Seven stunning Wildlife destinations in Odisha.

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It is obvious that Odisha, the state which has more than 30 percent of its land covered with forest and more than 400 KMs long coast line must have a number of exotic wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in its soil. So if you are a true wildlife enthusiast you must plan your next trip to Odisha to witness some of the gorgeous wildlife destinations in India. Here are the first hand information regarding some of the amazing wildlife attractions situated in the state.

Photo of Seven stunning Wildlife destinations in Odisha. 1/1 by Pranabandhu Nayak
A narow manmade canal in Bhitarkanika

Bhitarkanika

The former hunting place for the then Kings of Kanika, this beautiful forest has been notified as a national park in the year 1998. Bhitarkanika enjoys the status of the sole national park in India for the rare Saltwater crocodiles.Situated at the confluence of two giant rivers (Bramhani and Baitarani), this national park can only be accessible by motorable boats operated by both govt. and pvt. vendors. Though this national park is famous for more than 1600 crocodiles, Bhitarkanika is the home to a number of birds and animals including Indian Pythons, King Cobras, Black ibis, Darters etc. As per the latest Crocodile census conducted by the forest department Bhitarkanika houses at least 3 crocodile more than 20 feets long. The boat ride in the narrow manmade river (Locally known as Khola rivers) with green mangrove forests enthralls anyone who loves the nature. The best time to visit Bhitarkanika is any time between November and February.

A rare saltwater crocodile in Bhitarkanika on display for visitors

Photo of Bhitarkanika, Odisha, India by Pranabandhu Nayak
Photo of Bhitarkanika, Odisha, India by Pranabandhu Nayak

Simlipal

The largest National park of Odisha which covers almost half of the Mayurbhanj district is the nature’s bounty to Odisha. Declared as a National Park in 1980 and a UNESCO Biosphere reserve in 2009 this national park has everything to give for a vivid traveller. Thick and green forests, beautiful mountain peaks, giant waterfalls, numerous rivers and streams, several wild animals including a number of Royal Bengal Tigers and wild Elephants make this national park a favourite destination for nature lovers and explorers. This National park is full of precious and sky touching Sal trees which makes it difficult for the sunlight to touch the land. Simlipal houses Barehipani waterfall which is the second highest waterfall of India. This waterfall is so giant that anyone can hear the sound of the waterfall from a distance of several kilometers. To visit Simlipal all you need is a good quality SUV with an experienced driver and the best time is post monsoon i.e. October till March.

Barehipani, the second highest waterfall in India inside Simlipal

Photo of Similipal National Park, Mayurbhanj, Odisha, India by Pranabandhu Nayak

A narrow road passing through Simlipal

Photo of Similipal National Park, Mayurbhanj, Odisha, India by Pranabandhu Nayak

Nalabana (Chilika)

It can be truly called as the paradise for birdwatchers due to thousands of migratory birds coming from different parts of world to this place in the season of Winter. The word Nalabana literally means weed covered island in Odia language. The whole island gets submerged and emerges only after the monsoon with ample of foods for the birds. This 15 sq.KM island is situated on the heart of the beautiful lake Chilika. A boat ride from the shore till this island creates an unforgettable moment for the visitors. Some lucky travellers also get chance to see some rare Irrawady dolphins on their way to Nalabana. Birds including Flamingos, Herons, Egrets, Spoonbills, Storks, Ibis are the major attractions of this place. A number of small and mid sized islands can be seen in Chilika. While coming back from Nalabana don’t forget to enjoy some mouth watering fresh seafoods available at a number of eateries in the nearby market. The best time to visit Nalabana is anytime in Winter starting from November till February.

