spread over 2750 sq km, the park offers breathtaking views with cloud-kissing Sal trees standing as if to welcome the tourists.
The landscape harbours 7 per cent flowering plants, 8 per cent orchids, 7 per cent reptiles, 20 per cent birds and 11 per cent mammals of India. It is the abode of more than 1,253 species of flowering plants, 99 species of non-flowering plants, 21 species of amphibians, 62 species of reptiles, 361 species of birds, 55 species of mammals and many species of flora and fauna still to be identified.
Similipal bears 104 species of orchids, many of them endemic and endangered, and 72 species are Himalayan species, many species of insects, ferns and medicinal plants.
There are many species of rare, endangered, threatened and vulnerable plants and animals. Mahaseer, Hornbill, Chowsingha, Mouse deer, Giant squirrel, flying squirrel, Ruddy mongoose, mugger crocodile and Rufous tailed hare are examples of this unique biodiversity.
Large carnivores like tigers, leopards, and mega-herbivores like elephants and Indian Gaur freely range in the forests of Similipal and adjoining landscape. The tigers of Similipal represent a unique lineage of central Indian tigers in which melanistic tigers are occasionally found. It is the only home of these melanistic tigers in the world.