The land of captivating natural beauty comprising the lush green mangroves, an array of domestic as well as migratory birds and turtles, twisty water courses, the frightening estuarine crocodiles, tranquil surroundings with all pervasive chirping and twittering of birds and excellent tourism facilities…! This is the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary for you in a single sentence!
Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is a famous sanctuary in Orissa. It boasts to be the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India so rich in its biodiversity that it has always been an irresistible temptation for the scientists, environmentalists, nature lovers, researchers and students of botany and zoology. Bhitarkanika ensures its place among the top tourist attractions in Orissa. This is the reason why you find the place always crowded with tourists not just from different parts of India but also from several corners of the world. One of the finest creations of Mother Nature, Bhatarnika is represented by as many as 3 protected areas called 'The Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary', 'The Bhitarkanika National Park' and 'The Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary'.
Where is it located?
Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is located on the delta formed by the rivers Brahmani, Baitarani, Dhamra, Mahanadi and the Bay of Bengal. It lies around 190 km from the capital city Bhubaneswar in the Kendrapara district of Orissa. It is situated from 86'-45" To 87'17" East longitude to 20'-17" to 20'-47" North latitude.
About the Sanctuary:
Bhitarkanika is a unique habitat of Mangrove Forests. Mangrove trees criss-crossed with numerous creeks and mud flats just leave you spellbound. The characteristic geological structure of the area makes Bhitarkanika safe home for diverse fauna.
Among the prominent species of animals found in the Bhitarkanika National Park include leopard cat, hyena, fishing cat, jungle cat, wild boar, porcupine, spotted deer, sambar, dolphin.
Among the important reptiles found in the Bhitarkanika sanctuary are salt water crocodile, partially white crocodile, python, terrapin, marine turtle, king cobra, water monitor lizards and many more.
The forest of Bhitarkanika is a paragon for bird watching. The forests are a safe habitat for a number species of avian army both domestic and migratory as well. To name a few prominent ones kingfisher, bar headed geese, brahmany duck, wood pecker, hornbill, pintail, sea gull, white bellied sea eagle, tern, waders can be mentioned.
The sanctuary management offers quite a few packages to encourage tourism here. Following is the list of these packages:
|1. Bhitarkanika Wildlfie Tour Package||1 night -2 days: Ex- Bhadrak|
|2. Eco Wildlife Tour Orissa, Paradise Migratory Birds||2nights-3 days: Ex-Bhadrak|
|3. Eco Wildlife Tour Orissa, Discover Mini Amazon||2nights-3 days: Ex-Bhadrak|
|4. Bhitarkanika Eco Wildlife Tour Package 03||2nights-3 days: Ex-Bhadrak with Ekakula|
|5. Bhitarkanika Eco Wildlife Tour Package 04||3 nights 4 days: Ex-Bhadrak|
Important for Tourists:
Any sort of hunting or poaching activities in the sanctuary are strictly prohibited. The forest comes under the Reserved Forests and so no cutting of woods is allowed here. Tourists are expected to keep safe distance from the wildlife while enjoying the jungle safaris. Tourists should not carry any explosives in the sanctuary and smoking is strictly prohibited in the forest area. Moreover listening to loud music on radio, music player, ipods or even mobiles is not allowed as it may disturb the activities of the wildlife.
How to reach?
Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is easily accessible from all parts of the country by air, rail and road. The capital city of Orissa Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport from the sanctuary. Cuttak and Bhadrak are the nearest railheads form the Sanctuary. Bhitarkanika is well connected with the important places like Bhubaneswar, Cuttak and Bhadrak through a nice network of roads. So you can reach here form any part of the world pretty easily.
You have a number of overnight halting places with modest facilities at various points of the Sanctuary.
All in all it's a wonderful experience to visit the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary. Do visit!