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Geography of Baripada

The city of Baripada is situated in Mayurbhanj district in northeastern Orissa, India and is one of the major tourist spots of the state. Baripada is also one of the integral cities of the Mayurbhanja district of Odisha. The city is located on the banks of River Burhabalang at the altitude of 21.94° North and 86.72° East. Situated at an elevation of 36 metres (118 feet), the coastal line with the Bay of Bengal is just 70 kms.

With the expansion of the city, the peripheral distance to the coastal line might just be 60 kms. As such, there is a marked distinction between the geography of the region say from a city like Balasore which is just 20 kms from the Bay of Bengal coast. While Balasore has a distinct climate which has traits of maritime as well as the inland tropical climate, Baripada on the other hand has a climate that is a mix of tropical and the ‘ghat’ climate. The hilly ranges of Simpilal on the eastern region of the city are to be attributed for this peculiar climate of the region. The climate of the region is also responsible for the vegetation growth that is typical of the region.

Map of Baripada
Photo Courtesy: Google Maps

Topography of Baripada   

The topography of the region is slightly different from the rest of the area of Orissa. The region is known for the cultivation of forest wood for timber production and therefore, the region is typical of a deciduous forest. The deforestation led to heavy clearing of forests which has since then been banned by the government and a 25-km deforestation clearance radius has been imposed by the government around Baripada. However, the succeeding afforestation hasn’t been able to achieve the rate that it was supposed to and therefore the current region of Baripada, is more characteristic of stripped forested land.

The entire city of Baripada is blessed with lots of natural wonders. The Similipal range near Baripada is one of the major attractions of the entire state. The hill ranges divides the entire district of Mayurbhanja into two parts, Eastern Division and Western Division. The eastern division slopes from the foot of the hill to the beach and is covered with various streams and this also forms a better environment for the cultivation. Whereas the western divisions in most commonly a plain which rises from the gentle slope and falls on another gentle slope which is filled with numerous hills and tropical mountain ranges.

Effect of Similipal Wildlife Park on Baripada

In some way, Baripada can be said to be the spot that marks the beginning of the Eastern Ghats from the Simpilal hilly ranges. The Simpilal Wildlife Park is a protected area and one of the famous tourist spots of the region. The area is marked with dense forested area on hilly ranges. The city of Baripada is situated on the foothills of the Simpilal ranges. The presence of elevated regions or hillocks dot around the eastern borders of the city and even inside the city. The topography of the region has been important in being ambient for human civilization, which was the capital of the Bhanja dynasty in 15th Century.

Many centres of culture and history for example forts and temples are situated at the valleys and foothills of these hills. The southern border of the city is shared by the forests of the Krishnachandrapur which also contributes to the climate and economics of the region. It is this region that was marred by deforestation for timber production. Though, a lot of forest area has been lost due to deforestation, a highly publicized and dedicated effort for afforestation has been initiated. The forests of Krishnachandapur are not as dense and lush as those of the Simpilal ranges but they do cater to defining the topography of the region. History tells that in the past the forests of Krishanachandapur extended all the way from the south of the city to the eastern region of Simpilal ranges. The south eastern clearing was done to pave way for building of roads and timber cultivation and that part of the forest has been lost since then.

Forest Area of Baripada

The forests are famous for Sal trees that are known for quality timber. The volcanic soil in the region is also famous for the growth of the Sabai grass plantations which is an African grass that is used for making ropes and thatch work. There are also cashew plantations in the region along with these grass ones. Also, the leaves of the Sal trees are used to make eco-friendly plates and bowls. These plantations grow around the eastern and southern corridor off the city which is where most of the industries are situated. Of late, a lot of such plantations have sprung up on the western region of the area as well. These industries are the backbone of the economy of the region and provide a great source of employment to the locals. The thick dense and green forests of Baripada which are filled with natural resource, sparkling waterfalls, high peaks, trumpeting tuskers, talking myna and several other creatures of nature. The forest area of Similipal covers the maximum part of the Baripada’s natural heritage and is believed o be the dreamland of the nature and is one of the alluring destinations of Odisha. The city of Baripada is said to be a land of lush-green forest area. Because of the vegan occurrence its forest zone can be classified among the following:
  •     Dry and deciduous Sal forest range
  •     Grass lands
  •     North-tropical humid Sal forest range
  •     Bare Sal forest range
  •     Mixed-deciduous mountain forest range
  •     Higher-level Sal forest range

Soil and Water of Baripada

The volcanic soil which is famous for the growth of grass plantations is typical of the region and is due to the presence of volcanic activity in the region in pre-historic times. The most common soil type found in this region is that of red soil which is characteristic of the entire region of Central India. Due to the Budhabalanga river, there is also a presence of alluvium soils on the regions near the bank of the river but these alluvium soils don’t share any characteristic with the alluvium that is found in the North Gangetic plains of India. There is also a substantial presence of laterite soil in the region esp. along the western area. There has been substantial volcanic activity in the past but the area lies in the Seismic Zone-II which is a relatively earthquake secured area.

One of the important factors responsible for human settlement is water, which is provided by the perennially flowing Budhabalanga River along the eastern border of the city. The Budhabalanga river originates from the Simpilal ranges and flows to the Bay of Bengal, on the way going along the eastern border of the city. The Budhabalanga river provides the water requirement of the municipality of Baripada and also has an economical value owing to the timber cultivation of the region. The river goes on to flow to Balasore and then to the Bay of Bengal where it ends in a delta. There are a lot of tourist spots and places of historical significance that are situated along the banks of the Budhabalanga river. The river is also used for fisheries, navigation and industries like brick kilns which dot around the banks of the river.

Weather of Baripada

Situated in the lap of nature the city of Baripada is one of the most attractive tourist destinations of Odisha which also offers its natural scenic beauty and attracts thousands of visitors across the year. The weather of Baripada is mostly tropical and the summers are very hot. The months in between March and June are the hottest months of Baripada when the temperature reaches 48°C. The humidity level increases as well and this is the time which is mostly avoided by the tourists. The city of Baripada witnesses the extreme weather conditions during these months.

The perfect season to visit Baripada is in the winter months between the months of October and February. During these months the temperature remains very less and the average temperature can be found to be between 11°C to 23°C. The weather of Baripada during these months is the most coolest and pleasant. Tourists can enjoy the jungle safari in the Similipal Wildlife Park and can also enjoy the scenic beauty of the forest range. The city of Baripada witnesses the monsoon during the months between July and September. The city experiences moderate rainfall and during this time the forests of Similipal gets the best appearances, the greenish environment also seems appealing to the visitors during the monsoon. November is the month from which the winter approaches Baripada and remains till February.

Baripada is one of the attractive cities of Mayurbhanja district with plethora of Natural heritages and historical monuments along with religious monuments located in the city. He visitors can also find the lush valleys of Similipal and can take the blessing s of Lord Jagannatha during the famous religious Rath Yatra of Baripada.

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