From picturesque waterfalls with rocky backdrops to a crocodile breeding center to the Maharaja’s hunting lodge – the Simlipal bucket list spreads far and wide. Spend your afternoon staring at the gorgeous Barehipani waterfalls from the Log Cabin, the evening watching peacocks and sambars at Chahala, and the morning resting in the balcony at Lulung, watching the Palpala river meander by, savoring the stillness of the moment.
Lulung serves as an entry point to Simlipal from the eastern side. A famous outing spot for people of Mayurbhanj, Lulung overlooks the Palpala river and is now host to the Aranya Nivas resort. Situated about 25 km. from Baripada, the forest is only an hour away from the creature comforts of city life.
Located at the foothills of the Simlipal forests, the Sitakund fountain originates from Kalipahad at a height of 2500 ft. Named after Lady Sita, it is a place of religious importance for Hindus and is a popular site among picnickers due to the picturesque beauty of a small waterfall and the gorge filled with water. Located 2 km. from Sitakund, there is an old Siva temple called Munimath in Palpala forest. It is dedicated to the Lord Budheswar, as Lord Shiva is sometimes known.
In the deep Sal jungles of Simlipal, there is the Barehipani waterfall, named so because it resembles a locally made rope known as Barehi. Falling from a height of 400 mt, it is the second highest waterfall in India and serves as a water source for river Budhabalanga. There is a Log Cabin to relax and view the fall from one edge of the mountain.
Ramatirtha is famous for its natural beauties and temple of Sri Rama. During Tretaya Yuga, Lord Sri Rama along with Devi Sita and Brother Laxman were passing through the Simlipal jungle when due to tiredness, Devi Sita sat on the side and washed her face and feet in the river that flows beneath. Then onwards, Ramatirtha has become a legendary place.
There’s also the festival of Makar Sankranti when every year Mahanta people celebrate Tusu Parab or Tusumelana festival in the memory of Tusumani, a brave tribal lady who forfeited her life to escape from Mughal soldiers. Tusu, a tribal dance, and the local song is a part of the celebrations.
This is a crocodile rearing center at Ramatirtha near Jashipur, on the bank of river Khairi. In 1979, Govt. of Odisha first planned to nurture crocodiles in the river for which 115 crocodile babies were brought from Tamil Nadu Crocodile Bank. The center has flourished since then.
The crocodiles kept at the center are called “Mugger Crocodiles” (Crocodylus palustris). ‘Mugger’ borrowed from ‘Magar’, the Hindi word for crocodile, is in turn derived from ‘Makara’, the Sanskrit word for a mythical water monster.
The Mayurbhanj Maharaja’s hunting lodge converted into a dak bungalow, Chahala is located in the border of the core area of Simlipal Tiger Reserve and is one of the best spots to sight animals like deer, peacocks and elephants at close range. Solar powered light, here, is the only means to light up the offices and barracks. Chahala is the closest experience you can have of core Simlipal forests.
Located in Jasipur block, there is the Athara Deula temple, where the Bathudi tribal people worship Lord Badam, or Sunya Brahma, at the temple premises for eighteen days in the month of Chaitra. Primarily residing in North Odisha, the Bathudi are a bilingual tribe with a distinct social organization and shared beliefs with other neighboring Hindu tribes.
On the foothills, there is a door-less temple called Manav Mandir, and a tank called Meghanad Tank. One has to take bath in the tank, and then after climbing up for twenty-five minutes, reach the sanctum. On Makar Sankranti day, the tribals from the hills gather at the temple to offer prayer to their clan God.
Near Sitakunda, there is a cave temple where Lord Hanuman is worshipped. The face of the Hanuman idol is black as a testimony to him returning from Lanka after gutting it.
The Joranda Falls is located in the core area of Simlipal National Park in Mayurbhanj district in the Indian state of Odisha. The Barehipani Falls is located close to the Joranda Falls. It is the 19th highest waterfall in India.
Sana Uski Water fall is near the village Uski; the fall about 45 KM from Jasipur and 15 KM from Gudugudia.
A green valley with crop lands, Nawana thrills the heart during the winter. The lifestyle of the tribals residing in the valley is also a point of attraction.