Sunday, 16 December 2012

Destination India

Orissa (PART-X)
                                      Wildlife of Orissa (1)

Simlipal National Park

Orissa boasts of a diverse topography that consists of scrub jungles, valleys, dense evergreen forests, and hills, estuarine and manmade forests. The forest region of the state is around 38 percent of its total geographical area. The diversified ecological niches and environmental surroundings of Orissa provide outstanding habitat for a very rich fauna, not to mention a significant variety of flora as well. So it's pretty natural that many people from near and faraway lands come here lured by the Wildlife in Orissa. One such place worthy of mentioning is the Simlipal National Park, situated in the Mayurbhanj district in the Indian state of Orissa. Simlipal National Park derives its name from the abundance of Semul or red silk cotton trees that bloom vividly. The park has an area of 845.70 square kilometres (326.53 sq mi) and has some beautiful waterfalls like Joranda and Barehipani. Simlipal is home to ninety-nine Royal Bengal Tigers, 432 Wild elephants.  Besides Simlipal is famous for Gaurs (Indian Bisons) , Chausingha, as well as an orchidarium. The park is a floral treasure.  You can find about 82 species of orchids in the park. There are about 501 species of plants that belong to some 102 families.

The Simlipal reserve is flanked by handsome peaks of Khairiburu (1178 meters), Meghasani (1158 meters) that are covered with thick forests of Sal. Several Rivers like Budhabalanga, Khairi, Salandi; Palpala, etc. originate from the hills and meander through the forests running like veins in the body. Many of the rivers have formed cascading rapids and foaming falls before leaving for the plains. The waterfalls of Barehipani (400 meters) and Joranda (150 meters) are simply stupefying.


Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary

Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is an exquisite biodiversity combined with beautiful terrains and a Mangrove dominated ecosystem. The spectacular wildlife, birds and vegetation makes Bhitarkanika one of the most amazing wildlife sanctuaries in India. Located in the estuarine region of Brahmani- Baitrani in the state of Orissa the sanctuary continues to attract tourists all through the year.

Mangroves are spread all over the entire 625 km area of the Sanctuary including the wet and the marshy lands. The sanctuary has 55 different varieties of mangroves which are used as nesting ground by the migratory birds coming from Central Asia and Europe. Teak, Salaia, Bamboo, Hair, Babul, Zizphus, Kauriculata, Palas are the other significant flora of the region. The sanctuary is also the breeding location for the giant salt water crocodiles which includes the rare partially white crocodiles. The sanctuary also houses 215 species of birds which includes eight different varities of Kingfisher alone. Woodpecker, White Bellied Sea Eagle, Brahmany Ducks, Sea Gull, Hornbill, Waders, Bar Headed Geese etc are other avifauna of the region.
Pestilential reptiles like pythons and king cobras reside in the sanctuary. Water monitor lizards, flying fox, wild dogs, leopards, wild boar, four horned antelopes, Chinkara, Hyena, Blue Bull and Bear are the other important fauna which are flourishing within the protected area of Bhitarkanika National Park.


Kuldiha presents typical mixture of Peninsular (coastal) Sal forests and moist mixed deciduous forests of Deccan peninsula. Small rivers emerging from the Kuldiha landscape are Tangana, Kamala, Basudhar, and Uastal Nala. The forested areas of the region feed to Budhabalanga through tributaries Sono in North and Gangahar in south.

There are two reservoirs in Kuldiha. The Rissia reservoir in northwest is over river Tangana and Sindhua reservoir in southeast is over Uastal nala. These to reservoirs have helped the crop and climate regime of the region.

Elephants that characterize the landscape are commonly seen in Kuldiha. The reservoirs attract the elephants round the year. Forests along the migration route of elephants from Kuldiha to Similipal and Hadagarh through the forests of Gogua, Ketakijhari, Balihudi and Kupari are fragmented but offers scope for revival. From the year 2004, tiger has been reported from Kuldiha. This could have been possible because of establishment of forest linkage with Similipal.

The Forest ecosystem of Kuldiha provides an ideal habitat for the largest herbivore, the Gaur as well as the burrowing Pangolin. There is a good population of Giant squirrel indicating that the forest canopy of Kuldiha is in good state.

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