In December and January, you can witness a very rarely seen phenomenon of turtle mating in the open sea. Travellers travel long distances to see it and yet only a fortunate few get to see it. Waters around Rushikulya Beach give you near hundred percent chance of seeing turtles mating in the open sea. On the hour-long boat tour, I saw as many as eight turtle mating.
There is a special word for it in Spanish, Arribada ~ a mass nesting behaviour unique to the olive ridley and the Kemp's ridley sea turtle. So, in February and March, the Rushikulya Beach plays host to this rare phenomenon that brings over 600,000 female olive ridley turtles. Interestingly, females return to the very same beach from where they first hatched, to lay their eggs. Each female turtle lays an average 100 eggs.
Of all the turtle species, only olive ridley babies hatch on their own. Female turtles leave the beach after laying eggs. Once hatched, the baby turtles are on their own. April brings an awe-inspiring sight of millions of baby turtles occupying the Rushikulya Beach trying to make their way into the sea. It has the romance as the wildebeest migration in Masai Mara or the march of the penguins.
How to visit
Rushikulya and its surrounding areas don't have proper tourist infrastructure. You won't find online tour booking or even accurate information on the internet. For tour bookings and accurate information, contact Ravindranath Sahu (+919437204384, email@example.com).
How to get here
By air: Bhubaneswar (142km) is the airport nearest to Rushikulya. There are direct flights to Bhubaneswar from most Indian metros.
By train: Ganjam (4km) is the closest railway station with direct trains from Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Brahmapur.
By road: Private taxis can be hired from Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri and Brahmapur.
Where to stay
There are no decent accommodation options around Rushikulya Beach. Brahmapur, 33km away, has better options. Hotel Shankar Bhavan (₹1,349 double), Hotel Bhubaneswari Classic (₹1,300 double) and Hotel City Palace (₹1,439 double) are some of the good hotels in Brahmapur.
You can also choose to visit Rushikulya Beach on a day trip from Bhubaneswar, Cuttack or Puri.