The Lake Chilka in the Odisha is the largest inland saltwater lake in Asia, with several small islands, among them the charming Honeymoon Island, and therefore the Breakfast Island. India Wildlife Tour Packages- Wildlife Holidays in India with Namaskar India Tour. A pear-shaped lake, which is separated from the Bay of Bengal, it also hosts one of the most important ecosystems in the region, known as the Lake Chilka Sanctuary. It is home to many different types of flora, fauna and aquatic fauna, encountered in and around the brackish waters of the lake.
In addition, the region is also an eminent witness to a collection of both indigenous and migratory avifaunal varieties, that stopover in winter to form this most formidable area of India. It also boasts fisheries and salt marshes on its shores.
Despite the quietest of species of flora and fauna, this sanctuary at Lake Chilka is renowned for its spectacular views of sunrise and sunset. Especially many people visit this sanctuary for this splendid view.
The History of Lake Chilka Sanctuary
In some ancient texts, Chilka was considered to be a strong port for international trade. In fact, the famous Chinese traveller passed through a port located in Chhatragarh, on the banks of Lake Chilka. More excavations have revealed that Lake Chilka was a deep, wide-open bay and an important port as well as a shelter for merchant ships sailing to Asia.
However, owing to its pear-shaped structure, Lake Chilka could not be used as a port in case of severe drought. It is also said that a 4th-century pirate king, Raktabahu (or Red Arm), crossed the seas to sack the rich and holy city of Puri. India Wildlife Tours, Indian Wildlife Holiday Packages with Namaskar India Tour. It is believed that the people of Puri deserted the world for fear of attack. Eventually, the king realised that he had been deceived by the high ocean tides, but that unfortunately he and his troops were suffocated by the tides. This is how the world has evolved as the Chilka Lake which marks with such legendary importance together with the expedition of the fauna until nowadays.
How to get there?
Closest airport is Bhubaneswar, 120 km away, offering taxis, trains and buses to the lake.
The closest railway stations in Balugaon are located on the Howrah-Chennai line. From Balugaon, there are buses to the lake.
A part of Lake Chilka is visible from the NH5 and thus the Howrah-Chennai railway. There are numerous buses running all day long between Bhubaneswar (Baramunda bus station) and Cuttack (Badambadi bus station) and Balugaon. OSRTC buses (i.e. public buses) are the most frequent and fastest.
Wildlife in Chilka Lake
The reason why Lake Chilka is treated is that it is a real paradise for ornithologists and bird lovers, as the whole neighbourhood attracts a considerable amount of water birds, preferably in winter for migratory counts. Especially the main species to be observed are white-bellied sea eagles, Graylag geese, purple water hens, flamingos and herons Furthermore, the Lake Chilka Aviary is among the largest flamingo breeding grounds in the world.
The area also harbours a variety of wildlife, including blackbucks, golden jackals, spotted deer and hyenas. In terms of aquatic species, Lake Chilka is extremely prosperous, with approximately 160 different species of crustaceans, fish and many other marine species, including the famous Chilka dolphin. Its local people depend on shrimp, mackerel and crab fishing for a living. Numerous fishing boats are often spotted in the lake to bring in the day’s catch to see the wildlife. Wildlife Tour India,Wildlife, Jungle, safari, National Park India with Namaskar India Tour. As the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is the second most important pachyderm reserve in India, many elephants can be caught, especially during the season.
The wildlife sanctuary of Chilika is not only home to residents and migratory birds, it is also home to black deer, spotted deer, golden jackals, hyenas and many more species. In addition to its richly renowned aquatic fauna, the Chilka Lake Wildlife Sanctuary is also home to shrimps, dolphins, crabs, crustaceans and limbless lizards. It has 225 species of fish, including Acentrogobius Griseus, Arius, Aleppo Jedaba and thus Elops Machnata.
Flora in Lake Chilka
Orissa’s most popular destination for ecotourism is Lake Chilka. Aside from the presence of exotic fauna in the area, it and its surroundings are home to a rich floral system with an abundance of aquatic and non-aquatic plants. According to the recent environmental survey, the presence of 710 species of plants in and around Lake Chilka has been revealed. Such a large flora and fauna, including many rare species and forms, is the main reason why Lake Chilka has been listed as a Ramsar site.
Recommended time to reach Lake Chilka
It is moderately warm all year round, allowing this place to be visited at any time of the year, except during the June to September season. However, the simplest period is from October to March, when the lake is crowded with migratory birds, usually a minimum of 50-70 species.
