Orissa is a popular name in the tourism industry of India. This beautiful state houses a number of places of religious importance, lakes, beaches, national parks, etc. The art and craft and the handicrafts of Orissa are also very famous. Oodles of travelers take trips to explore the hidden treasures of the state. If you are one of them, you must visit Chandaka Elephant Reserve in Bhubaneswar.
This wildlife sanctuary, a part of the Chandaka forest is a significant part of the Orissa tourism. Located on Khurdha uplands of North -Eastern Ghats biotic region, the dense and captivating Chandaka forest is perfect for eco-tourism. Designated as an elephant reserve in August 1982, the sanctuary is marked for the fascinating pictorial setting.
With the aim of protecting and restoring the depleting forest area, this sanctuary was established. It was also established to give a check to the continuous depredation of the elephants. During the past two decades many conservation management techniques was implemented in the region, so as to revive the natural vegetation of the area.
Area and location:
The elephant reserve covers a total area of 193 sq. km. of the Chandaka Forest. It is located on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.
Flora: The Chandaka elephant reserve exhibits a flora that is different in different areas. Semi evergreen forests, coastal sal forest, planted teak scrub, moist kangada forest, canes, maha limbo, eupatorium scrub, thorny bamboo brakes, medicinal plants, few orchid species, bamboo plants, etc. constitute the flora of the reserve. The tree species like Belo, Kochila, Sunari, Karanja, Sidha, Kalicha, etc. add variety to the elephant reserve.
Fauna: As it is an elephant reserve, the main attraction here is the elephant, the flagship species. Besides elephants, you can also take glimpses of mongoose, sambar, wolf, hyena, rhesus monkey, langur, chital, bear, mouse deer, pea-fowl, barking deer, leopard, etc.
A large number of snakes such as python and monitor lizard, mugger crocodiles and birds like heron, egrets, storks, cormorants, also inhabit the park. A total of 120 species of birds, 30 species of mammals, 27 species of reptiles, etc. inhabit the park.
Best time to visit:
The reserve experiences wet climate with 1400 m of average rainfall. Temperature in summer and winter ranges from 40ºC to 10º C respectively. In view of this, October to May remains to be the ideal time to visit the park.
Accommodation in Bhubaneswar which is not far away from the park, the capital city would not be a problem. Mayfair Lagoon, Hotel Swosti Plaza, Hilton garden Inn, Homewood Suites, Hotel Kalinga Ashok etc. are some of the luxurious hotels in this temple city.
How to reach the park?
- Bhubaneswar is well-linked by road with the major cities in India. So you can travel by road easily while availing A/C, Non A/C cars and coaches. The nearest town is Bokaghat.
- Bhubaneswar on the East cost Railway is the nearest railhead. You can travel by superfast trains from all the big cities in India.
- The nearest airport is at Bhubaneswar that is connected to Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Vaizag, Chennai etc.
- For the nature lovers, the Forest Department of the Chandaka Forest has constructed many watch towers. The watch towers at Pitagodia, kochilaberana and Charichhak provide the best view of the wild animals.
- Don't be in a hurry to return from the park. Wait till late evening; because the view of the elephants in action and other massive mammals from the watchtowers would really be a gripping experience.
- Be eco-friendly. Obey wildlife guidelines in force to maintain the rules and regulations of the reserve.
The Chandaka elephant reserve is one of its kinds; so it also provides one of a kind experience. Watching the wild lifestyle of the wild animals that is quite different from ours would really be fun and exciting. Thus for both the fun-lover and the solitude-seeker, a visit to the park would prove fruitful.