Baripada: The Similipal National Park in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district, which remained closed since June due to monsoon, was on Friday reopened for visitors and tourists, an official said.
More than 100 tourists including three Kashmiris in 21 vehicles entered the sanctuary through Pithabata and Kaliani entry points on the first day of its reopening, the official said.
Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) Field Director Amitabh Brahma said the steps are being taken to maintain the pollution-free environment inside the park and the use of polythene has already been prohibited.
He also said vegetarian food, prepared by local eco- development committees, has been made available from this year for tourists who visit the national park during the day.
Tourists will not be allowed to enter into the park with non-vegetarian food, Pithabata Range Officer Ugrasen Jena said.
The arrangements for night stay inside the sanctuary have been made for visitors at some places such as Kumari, Gudugudia, Ramatirtha, Barehipani and Jamuani but they have to book online to avail the services, officials said.
The entry permits will be issued between 6 am to 9 am and the day tourists are asked to leave the sanctuary area by 5 pm every day, they said.
Spread over 2,750 square kilometre area, the Similipal Tiger Reserve houses a range of flora and fauna, waterfalls, lush green meadows and species of mammals, birds, reptiles, which draw tourists across the world during November-May every year. Sighting of black tigers in this sanctuary is also an attraction for them.
More number of visitors are expected this year with additional amenities for the tourists, Brahma said.
Last year, 30,092 tourists along with 30 foreigners had visited the national park.
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