1. How many national parks are there in Odisha?
Odisha has two national parks: Bhitarkanika National Park and Simlipal National Park.
2. Tell me about Bhitarkanika National Park.
Bhitarkanika National Park is located in Kendrapara district of Odisha. It is famous for its mangrove forests, estuaries, and rich biodiversity. The park is home to saltwater crocodiles, numerous species of birds, and other wildlife.
3. What are the highlights of Simlipal National Park?
Simlipal National Park, located in Mayurbhanj district, is known for its dense forests, rolling hills, and beautiful waterfalls. It is home to various species of animals including tigers, elephants, leopard cats, and over 230 species of birds.
4. Are there any other protected areas in Odisha apart from national parks?
Yes, apart from national parks, Odisha has several wildlife sanctuaries and reserves that are protected areas for preserving its diverse flora and fauna.
5. How important are national parks in conserving biodiversity in Odisha?
National parks play a crucial role in the conservation and preservation of biodiversity in Odisha. They provide a safe haven for endangered species, protect ecosystems, and promote sustainable tourism.
6. Can I visit Bhitarkanika National Park for wildlife safaris?
Yes, Bhitarkanika National Park offers wildlife safaris and boat rides for visitors to explore its rich biodiversity. However, it is important to follow the park’s guidelines and maintain the sanctity of the environment.
7. What are some unique species found in Simlipal National Park?
Simlipal National Park is known for its unique and rare species such as the Indian Bison, Chausingha (four-horned antelope), and the white-rumped vulture.
8. How can one reach Bhitarkanika National Park?
Bhitarkanika National Park can be reached by road from nearby cities like Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. The nearest airport is Bhubaneswar, and the nearest railway station is Bhadrak.
9. Is there any entry fee or permit required to visit these national parks?
Yes, visitors need to obtain entry permits and pay a nominal fee to visit both Bhitarkanika and Simlipal National Parks. These fees are used for the maintenance and conservation of these protected areas.
10. Are there any accommodation facilities available near these national parks?
Both Bhitarkanika and Simlipal National Parks have accommodation facilities in the form of forest rest houses and eco-lodges. It is advisable to make prior bookings to secure a comfortable stay.
11. Can I do bird watching in these national parks?
Both Bhitarkanika and Simlipal National Parks are excellent destinations for bird watching. They boast a wide variety of resident and migratory bird species, offering great opportunities for bird enthusiasts.
12. Are there any trekking trails in Simlipal National Park?
Yes, Simlipal National Park has various trekking trails that meander through its lush green forests, providing a chance to explore the park’s natural beauty and encounter wildlife.
13. How is the climate in Odisha’s national parks?
The climate in Odisha’s national parks is predominantly tropical, with hot and humid summers and cool winters. Monsoon season brings heavy rainfall, which contributes to the lush greenery of these parks.
14. Can I spot tigers in these national parks?
While both Bhitarkanika and Simlipal National Parks have a population of tigers, tiger sightings are not as common as other wildlife sightings. However, with patience and luck, visitors might get a glimpse of these majestic cats.
15. Is photography allowed in these national parks?
Photography is generally allowed in both Bhitarkanika and Simlipal National Parks. However, it is important to respect the park’s guidelines and avoid disturbing the wildlife while taking photographs.
16. What are the best seasons to visit these national parks?
The best time to visit Bhitarkanika National Park is from November to February when the weather is pleasant and wildlife sightings are frequent. Simlipal National Park is best visited from October to March.
17. Are there any Jeep safaris available in these national parks?
Yes, both national parks offer Jeep safaris for visitors. These safaris are guided by trained naturalists who help in spotting wildlife and provide insights into the park’s ecology.
18. Are there any restrictions on wildlife interactions or feeding?
To preserve the natural behavior of animals and maintain their safety, strict restrictions are in place against wildlife interactions and feeding. Visitors are advised to keep a safe distance and observe wildlife without causing any harm.
19. Are there any efforts to conserve endangered species in these national parks?
Yes, both Bhitarkanika and Simlipal National Parks actively participate in conservation efforts for endangered species, including the breeding and reintroduction programs for species like the saltwater crocodile and Indian bison.
20. Can I find any local communities or tribes near these national parks?
Yes, several local communities and tribes reside in and around the periphery of these national parks. Their unique culture and lifestyle add to the overall experience of visiting these regions.
21. Are there any camping facilities available within the national parks?
Camping facilities are provided within both Bhitarkanika and Simlipal National Parks for those who wish to experience the wilderness up close. However, prior permission and bookings are required.
22. What are some precautionary measures to be taken while visiting these national parks?
While visiting national parks, it is advised to follow the park’s guidelines, maintain silence, avoid littering, and respect the flora and fauna. It is also essential to carry essential supplies, stay hydrated, and wear appropriate clothing.
23. Can I take a boat ride to explore Bhitarkanika National Park?
Yes, boat rides are available for visitors to explore the intricate waterways and mangrove forests of Bhitarkanika National Park. These boat rides offer a unique perspective and enhance the overall experience.
24. Is there any specific time for wildlife sightings in these national parks?
Wildlife sightings in national parks are usually more prominent during early morning and late afternoon. Animals are commonly active during these periods, making it ideal for spotting them in their natural habitats.
25. What should I do in case of an emergency while visiting these national parks?
In case of an emergency, it is important to inform the park authorities immediately. National parks have designated emergency contact numbers and medical facilities to ensure the safety and well-being of visitors.