Similipal National Park is located between 21 35’ and 22 01’ north latitude and 86 13’ and 86 37’ east longitude. It is situated within Mayurbhanj district of Orissa state. It is a proposed National Park notified in two phases, first on 6th August 1980 over an area of 303 sq.km and subsequently 542.70 sq. km of area was added to it on 11th June 1986 making the total area of the Park 845.70 sq.km. The significance of the National Park is its rich biodiversity. Taking its name from the abundance of semul or red silk cotton trees that bloom vividly here, the Similipal National Park is home to three of India s biggest animal species –the Tiger, the Asian Elephant and the Gaur. The park is situated at an altitude of 559.31 meters.
Of the reserve s almost 1,000 species of flowering plants, 94 are orchids, many of which are on show at the small flower display centre at Gurguria. The fauna at the Park including tiger, leopard, elephants, bison, sambar, porcupine, pangolin, flying-squirrel, hill myna, hornbill and pythons can be observed closely by exploring the reserve in private jeeps and cars.