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Orissa : Chilika Lake
Satapada Dolphin Sactuary at Chilika Lake:
Chilka, the brackish water lagoon, about 49 km from Puri, is popularly known as Chilika in the proximity. The meaning of Chilika is the “soil inundated by water”. It is the biggest salt water lake. It shelters the largest population (138) of endangered irrawaddy dolphin. Watching the animated Dolphins in Satapada is a tantalizing experience. The best season to touch the slithery body surface of the playful Dolphins is winter. The beguiling lagoon is a wintering ground of Migratory birds. But you have to spend 100 rupees to enjoy the mesmerizing Dolphins. The additional enticement is the pleasing boat ride amidst the compelling natural locus. Private boats are also available. Dotted Islands like Parkud, Gajakrishnaprasad, Rasatpura, Rajhangsa on the surface of the brackish lagoon look wonderful. OTDC has also organized a fascinating boat ride to Bay of Bengal. The small Island, Rajhangsa, hidden in the trees, has Bay of Bengal at its one side and at the other side the beautiful Chilka lagoon is situated. To increase the attractiveness of Satapada, Chilika Development Authority is conducting a research on Dolphins. Vivid initiatives are taken to form special nests for attracting wandering birds in various Islands around.
Interested people who really like the ambiance of the nature in Rajhansh Island can stay at the Forest Bungalow in the Island. Yatrinivas of Orissa Tourism is another option in Satapada where you can stay at. Visit www.otdc.in for details.
Puri district is delimited by the woodlands of Purbaghat hills in south-west and by Bay of Bengal in east. A number of small and big Islands around are the forte of the district. The notable Islands are dotted around the Chilka Lake. The fabulous Lake is covering a sprawling area of 1100 square km. The remarkable vista of the lagoon looks amazing especially in rainy seasons. This becomes the biggest Lake of sweet water of Asia in rainy seasons. Fishermen are the natural habitants of the sprinkled Islands.
In Kalijai Island, about 10 km from Satapada, three divine temples, Kali, Ganga, Jai, are situated. Tourists congregate here from faraway places on Makar Sankranti (The last day of Chaitra- the last month of Bengali calendar year).
Kalijugeshwari, another spiritual place, well known for its Shaiva temple, is located at a distance of two and half km from Brakul. The whole boat ride around the Chilka Lake offers an enamoring feeling. The sight of the sunrise and sunset at the backdrop of Chilka Lake are worth seeing. Picnic lovers flock in from different parts of India to take the pleasure in the wonderful natural milieu. Winters are the best seasons to watch the endemic and migratory birds around the brackish lagoon. More than 150 species of Birds from Iran, Siberia, and Central Asia fly in and make the place even more colorful. Birds Island, Nalban, about 18 km from Satapada, is a heavenly place for the bird watchers. In 2008, 900000 migratory birds had flown in and around the Lake, out of which most of the birds had opted for the Nalban Island as a spot for their winter trip.
Spend 150 rupees for the whole trip of Barakul, Nalban and many other places. 650 species of creatures are living under water. 225 species of fishes are there in the sea as well. You can savor the special taste of cooked prawns and turtles.
Interested and ardent holiday makers can watch the historical palace in Garhkrishnaprasad. Fishing is the chief profession of the dwellers.
Chilika Wildlife Sactuary, about 19 km from Barakul, has got the status of a sanctuary in 1973. However, the sanctuary is for birds and dolphins only, and no other wild animals.
Situated at the southern bank of Chilka lagoon, the Dukbungalow, railway retiring room and Panthanivas are the noteworthy places where you can stay at. PWD IB, Khasmahal Bungalow, Shyam Sundar, Laxmi Mandir, Satyanarayan and Dharamsala in Banpur are other hotels where tourists can stay at. The Panthanivas of Rambha, floating on the Lake surface, is an astonishing place in the middle of the natural milieu. They arrange some special side dishes using prawn. Don’t forget to savor the tastes of these dishes along with your family. If you are interested to spend some more time in the lands of water then hiring a boat and moving around Panthanivas will not be a bad idea.
Sunnakuda Island, located at a distance of 6 km from Panthanivas, is an Island which is set in the shades of green woods. Hire a boat and hit the Island in search of serenity. Try our hotel booking links at the bottom of the page for photographs, options, details and online booking.
Nirmaljhar, about 11 km from Rambha, is well known for its Vishnu temple. Shiva, Parbati, Radhakrishna, Bimala, Ganesh, and Jagannath temples are the other divine temples situated in Nirmaljhar.
Narayani temple, about 21 km from Nirmaljhar, amidst the green lands, located at the foothills of Bhalleri, is a sought after tourist destination. Located atop the small hills, the deity is engraved on a black stone. Rudrani and Brahmani Rivers are there at the right hand side and at the left hand side of Narayani temple respectively.
Take a walk to Banadurga temple, higher up from Narayani temple. Native and wandering birds sing in a concert in the adjoining places. Waterfall in the middle of the green lands creates a gratifying surrounding.
Bhagabati and Daksh Prajapati temples in Banpur, about 8 km away from Balugaon, are other attractive destinations for the temple lovers.
Salai dam, about 14 km from Banpur, on the banks of Chilka Lake, is surrounded by soaring trees. The territory of the Salai Dam and its adjoining reservoir, are encircled by hills.
The Salai dam can be accessed from Barakul by road.
People who love to watch the vista of the sunset should visit Antaranga, another secluded tourist destination, located at a distance of 90 km from Puri. But no hotels have yet come up in Antaranga.
How to reach: A lot of package tours are arranged to Chilka from Puri and from Bhubaneswar. Chilka Lake can also be accessed by road from Puri, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.