Beneath the abrasions of our 21st century, Lucknow still breathes the grace and politesse of an older, a Nawabi, way of life. Urdu, once the language of soldiers, was gentled and polished by the grace of courtly Persian, which is still spoken. Nawabi fare is still served with a flourish in the traditional eating houses whose forebears once catered to the gourmet palates of the nobility. And the gossamer-fine chikan work is even now available.
The old Lucknow was laid down by a Persian warrior-governor-Nawab Sadat Ali Khan. The most impressive of the Nawabi buildings is, the Great Imamabara, built as a work of famine relief by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula in the 18th century. It holds the tombs of its creator and others and lso the intricate labyrinth, the Bhul-Bhulaiya.
Similipal is one of most magnificent forests in India spreading over an area of 2750 sq.kms. dense forest, rugged hilly terrain and majestically roaming wild animals make Similipal a visitor’s paradise. Apart from that, it has remained the richest watershed in Orissa with nearly twelve rivers including Budhabalanga, Khadkei and Salandi flowing within its limit. The gorageous falls Barchipani (400 mtrs) and Joranda again and again. Declared as a sanctuary in 1957 to be incorporated under project Tiger, Similipal’s core area was converted into a National park in 1980.
There are several bungalows inside the forest and the best way to explore is to stay there a night or two. The other attractions are the 1158 meter high Meghasani peak and Ramtirtha Crocodile Rearing Centre near Jashipur.
Similipal is located with two entry points at Jashipur and Lulung. Ranchi Bhubaneswar and Kolkata are three major airports from where the visitors can come. Regular bus service from Bhubaneswar, Ranchi and train up to Tatnagar and then by road from Baripada and Udala can bring the visitors to this place.
Please make a note of the fact that the park remains open from November 10 to June 15. It is advisable to book the bungalows in advance by writing to the Field Director, Similipal Tiger Reserve, Mayurbhanj, Oriss or contact him by telephone in 06792-252593.