This river town is the gateway to Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary



Photo of This river town is the gateway to Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary by Amrita

Odisha is a land of fascinating beaches, majestic temples and serene wildlife sanctuaries. Chandbali has a heady mixture of both wildlife and waterbody. Situated in the Bhadrak district of Odisha, Chandbali is one of the major gateways to the Bhitarkanika Wildlife sanctuary. The place has a verdant forest cover with rivers flowing beside it. The distant rolling hills beckon its visitors to this beautiful and peaceful land.

The Baitarini River flows beside Chandbali and it meets the Brahmani River at a distance from the place. Chandbali used to be a famous river port in the medieval times. One can see the remnants of older times here in the form of old anchors and cannons.

Courtesy: Vishnu Sharma (Flickr)

Photo of Chandbali, Odisha, India by Amrita

Apart from being the gateway to the mangroves of the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, Chandbali is also the gateway to remote beaches like Gahirmatha, a site for the breeding of the famous Olive Ridley turtles. This serene place can thus be a great spot for tourist interest.

Photo of Bhitarkanika, Odisha, India by Amrita

2. Visit the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary (National Park)

As I had told earlier, Chandbali is the gateway to the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary. Bhitarkanika is a unique habitat of mangrove forests criss-crossed with numerous creeks and mud flats. Bhitarkanika is the natural habitat of the salt water crocodiles or estuarine crocodiles. This is one of the few marine parks of India and was founded with an aim to protect the saltwater crocodiles. The wildlife sanctuary is also home to leopard cat, fishing cat, jungle cat, hyena, wild boar, spotted deer, sambar, porcupine, dolphins and many more. Birds are found a plenty at Bhitarkanika. You can get private boats from Chandbali to visit Bhitarkanika.

Photo of Bhitarkanika National Park, Paramanandpur, Odisha, India by Amrita

Chandbali also acts as a hub for visiting Gahirmatha, one of the key nesting grounds of the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtle. Visit the secluded beach for some quiet time and the sight of Olive Ridley turtles.

Photo of Gahirmatha, Kendrapara, Odisha, India by Amrita

Things to do at Chandbali:

1. Go for a Boat Ride

Chandbali is a peaceful place without much humdrum of city life. The rivers flowing by the place adds beauty to the landscape. You can take country boat ride in the rivers. The Bhitarkanika River has thick mangroves on either side. A boat ride across the river can be truly a unique experience. You can also spot some wildlife while the boat ride. You can also savour the spectacular sunsets from the boat ride. Also, from Chandbali, you can visit many nearby places like Dhamra, Aradi and Nalitapatia by boat.

Photo of This river town is the gateway to Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary by Amrita

3. Visit the virgin Beaches

Visit the virgin beaches of the beaches of Barunei, Ekakula and Habalikhat. These beaches are not visited much by tourists and are quite secluded.

Photo of This river town is the gateway to Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary by Amrita

4. Visit the local temples and ruins

Take a walk along the Baitarini River and enjoy the solitude and serenity of the place. Visit the local temples and the ruins of the medieval ports while you walk down the village. Visit Sri Aurobindo Dibyadham Ashram, Relics Temple and Integral Education centre. There is a famous temple of Goddess Kali at one end of Chandabali market and Goddess Durga at other end.

Baba Akhandalamani Shiva temple situated at Aradi is around 15 km away from Chandbali. This temple is one of the major and renowned temple of Lord Shiva in Odisha.

Photo of This river town is the gateway to Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary by Amrita

5. Savour the sight of Olive Ridley Turtle

6. Visit the Crocodile breeding centre at Dangmol

Visit the Crocodile breeding centre at Dangmol. The specialty of the place is that it houses the rarest white crocodile – sankhua. Apart from the crocodiles, you can also see many migratory birds like Open Billed storks, Kingfishers, Whistling Teals, Sand Pipers and Sea Gulls.

There is a Tourist Interpretation Centre at Dangmol that gives information about the flora and fauna of the place.

Courtesy: Wikimedia

Photo of This river town is the gateway to Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary by Amrita

How to Reach Chandbali:

The nearest airport is Bhubaneswar that is located around 125 km from Chandbali.

The nearest Railway station is at Bhadrak, only 45 km from the place. Cuttack is around 107 km from Chandbali. Regular buses and taxis are available from Bhadrak to Chandbali.

Best Time to visit:

You can visit Chandbali at any time of the year. But if you want to sight the Olive Ridley Turtles, then you should visit in the winter months from December to February. It is better to avoid the monsoon months.

Places to stay at Chandbali:

The best place to stay is at the OTDC Panthanivas. The Panthanivas Chandbali offers spectacular facilities as well as mesmerizing interiors and exteriors to the guests. The resort offers all the modern facilities for the total comfort of the guests.

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