Similipal – A forest that lives

“The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life activity; it affords protection to all beings, offering shade even to the axe-man who destroys it.”
Gautama Buddha

Similipal entrance
Entrance to Similipal

Bored of normal hustle bustle of life ? Cut off yourself to live a serene piece of life in this forest. A protected thick biosphere reserve where occasionally you might see tigers and elephants – how close can you get to the nature ?Welcome to Similipal.

It is said that a forest shows all the seasons differently, and Similipal does it gracefully. Being a vast reserve of almost 3000 and habitat of almost 1000 species of mammals, 30 types of reptiles and 200 species of birds, this place will make you mesmerized with its beauty.

The handsome peaks of Khairiburu , Meghasani and others welcome like smiling receptionists from the emerald heights. Sweet scented Champak flowers freshen the air. The richly hued orchids on the green foliage are soothing to the eyes. In the midst of the dense forests, the summer stands humbled and the sun gets lost. Several rivers like Budhabalanga, Khairi, salandi, Palpala originate from the hills and meander through the forest like veins and arteries in the body. Many of them have formed cascading rapids and foaming falls before leaving for the plains.

The panoramic view of the waterfalls at Barehipani and Joranda are simply enchanting to soul.

Inside Similipal, there are very few places where you will find any phone reception. You will find locals often tracking down or climbing upon a hill for reception of phone. This makes it an ideal place for Digital Detoxification.

We had visited this place during autumn season, during which the fallen leaves of forests were resembling the entire forest to look browish red – giving it a very different look than after rains.

A road in Similipal. Because of protected area, modern roads are not constructed here.

Occasionally you will find peacocks, deers and monkeys running around. Wild boars and Sambars are also very common.

We witnessed a leopard trying to cross the road too.

From Joranda to Barehipani, the mesmerizing beauty of falls are incomparable.


It is said that the mists settling on leaves of the trees of forests never let the source of water go dry even in extreme dry and hot weather of Odisha. Tourists are not allowed to go near the falls, but view is nice from the view point too.

Barehi is a word taken from Odiya which means Rope. As this falls look like a rope from this distance, hence the name “Barehipani” was given to it.

Best time to visit

Although all the seasons in forest feels and look different. But people are allowed to visit the reserve from Oct mid till June end. However the dates are not fixed as it depends on climatic conditions.

Similipal Map & Places to visit

Similipal is a very large area covering with forest. Seldom you will find some small villages and food stalls too. Walking on foot inside main jungle is strictly prohibited. Only Suvs and Tuvs are allowed inside the forest for travelers as there is no modern road and you would be off-roading mostly.

Picture of map provided at the entrance

How to reach to Similipal ?

Similipal can be entered from two places :

  1. Jashipur : Good for those who want to drive by themselves and don’t have SUVs. But mostly you will be missing actual adventure of forest roads. Hence this road is family friendly.
  2. Pithabata : Recommended. But you will need an experienced driver with a SUV or mini SUV. Good for adventure lovers. Bad for people who get sick frequently in mountain roads and throw up. This road is not family friendly. We took this road as we wanted to experience the adventure of trip. This place is hardly 15 Kms away from Baripada. Please check below page on how to reach Baripada.

Charges & Rules

When you enter the forest you will be charged with vehicle entry fees (100 /- ) and traveler entry fees (300/-). Apart from it you will be asked to take a mandatory guide ( 750 /-). Since this is a forest, so the job prospectus of local people is very less hence government has mandated all the travelers to take guide with them, which will give them some income for family. However, if you don’t want them because of what-so-ever reason, you can negotiate with them. If you are carrying camera/video cam/drone cam, you will have to get the permissions separately for it here.

Once done they will provide you a receipt, a map ( pic provided above ) and a biodegradable bag to collect your garbage there. Alcohol is strictly not allowed inside forest and your vehicle will be checked twice in two check posts.

If you have already booked ticket for stay inside, you won’t be charged with traveler entry fees as it is covered in your tickets itself. Please check you tickets receipts for full details. Do carry a identification card of at least one traveler.

To reach Similipal either you have to reach Baripada or Jashipur based on your plan. People coming from outside need to reach Mayurbhanj first. Please check “How to to reach ?” page for more details.

Places to stay in Similipal

“An excursion to forest is not complete till you witness its silence”

And to witness the silence, you need to stay in the forest. Luckily, GOI and State tourism has done a lot of make stay of travelers comfy.

We had booked our passes to stay from This place is located in the mid of the forest and is under government authority. Its a nice serene place and near to a small tribal village. You will find most of the care takers are locals, who are happy to receive you with a big smile on their face.

There are 5 forest stays which you can book from the site.

  1. Barehipani : recommended. Nearly 28 kms from Joranda falls, this placed is run by government. Locals are employed here to take care of guests and you will find them welcoming. You might find few speak hindi speaking employees as well, so you can learn about local culture directly talking to them.
    The cost is around 5200/- for 1 cottage with 2 beds. There are 10 such cottages here. And there is a separate guest house for Drivers and guide too. 3 times food and 1 times snacks are included in the ticket. Separate options for vegetarian and non vegetarian food is also provided. Hence no need to carry those big tiffin boxes with you any more.
  1. Jamauni : Almost 4500/-. Inside very core of the forest. 4 cottages are available.
Stay at Jamuni

There are other cottages available in different locations inside the reserve like Kumari, Gurguria etc – cost of all varies between 4k to 5k per night per cottage ( including food )

Recent news (Similipal Safari)

New Safari Service lunched by Forest Department in Similipal Booking can be done at

Travel tips

If you are visiting in Summer then a simple half jacket for men like this would be enough. Ladies can either go a for a denim jacket or a simple shawl like this.

Winters could be tricky, so its better to plan ahead. A heavy bomber jacket for men like this would be great. Women can prefer going for something heavy like this too but not too shiny as shiny things are generally avoided in the forest to reduce attraction of wild animals.

Next comes SHOES, shoes is the most important thing you need in a forest. You would be mostly walking on lot of mud, soil, grasses and rocks. Since there are water falls also where you would like to quickly remove your shoes and lace back, you don’t need too heavy shoes like this.
So Better go for something light like this for men and these for women. A pair of slippers would be also needed in your ‘forest stays’ for your personal use.

Though rains are rare during tourist seasons, but its good to have an umbrella too.

Don’t forget to get some medicines for vomiting as you would be travelling on dirt road, and getting motion sick is very likely. I use Dramamine Motion Sickness Relief Chewable Tablets. These are great for travel and you can use them in your other travels too.

It is not allowed to go near Barehipani falls and you will have to remain satisfied with the scenic view from far. So its better to have a pair of cheap binoculars like these. Also they will help you to see the animals deep inside forest which your naked eyes might not be able to focus.

Get some food before going starting our journey for the forest residence from outside, as it takes around 2-3 hours travel to reach there and travelling on humpy bumpy dirt road will make you feel hungry sooner than you might have expected.

If you smoke, its better to keep electric lighters rather than matchboxes to avoid accidents.

If you are planning to have a visit and facing any difficulties you can directly contact me. Being a local and a travel enthusiast myself, I would be more than happy to help you.