Simlipal National Park is located at the center of Mayurbhanj district in the North-Eastern part of Odisha. It is situated at a distance of 250 km from Kolkata and 320 km from Bhubaneswar. Surrounded by deciduous trees and Sal forests, Simplipal National Park has 12 rivers running across it. Characterized by thick wooden slopes, ridges, luxuriant grassland and beautiful waterfalls; the park is nestled amidst picturesque hills. A wide array of plants as many as 501 species are housed at the park, out of which 82 species are of Orchids. The Park is a viable source for countless medicinal and aromatic plants also.
An exclusive hot-spot of biodiversity lies in the form of Bhitarkanika National Park in the Kendrapara district of Odisha. Encompassing a sprawling area of 145 sq. kms this park came into being in September 1998 from the core area of the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary.
This former hunting preserve of the Raj Kanika family has come to acquire the status of a "Crocodile Sanctuary" for housing the largest population of giant salt water crocodile in India. It has also been established as a "Saltwater Crocodile Breeding Center."
Established in 1960, Nandankanan National Park is located 20 kms from Bhubaneshwar. Sprawling across the tranquil Chandaka forests, Nandankanan literally means the "Garden of Pleasure." Being the very first captive gharial breeding centre of the country, this picturesque park offers a unique opportunity to its flora and fauna to flourish in their most natural habitat.
An interesting history is associated with the park. Once a white female tiger passed by the zoo, saw a tiger enclosure, and stayed there. This was a rare occurring as no wild animal wants to stay in captivity. Thus, the National Geographic magazine gave an idea of converting the zoo into a sophisticated tiger reserve. The park thus came into existence and houses over 34 white tigers at present. Another beautiful feather was added to the plume of the park in 1980 when three white tiger cubs were born from normal colored parents.