Photo of SATKOSIA: A HIDDEN GEM OF ODISHA by Ashish Kumar Layak

Odisha- is the best-kept secret of India and whoever says this says this for a reason many many outsiders and especially those who haven’t been to Odisha think Odisha is all about the holy town of Puri which has Lord Jagannath Temple and is also one of the four Dhams(abodes) as per the Hindu religion. Odisha has so many things to offer and Satkosia or Satkosia Tiger Reserve is one of them. It was the month of February 2020 and I was in my final semester of the PG Diploma course in journalism a few weeks ago our Regional Director announced that the whole batch including faculties is going for a trip to Satkosia Tiger Reserve and to be very honest I heard the name of this place for the first time and being a traveler it made me curious about the place and at the same time I don’t want to spoil my fun by knowing about this place in advance so I kept my curiosity and on Saturday, February 1 we boarded the bus from our campus in Dhenkanal for the Satkosia Trip. Satkosia Tiger Reserve is located in the Angul district of Odisha and one thing I would like to tell you is if you are going with the hope to spot Tigers then you have to return with disappointment but there is more than to watch apart from Tigers. Satkosia Tiger Reserve or the forest is located on the bank of Mahanadi River which has rare and protect species of Salt Water Crocodile. To spot the crocodiles you have two options either you can spot them in a cage or in their natural habitats in the Mahanadi river. After spotting crocodiles in their cage we decided to spot them in their natural habitat and for that, we booked a motorboat which cost 1400 Rupees for 7 persons for the boat ride of 45 to 60 minutes and after starting our boat ride we spotted the giant Salt Water Crocodile and not one but many and watching them in front of our eyes made us realize how blessed the nature and environment is which houses so many florae, fauna, and wildlife. To be very honest I have spotted crocodiles so many times but it was for the first time I spotted any crocodile in their natural habitat. If you are planning to visit Satkosia then you need to reach Anugul first by train or bus whichever means is possible and the nearest airport is Bhubaneshwar which is 126 km away.

So this is the first blog of my Odisha tour and I will keep on sharing some more in the coming days till then stay safe and happy tripping fellas!