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Old 25th November 2018, 04:33   #1
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Default Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve

This was supposed to be a full fledged team-bhp Kolkata chapter meet in Simlipal. I had been trying to go to Simlipal with Himadri for quite sometime. He is considered as the King of Simlipal in our circle as he has been there more than 30 times. I don't know anyone who has been to the jungle more than him, except the local guides, maybe. But the dates were not getting finalized for the trip.

The boss of Simlipal!
Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-3.jpg

It is very difficult to come to a consensus when there are more than 60 members! I am sure Samba, Papabravo or Shomeshree would have managed it. But thanks to my superior organisational skills and convincing power, it ended up with 3 of us, bhpians Avrendu, himadrimondal and me, embarking on a weekend trip to the beautiful Simlipal National Park in Odisha.

The 3 Musketeers along with the White Tusker
Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-01.jpg

About Simlipal National Park and Tiger Reserve -

Simlipal National Park is a national park and a tiger reserve in the Mayurbhanj district in the Indian state of Odisha. It 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 km2), Hadgarh Wildlife Sanctuary (191.06 km2) and Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary (272.75 km2)).[1] Simlipal National Park derives its name from the abundance of semul (red silk cotton trees) that bloom here.[2] It is the 7th largest national park in India.


Palpala River near Lulung, Similipal National Park
The park has a protected area of 845.70 square kilometres (326.53 sq mi) and has some beautiful waterfalls like Joranda and Barehipani. Simlipal is home to 99 royal Bengal tigers and 432 wild elephants.[3] Besides Simlipal is famous for gaurs (Indian bison), chausingha,[2] as well as an orchidarium.

One can enter Similipal through Pithabata (22 kilometres (14 mi) from Baripada) and 98 km via Jashipur. Entry permits can be obtained from the Range Officer, Pithabata check gate upon paying prescribed fees.[5] Day visitors can enter between 6 AM and 12 noon and visitors with reservation between 6 AM and 9 AM. Similipal National Park is open from 1 November to 15 June.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simlipal_National_Park
__________________________________________________ ________________


Simlipal has a special place in my life. 10 Years back I had been to Simplipal. It was just after my marriage and it was supposed to be our honeymoon trip, but due to the perceived danger associated with Simlipal during those days, our friends did not let just the two of us go. So finally it ended up being a 8 member trip with two vehicles. The members included two senior citizens as well, one of them being my beloved mother-in-law

A few pictures from that trip -

Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-imgp0013.jpg

Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-imgp0024.jpg

Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-imgp0041.jpg

Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-imgp0042.jpg

Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-imgp0055.jpg

Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-imgp0043.jpg

Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-imgp0056.jpg

Last edited by BlackPearl : 25th November 2018 at 05:47.
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Old 25th November 2018, 04:52   #2
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve

Coming back to this trip, as I mentioned in the previous post that it was finally an impromptu trip because all the planning had failed. One evening it was suddenly planned and next Friday night we set of in my Bolero for Simlipal. The road was good throughout and by 6 am we reached Baripada.

A few photo-stops on the road

Himadri and Avrendu
Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-2.jpg

BlackPearl and Avrendu
Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-4.jpg

2012 Bolero LX 4WD - The White Tusker
Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-5.jpg

There was a person waiting fr us at Badipada who took us to a restaurant for some lovely breakfast. I was so hungry that I forgot to take any pic of the person and the food. He did not take money from us though Himadri insisted a lot. The person said he could not take money from Himadri! Avrendu winked at me and whispered that our royal treatment has started

After breakfast we reached the forest gates at Pithabata where Avrendu got the tickets for all of us including the vehicle and the cameras.

Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-6.jpg

The rule is that there will be one guide with us in the vehicle all the time. This rule was not there when we went 10 years back. It is a bit irritating to have an unknown person with us in the vehicle and that too when we had amongst us a person who knew the forest more than the guides. Anyway rule is rule and has to be followed.

Anyways, the guide turned out to be a nice person and we started chatting incessantly. The road through the forest was beautiful and I was extremely happy because last time I could not drive through these parts in my Baleno. I had always wanted to go back to Simlipal for this beautiful drive. This time we had a high ground clearance 4WD vehicle with us. My dream came true after 10 years!

Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-8.jpg

Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-9.jpg

It was extremely nostalgic for me to go back to the same place after a decade and see the changes. I was very sad to hear that the guest houses in Lulung, where we stayed last time, had been destroyed. We continued to drive into the interiors of the forest and soak in the beauty.

Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-10.jpg

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Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-14.jpg

Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-15.jpg

Last edited by BlackPearl : 25th November 2018 at 05:21.
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Old 25th November 2018, 05:20   #3
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve

Our route was Lulung -> Joranda -> Barehipani -> Chahala. We roamed around inside the forest till it was almost evening.

Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-16.jpg

Soon it was time to go to the guest house in Chahala, our destination for the night.

Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-17.jpg

The guest house where we stayed
Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-18.jpg

We were served dinner at around 8 in the night and believe me it was one of the best chicken preparations that I had ever in my life. They call chicken as Norokuttu in Odisha and I am not exaggerating, it is a must have if you ever go to Simlipal forest.
The three of us had many things and ideas to catch up with for the rest of the evening. We chatted for several hours before calling it off for the day and crashed into our beds.

A picture after good food and a good night's sleep
Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-19.jpg

Next morning we started for Kolkata. It was an amazing two day trip and would love to go back again.

A parting shot of the steed inside the Simlipal Forest
Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-20.jpg

Last edited by BlackPearl : 25th November 2018 at 05:38.
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Old 26th November 2018, 07:26   #4
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 26th November 2018, 13:35   #5
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve

Wow this is wonderful detailed writing Sumitro. You have a good memory I must say. Reading this piece a lot of memories of the trip came rushing in. I was fortunate that I could match the travel dates with you and Himadri.

Just as you mentioned, Himadri knew a lot of areas like the back of his hand and while we were driving along he was sharing a lot of incidents from his previous trips. It transpired that a vast segment to the southern part of Simlipal National Park lay unexplored, principally because there were no motorable roads there. One had to go on foot, but again I am sure any such permission will not be available for security reasons.

We 3 also went to a place where there used to be a watchtower kind of structure earlier but which had been destroyed or pulled down. We could still see the chain and bolts by which it used to be fixed to the ground. It was when we were going to this place when the sole wildlife we saw, a deer, that sprang across the road in front of the Bolero and across it. I was driving the Bolero then and was a bit startled by the sudden action.

The chicken preparation that you mentioned was prepared in a clay oven with wood fuel and I think that is one of the reasons, apart obviously from fine cooking skills, why the chicken tasted so nice and different.

The place did have mosquitoes and it is advisable to carry shields of all types that can counter mosquitoes. The guest house did have a mosquito net but that is only when you retire to bed. Other times, one will need it. As far as I remember, the electricity situation was not too bright too !

Nonetheless, this is only one of those trips which we 3 did together and I must say they were days very well spent. Please keep up the wonderful narration and let the details flow.

Thanks
Avrendu
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Old 27th November 2018, 04:40   #6
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve

Quote:
Originally Posted by avrendu View Post
Wow this is wonderful detailed writing Sumitro. You have a good memory I must say. Reading this piece a lot of memories of the trip came rushing in. I was fortunate that I could match the travel dates with you and Himadri.

Just as you mentioned, Himadri knew a lot of areas like the back of his hand and while we were driving along he was sharing a lot of incidents from his previous trips. It transpired that a vast segment to the southern part of Simlipal National Park lay unexplored, principally because there were no motorable roads there. One had to go on foot, but again I am sure any such permission will not be available for security reasons.

We 3 also went to a place where there used to be a watchtower kind of structure earlier but which had been destroyed or pulled down. We could still see the chain and bolts by which it used to be fixed to the ground. It was when we were going to this place when the sole wildlife we saw, a deer, that sprang across the road in front of the Bolero and across it. I was driving the Bolero then and was a bit startled by the sudden action.

The chicken preparation that you mentioned was prepared in a clay oven with wood fuel and I think that is one of the reasons, apart obviously from fine cooking skills, why the chicken tasted so nice and different.

The place did have mosquitoes and it is advisable to carry shields of all types that can counter mosquitoes. The guest house did have a mosquito net but that is only when you retire to bed. Other times, one will need it. As far as I remember, the electricity situation was not too bright too !

Nonetheless, this is only one of those trips which we 3 did together and I must say they were days very well spent. Please keep up the wonderful narration and let the details flow.

Thanks
Avrendu
Thanks Avrendu! Yes, it was a revelation to travel with such a knowledgeable person. Our Sikkim trip a few weeks later was superb as well. I will put up a travelogue for that as well.
I had completely forgotten about the electricity part. Now I remember what a scare we had got when we tried to go to the kitchen in the dark to enquire about food
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Old 27th November 2018, 15:21   #7
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve

Excellent as-usual!

The flora & fauna this place offers is just brilliant but, i am always scared of visiting Simlipal, just because of the anopheles mosquito's.

You forgot the Bangriposi & Simlipal trip we did together! :(

Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-img_4098.jpg

Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve-img_4112.jpg
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Old 27th November 2018, 15:54   #8
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve

Thanks for sharing some amazing views! Crisp description of the place.
Just out of curiosity, weren't there any 4-legged canines around (it being a tiger reserve)? Or is there a follow-up travelogue being compiled in the assembly line which would oblige us with such pics?
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Old 27th November 2018, 19:51   #9
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve

This is just awesome. What a surprise it is to revisit old memories aided by some beautiful frames. We did have a blast of a time. Simlipal is very close to my heart, my first visit to a national park. Back then there was so much wildlife available in the northern part of the park but with passage of time most of the wildlife moved south. This part of the park is not open to the general public.

The person we met in the morning was Mr. Sahu, a gem of a person by heart and a serious wildlife enthusiast. I was lucky to meet him first in 1998, outside the park, while he was acting as a guide to a group of foreigners. I remember him going out of his way to arrange me a permit to stay inside the park for two nights. All I mentioned was my love for the forest, its environment and have not come here to see Tigers. This is one national park where I could move around in my car without any intervention, spend the whole day and night doing what I love best, admiring the wild.