Places of interest
Bird Island: The ideal destination for ornithologists who are keen to enjoy birdwatching in their natural habitat.
Nalabana: one of the few bird sanctuaries that are designated in accordance with the Wildlife Protection Act. Nonetheless, Nalabana can be a large island located in the centre of the lake where a large flock of resident and migratory birds proves to be a treat for birdwatchers during a complete bungee jumping experience during the winter. Wildlife Tour Packages, Best Wildlife Holidays in India with Namaskar India Tour. It is completely submerged during the monsoon months.
Mangalajodi: In former times, Manglajodi was renowned as the poachers’ village, as the local people were completely involved in poaching activities; however, later on, through awareness, the village is now regarded as a community that belongs to the wildlife business. Now the community is supported by Mangalajodi ecotourism.
Kalijai Island: It is an island that is ideally treated as it is the home of the goddess Kalijai. During the Makar Mela (at the time of Makar Sankranti) a large number of pilgrims flock here in January to pay homage to the goddess. A traditional popular belief of the locals describes that a woman named Kali and her sister (in later years) were both drowned on the island when she came to search for Kali. The people on the island of Kalijai are used to hearing their cries in the area. However when the temple was built, their cries were no longer heard in the dark, and this proved to be a propitious and sacred reason. Now the world is definitely accessible from Barkul.
The most impressive thing is that flocks of peacocks wander here, mingling with the faithful. It used to be that fishermen used to visit the temple before venturing out to the open sea, but nowadays it is just one more tourist place.
Satapada: It is located on the edge of Dolphin Point, where the Critically Endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins and Bottlenose Dolphins are commonly seen. This is one of only two lagoons in the world where Irrawaddy dolphins can be seen.
Brahmaputra : It is famous for the beauty of its landscape and is used as a picnic spot for tourists.
Breakfast Island: A 20 minutes boat ride from Rambha, where tourists can visit the astonishing present-day island in the Lake Chilka region. India Wildlife Tours, India Tour Packages, Wildlife Tours in India with Namaskar India Tour. It has been named so because tourists eat breakfast in the OTDC panthana fields in Rambha and have their breakfast here in a beautiful unspoiled environment. The other attractions in the area surrounding the breakfast island are Beacon Island and Honeymoon Island. It is the ideal place to discover the famous Lake Chilka and therefore to make frequent boat trips to the islands and watch thousands of birds.
Nearby tourist attractions and excursion sites
Govt. College of Arts & Craft: It is situated in Khallikote, at approximately 25 km from Balugaon and 12 km from Rambha. Located in the palace of the former king of Khallikote. Enclosed by lush mountains, it has magnificent views and represents many famous contemporary Indian painters and its former students. On display inside the gallery are beautiful paintings reflecting the culture of Orissa.
Nirmaljhara: Named Nirmaljhara, which is a perpetual stream that was channelled into different water ponds situated in Khallikote, very close to the Fine Arts School. India Wildlife Tour Packages – Best Wildlife Holidays Packages with Namaskar India Tour. It was constructed in 1676 and is also illuminated by many temples. For adventurous people, there is a shower in one of the ponds.
Banapur: Well known for the Bhagawati temple and its markets, the area around Banapur is best known for its meeting places and shopping.
Narayani: Located about 15 km from Balugaon, Narayani is a temple located in a picturesque environment of the Eastern Ghats. It is very fortunate for the people of Oriya that Kalijai Temple, Bhagwati Temple and Narayani Temple were all visited on the same day.
Salia Dam: It is built on the river Salia and it is in the middle of beautiful places. Located at about 25 km from Rambha and 15 km from Barakul, it is the most suitable place for sightseeing and some leisure excursions.
Gopalpur-On-Sea: it is a stunning seaside town in the district of Ganjam in Odisha. Formerly it was a busy seaport, used for trade, but these days it is the quietest place, which has been converted into one of the ideal places for the lonely seekers and consequently for those seeking peace. To some extent, the world is freed from all the hustle and bustle of the temple city of Orissa, which offers attractions of marine and scenic beauty. At present, Gopalpur-on-sea is one of India’s major seaside resorts.
Puri: It is especially known for the famous Rath Yatra at Jagannath Temple which is held during the month of Asadh (June and July) and Lord Jagannath’s chariot is therefore transported for public display. Centrally located in the Bay of Bengal, the Puri is one of the holiest places in India and has immense and attractive beaches.