India is a country that is rich in tourism. Tourism is one of the biggest sectors contributing to rapidly blooming India's economy. Orissa with its rich cultural heritage houses innumerable tourism attractions like beaches, temples, parks, wildlife sanctuaries draws travelers from all over the country. One of the most renowned wildlife sanctuaries in India is Nandan Kanan wildlife sanctuary that is located in Orissa.
Nandan Kanan sanctuary is a one-stop paradise for the travelers. What is not there in the sanctuary? A pleasant blend of a botanical garden, zoo, Kanjia Lakeand amusement park, this sanctuary is also marked by a picture- perfect idyllic setting. A view of the considerable number of bird, animals and reptiles in the park will satisfy the nature lovers.
The sanctuary is named after the 'mythical garden' of gods, which has been mentioned in the Puranic Literature of India. The name Nandan Kanan is very sweet to hear. The term literally means "Garden of Pleasure", with 'nandan' meaning 'pleasure' and 'kanan' meaning 'garden'. When you are in the park, you would really feel ecstatic.
The history of the park is really very interesting. In 1967, a beautiful white female tiger was strolling across a zoo in this area. It saw an enclosure and began to stay there. This was something unusual as no animal or human being as such desires to stay in prison. Also this was the time when the tiger population of the park was on the verge of extinction.
However, recognizing this event, the National Geographic Magazine suggested of converting the zoo into a protected tiger reserve. This has turned into today's Nandan Kanan.
In 1980, the park rose into its highest glory when three white tiger cubs were born from regular colored tiger parents.
Area and location:
Located 20 km away from Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Orissa this park spreads amidst the surroundings of Chandaka forest in Khurda. It covers an area of only 4.4 sq km. The beautiful lake Kanjia flowing nearby adds to the charm of the park.
A visual treat:
A total of 68 endangered species can be found in Nandan Kanan Wildlife Sanctuary and zoo. Three species of Indian Crocodiles, Lion Tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Asiatic Lion, Indian Pangolin, Mouse Deer and White Gharials are the major attractions of the park. There are 34 white tigers in captivity at present.
Besides the above-mentioned, 81 species of birds and 18 species of reptiles would also invite you to explore their amazing world. Blue & Yellow Macaw, White Peacock, Green-winged Macaw, Open-billed Stork, etc. are seen in the park.
Study the schools of freshwater fishes in the 34 aquariums. You can also visit the Reptile Park where you would find a life sized Tyrannosaurus Rex standing on the gates of the Reptile Park as a sentinel. The reptile park is a galore of many crocodiles, turtle, snakes, lizards, etc.
The list of attractions doesn't end here. In fact it continues with the Botanical Garden over the Kanjia Lake. Take an exciting rope way ride to the Botanical Gardens or boat rides on the rippling water of the lake. Nandan Kanan is the perfect fun place for your child. Invoke the child's interests in Mother Nature by gifting him/her a toy train ride.
Opt for a thrilling jungle safari. Watch the majestic life of the white tigers and Asiatic lions as they roam within the park. You can also choose for a safe journey in bus safari offered at the park.
When to visit?
The sanctuary remains open throughout the year. Yet the best time is during the months of October to March.
Where to stay?
A lot of hotels and lodges near the sanctuary are perfect for your accommodation.
How to reach the park?
- The nearest railhead is Bhubaneswar
- Bhubaneswar is also the nearest airport
- You can travel to the park by buses or private coaches. The capital city is connected to all major cities in India by metallic roads.
To conclude, we can say that Nandan Kanan wildlife sanctuary is a complete entertainment package. A trip to this sanctuary would be full of fun, amusement and educational value.