Did we all forget the mini cyclone brewing?
The hens too? Yes, thought of the chicken served in the evening still makes me hungry. Before there was no provision for food being served. One had to shop ration and take it inside to be self cooked in firewood. Those were really golden days. Avrendu though would prefer it being served. I am sure you and Avrendu would agree, we should have spent one more night. There are a lot of jungle trails which we could have done coupled with the excitement of sighting wildlife. Its never late though. You come back from abroad, let Avrendu get a LR, we will do this once more.

Lovely writeup once again with beautiful photographs. The photographs on the wooden bridge reminds me of the fantastic landscape below, the jungle stream flowing with a small sand bank and dense forest all along. Should thank Avrendu for the lovely company and all the stories and pranks he kepy flowing.

Couple of photographs I have of old memories. Name:  161189156.QTXYCiPl.jpg
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Name:  161189157.5K59xdhp.20150827_2312231.jpg
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Old 27th November 2018, 20:24   #10
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
After breakfast we reached the forest gates at Pithabata where Avrendu got the tickets for all of us including the vehicle and the cameras.
When was this?

Simplipal and Manas used to be my extended weekend haunts. Till it all came to a sudden end. Sad.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 27th November 2018, 21:45   #11
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
But the dates were not getting finalized for the trip. It is very difficult to come to a consensus when there are more than 60 members!
Elaborately planned trips often doesn't work out

Quote:
Simlipal National Park is a national park and a tiger reserve in the Mayurbhanj district in the Indian state of Odisha.
Thanks for the travelogue, hearing about the place for the first time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
anopheles mosquito's.
Its just the females you need to be scared of, right?
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Old 28th November 2018, 01:48   #12
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve

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Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post

Its just the females you need to be scared of, right?
Yes, you are spot on. Simlipal is infamous for malaria.
I sufferred from Dengu at Kolkata in 2012. Since then am a bit paranoid about mosquito’s.

Last edited by Samba : 28th November 2018 at 02:09.
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Old 28th November 2018, 03:47   #13
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Excellent as-usual!

The flora & fauna this place offers is just brilliant but, i am always scared of visiting Simlipal, just because of the anopheles mosquito's.

You forgot the Bangriposi & Simlipal trip we did together! :(
Thanks Samba! I never forget any trip, how could I forget this one? What made you think I had forgotten about our Bangriposi and Simplipal trip?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshMachine View Post
Thanks for sharing some amazing views! Crisp description of the place.
Just out of curiosity, weren't there any 4-legged canines around (it being a tiger reserve)? Or is there a follow-up travelogue being compiled in the assembly line which would oblige us with such pics?
Thanks JoshMachine! We have only seen deer in Simlipal. As Himadri has mentioned, south Simlipal is out of bounds of tourists, but that is the place where all the wild animals are supposed to be. At least that is what the forrest guards say. I have never seen a tiger in wild till date and I have been to quite a few forests People say that there is a high chance of seeing one in Bandhavgarh, waiting for that day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by himadrimondal View Post
This is just awesome. What a surprise it is to revisit old memories aided by some beautiful frames. We did have a blast of a time. Simlipal is very close to my heart, my first visit to a national park. Back then there was so much wildlife available in the northern part of the park but with passage of time most of the wildlife moved south. This part of the park is not open to the general public.
......
Did we all forget the mini cyclone brewing?
......

Lovely writeup once again with beautiful photographs. The photographs on the wooden bridge reminds me of the fantastic landscape below, the jungle stream flowing with a small sand bank and dense forest all along. Should thank Avrendu for the lovely company and all the stories and pranks he kepy flowing.
Thanks Himadri! How can I forget the mini cyclone, I have watched that video many times over. But it will need some heavy editing if it has to be posted on a public forum

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
When was this?

Simplipal and Manas used to be my extended weekend haunts. Till it all came to a sudden end. Sad.

Regards
Sutripta
2015. Lets plan for the next trip please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Elaborately planned trips often doesn't work out


Thanks for the travelogue, hearing about the place for the first time.
Thanks mpksuhas. Yes, planned trips are difficult specially for an impatient person like me.
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Old 28th November 2018, 20:00   #14
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
2015. Lets plan for the next trip please.
I thought it was just established that planning trips does not work.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 28th November 2018, 21:33   #15
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Simlipal Tiger Reserve

The charm of the forests is indeed different - but its your chicken curry that evokes more nostalgia. Especially now that winter is around the corner.

Last year we went to a place in Purulia: Matha. Under an open sky, a bonfire was lit. And then a great conversation followed, laced with just optimal beverages, with a very old friend and followed by a dinner of Roti-Chicken-Salad. The barking of a fox or hyena pierced through the night that we spent in a camping ground.

Boy, that was awesome! And my taste buds still yearn for that fiery chicken as I write this.

Cheers,
Sayak
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