Orissa Govt. contemplating to launch tiger tourism again in Similipal
Friday, July 03, 2009
Report by Orissadiary correspondent;
Bhubaneswar: Forest officials of the Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) in Mayurbhanj district are reportedly contemplating to launch tiger tourism again to attract more visitors .The decision was taken at the fourth annual general body meeting of the Simlipal Eco-tourism Society (SES) held at the Salabani forest bungalow at Baripada.
Sources in the Similipal Eco-tourism Society said that over the phone that the society was readying a robust new plan to lure tourists in the tiger country to watch and enjoy nature’s bounties while safely ensconced in a well caparisoned Howdah, a pavilion or seat fixed on an elephant’s back.
Eight-foot tall Bhawani and the seven-foot tall Sova are being readied for the joyride on nature’s trail, sources indicated.
Both these two pet and trained cow elephants, 51-year-old Bhawani and the 52-year-old Sova, along with nine-foot tall and 43-year-old tusker Mahendra, were bought from the Hamsur wildlife division of Rajiv Gandhi National Park in Karnataka in December, 2001 to combat poaching and timber smuggling in the STR, sources added.
According to a decision taken at the meeting, a single group comprising four tourists can travel along the bank of river Khairi flanked by the scenic beauty of Simlipal hills via the natural orchiderium at Gudgudia.
Tourists will have to pay Rs 100 per head for a single one-hour long joy ride.
The meeting also decided to ensure restoration and repair of the forest roads and culverts that might be damaged by monsoon rains on a war footing so that the park can be reopened for the visitors tentatively on November 1.