Dolphins in Chilika

Photo of Nalbana Bird Sanctuary, Nalaban, Odisha, India by Pranabandhu Nayak

A group of birds flying in Chilika

Photo of Nalbana Bird Sanctuary, Nalaban, Odisha, India by Pranabandhu Nayak

A bird sitting on a pole inside lake chilika

Photo of Nalbana Bird Sanctuary, Nalaban, Odisha, India by Pranabandhu Nayak

Gahiramatha

This is the first and only Marine sanctuary in the whole Eastern India. Gahiramatha Marine sanctuary separates Bhitarkanika National Park from the Bay of Bengal. Every year in the later part of the winter thousands of giant Olive Redley sea turtles come to Gahiramathe to lay eggs making it the largest nesting ground in the world. A walk on the narrow sandy beach of Gahirmatha which divides the mighty sea in one side and dense forest in the other mesmerizes the travellers who take the difficulty to reach here. Though there is no proper road connectivity to reach this place, some people do visit this place either by boat through the bay of Bengal or take a bike ride by the muddy road. But a trip to this place is a lifetime experience. One can stay in the nearby Satabhaya village by requesting the villagers to witness a beautiful sunrise in an almost deserted beach. The best time to visit this place is from Mid January till February last.

The deserted beach of Gahirmatha

Photo of Satabhaya, India by Pranabandhu Nayak

Olive Redley sea turtles at Gahirmatha beach in mid Feb (Source: Flickr)

Photo of Satabhaya, India by Pranabandhu Nayak

Satakosia

This is the second Tiger reserve in Odisha after Simlipal. Satakoshia, the word which is originated from two words i.e. “Sata” means 7 and “Kosa” means 2 Miles in Odia language. So Satakosia literally means 14 Miles or almost 22 Kilometers. It is a 22 KM long gorge created by the mighty Mahanadi river while passing through the Eastern ghats. Satakosia gorge is one of the largest and most beautiful gorges in the world. The dense forest in the both the sides of the gorge is notified as the Satakosia Tiger Reserve. This Tiger reserve is one of the best Eco system in the whole India comprising of numerous Flora and Fauna. A boat ride in the gorge is highly recommended to witness the beauty of this place. Satakoshia is easily accessible from Bhubaneswar, the state capital of Odisha throughout the year but the best time to visit this place is the winter starting from November till February.

The enchanting beauty of the Satkosia gorge near Tikarpada (Source:Flickr)

Photo of Tikarpada, Odisha, India by Pranabandhu Nayak

Debrigarh

Situated by the side of the Hirakud Dam in the western part of Odisha, Debrigarh is nature’s bounty to it’s explorers. Debrigarh is densely covered with numerous Flora and Fauna due to the availability of water from the nearby Hirakud Dam throughout the year. In monsoon a number of small and temporary waterfalls emerge inside this sanctuary which enhances the beauty of this sanctuary. This is one of the most diverse sanctuaries in the state due to the presence of variety of wild animals inside it. The best time to visit Debrigarh is post monsoon, when the Hirakud Dam is filled with water and the vegetation in the forest looks green and fresh.

Birds near Hirakud dam in the Debrigarh sanctuary (Source:Flickr)

Photo of Debrigarh, Odisha, India by Pranabandhu Nayak

A wild deer (source:Flickr)

Photo of Debrigarh, Odisha, India by Pranabandhu Nayak

Chandaka

Designated as an Elephant reserve in 1982, Chandaka is situated in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar (the capital city of Odisha). Though the major attraction of Chandaka is giant Indian Elephants, Chandaka is inhabited by a number of wild animals including Leopards, Chital, barking deer, mouse deer, wild pig, common langur, rhesus monkey, small Indian civet, common Indian mongoose, small Indian mongoose, ruddy mongoose, pangolin, sloth bear, ratel, Indian wolf and hyena. The Deras Dam situated inside the reserve is a perfect place to spot wild animals and witness a gorgeous sunset. Wild animals can also be viewed from a number of watchtowers constructed inside the reserve.

wild Indian Elephants taking bath at Chandaka (source: Flickr)

Photo of Chandaka Reserve Forest, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India by Pranabandhu Nayak

Disclaimer:

Some of the images in this post have been collected from some other third party sites for representationa purpose only without having any business Interest.

For further details on Wildlives of Odisha kindly visit the official site of Odisha tourism www.odishatourism.gov.in

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